This week in my Daily Dispatch articles, I’ll be talking all about longevity.
To jumpstart our theme, I’d like to first focus on a brand-new discovery about how to BOOST your longevity without changing your diet…
Without taking a new supplement…
And without exercising to the point of exhaustion!
In fact, to take advantage of this life-lengthening trait, you might not have to change ANYTHING AT ALL. (Some of you may have even been born with it!)
Let’s jump right in…
People with this personality trait live longer
When you were a kid, your parents might have taught you to make your bed every day, work hard at school, stand up to bullies, and wash your hands before dinner.
They probably hoped that by adopting these habits, you would grow into a diligent, “conscientious” adult who does the right thing.
But it’s not just mom and dad who pay attention to your level of conscientiousness…
Psychologists consider it to be one of the “Big Five” personality traits in humans; one that has a big impact on your success in life.
And now, modern science shows that conscientious people actually LIVE LONGER, too.
Of course, on a behavioral level, that finding makes a lot of sense. For example, a conscientious person may take better care of their health by going to annual check-ups, exercising, eating right, and reading my Daily Dispatch articles to stay current on any health breakthrough.
But modern research shows there’s something more to it…
In fact, according to this recent study, your level of conscientiousness even affects your immune system.
Conscientiousness affects your immune system
Researchers looked at the link between conscientiousness and immune function in nearly 1,000 men and women.
At the study’s outset, they gave the participants personality tests to assess their levels of conscientiousness. Then, they took blood samples to examine levels of two biological markers critical to immune system function:
- C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein associated with chronic inflammation.
- Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a pro-inflammatory chemical the body produces in response to infections and injuries, stress and depression.
It turns out, men and women who scored higher for the trait of conscientiousness on a personality inventory had lower levels of both CRP and IL-6.
Not to mention…they lived longer, too!
These findings can lead us to make two clear conclusions…
First, conscientious people seem to have lower levels of proteins and other chemicals that we associate with chronic inflammation. And that’s key, because chronic inflammation is the No. 1 root cause of most deadly diseases. Including heart disease, dementia, Type II diabetes, and even some cancers.
Second, for the first time ever, this study identified a clear link between a personality trait and long-term mortality risk.
So, now, let’s talk about what this means for you…
CAN you become a more conscientious person?
You may think of your personality as a static, unchanging set of characteristics.
But that’s not true.
Sure, some people may have been born a trait. But social scientists confirm that personality traits develop and change throughout our lives. Meaning that, even if you don’t feel like you’re the most conscientious person right now…you can still develop into one!
And you can start by implementing a few changes to your life:
1.) Make your health a priority. Conscientious people make their health a top priority in life. You can start on this goal by finding a good doctor who listens. (The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is a good place to start. You can search their database of physicians here.)
In addition, ask your doctor to routinely measure your CRP and IL-6 levels. As markers of chronic inflammation, they can give good insight into your risk of developing heart disease (and other problems). (By comparison, cholesterol seems to be an “innocent bystander” in the whole process.)
2.) Do your due diligence. Conscientious people tend to continue learning throughout their lives. So, continue reading my Daily Dispatch articles. And if you’re not yet a subscriber to my monthly newsletter, Insiders Cures, where I cover more in-depth topics and solutions for your health, now is the PERFECT time to become one. Click here to learn more!
3.) Support a healthy immune system. As always, a healthy immune system is the best prevention against premature aging and disease. So, make sure to stick to your basic, balanced Mediterranean-type diet with plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, wild-caught fish, grass-fed and -finished meats, and full-fat dairy.
I also recommend supplementing with:
- Vitamin B complex daily (with at least 55 mg of B6)
- 250 mcg (10,000 IU) of vitamin D3 daily
- 400 mg of magnesium daily (but avoid magnesium glutamate, aspartate, and oxide)
- 100 mcg of selenium daily
4.) Nourish your spirit. Conscientious people also find ways to relax and nourish their spirits by spending time in Nature, reading books, or socializing with friends and family. In addition, many mind-body approaches can help you relieve stress and anxiety. You can learn about which approaches will work best for your personality in my books: New World Mindfulness and Overcoming Acute and Chronic Pain: Keys to Treatment Based on Your Emotional Type.
In the end, science shows increasing your longevity isn’t just about eating the right foods, taking the right healthy supplements, or “getting in your steps.” It’s also about living a good, productive, and deliberate life…the way conscientious folks do.
And be sure to tune back in to tomorrow’s Daily Dispatch to learn about the link between longevity and maintaining social connections.