A few months ago, I subscribed to The Huffington Post (an online newspaper) via email and Twitter. I don’t read it every day, but occasionally an article will catch my attention. One particular story, a study on personality and longevity, inspired me to consider my own character traits.
I’m fortunate to have longevity genes on both sides of my family. My great-grandparents lived till their nineties and both of my grandmothers are still going strong in their eighties. I’m confident that my longevity genes, mixed with a healthy dose of these personality traits, I’ll be around for a while. Well, at least I hope I am!
The following personality traits come from the book The Longevity Project (2012) written by Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin and their extensive study.
According to the study, this is the best predictor of long life. Adults who are thrifty, persistent, attentive to details, and responsible live longer. Conscientious individuals are also less likely to take risks and they develop healthy relationships personally and professionally.
Good for me: I’m thrifty (to the point of being cheap) and I’m very detailed oriented and responsible. I don’t make a decision without consulting trusty mentors either.
Frequent laughter leads to a longer lifespan. Those who are quick to laugh have a positive attitude towards life.
If laughter is the best medicine, I could live forever. I’ve always had a boisterous laugh. I also use laughter has a nervous mechanism when I’m faced with an uncomfortable or stressful situation. Good or bad, that’s who I am.
People will strong social relationships boost their survival odds. Constant interaction is not only beneficial for our mental health, but physically as well.
Even though I value my alone time (blame it on being an only child), I am very much a social person and enjoy being with groups of people. My family is extremely outgoing and hospitable, it’s only natural that I’m a social person too.
I am optimistic to a fault and my Polly-Anna approach often leads to frustration and disappointment. However, my glass is always half-full and I’ll continue to be easy-going and easy-to-please. Besides, I like my Polly-Anna-ish ways!
Don’t worry, be happy …. and live longer? YES!!!!
I think I’ve got a healthy dose of the happy trait. If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. CLAP! (Sorry, that was cheesy and I couldn’t stop myself.)
Being an extrovert tends to the run in the family. Extroverts are able to manage stressful situations and they are good at establishing relationships. Female extroverts also tend to be more agreeable.
99.9999% of the time, I’m an extrovert. But that 0.0001% is important to me. I need to be left alone. I need to decompress, savor the quiet time, and replenish my awesome-ness.
What about you … what personality traits do you possess that will lead to you living a full life?