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What kind of person are you? Do you like noise, people and company, or do you prefer a lot of alone time? It could be important, because research shows that your personality can affect your health, and it's not just extroverts that get all the good stuff.
Introverts have a lower chance of obesity. A study from Cornell Food and Brand lab highlighted the behaviour of children in regards to food servings and found that extrovert children poured themselves 33% more cereal and milk than introverts. Researchers believe it's because introverts rely on internal clues rather than external ones, such as the bowl size or amount of food available. Given that obesity is rising, and it's the cause of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, this is a real bonus for introverts.
It appears true that introverts are less likely to end up in accidents caused by drinking too much or other risky behaviours such as speeding or bungee jumping. This is because risky behaviours are usually carried out in groups - the showing off element is a true extrovert trait. 'Look at how many Jaeger-bombs I can drink, everyone!' said no introvert ever.
We all need to solve problems every day, such as how to stop the printer from jamming again, and instead of gobbing off at meetings or brainstorming sessions, introverts are thinking. Brain-imaging studies show they have more activity in the information processing regions. Introverts often do better in academia too - all of which leads to better self-confidence and therefore better health.
Introverts, by virtue of thinking without the distraction of needing attention often, come up with the novel ideas - they aren't afraid of boredom and this sets the scene for some deep thinking. Plus, because they are quieter, introverts tune into others better. They notice other people's talents and preferences and can harness this to their advantage. This may lead to a better economic status and you guessed it, better health.
We all know someone who has to be the centre of attention; perhaps it's you! Extroverts don't like alone time and need attention. Luckily, there are some health bonuses attached to this need for company.
Extroverts are less likely to suffer depression and mental health issues. The Journal of Psychiatric Research found introverts made up 74% of the depressed population. It's also thought that introverts may be more aggressive because they bottle up feelings. This is demonstrated by more aggressive dreams. Extroverts talk about themselves and get out any anxiety. This means they can deal with stress more effectively.
Because extroverts tend to mix with others more, they are exposed to a greater variety of germs and viruses. This leads to a stronger immune system than their less sociable introvert peers.
So which is best? You may find you're a healthy mix of both personalities, but perhaps it's worth seeing which is dominant and then double-checking your health in that area.