Your personality does more than define who you are – it can also be a sign of whether you’ll live a long life – or die young. If you want to live a long life – there are two personality traits required: Emotional stability and Conscientiousness. Why? Because over time, those two traits are linked to good health.
We read about this on Netscape.com, and according to a team of researchers from Purdue University, when someone is emotionally stable, they handle stress well. The opposite of emotional stability is something psychologists call neuroticism – which is a tendency toward negative thinking. And negative thinkers are more moody and anxious, and they live shorter lives. Researchers tracked 1,600 subjects over 18 years and found that the glass-half-empty people had a higher risk of dying at an earlier age. Stress and worries made them anxious and increased their risk of dying from cancer and heart disease. Whereas the emotionally stable folks handled stress more productively and had an increased longevity rate.
So what about the other personality trait that leads to longevity – conscientiousness. Well, someone who’s conscientious is orderly, industrious, reliable and not a risk-taker. So why do people with that personality trait live longer? According to the University of Illinois, conscientious people create life paths for themselves that contribute to better health. Because they’re industrious, reliable and orderly, they’re typically more successful, earn more money, have more stable families, and socialize more – all factors linked to longer life. Also, conscientious people are less likely to take drugs, drink and drive, smoke or put themselves in risky situations.
So if you want to live a longer life – adopt those two personality traits: emotional stability and conscientiousness. Learn how to handle your stress in a healthy, productive way – and be a hard working, reliable, non-risky person. It’ll pay off when you’re watching your grandkids grow up.