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How Personality Can Surprisingly Affect Your Health

How Personality Can Surprisingly Affect Your Health

Personality is what defines us as individuals. Subsequently, it affects our paths through life and choices along the way. From professions and to partners, your personality type will have always played a significant role.

Many believe personality is nothing more than basic characteristics and features that differentiate us from others. But surprisingly, scientific studies have linked personality types with considerable health risks.

Studies organized by joint efforts between the University of Nottingham and the University of California suggest that personality types can shape our immune systems, as a deciding factor for diseases we are more prone to. Participants in these health studies were grouped and identified by a variety of common personalities. They discovered certain personality types were more likely to develop diseases, whereas others fought off the same viruses and infections more easily.

Using findings from these studies, it’s possible to curb harmful habits and live a much healthier life! There’s no need to try and change your personality, just take note of the associated risks and follow these specific health tips to mitigate them.

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4 Common Personality Types With Risks and Tips

1. The Extrovert

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    If you are an extrovert, you love to express yourself in a straightforward manner. You’re likely to be outgoing, social and energized by being around others.

    It’s good news health-wise, as studies found that extroverts have stronger immune systems! The number of genes in the white blood cell that trigger inflammation were found to be 17 percent more active compared to any other personality types. These genes that trigger inflammation will have a great effect on your long-term health.

    Associated Risks:

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    • Higher blood pressure
    • Increased risk of developing cancers

    Health Tips:

    • Limit your late nights out, ensure you’re getting enough rest overall
    • Restrict junk food and sugar intake as much as possible
    • Increase intake of vitamins and minerals by eating plenty of vegetables (especially leafy greens)
    • Boost your intake of antioxidants, try drinking matcha green tea daily

    2. The Agreeable

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      If you find yourself nodding along to avoid conflicts or are easily persuaded, you probably have an agreeable personality type by nature.

      However, agreeable personalities should also heed their doctor’s recommendations since they are more likely to suffer from health issues and short-term diseases. Since you are a pro at pleasing people, you are more likely to accompany friends and relatives as they indulge (and overindulge) in their own vices.

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      Associated Risks:

      • Increased stress, often caused by agreeing to requests you shouldn’t have
      • More likely to become overweight, possibly from giving into the over-generous nature of others
      • Increased risk of developing Diabetes

      Health Tips:

      • Learn to say no when you need to take care of yourself
      • Dedicate time to working on yourself only
      • Release stress by taking the time to relax your mind and body. Try a weekly warm soak in the bath with Epsom salts.

      3. The Worrier

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        Contrary to what you may be thinking now, worriers are not at as much risk of health issues as you may think. There are two broad categories of worriers; ones who are obsessively worried and others who are worried in a healthy way. Thankfully, most of us are on the healthy side!

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        Associated Risks:

        • More likely to develop mental health issues and diseases such as depression due to excessive worry
        • Increased stress from habitual worrying can lead to overeating, drinking or other unhealthy habits

        Health Tips:

        • Make sure you periodically calm and quieten down your mind. Try practicing Yoga on a daily basis.
        • Catch any bad habits and kick them before they take hold
        • If you start to feel down, remember to concentrate on the positive things in life

        4. The Conscientious

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          Conscientious people are generally more focused on life and always work hard to achieve their aim. If you are sensible and always try to look at things optimistically, it’s more likely that you will take good care of your health. However, conscientious personality types are often over workers and neglect their own health.

          Associated Risks:

          • More prone to chronic diseases and digestion related problems
          • Less likely to live a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise
          • Increased stress placed upon self to achieve

          Health Tips:

          • Make your health a priority or a goal to keep you focused
          • Eat foods such as fish, seeds, nuts and green vegetables to maintain a healthy diet
          • Give as much importance to rest time, as to productive time
          • Try meditating for a few minutes daily to remove work related stress

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          Last Updated on April 11, 2019

          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

          I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

          I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

          Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

          How Communication Skills Help Your Success

          Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

          Create a Positive Experience

          Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

          When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

          What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

          Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

          As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

          Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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          Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

          Help Leadership Skills

          It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

          Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

          As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

          Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

          If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

          Build Better Teams

          Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

          In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

          If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

          When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

          Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

          Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

          1. Listen

          Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

          Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

          People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

          Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

          Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

          2. Know Your Audience

          Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

          Here is a good way to think about it:

          Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

          You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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          3. Minimize

          I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

          He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

          Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

          State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

          The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

          4. Over Communicate

          So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

          What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

          Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

          Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

          Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

          There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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          5. Body Language

          The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

          When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

          In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

          When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

          Conclusion

          Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

          Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

          There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

          Now go communicate your way to success.

          More Resources About Effective Communication

          Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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