Burdo Studios

Top trait for longevity

You’ve heard it before, from a well-meaning friend, social media, or perhaps, you have also admonished others the same. It makes sense and carries some weight because science has touted that fostering a positive attitude can highly enhance our health and lead to longevity. This is based upon years of various studies which support this belief. However, many leading psychology experts currently conclude that it is over-rated in terms of the actual effects to our physical condition.

Now, positivity is not up for debate, as it still remains a virtuous skill. After all, who would want to argue against it? Positivity is the practice of thinking in an optimistic way, believing for solutions, and expecting good results. Basically, we’re talking about mindset. One might even ponder if positivity lies more with one’s own personality, as opposed to a possessed virtue. Although, did you know it is possible to cultivate new skills to combat negativity and to learn how to form different perspectives?

When breaking down personality, it is helpful to look at the Five Factor Model, a theory that suggests most people’s personality traits can be grouped into five categories: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. According to these leading psychology experts, conscientiousness (how organized and disciplined you are) is the number one trait which most relates to longevity.

Professionally speaking, this resonates with me. Conscientiousness denotes action, whereas positivity alongside other healthy attitudes, cannot alone create change in our physical condition. It’s the combination that can catapult your overall well-being to new heights. In general, conscientious people, for example, tend to abstain from drug use, limit alcohol consumption, and eat more balanced meals. Conscientious people work on preventative measures, and manage stress and disease responsibly. They are less likely to do stupid things, and consequently, have lower rates of accidents.

Here’s the best news, research shows that you can increase your conscientiousness with age. There are community workshops and health consultants that seek to increase a person’s ability to self-regulate and learn better coping skills.

A long-time client of Burdo Studios, Mark P of Hyde Park, shares his personal thoughts on conscientious living. “I believe that my conscious efforts to practice wellness throughout my life has been the key to my happiness. It’s paramount to me to maintain my vitality in order to experience quality time with my wife Kim, family, and friends, to take adventurously active trips, and to perform as a musician. Looking back, I’m convinced it played a positive role in enabling my success in professional pursuits, as well.” Mark had been a competitive runner and cyclist during his corporate career. While juggling the demands of the job, and family life, he appreciated the importance of self-care. Today, Mark is just as active, although he pushes the limits of his body less, and focuses more on core integrity and flexibility. You can still see Mark running and cycling about, but some days, he chooses to take a productive walk to the grocery store or post office while breathing deeply and taking in the scenery.

In closing, let’s look at the other personality traits in the Five Factor Model. Agreeableness plays a role in longevity, especially when it comes to weathering stressful situations. Psychologically healthy people have a quicker recovery time. They are able to tell themselves that they can overcome the struggle, and find ways to bring themselves back to equilibrium.

Consider paying some attention to extroversion and openness in your social interactions and relationships. Are you giving, receiving, and growing to the extent in which pleases you? Keep watch over your degree of neuroticism, this trait is often defined as a negative personality trait involving poor self-regulation, an inability to manage stress and urges with the tendency to complain.

On the whole, if you are living a healthy lifestyle and able to bounce back from hardship, that could lead to having a longer, more satisfying life. Take good care of yourself, and may you be well and whole ~ mind, body, and soul.

What is wellness, why should we attain it, and most importantly, how could it alter and elevate your life? Wellness is defined