Many are the authors and scientific researchers who claim that the type of personality directly or indirectly affects our physical health .
There are different ways of being from each that increase or decrease the likelihood of suffering from some type of disease, but the origin or healing is not only in the mind.
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Can the personality of each individual influence their health?
Some people maintain an admirable firmness and strength in exceptionally hard situations, having all the factors against them. On the other hand we find individuals who, even having everything in their favor, are prone to suffer health problems.
We can cite some of the most emblematic characters of our era to highlight the personality type of each one and how they faced those moments of physical exhaustion.
1. Muhammad Ali
The most famous boxer of all time was stripped of his first title in 1966 and banned from the ring for three years for refusing to participate in the Vietnam War.
But his fierce and persevering personality he made him champion twice more, earning himself the nickname of "The Greatest of All Time" (the greatest of all time).
2. Nelson Mandela
The former South African president he spent more than 30 years in prison with more severe restrictions than ordinary prisoners , forced to bite stone, deprived of visits and communication by ordinary mail. Mandela maintained a very positive attitude that led him to be president of his country and Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
The nexus between the way of being and physical well-being
Already in antiquity, the Greek Hippocrates and the Roman Galen classified human beings into four psychological types, each of them susceptible to specific health problems .
For example, angry people, according to ancient medicine, tend to be self-sufficient and ambitious people, and that means they are prone to suffer heart problems or lose weight easily.
More than two thousand years have passed since those first pioneering investigations between temperament and health.
Expert scientists continue to search for correlations between personality traits and types of disease, and thus elaborate hypotheses to conclude whether these associations are due to a common biological basis or that one factor is the cause of the other. Perio ... Can we say that our personality affects our health?
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A study conducted at the University of North Carolina (USA) by Janice Williams sheds light on the role that anger plays in health. For five years he followed a group of people and observed that those who were irritable, cynical and hostile, were more likely to suffer from cardiovascular deficiencies.
One of the conclusions that the investigators issued was that the personality influenced the day-to-day habits. For example, the consumption of alcohol, tobacco or drugs was more common among the most impulsive and aggressive individuals.
However, once the data were analyzed in detail, it was concluded that the connection between personality and character presents a relative complexity. In fact, among people whose bad habits were equal, the bad health of the angry ones was more pronounced .
On the other hand, Laura Kubzansky, professor at Harvard University, has developed several investigations on the tendency to optimism or pessimism and its connection with physical health. His conclusion is very strong: negativity is bad for health. The data collected from his studies based on observing groups for decades show that people who perceive their future with shadows are more prone to suffer diseases , regardless of the material conditions of life and purchasing power.
The cardiovascular system it is a fundamental element when studying the different types of personality.
At the end of the 20th century, Meyer Friedman and Ray H. Rosenman intuited that there could be a correlation between cardiac risk and certain behavior patterns. The people most prone to heart attack were stressed and impatient individuals (type A personality).
Why these types of people have more cardiac risk? Once again, there is no single cause. The neurologist Redford Williams unifies two possibilities in his theories: individuals with type A biochemistry, added to bad routine, are more likely to suffer a heart attack. According to Williams, people with this profile constantly secrete stress hormones such as cortisol, and their blood pressure and heart rate often goes up.
The limits of the mind
But do not fall into the trap.Susan Sontag, writer of the book The Disease and its Metaphors, tells us about the headaches produced by the simplistic theories who interpret the mental as a superpower capable of controlling everything .
Numerous self-help books and writings are based on non-scientific data, a fact that has popularized the idea that diseases are nothing more than a manifestation of problems with the spirit.
Thus, in many literature based on pseudoscience it is insisted that there is a connection between less assertive personality and illness. Sontag remembers the danger of the sacralization of the mental: if we think that the psychic can control everything and that it is above matter, we will feel frustrated and overflowing continually.
Taking for granted that the spirit completely dominates the world is a waste of time and effort, since the influence of the psychic on the physical is often diffuse and difficult to control.
Of course we have to take care of the way we think, but we must accept that percentage of chance and contingency that costs so much today to bear.