Want to Improve Your Personality? You Might Want to Quit Smoking.

A new study from the University of Missouri has discovered that smoking triggers the personality traits of neuroticism (being emotionally negative and anxious) and impulsivity (acting without thinking) among adults. Fortunately, the study indicates that smokers who exhibited these traits can improve their personality through smoking cessation.

In comparing smokers with their peers who had quit smoking, researchers found that smokers had much higher levels of impulsivity and neuroticism.  The smokers were also much more likely to engage in deleterious, self-harming behaviors.  Once they stopped smoking, these traits improved, especially for those aged 18-25.

The researchers explain this improvement, at least in part, as such: people who start smoking tend to be more impulsive, thinking more about immediate gratification without giving a lot of forethought to the negative, long-term consequences of self-harming behaviors. Once the individual has to exhibit self-control, tolerance of frustration, and delayed gratification in stopping smoking, these disturbances in personality improve.

This, however, does not appear to explain things in their entirety.  Why does the neuroticism improve?  It would also appear that later in life especially, smoking has much more to do with habit and cravings than impulsivity and neuroticism.   The good news, however, is that smoking cessation improves not only physical health but the mental health as well.

If you are in Newport Beach or the Orange County, CA area and need help with personality problems, couples counseling, or therapy, please call Jennifer De Francisco at (949) 251-8797.


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