It’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. Research shows your personality type is linked with the body’s immune system as well as stress response system.
While prolonged stress can increase your chances of a list of lifestyle diseases including cardiovascular disorders, flu virus, high blood pressure and diabetes, stress in small bouts causes an adrenaline rush that increases productivity. Figure out the stress factors in your life and find ways to cope with them. If it is the too-much-to-do-in-too-little time that stresses you out, a wise thing to do is get yourself a planner and chalk your day ahead. Identify your day’s activity that eat up the maximum time. If it’s travelling from your home in Borivli to your office in Nariman Point that eats up all your precious hours, maximise your time by making all those phone calls that you would have made at your desk, or catch up on reading those exhaustive office files.
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. NO
Late for appointments? Can’t keep your desk organised? These seemingly innocuous qualities could take a toll on your health. People who are conscientious — organised, self-disciplined are better off. The boost in lifetime can be attributed partly to the fact that highly conscientious individuals are less likely to smoke or drink in excess, and live more stable and less stressful lives.
People who are constantly worried and anxious over the smallest of issues are prone to depression, die sooner on average than their chilled-out counterparts. A recently reported study that followed 1800 men for over three decades suggests this because neurotics are also more likely to smoke. Having a cigarette eases anxiety for a short while, but short-term payoff is not worth it as it makes you ill you down the line.
If you lack a sense of purpose, your stay in this world could be shortened. A study involving more than 1200 elderly participants who didn’t suffer from dementia found that those who indicated having a purpose in life were about half as likely to die over the study period, which lasted up to five years. Regardless of a person’s age, sex, education and race along with level of depression and neuroticism. Experts explain, this is because people with a purpose readily derive meaning from things and make sense of the events in their lives, and are likely to engage in behaviours and activities that they view as important.
Some other research has suggested that people with a higher sense of purpose may have different levels of stress hormones, better heart health or improved immune systems, though more research is needed to firm up any of these biological mechanisms.
No one wants to be near them and have their ‘moroseness’ rub on to them. But the gloomy, inhibited person is not just at a disadvantage socially, but also physically. A preliminary study of more than 180 patients suffering from peripheral arterial disease (plaque build-up in the arteries) showed participants with so-called type D, or distressed, personality, had an increased odd of dying sooner than other people. Type-D people were more likely to experience negative emotions while bottling up feelings.
Cynics who tend to be suspicious and mistrustful of others, a character trait that scientists refer to as hostility, may have an increased likelihood of developing heart disease. These are people who are likely to read into people’s behaviour as a hostile motive. Hostile individuals tend to experience more stress, which can cause spikes in an immune-system protein called C3 that has been linked with various diseases, including diabetes. Research participants with higher scores on hostility showed an increase in these proteins while the non-hostile men showed no such increase.