Neuroticism, for those who are not aware, is a personality trait characterized by anxiety, aggression, instability, frustration, and a whole lot of other symptoms. While the symptoms that come with this trait may sound unhealthy, it seems neurotic people might be living longer than their calm and collected counterparts.
A recent study in the Journal Psychological Science examined UK Biobank data that was collected from 502,655 people who were between the ages of 37-73. They asked all of the participants to explain to them how happy they felt and had them complete a personality assessment. After this, a follow-up study was done almost seven years later. In this, their data showed that higher neuroticism was linked with a slightly lower risk of death when it came to all caused, yes, even cancer.
Most of the world’s greatest thinkers were/are actually neurotic themselves if you really break things down. Sure, neuroticism comes with stress but it also comes with a longer life.
“Our findings are important because they suggest that being high in neuroticism may sometimes have a protective effect, perhaps by making people more vigilant about their health.”
“Health behaviors such as smoking, exercise, diet, and alcohol consumption did not explain any part of the link between high scores on the worry/vulnerability facet and mortality risk.”
“We had thought that greater worry or vulnerability might lead people to behave in a healthier way and hence lower their risk of death, but that was not the case.”
These quotes mean exactly what they say, initially, the researchers thought the neurotic people would be living longer but not for the reason they found. They assumed it would be because they are more aware of the danger around them but it didn’t have anything to do with them making more conscious choices when it came to their health. That being said it was just a slightly lower death rate so if you are not neurotic you will still be able to live a full life.
If you spend your days stressed and frustrated you may be doing so for a little bit longer than everyone else, but hey at least you have time to put that higher creativity to work. What do you think about these findings? Check out the video below if you want to learn more and to find out if you are neurotic click here.