A lot of research has been done on the connection between heart disease and stress. It’s been found that people in stressful lines of work are at a higher risk of having a heart attack. Others claim that your personality and the way you deal with stress may have an impact on your health. For example, in 1959, Friedman and Rosenman claimed that there are two types of people: Type A and Type B. They described Type A people as being competitive, impatient, and always striving to do more in less time. They described Type B people as being calm and patient, and less hurried. They hypothesized that Type A people were more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease than Type B people.
Which type are you? Take this quick quiz to find out!
Answer “yes” or “no” to each of the following questions:
- Do you find it difficult to restrain yourself from hurrying others’ speech (finishing their sentences for them)?
- Do you often try to do more than one thing at a time (such as eat and read simultaneously)?
- Do you often feel guilty if you use extra time to relax?
- Do you tend to get involved in a great number of projects at once?
- Do you find yourself racing through yellow lights when you drive?
- Do you need to win in order to derive enjoyment from games and sports?
- Do you generally move, walk, and eat rapidly?
- Do you agree to take on too many responsibilities?
- Do you detest waiting in lines?
- Do you have an intense desire to better your position in life and impress others?
How many times did you answer “yes?”
- 8 or more times – You’re Type A
- 4 to 7 times – You have both Type A and Type B qualities
- 3 times or less – You’re Type B
So are you Type A? If so, don’t worry. Early studies indicated that Type A individuals were at greater risk of developing heart disease. But later, researchers found that only certain aspects of the Type A personality are linked with heart disease. In fact, researchers have only found a strong relationship between “cynical hostility” and coronary disease. It’s only the Type A people who are moody, suspicious, resentful, distrusting, and quick to anger that are at greater risk. So most of you Type A people can rest easy! Unless you tend to be hostile much of the time, your heart should be just fine.
(And hey – even if you are an angry, hostile person, it’s never too late to change! Check out this website for some tips on how to control and eliminate those damaging emotions: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/controlling-anger.aspx)
Friedman, M., & Rosenman, R. H. (1959). Association of specific overt behavior pattern with blood and cardiovascular findings blood cholesterol level, blood clotting time, incidence of arcus senilis, and clinical coronary artery disease. Journal of the American Medical Association, 169(12), 1286-1296.