I recently wrote a blog post about how we all have these parasitic microbes living inside of us that help us to live healthy lives. In it, I said that have to help keep these little critters alive so that they can help us digest food, sleep, have a stable mood, and do tons of other things that keep us healthy and happy. There is another thing that these microbes really like – a sunny disposition. People with a Type D personality are far more likely to suffer from heart attack, depression, and death than other personality types!
What’s a Type D personality?
You may remember back in the day when we heard a lot about Type A versus Type B personalities. Type A is the uptight, stressed, aggressive, competitive, outgoing, organized, impatient type. Type B is more relaxed. It’s not that they aren’t concerned about success or are unmotivated. They just enjoy the process more and don’t get so focused on the outcome.
Well, now science has further refined these types. Type D is a subset of Type A. In an nutshell, Type D people are habitually negative. They are hostile, aggressive, irritable, engage in more worrying, gloomy, socially withdrawn, sad, lonely, lack confidence, and pessimistic. They have thoughts like, “People will take advantage of you if they have a chance” or “I don’t like or trust people.”
Type D and Microbes
It might be hard to imagine that your attitude impacts your microbes, but it’s true. The microbes that promote inflammation and disease thrive in people who are negative, engage in catastrophizing, victimizing, and blaming behaviors. Everything is energy. Even your bugs are sensitive to environment and energy. The “good” bugs that you want thrive in a optimistic environment where there is forgiveness, gratitude, and compassion. Adopting a happy mental state makes your body happy and healthy. The reverse is also true. When your microbes are happy, they make you happy.
So What Can Type D’s Do?
First, know that this isn’t a permanent feature of your personality. This can change. So learn about mindset. A person with a fixed mindset believes that things are the way they are and nothing will change them. A person with a growth mindset knows that everything can be improved and sets about learning how. When you get frustrated with your progress, always come back to this. Growing is a process. You have to practice. A setback isn’t failure, it’s just a moment in time. Proficiency comes with effective practice.
Second, practice mindfulness. Mindfulness will help you to become aware of your thoughts so that you can change them to more positive and truthful ones. Your thoughts drive your emotions. If you think something is horrible, you could worry. If it’s just something to deal with, you won’t have any emotional response to it. You get two really useful results from practicing mindfulness so it’s something worth learning.
Finally, get involved in some sort of group that provides safe boundaries for you to socialize and share yourself. Cuddle Party, women’s circles, group therapy, are all examples of such places. They can help you to get over the fear of rejection or judgment and learn to open up. When you see that no one is laughing at you or that others have the same feelings as you, this can build your self confidence.
Your microbes are a really important part of your health. If you want to thrive, you have to take care of them. I keep calling them parasites because I want you to think of yourself as their host. How does a good host behave? He rolls out the red carpet to make sure his guests are comfortable, have enough to eat, and have a good time. When you present a sunny attitude, your little guys are happy. They multiple and help reduce inflammation, disease, and boost your immune system. So, it’s a fair exchange, wouldn’t you say?