According to researchers, a bad mood might be bad for your health, and a short temper might shorten your life!
"How people cope has a very direct effect on how long people live when recovering from any illness or disease," says Wayne Sotile, a clinical psychologist and author of Thriving with Heart Disease.
Sotile claims that a person's ability to cope is directly affected by their personality type, which is typically classified as A, B, C or D.
For a long time, scientists have believed people who are referred to as 'high-strung', or a Type A personality, would be most likely to suffer heart problems.
Television News Producer Josh Roberts lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a prime example of a Type A individual.
"I know, one day, I'm going to have a massive heart attack," Roberts says. "I've said that joking around, but there's a nugget of truth in every joke."
While a workaholic's headaches, stress, and anxiety may affect their quality of life, it probably won't affect how long they live it.
Researchers now believe individuals who possess a lot of hostility, pessimism and chronic worry, which are also the common traits of a Type D personality, are most at risk for poor health.
Sotile says the death rate for these people is similar to someone who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day.
People with a Type D personality often hold in negative emotions, and have trouble expressing how they are feeling.
Studies have shown people with depression are about twice as likely as those with no history of depression to develop cardiovascular disease.
On top of that, Type D individuals take longer to recover from sickness, and are at greater risk of dying from a disease.
According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, researchers think people with a Type D personality have poor regulation of stress hormones which causes inflammation, a fast heart beat, high blood pressure, and clenched blood vessels.
"It's a physical feeling, a sensation in my chest, pressure that there's something I should be doing right now," Roberts says.
While Roberts, who is a Type A personality, is feeling the pressure, he's also doing something about it which is what often differentiates a Type A personality from a Type D personality.
At home and at the doctor's office, he's getting medication to relax, which gives his mind, body and Blackberry a much-needed break.
"Recovery is not a solo affair," Sotile warns.
Sotile recommends people with a Type D personality first identify and acknowledge their personality puts them at a disadvantage, and then take action to do something about it.
Workshops and support groups can help them learn coping skills, anger control, and healthy ways of expressing negative emotions.
Sotile says just thinking positive thoughts opens the coronary arteries, increases blood flow, and smoothes out heart rate giving you a warm, fuzzy feeling.
No matter what your personality type may be, that's a healthy tip we can all take to heart.
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