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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 June 24, 2019

          Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

          Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

          A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

          Social Media Could Lead to Depression

          Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

          Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

          If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

          • low self-esteem,

          • negative self-talk,

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          • a low mood,

          • irritability,

          • a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

          • and social withdrawal.

          If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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          Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

          We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

          Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

          Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

          Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

          Why We Need to Take This Seriously

          Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

          Advice on Social Media Use

          Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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          One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

          Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

          Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

          If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

          Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

          Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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          Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

          Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

          The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

          Reference

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