This Personality Trait Is More Prone To Disease, Study Says

Written by Elizabeth Gerson
Elizabeth Gerson is a former mindbodygreen intern and a student at Stanford University studying Psychology and Communication with a specialization in Health & Development.

Image by Sophia Hsin / Stocksy

If you've ever been told to keep a positive mantra in your back pocket, now may be the time to revisit it. Thinking positively may have way more impact on our health than we thought.

Thanks to a new study, researchers have linked positive personality traits with reduced risk of developing diabetes. On the flipside of this result, they found that negative traits like pessimism or hostility could actually increase your risk of developing chronic disease, which now plagues over 100 million Americans.

The study followed about 140,000 women for a whopping 14 years of their life, keeping track of three central personality traits: negativity, optimism, and hostility.

It found that women who were ranked higher for their optimistic, glass-half-full outlook had a 12 percent reduced risk of ending up with type 2 diabetes. On the contrary, for more pessimistic women, their risk was 9 percent higher. For hostility, that figure was 17 percent higher.

This study is just another example of how much our outlook can actually influence our physical health. Aside from chronic disease like diabetes, optimistic thinking has been associated with increased longevity, better heart health, and lower stress levels.

Since these findings were uncovered, researchers are looking toward the future of diabetes treatment that could be based on your specific personality. More work needs to be done in this sphere, but for now, working toward becoming an optimist just got a lot more appealing.

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