The Everyday Habits that Reveal our Personality

The results are surprising. Example: If you’re a prolific curser, you can now defend your habit as a sign of your open-mindedness . . .

1. Greater conscientiousness was distinguished by:

  • avoidance of various activities, including such innocuous pastimes as reading  (speculated that it may be seen by the highly conscientious as a leisure-time luxury),
  • swearing 
  • chewing on a pencil.

Agreeably Ironing Things Out by Peggy

2. People scoring high on agreeability said they spent more time:

  • ironing,
  • playing with children 
  • washing the dishes – presumably because their strong motivation to keep other people happy means they’d rather do the chores than have domestic acrimony.
  • more likely to sing in the shower or the car.

3. Strongly open-minded people were more likely to read poetry, eat spicy breakfasts, and lounge around in the nude!

4. Neurotic people engaged more often in:

  • activities associated with helping reduce mental distress, such as taking more tranquilisers and anti-depressants. But they also admitted to more
  • anti-social behaviours, such as losing their temper more often,
  • or making fun of others – perhaps because they struggle to keep their own emotions in check.

    5. Extraverts are more likely to ink themselves with tattoos

    • wallow more in hot tubs
    • spent more time planning parties
    • drinking in bars
    • discussing ways to make money
    • talking on the phone while driving

    6. Open-mindedness went together with some obvious behaviors like:

    Open-minded by Peggy

  • reading poetry
  • going to the opera
  • smoking marijuana
  • producing art
  • swearing around others,
  • eating spicy food at breakfast
  • lounging around the house with no clothes on. (To be precise, the highest scorers said they were about twice as likely to have sat around in the nude for more than 15 times in the past year, compared to the lowest scorers.)
  • less likely to follow a sports team.

     Previous studies had shown that the highly conscientious are more likely to wear a watch, comb their hair and polish their shoes!

The serious side to this field of research is learning more about the harmful and unhealthy everyday behaviours linked to the different personality traits which then could contribute to better, more targeted health campaigns and interventions. 

*”The researchers, Benjamin Chapman at the University of Rochester and Lewis Goldberg at the Oregon Research Institute, profiled nearly 800 people in Oregon, USA, most of whom were white, and their average age was 51. The personality test asked participants to rate how accurately 100 different trait adjectives described their personalities, including words such as bashful, kind, neat, relaxed, moody, bright and artistic. The researchers then compared these personality test scores with the same participants’ answers, recorded four years later, to how often they had performed 400 different activities over the last year, from reading a book to singing in the shower.”

Here’s the entire article: Everyday Habits that Reveal our Personalities 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Pawsitively Tuesday – Your loves or likes

Do what you love

or at least what you like

fishing is good

as is riding a bike

If you never have fun

All the should, could, woulds

your life they will run

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

The HeART of Chronic Conditions (including life)

Curious to the Max blog has been the place where I’ve shared more of my personal journey.  CATNIPblog has largely been dedicated to information Peggy & I have accumulated on emotional & physical health and happiness. (wealth we leave to those who have experienced it!)

Today, I clicked on the blog of a new subscriber, Savannah’s  One Mountain at a Time .  What she shared about her journey with Lupus resonated:

“Though mine is said by my doctor to not be life threatening, my immune system is prone to attacking my healthy joint tissues systemically . . .  pain comes whenever it feels like it. Flares come and go, as do my exhausted days. Describing the pain is difficult but when a flare happens or I’m in pain, it feels like bruises anywhere inside my body, and someone is either jabbing needles in them or pressing them for long periods of time. . . . I take medications and go for jogs. I live a normal, active life despite pain.”

judy’s visual journal

Like Savannah my diagnosis is not life threatening, only life altering. Unlike Savannah, who was diagnosed at 23, I was blessed in my first forty plus years with relatively good health.  In 1995 that changed for me with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue.  I admit it’s been a struggle trying to ignore, over-ride or giving in to the daily fatigue, pain and various other “irritants”.  The older I get the harder it’s been.  The best I can describe is feeling like a sandy beach being worn away by unrelenting waves and occasional pounding storms.

In public I look fine and only those who intimately know me would know if I were feeling exhausted, in pain or depressed.  When I’m feeling particularly bad no one knows as I shelter in place – stay home and lick my wounds.  Any contact, even a phone call, can feel overwhelming.

collage by judy

CATNIPblog has been my in-home companion:  A way to connect to the world and my incredibly understanding friends while expending minimal energy;  posts that remind me to eat better, be grateful, and most of all Peggy and her delightful drawings that make me smile.  

Savannah’s faith, above all, is what seems to sustain her.  Me too.  Even on my worst days my question is never “Why me?”.  I ask God for guidance, the wisdom to understand that guidance and the where-with-all to carry it out . . . one day at a time . . . sometimes one hour at a time.

judy’s visual journal

Personally and professionally I learned early on that each of us, in ways large and small, carry physical or emotional pain.  Each of us searches, longs for answers, respite and meaning.  Savannah has found meaning at an early stage in her life.  I salute her.

https://pourforpoverty.wordpress.com/

Pour for Poverty: Savannah makes bags filled with sustainable essentials that she feels serve a beneficial purpose for people living in poverty filled with clothing, food, and hygiene products, written letters, prayers, bible verses and love. She distributes to the poor throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and occasionally other cities when traveling.

“Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.

Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face.

Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge.”

(Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 16, The Baha’i World Faith)

 

SaveSave

The Write Way to Emotional & Physical Well-being

“In the 1970s, a professor of psychology named James W. Pennebaker began experimenting with the effects that talking, confessing and self-understanding had on human well-being. Nearly 30 years later, he and his collaborator, Joshua M. Smyth, a professor of behavioral health and medicine, produced a body of research that found the emotionally connective and relieving effects of expressive writing to promote self-understanding, ease emotional pain and aid in physical healing.[viii] Since their book, Opening Up by Writing It Down, was published in 1997, their findings have been corroborated by other scientists’ independent studies around the world.”

The 2016 edition of their book explains that expressive writing:

•  Offers those who either don’t wish to talk about their feelings or have no one to confide in a way to unburden themselves

•  Reduces stress, fear and isolation

•  Boosts immune systems, optimism and sense of connectedness

•  Allows minds to process, organize and understand their experiences and feelings, enhancing learning and memory

“When expressing themselves in writing, people often report that they feel safe. They are actually creating an artifact—one that symbolizes some of their thoughts and feelings but is not them. With that safety, people often find they can put things down on the page that are often hard to speak about, and explore the deeper truths that we all carry with us.”

“The writing itself is a “made thing”—something with weight and substance. Therefore, it has a place in the world and you become identified with that creative construction. For many people, this gives them a way to bootstrap out of negativity and to start to identify themselves in a powerful and positive way.”

http://www.howlifeunfolds.com/stronger-connections/expressive-writing-a-path-forward-for-your-health

SaveSave

Teaching Happiness is POWERFUL medicine


We’ve been posting about the benefits of developing “Happiness Habits”.  We all say sure, sure and then let those “habits” slide.  This recent research from Northwestern University study got our attention:

Teaching happiness to men with HIV boosts their health

“This is believed to be the first test of a positive emotion intervention in people newly diagnosed with HIV. Based on the study results, the intervention is promising for people in the initial stages of adjustment to any serious chronic illness.”

Learning skills for positive emotions result in less HIV in blood and less anti-depressant use.

Summary:
“When individuals recently diagnosed with HIV were coached to practice skills to help them experience positive emotions, the result was less HIV in their blood and lower antidepressant use, reports a new study. Men using positive emotion skills learned to cope with their stress, while men in the control group increased their use of anti-depressants.”

The findings extend to dementia caregivers and women with metastatic breast cancer.”

Here are the “Happiness Habits”  taught.  We’ll give you how-to in posts to follow.

1) Recognizing a positive event each day

2) Savoring that positive event and logging it in a journal or telling someone about it

3) Starting a daily gratitude journal

Cat journaling

Cat ‘n Mouse journaling by Peggy

4) Listing a personal strength each day and noting how you used this strength recently

5) Setting an attainable goal each day and noting your progress

6) Reporting a relatively minor stressor each day, then listing ways in which the event can be positively reappraised. This can lead to increased positive affect in the face of stress

7) Understanding small acts of kindness can have a big impact on positive emotion and practicing a small act of kindness each day

Mouse rewarding cat

Acts of Kindness by Peggy

8) Practicing mindfulness with a daily 10-minute breathing exercise, concentrating on the breath

If you want to read the research study here’s the link:

Materials provided by Northwestern University. Original written by Marla Paul

SaveSave

Frankly Freddie – How to Refresh Your Relationship (parenthetically speaking)

The bad news: Our Peggy is not feeling good which leads to . . . The good news:  I have free reign on this blog (where canines have been marginalized).

According to REGINA BRIGHT, MS, LMHC there are 12 ways to “ignite the flame . . . and restore the passion that you and your partner deserve.”

I’ve got important suggestions (and comments) for her list:

  • Be social.  Socializing with other couples will bring about new adventures to add to your list. (Always smell them first.)
  • Make your partner feel special. Let him or her know that your relationship is at the top of your priority list. (Preferably by giving lots of belly scratches and treats).
  • Learn to be an effective communicator. Being a good communicator means being a good listener. Most couples listen with the intent to reply. Instead, listen with the intent to understand.  (That’s all well and good but we will never understand humans.)
  • Play nice. Watch your tone. No name-calling, no degrading, and no blaming. (Never say “baaaaad doggie) If you slip up, don’t forget to apologize. . . ( by offering a treat.)
  • Volunteering at a church, soup kitchen, women’s shelter, Red Cross, or nursing home is a great way to give back to the community and will leave you and your partner with a sense of accomplishment.  (Volunteer at an animal shelter or become a foster parent to a canine.)
  • Break up the routine from time to time to make things more exciting. (Take walks in different locations to find different smells.)
  • Learn to accept your partner for the things that you like and don’t like. Respect each other’s differences. Allow your partner to be themselves. If we mold our partner to be what we wish they were, then we only love the reflection of ourselves. (I have no idea what she’s talking about. Molding humans is our calling)
  • Everyone needs alone time. (No they don’t . . . unless you’re a cat.)
  • Surprise your partner. Surprises can also come in other forms. Straightening up the garage or cleaning up the kitchen can be a great gift. (The only gift that makes sense is surprise treats)
  • Intimacy not only means physical affection, it also means emotional affection (and treats)
  • Equally divide chores. (Chores?)
  • Experience something new. Maybe redo a room together or learn how to make sushi this Friday night. (Sushi would be good, beefsteak would be better.)

Frankly Freddie,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Certified Canine Therapist, RET and relationship expert

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCT, RET

If you don’t believe me, read the unedited: How to Refresh Your Relationship Today by REGINA BRIGHT, MS, LMHC

If You are Stressed eat every 2 hours!?!!!???

 Warning! This is bad Bad BAD advice.

According to Dr. Tara Swart, neuroscientist: “If you are under stress, eat every two hours for optimal brain function. Your brain can’t store glucose and so it is important to keep replenishing your stores. This will help you to maintain your focus and ensures a productivity boost.”

“It also ensures that your brain is well fed for any of the decisions it may need to make.”

“She adds that if you have the space to develop your mental resilience, then it can be useful to practice intermittent fasting as it teaches your brain that you can manage small amounts of physical stress, because you are in control of your recovery.”

Eating by Peggy

 When I’m stressed (which is a chronic state with fibromyalgia) I self-medicate on sugar.  Sugar gives me an immediate dopamine boost which then sends my blood sugar crashing which then sends me to my medicine cabinet (the pantry) . . . .

When I read Dr Swart’s advice the pantry was bare (after I ate a package of sugar coated pineapple, 3 prunes, a bowl of Cheerios and a handful of almonds – I’m stocking the cupboards with health food).  

Knowing my two hours would be up in another two hours I made a dash to the store.  A mix of double chocolate brownies (on sale) was only $3.99 and a better bargain than the packaged bakery brownies at $5.99.  Maybe my mental resilience didn’t need practice.

I had already eaten up (pun intended) 45 minutes of my two hour zone by going to the store.  So I was doubly stressed making the double chocolate brownies knowing that two hours would be up before the brownies were done and the only thing left to eat were Cheerios.

Dr Tara Swart is a neuroscientist who probably is svelte, prefers salt over sugar and her brain is smarter to begin with than mine.  I’ll bet she’s never had to practice “intermittent fasting”

(jw)