Is Your Personality Linked To Your Health?

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Your temperament determines more than just your social lifeIt’s not just the mood of the people around you. Your high-strung personality can affect your physical health too. Various studies suggest that mental factors are ultimately tied to a person’s physical well-being. Find out what traits characterise you and what damage they could possibly do. Researchers have found new evidence that explains how some aspects of our personality may affect our health and well being, supporting long-observed associations between aspects of human character, physical health and longevity.

Personality can be defined as a collection of distinct psychological traits which remain fairly constant over time and therefore shape the way we react to the world around us.  We all know where we fall on these various scales and how it impacts our friendship circle, the way we perform our jobs and even how we cope with adversity  but can it actually affect our health?

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS: Typical assessments of personality traits collapse behaviors, thoughts, and feelings into a single measure without distinguishing between these different manifestations. To address this lack of specification, the current study develops and validates a measure that assesses a number of broad behaviors associated with the personality trait of conscientiousness (the Behavioral Indicators of Conscientiousness; BIC).Is Your Personality Linked To Your Health

It also decreases the odds of a high blood pressure diagnosis by 27 percent, arthritis by 23 percent and diabetes by 20 percent.

One of the researchers, Professor Joshua Jackson, told MailOnline they did not differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but added: ‘Because it was a new diagnosis of diabetes, and everyone is an older adult, I would guess that most were type 2.’

The link between conscientiousness and health could be because people who are conscientious are likely to carry out healthy behaviours like healthy eating and exercise, which are important for preventing diseases like stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes, researchers said.

OPENNESS:Open people are curious, imaginative, like playing with new ideas, and have a broad range of interests.A one unit increase on the 1 – 4 scale for openness decreased the odds of a stroke diagnosis by 31 percent, heart conditions by 17 percent, high blood pressure by 29 percent, and arthritis by 21 percent.Being more open might help a person be more creative in relieving stress and may improve their health through better communication with physicians.

AGREEABLENESS: Agreeable individuals value getting along with other people. They tend to be considerate, kind, generous, helpful, trusting and trustworthy, and willing to compromise.

A one unit increase in agreeableness decreased the odds of an arthritis diagnosis by 21 percent.

Professor Joshua Jackson, told Mail Online previous studies have not linked the trait of agreeableness to health, so he would want to replicate these findings in future studies to be sure of the link.One theory, however, is that the social connections well-fostered by agreeable people protect them against disease.

Research shows that those who are constantly frazzled are more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s than those with a mellow personality. The claim is based on a study that followed more than 500 individuals for five years. Dementia risk was 50 per cent lower for participants who were calm compared with those who were prone to distress.

Image Courtesy: preventdisease.com