Self

This Personality Trait Makes You Way Healthier, Says Science

Photo: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock
fit woman stretching

Good news, social butterfly: All those upcoming summer parties on your iCal might be the secret to staying healthy throughout the season.

What's better than staying in? Maybe waiting in line in the middle of inter to get into the club to show off your new skimpy outfit might be the best choice after all.

The world needs to see what you look like in this outfit, and it turns out that if you're more extroverted you have a better immune system. 

Extroverts — people who are naturally more talkative, energetic, and assertive — are more likely to have strong immune systems, according to research in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

RELATED: 7 Ways An Introverted Type-B Personality Loves Differently

In contrast, researchers found that people who alternatively identified as conscientious or cautious had the weakest immune systems. You'd think it would be the opposite. 

In the study, participants were given a blood test and a personality quiz to measure five different traits.

Those with a more enthusiastic and outgoing personality had increased pro-inflammatory genes in white blood cells — which help fight off inflammatory diseases like celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and asthma.

RELATED: There Are 4 Types Of Introverts: Which One Are You?

Conscientious individuals, on the other hand, saw higher inflammatory genes and more compromised immune systems. I wonder why this could be?

Researchers think that since extroverts are more social and therefore usually exposed to more people, their immune systems have become stronger to combat infections.

RELATED: 6 Introverted Zodiac Signs Who Don't Mind Social Distancing

Being cautious isn't always a bad thing though, especially when it comes to your health (appearing rude is worth not shaking that guy's hand after he sneezed!). 

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Plus, more introverted individuals can benefit from alone time in other ways, like becoming more self-sufficient, understanding themselves better, and being more creative.

Other traits typically seen as negative can also have a healthy impact.

 Pessimists, for example, may live 10 years longer than those who always see the bright side, according to a 2013 German study.

And being nervous on a big date (as introverts typically are) can actually produce adrenaline to give you energy and focus. So next time you have a date coming up, do some breathing exercises and tell yourself there's nothing to worry about. it'll be good for you.

But are introverts stuck with being sick?

Of course not: There are plenty of strategies for surviving cold and flu season unscathed and building up your immune system, like listening to music and sleeping in a pitch-black room.

RELATED: The Image You See First In This Personality Test Reveals The Introvert Trait That Hurts Your Relationships

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This article was originally published at Shape. Reprinted with permission from the author.