So Being Anxious Is Actually Good For Something?:
Rejoice, HealthTrekker visitors, Rejoice! -This is your lucky day.
Now, we’ve previously told you that of all the personality types, The “Grouch”, or anxious/depressed/irritable/pessimistic has many times higher risk of cardiovascular issues than all of the other types; even the seemingly-risky Type A.
Well, in a study by the University of Rochester, it turns out there are some real, measurable health-benefits to being a tiny bit of that “Grouch”-type, with a good dose of Types C & A, too…
SO: What the researchers wanted to find out was basically two things.
1) Are there some personality-types that tend to be healthier than others?
2) Does Neuroticism and characteristics like it, impact that person’s health?
You’d Normally Think Anxious Is Bad:
-Because at first-blush, one would think that being Neurotic; -somewhere around 60% Type A, 30% Type C & 10% Type D would actually have a Negative impact on someone’s health. And that’s what the researchers thought, too.
They probably read the same study on the 4 ABCD types, and thought Type Bs are probably the healthiest because of low-stress.
Well, not so fast!…
Because after looking at just over 1,000 people, it turned out Neurotic people had fewer diseases!
Higher Neuroses, Lower Inflammation:
-Specifically, they had a lower level of the protein, IL-6. And that’s important, because IL-6 is a marker for high-inflammation and serious chronic-diseases.
The key factor in whether or not a Neurotic person had more or less disease or the Inflammation-Marker was found in an interesting modifier.
When you have not just the Type-D’s Neuroses alone, but you then couple it with increasing amounts of Type-C’s Conscientiousness; -BOOM!: That’s where the magic happens!
There’s A Trick, Though. It’s Conscientiousness, Too:
And not only that, more is better!
When the researchers found people who were Neurotic & a little conscientious, they had both lower Inflammation-Marker and Lower BMI.
-As they went up the scale & looked at people who scored increasingly-higher on the Conscientiousness-scale, their amounts of that IL-6 were even lower!
So it’s not just the one side of obsessive, growly-pants, anxiousness that got people going,
But the researchers guess that the Conscientiousness-combination Restrains, or checks other Type-A/D-associated behaviors that might otherwise get out-of-hand.
One Trait Restrains, The Other Amplifies:
And that because of it, these “Combination-People” were spared noticeable-amounts of inflammation & downside.
Because of their extra self-discipline, the excessive overeating, drinking, smoking, alcohol or drug consumption would have been moderated.
Not only that, but because of their Neurotic-side acting as a multiplier for that conscientiousness, Combo-Types probably seek out care earlier & more often. -Ie: A bit of the hypochondriac.
Self-Checking & Controlled-Hypochondria:
They may also have more & better means of coping with stress. -And as-such, even though the study does not mention it, they might also have lower levels or fewer spikes of high-stress body-chemicals like Cortisol.
The good part of this, is at-least now we know there is real scientific evidence for having certain personality-traits selectively amplify or restrain others.
And your type is not fixed. If you want to bring more of the positive-traits into your life, you can absolutely learn to be more of that conscientious, “Healthy Neurotic” if you want to change.
But if you’re here on HT, you probably already are one of us silly cyberchondriacs, already!
Check out the details at the Links:
Photo Credits: “Anxiety”, by Flickr user, katieg93
• Source: URMC-Neurotic+Conscientious, Great Combo For Health
• via: TheAtlantic
• Source Study: Brain, Behavior, Immunity-Big 5 personality traits and interleukin-6: Evidence for “healthy Neuroticism” in a US population sample