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Personality, satisfaction linked throughout adult lifespan

  • Personality

Certain traits related to satisfaction in life regardless of age, study says

Read the journal article

  • The Link Between Personality, Global, and Domain-Specific Satisfaction Across the Adult Lifespan (PDF, 537KB)

WASHINGTON — Certain personality traits are associated with satisfaction in life, and despite the changes people may experience in social roles and responsibilities over the course of their adult lives, that association is stable regardless of age, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“Many studies have shown that people with certain personality profiles are more satisfied with their life than others. Yet, it had not been extensively studied whether this holds true across the lifespan. For example, extraverted—that is sociable, talkative—people might be particularly happy in young adulthood, when they typically are forming new social relationships,” said study co-author Gabriel Olaru, PhD, an assistant professor at Tilburg University. “We thus wanted to examine if some personality traits are more or less relevant to life, social and work satisfaction in specific life phases.”

The research was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

To determine how the relationship between personality traits and life satisfaction changes over time, researchers analyzed data collected from 2008 to 2019 by the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (LISS) panel survey, a nationally representative survey of households in the Netherlands. Over 11 years, 9,110 Dutch participants ranging from 16 to 95 years old at the time of the first survey answered multiple questionnaires to assess their Big Five personality traits—openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability/neuroticism—and their satisfaction with their social connections and their life overall. Only the 5,928 participants who were employed at the time of the survey also answered questions about their satisfaction with their work lives.

The researchers found that most of the relationships between personality traits and satisfaction remained the same across the adult lifespan, and that emotional stability was the trait most strongly associated with people’s satisfaction with their life, social connections and career.

“Our findings show that – despite differences in life challenges and social roles – personality traits are relevant for our satisfaction with life, work and social contacts across young, middle and older adulthood,” said Manon van Scheppingen, PhD, an assistant professor at Tilburg University and another co-author on the study. “The personality traits remained equally relevant across the adult lifespan, or became even more interconnected in some cases for work satisfaction.”

The researchers also found that different personality traits were related to people’s satisfaction with their social lives and careers—most notably conscientiousness for work satisfaction, and extraversion and agreeableness for social satisfaction. People who saw increases in these traits across time also reported increases in their life, social and work satisfaction.

People’s satisfaction with their work was the most affected by differences in age. As participants in the study aged, the relationship between career satisfaction and emotional stability grew moderately stronger.

Despite a weaker correlation between openness and life satisfaction overall, the researchers found that people who increased in openness also increased in life satisfaction across the 11 years measured by the LISS survey. This relationship may be explained by indirect processes, according to the researchers.

“Emotional stability likely shows a strong link with global and domain-specific satisfaction because this trait colors people’s general view of the world,” Olaru said.

“A good example of how personality interacts with the environment can be found in the work context. One of our findings was that the link between emotional stability and work satisfaction increases across age. This might be explained by the fact that emotionally stable people are less scared to quit unsatisfactory jobs and more likely to apply for jobs that are more challenging and perhaps more fulfilling and enjoyable in the long run,” van Scheppingen added.

Future studies should examine how variables that change with age, such as income, employment status, marital status and health, affect the relationship between personality traits and overall satisfaction with life, according to the researchers.

“While we did not examine what caused these changes, [the research] shows that our personalities and our happiness are not set in stone,” van Scheppingen said. “Perhaps we may even be able to influence how we change: If we try to become more organized, outgoing, friendly, this might increase life, social or work satisfaction as well.”

Article: “The Link Between Personality, Global, and Domain-Specific Satisfaction Across the Adult Lifespan,” by Gabriel Olaru, PhD, and Manon van Scheppingen, PhD, Tilburg University, Wiebke Bleidorn, PhD, University of Zurich, and Jaap Denissen, PhD, Utrecht University. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published online March 20, 2023.

These Are The 6 Foods You Should Eat Every Day

Published on 06/23/2021
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There are a number of healthy foods that you should eat daily because they are beneficial to your health. This also includes a very specific type of chocolate, for example. We introduce you to 6 foods that should have a permanent place on your menu and that can be easily integrated into various dishes. Of course, you don’t always have to eat the same thing- a balanced diet is crucial. The following foods you should always have in your kitchen, and they are also really tasty.

These Are The 6 Foods You Should Eat Every Day

Green Tea

Whether for breakfast or in between: green tea makes you awake and fit. The caffeinated drink is an alternative for all non-coffee drinkers. The postive effects of green tea have already been proven by numerous studies. One reason for this is the catechins contained in green tea. These are secondary plant substances that have an antioxidant effect in the body. That means they prevent so-called “free radicals” from damaging the DNA.

Nuts

Nuts are the perfect snack for in between. Nuts contain many important nutrients and healthy fats, and thus keep you fit. A handful of nuts a day can protect you from heart attacks and strokes. The performance of the brain is also positively influenced. Nuts are ideal as an addition to your muesli or salad.

Raspberries And Blueberries

The small snack for in-between tastes not only great but also has an important added value: The fruit is considered to be detoxifying and beneficial for digestion. Raspberries also contain antioxidants that can slow down skin aging and reduce the risk of cancer. In addition, berries are extremely low in calories and sugar.

Oats

As a delicious addition to a smoothie, baking or muesli: Oat flakes are healthy food for everyday life. They contain fiber, valuable vitamins, minerals and at the same time little fat. The fiber, in particular, will keep you full for a long time and get you through the day well. Oatmeal can also help with gastrointestinal problems. As a healthy snack between meals, oat biscuits are highly recommended!

Apples

“One apple a day keeps the doctor away” – this is by no means a myth. Apples not only strengthen the immune system, they are also high in fiber, flavonoids and polyphenols. These clean your body of metabolic toxins. The miracle fruit is also said to help with constipation and diarrhea. It is best to eat apples with their skin on- this is where most of the nutrients are. With 54 calories per 100 grams, the apple is also low in calories and perfect for a snack in between meals or for morning muesli. Make sure to wash the apple thoroughly beforehand.

Dark Chocolate

Surprised? You can also eat chocolate every day – but this refers to dark chocolate with no added sugar. The treat is actually a health booster: cocoa is a source of antioxidants and improves your mental performance. Chocolate is suitable as a snack between meals or as a dessert.

5 yoga poses to relieve back pain that can be done at home:

Back pain is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture, muscle strain, and injury. While medication and physical therapy can help relieve back pain, yoga is also a great way to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the back, reduce stress and tension, and improve overall flexibility and mobility. Here are five yoga poses that can help relieve back pain and can be done at home.

  1. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Child's pose is a gentle yoga pose that stretches the lower back and hips, promotes relaxation, and can help relieve tension and stress. To perform this pose, start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Then, lower your hips back towards your heels and stretch your arms out in front of you. Rest your forehead on the mat and breathe deeply for several breaths.

  1. Cat-Cow Stretch (Chakravakasana)

The cat-cow stretch is a gentle and effective way to stretch the muscles in the spine and back. To perform this pose, start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling (cow pose). As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin to your chest (cat pose). Repeat this movement several times, flowing smoothly between cow and cat poses.

  1. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward-facing dog is a classic yoga pose that stretches the hamstrings, calves, and back muscles while also strengthening the arms and shoulders. To perform this pose, start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Then, lift your hips up and back, straightening your arms and legs and pressing your heels towards the floor. Hold the pose for several breaths, feeling the stretch in your back and legs.

  1. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Cobra pose is a backbend that stretches the muscles in the chest, shoulders, and back while also strengthening the arms and spine. To perform this pose, lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders and your elbows close to your sides. As you inhale, press into your hands and lift your chest off the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Hold the pose for several breaths, then release back down to the ground.

  1. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

Bridge pose is a gentle backbend that strengthens the muscles in the back, hips, and legs while also stretching the chest and shoulders. To perform this pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. As you inhale, lift your hips up towards the ceiling, pressing into your feet and shoulders. Hold the pose for several breaths, then release back down to the ground.

In conclusion, practicing yoga can be a great way to relieve back pain, improve flexibility and mobility, and promote relaxation and stress relief. These five yoga poses can be done at home and are a great place to start for anyone looking to relieve back pain. Remember to breathe deeply and listen to your body, never pushing yourself beyond your limits. With regular practice, you may find that your back pain improves and that you feel more comfortable and relaxed in your body.