Can Your Personality Type Influence Your Health?
Are you a worry wart and a pessimist by nature or are you a carefree spirited individual who loves life? Did you know that your personality can affect your health?
Your Personality and Your Health
Personality type: Does it affect your health? -
How Your Personality Affects Your Health -
Is Your Personality Making You Sick? -
Experts say that our personality traits reveal themselves at a very early age and remain constant throughout our entire lives. Personality traits influence the choice of words we use to communicate with others, as well as how we learn. Our personality traits are responsible for our brain functioning and its normal neurobiological and biochemical reactions. They establish the electrochemical dialogue that takes place between the brain, the endocrine system, and the physical body.
The learned parts of personality are called characteristics. Characteristics are the behavioral patterns that we develop as a result of what we have learned. They are the distinguishing qualities that differentiate us from others. They provide the biographical information that reveals itself through our emotional reactions.
Traits + Characteristics = Personality Type -
When you combine personality traits and characteristics, you define personality type. This impacts the way you face life's challenges and the coping mechanisms you develop.
This is the organizing principle that affects your sense of reality and spirituality. It greatly impacts your health and overall sense of well-being.
Personality and perceived Stress: -
An individual must perceive a stressor in order for it to have an impact on them, and people's personalities determine how they will perceive things. Some people perceive certain events as more stressful as others.
For centuries, psychologists, psychiatrists, and physicians have studied personality. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, proposed that there were four distinct personality types. His theory was that a person's personality type determines their vulnerability to mental dysfunction and their susceptibility to illness.
Carl Jung: -
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker and the founder of Analytical Psychology proposed his own comprehensive theory to explain how personality type affects every aspect of a person's life. Jung was of the opinion that the differences in people were the result of inherited core psychological functions associated with how a person gathers information and makes decisions.
Personality Theories as a Whole: -
According to most of the personality theories, we each have within our own personality type both strengths and weaknesses that are primarily determined by the genetic neurological hard-wiring found within our personality traits. At those times when we feel that our lives are out of control and we feel emotionally detached, We become mentally immobilized and chemically out of balance. These chemical imbalances create a fight-or-flight stress reaction in the physical body, and these stress responses hinder our ability to think clearly to an even greater extent. As a result, we leave ourselves vulnerable to the creation of illness.
Mind-body Connection: -
Since those early research studies, more comprehensive studies have taken place to further the understanding of how the mind influences our physical well-being. These studies are validating the premise that there is a direct correlation between personality, thoughts, emotions, and illness. Experts for the most part all agree that our thoughts and emotions are intertwined, and play a major role in the development of disease.
And, how does psychoneuroimmunology play a role in all this. Psychoneuroimmunology, is the study of how emotions affect the immune system. It theorizes that people who are consumed with negative thoughts or who have a negative outlook on life are more susceptible to the formation of cancer.
Negative thoughts: -
Negative thoughts provoke negative emotions: fear, anger, frustration, worry, and guilt -- all of which have an undesirable and potent effect on our ability to fight off disease and infection. Negative thoughts wear down both the energy system and the immune system, leaving a person more susceptible to illness. Those same studies show that prolonged stress also wears down both the energy body and physical body and consequently impacts why people become ill and why they do not heal.
If our thoughts are positive and produce positive emotional reactions, then our physical body will continue to function as a healthy, vital unit. It is only the thoughts with strongly negative charges that affect the body and make it susceptible to disease.
Scientists Have Pinpointed Two Behavior Patterns that Can Have an Effect on our Health: -
Type-A Behavior Pattern: Type A personality behavior was first described as a potential risk factor for heart disease in the 1950s by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Mike Jordan. These are individuals who tend to strive very hard and competitively towards certain goals, often without feeling much enjoyment in the process. A number of studies have found a link between Type-A behavior and coronary heart disease. The three specific components of Type-A behavior that contribute to heart disease include anger and hostility. It has been theorized that when people perceive stress, their bodies try to pump greater amounts of blood through narrower constricted blood vessels. This may wear out the coronary arteries and lead to a heart attack. Even self-induced stress can cause lipids to release into the blood stream, which contributes to atherosclerosis.
Type-B Behavior Pattern: A laid back individual. These individuals demonstrate low levels of competitiveness and have no urgency in regards to time. They are more easygoing and relaxed and enjoy life.
There is also a Type AB personality type, which is a profile for people who cannot be clearly categorized as either Type A or Type B.
Bear in mind that Type A personalities aren't doomed to heart problems, but they should be aware of their risk and take precautions. There are some proactive tools and actions that these people can take to get rid of the negative feelings that they keep inside.
Although personality is something that usually cannot be changed, if you are a type-A personality it would be a good idea to take steps to minimize your stresses. In fact, next time you feel your heart racing and you find yourself in a tense mode, try taking a chill pill, theoretically speaking.
Bottom line, good coping mechanisms and having an outgoing personality does a body good. So lighten up your personality a bit and have some fun, life is simply too short.