Does Your Personality Influence Your Health?
An outgoing personality might make you more friends, but did you know that being extroverted can also help you stay healthier during flu season? Your personality actually has a strong impact on your health both through behaviors and factors you don’t see, such as genes in your white blood cells. This means you might be able to manage your health better knowing the conditions you are most prone to with your personality. Here’s a look at a handful of the ways that personality traits could be guiding your health.
Extroverts may have better immune systems
People who are extroverted tend to be more exposed to infections thanks to their higher involvement in social activities. Their bodies compensate by producing more immune-boosting white blood cells that can fight off infections.
Friendly people might have healthier habits
Having the traits of an extrovert like enthusiasm, talkativeness, or assertiveness might also have benefits in habits picked up during social situations. Those who are willing to strike up a conversation and feel more comfortable in social environments tend to be less likely to participate in habits like smoking, mindless snacking, or excessive eating. However, some extroverted people may have more impulsivity that could lead to risky behaviors.
Hostile individuals could have a higher heart disease risk
Impatient, take-charge individuals tend to harbor more hostility that could be hard on the heart. With the edge of a hostile attitude, the heart is under more stress and therefore at a higher risk for heart disease. Fortunately, it is possible to curb the temptation of quickly responding to annoying situations with anger by using stress-management techniques like deep breathing or yoga.
Type A personalities tend to avoid the doctor
People who have the headstrong type A personality may not only be more prone to anger and hostility, but they might also avoid going to the doctor when they need to. A stubborn attitude and control issues can prevent these individuals from getting medical care for early signs of disease such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, so it may take a more serious medical problem to get a doctor involved. Plus, type As tend to be more likely to be overweight and have more risk factors for heart disease.
MeMD can make it easier to fit doctor visits into your busy schedule, even if you are fighting against type A personality tendencies – see how we can make your healthcare easier no matter what your personality type.