5 Health Benefits of Being an Introvert

Photo by JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images
It pays big time to be a little on the shy side. 

Many believe that extroverts have all the fun! With their exuberant personalities and ability to steal the show at the drop of a hat, it would seem that they’re always #winning, but the truth is, those of us who place more value on peace and quiet might actually be better off in the long run. Don't believe us? Here are five reasons why. 

1. A lower risk of obesity.

According to studies, this is because introverts are much more likely to rely on internal cues than extroverts, which can help prevent overeating. For example, researchers at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab found that when children were asked to serve themselves cereal in a large breakfast bowl, extroverts gave themselves 33 percent more than introverts because they tuned into an external cue (the bowl size) versus an internal one (like how hungry they actually were).

2. Lower risk of dumb accidents. 

The introvert, who tends to think before speaking or acting, is less prone to the kind of impulsive behavior that could lead to minor or serious injuries, ranging from simple peer pressure or drinking and driving.

3. They get more sleep. 

Since extroverts tend to be social butterflies, they’re much more likely to experience sleep deprivation, according to a study published in the scientific journal SLEEP. But this is deeper than just staying up and out too late. Apparently, the same brain regions that make extroverts so alert are the ones that cause them to exhibit signs of fatigue the next day. Introverts, on the other hand, are immune to this because they already have a high level of activity (aka cortical arousal) going on in these parts of the brain—social situation or not.

4. They’ve got more energy to be creative. 

Look, it's easy to notice the creative brilliance of extroverts, since they're more likely to let us know it’s there—i.e. Kanye—but did you ever notice the quiet kid in fourth grade who was always making brilliant drawings in the corner of the classroom? Introverts tend to follow their own paths and are more comfortable with solitude than extroverts, both qualities that lend themselves to a higher level of creativity.

5. Their deep thoughts lead to better overall health. 

Brain imaging studies show that when processing stimulation, introverts have more activity in the regions of the brain that process information, make meaning and solve problems. There is evidence that introverts do better in academic settings and are more represented in honor societies—all of which boosts a sense of mastery or belief in one's abilities. And—surprise surprise—studies have linked those self-empowered feelings to better health in the long run. #Winning

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