Certain personality types could help us live healthier and happier lives, a new study has found.
According to research from ScienceDirect, kindness, generosity, and selfless behaviours enhance positive and pleasurable emotions, contributing to greater emotional wellbeing. After examining associations between 24 character strengths and 15 health-related outcomes, the researchers identified four traits that are the most favourable: zest, self-regulation, hope, and gratitude.
“Our findings suggested that maintaining a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle coincides with energy and enthusiasm for life and health (zest), an attitude of discipline and resistance to temptations (self-regulation), feeling and expressing a sense of thankfulness in life and to others (gratitude), and optimistic thinking and confidence that goals can be reached (hope),” author Dorota Weziak-Bialowolska told PsyPost.
“These might be viewed as primary character strengths for health outcomes and behaviours.”
While character strengths are positive personality traits essential to our identity, the researchers also discovered more unfavourable health outcomes. These include appreciation of beauty, bravery, creativity, fairness, judgement, kindness, love of learning, leadership, social intelligence, and spirituality. Having an appreciation of beauty, for example, tends to be externally focused, which may not make us happier.
Take a look at the personalities below…
Zest – a character strength which involves components of motivation, adventurousness and energy — could be linked to a reduced risk of depression. Meanwhile, researchers found that having a quality of zest has been linked with a decreased risk of mortality and developing diabetes.
Self-regulation is a highly adaptive human trait that enables people to override and alter their responses. According to the research, having ‘an attitude of discipline and resistance to temptations’ could be the answer to a happier life.
The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. Scientists in the study found being grateful on a daily basis can give a greater sense of meaning in life, improve social cooperation and human flourishing, and boost our physical and mental health. Time to open that gratitude journal…
• Best gratitude journals •
In 9 baskets etsy.com.uk
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The final character trait that could help you live a happier, healthier life is hope. Associated with increased life satisfaction, hope is a good trait to start practising – even if it requires courage to take that first step forward.
The researchers add: “Character strengths contribute to the greater good, and generate positive well-being and health outcomes for oneself and others.”
12 New Year’s resolutions to make your home run smoothly in 2023
Clear out the kitchen cupboards
Re-stock all your staples – flour, sugar, condiments and tinned goods – but as you do, clear out all the items you know you aren’t going to use until next Christmas. The New Year is not the time to be hoarding half-opened jars of cranberry sauce or mincemeat, so use it up now or lose it.
If there are food items or other non-perishables that are still in date and you no longer use, donate them at your local food bank or collection point. Visit The Trussell Trust.
Tackle the challenge of finding a home for presents and special Christmas items by operating one simple rule: store ‘like with like’. Keep all decorations in one place – attic, garage, loft – labelled for ease next year.
Organise children’s rooms so similar toys and games are stored together, likewise scarves, jewellery, socks and underwear. Essentially, get into the habit of being organised, it’ll make home life much easier.
These Orthex Smartstore Plastic Storage Boxes from Wayfair, made from recycled plastic, is lightweight, durable and suited for both dry and wet surfaces. It comes with a lid to enable easy stacking.
Don’t double up – it creates clutter
Vow to check your stocks of toiletries, cleaning materials and other household staples before you buy more. Too many of the same item creates chaos in your cupboards, and will also cost you money. Keep a memo pad in the kitchen or utility room to make a list of what you really need to replace.
Keep shoes and boots under control
Speaking of cleaning, keep dirt outside as much as possible. This means placing doormats at entryways and providing a space for shoes. A shoe rack is a great idea, however, a wooden crate or storage bench by the front door or in the hallway might work better if you have small children who ‘forget’ to put their shoes, boots and trainers in order when they come home.
This Brixton Storage Bench from Wayfair provides space for shoes, hidden storage for gloves and scarves, plus an upholstered seat, perfect for a hallway.
Top tip: Allow only two sets of footwear downstairs at a time per person. Encourage the family to take everything else to their own rooms daily.
Put your post in one place
Don’t allow letters, bills and circulars to accumulate on tables and worktops. Assign one place for all post and treat this as a ‘holding area’ (the Elements Jaula Letter Rack from Dunelm is ideal).
Make it your mission to set aside some time, twice-weekly, to go through the pile, dealing immediately with urgent matters, and filing away the rest. If you get into this habit, you’ll reduce ever having piles of opened and unopened letters.
Declutter the house per season
Get into the habit of decluttering each room in your home for spring/summer and autumn/winter, keeping up with regular deep cleans.
Make this the year when you really get to grips with recycling. Place bins and bags in a spot where they are easily reached, and if collection facilities are not readily available, try your local recycling centre.
If paperwork and important documents terrify you, don’t make it too complicated this year. Simply take a pack of card document wallets and mark each one with categories, for example – ‘gas’, ‘electricity’, ‘broadband’, ‘school’. Pop each letter or bill into the relevant file and find an accessible place to keep them all. Better still, opt for paperless billing whenever possible.
Because more of us are working from home, it wouldn’t be too surprising if you’ve also built up a stash of work documents. Keep what you truly need, file alphabetically (we like these Cloud Stackable Intrays from Papier) , and colour code documents if possible.
Create a system for washing
Instead of a laundry bin in the bathroom, invest in a set of drawstring cotton laundry bags (like this Habitat Jericho Laundry Bag from Argos) to hang on the back of every bedroom door. This avoids dirty clothes piling up on the floor and is also more hygienic, as the bags can be washed too.
Schedule maintenance & renovation jobs
Now that the festive season is over, think about the maintenance jobs that you need to do to get your house in order, from the smaller tasks to the bigger jobs. For any large renovations, consider costs involved and where you can save. Once you’ve drawn up your to-do list, prioritise the most urgent jobs and set a realistic timeframe to complete it.
Make cleaning easy on yourself
It’s easier to clean the bathroom, for instance, if cleaning materials are to hand, so keep a basic kit (use a caddy or bucket, like this Utility Bucket from Garden Trading) in every part of the home: bathroom, kitchen, utility room. This will also save you time and effort and make an ongoing domestic routine much less of an overbearing burden.
Enlist the help of every family member to help your house run smoothly. Hold a family meeting so the kids can agree a range of age-appropriate tasks which can be undertaken at a specific time each week.
Choose a family planner (like this A4 Weekly Planner from Notonthehighstreet.com) and place in a central position for all to see, to ensure everyone sticks to their jobs and duties. It’s perfect for bringing a little bit of organisation to a busy family and home life.