Recent research has found that specific personality traits like whether or not you are neurotic, impulsive or easygoing, are now being linked to certain health conditions. Science has revealed that your personality can increase the likelihood of developing specific health conditions such as viral infections, ulcers, asthma and even heart disease.
While you may not be able to change your personality, just knowing your risk factors can help you to take preventative action to maintain good health and happiness.
Classic Type A
Type A personalities tend to be very ambitious and sometimes aggressive. This personality often has a short fuse and may be frequently hostile, angry, cynical, impulsive, and tends to be a workaholic. Type A has often been discussed in connection with health risks, so you may already be aware of the issues it can cause.
Due to the tendency to be impulsive, this causes a lot of stress which can often result in unhealthy food choices as well as increased acid production which puts you at an increased risk for gastric ulcers.
Type A personalities are likely to have higher BMIs, which boosts the risk for a wide range of disease and other health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Most are not as effective at coping with high levels of stress which can leave the immune system weak. Asthma and headaches are also more likely to affect type As.
If you’re a type A, you’re likely conscientious as well, which is a trait that can help you live a longer life by paying close attention to what’s going on with your body. You should consider making an extra effort to practice stress reduction techniques such as deep-breathing and meditation. Pay close attention to what you’re eating and try to avoid poor food choices.
The Laid Back Personality
This personality is the opposite of Type A, taking life one day at a time with a relaxed, easygoing demeanor. You may be mostly unaffected by stress and tend to have quite a bit of patience. This type is also prone to procrastination; you probably don’t feel rushed to do anything too quickly. You may not plan or organize events, but you enjoy attending them.
These traits also mean that you may not be concerned about future health issues and as a result you engage in harmful behaviors, such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
If you’re also outgoing and emotionally stable, the results of a study by the Medical Research Council recently revealed that you’re likely to live a happier, longer life.
You may also have a stronger social support system which is connected with a healthier immune system and a lower risk for infection. The best thing for you to do is to remember you aren’t invincible – risky behaviors can result in disease and an early death for anyone who engages in them.
The Passive People Pleaser
If you’re the type of person who frequently puts others before yourself, avoids confrontation and tends to accommodate others at all costs, you’re probably a “passive people pleaser.” You may not be very social or feel comfortable sharing your feelings and would rather spend a quiet night at home as opposed to going out with a group.
Those who are shy tend to have a weaker immune system and an increased risk of viral infections. You may feel anxious more often or even have an anxiety disorder which can leave you more prone to soothing your feelings with alcohol, food or other substances. This can also make you more likely to develop an addiction.
Health experts say that because this personality type is eager to please, they are more likely to follow a doctor’s medical advice; this can be a good thing, but it’s also important to be your own advocate to find out what’s best for you. Eat plenty of antioxidant rich foods; avoid toxins, get regular physical activity and practice meditation to boost your immune system.
The Emotion Suppressor
If you experience constant worry and other negative distress but tend to hold it all in and avoid social interaction, you are prone to becoming depressed, lonely and anxious. This type of personality has a three times greater risk for developing heart disease.
It’s important to find a way to release your emotions and develop stress management skills; with the body under constant stress, this causes an abundance of inflammation which can lead to everything from high blood pressure to heart disease, stroke and a host of chronic conditions.
Self-awareness is a big part of overcoming any of the risks your personality type may have. One of the best things you can do is to transform your attitude to a more positive one.
Those who are more optimistic tend to live about 7 ½ years longer than pessimists. Creating a daily list of all the good things you have in your life has been proven to increase optimism, happiness levels and even improve health.
-The Alternative Daily