Monday, December 18, 2023



Everyone has a personality made up of unique patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that set you apart from others. This set of traits is a result of our biology and our life experiences. All of us have traits in our personalities that are considered "good" and "bad." 

Research has shown that having more of the good traits can prevent disease and help us live longer. On the other hand, the so-called bad traits tend to have less healthy lifestyle habits and more stress. This can lead to the development of certain diseases. There is good news though. Research also shows that personality traits are flexible and can change over our lifetime. lt is a matter of recognizing these traits and working on changing or modifying them.

Optimism is a positive outlook on life that has a strong influence on our health and well-being. The National Academy of Sciences discovered that people with self-rated high optimism tended to lead healthier lives and had a higher likelihood of reaching 85 years or older. The reasons have not been specifically determined but the hypothesis seems to be that optimistic people have lower inflammation levels, healthier cholesterol profiles and tend to have healthier habits. Therefore, they cope better with illness and recovery and are more resilient. Genetics that play in that optimism is about 25 - 35% heritable. 

Conscientiousness is a trait that is characterized by a person's tendency to be organized, responsible, and diligent in their actions. In general, they are more reliable and have a strong sense of duty. Research shows they also have better health and live longer based on a study  in Health Psychology. They are more proactive about their health and getting regular check-ups with follow-throughs. Conscientiousness also leads to a healthier brain which improves cognitive functioning and lowers the risk of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Extroversion is a trait where people tend to thrive in social settings and gain energy from interactions with others. Whereas, introverts tend to like the solitary environments and they recharge by reflecting inward. It is not that one is better than the other, as long as they are balanced. It always helps to be open to new experiences. That involves curiosity and a willingness to explore new ideas. Happier people tend to have lower stress levels.

Agreeableness does NOT just mean saying yes to everything all of the time. It is more of cultivating harmony by being cooperative, compassionate, and considerate in our interactions with others. It shows that you value interpersonal relationships more and are more empathetic to the feelings and needs of those around you. 

All of these traits can be worked on individually to help maintain a healthy personality. And yes, there is such a thing. The more that I have read about people living long lives the more it is evident that they are on the more optimistic side of life. That is how all of the traits that I have listed fit together. 

Just like the song from the Monty Python movie says: 

No comments:

Post a Comment