How your personality affects your health

Did you know that certain personality traits can help you live longer? And that other personality traits might make you more prone to heart disease?

Our personality influences how we interact with the world. And since personality traits help determine how we behave and act, it is little wonder that they influence our health! Personality traits can also impact our mental health.

Wondering how your personality could be impacting your health? Here are some common personality traits that could help or hurt somebody’s health.

Easy-going

Those that are more easy-going and that take life one day at a time tend to be less stressed and more relaxed. People with this trait are more likely to work towards goals for their enjoyment, allowing them to focus on the process without the need to achieve high results.

As a result, those with easy-going personalities are better at managing stress, which leads to a better quality of life. Less stress results in an improved immune system and decreases the chances of heart disease.

Perfectionist

Perfectionism is a trait that is associated with Type A personalities. People with this trait often strive to be flawless and set high-performance standards for themselves. Their feelings of self-worth and self-concept are often developed based upon how they judge their achievements. Anything less than perfect makes them feel as though they have failed.

Many perfectionists often experience high stress or hostility, which can cause negative health problems, such as anxiety and heart disease. Learning stress-management techniques can help perfectionists better cope with daily life stressors.

People-pleaser

People-pleasers always want to accommodate those around them. Some people-pleasers remain in good health because they’re more likely to follow the order of their doctor, as well as follow-up on appointments.

Others, however, struggle because they don’t necessarily seek medical help when needed because they don’t want to be a burden to others. They are also more likely to be more passive, which means when they do receive a negative diagnosis, they might decide that there isn’t any reason to improve their health.

Neurotic

Those with a neurotic personality struggle to cope with everyday stress. Even minor, everyday situations can seem very stressful to an individual with a neurotic personality and they tend to respond with a very intense negative emotional reaction.

Individuals with neurotic personalities are more likely to experience negative health conditions, including but not limited to, depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, and substance abuse. They’re likely to find themselves excessively worrying, so learning coping strategies to replace these negative thoughts with positive thoughts can help.

Distressed

Those with distressed personalities are more likely to dwell on negative emotions. They are also among the personalities that are more prone to addiction. Negative emotions someone with a distressed personality might struggle with include anger, depression, loneliness, and stress.

They’re likely to struggle with major health complications, especially increased risk of heart problems. While learning stress management techniques and focusing on positive thoughts can help, those with distressed personalities should also regularly work with their doctor to screen for heart complications.

Optimistic

Those with an optimistic outlook on life are better able to cope with stress. Whenever they experience a problem in life, they’re more resilient and can overcome the problem. Therefore, they are less likely to deal with stress-related health problems.

However, there are some optimists that think that they won’t be affected when taking negative risks. For example, they might think they are immune to cancer, and therefore might engage in risky behaviors, such as smoking or sunbathing without sunscreen.

Introverts

Introverts are typically more reserved and shy, which means they could struggle to communicate potential health concerns with their doctors. They might not feel like they have the social support to overcome health problems, and therefore ignore the problem, which negatively impacts their health.

Introverts with a stronger social network are more likely to develop healthier behavior. This includes having family members that encourage them to take care of their physical or mental health, as well as finding a doctor that they feel comfortable working with.

Final thoughts

Our personality can impact our health in both positive and negative ways. However, just keep in mind that if your personality does make you more susceptible to negative health problems, there are ways to consciously improve your health by developing healthy coping strategies and by working with your doctor. Understanding your personality and how it impacts your health allows you to be more conscious about the health choices you make in your life.

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