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Extraverts may have stronger immune systems than introverts, according to a 2014 joint study from the University of Nottingham and the University of California, Los Angeles.
But you don't need a huge social network to ward off loneliness, say experts; a few good friends who are always there for you can be enough to keep you happy and healthy.In fact, says Helgoe, even introverts can get a mood boost by acting like extroverts for short periods of time."I don't think the answer is always that introverts need to get out there and socialize," she says, "but I do think we should be aware that sometimes we are so protective of our comfort zones, we don't take advantage of opportunities we might really enjoy."Introverts tend to prefer living in the mountains, which are seen as calming and peaceful, while extraverts would rather live in open, flat regions, like near the ocean, which they perceive as more sociable and stimulating according, to a 2015 study by Shigehiro Oishi, Ph D, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia."Introverts have some qualities that are conducive to intimacy," says Helgoe."We can tolerate silence and pauses, and allow time for a conversation to deepen.When do you tend to feel the most energized: after a party with lots of friends and strangers, or after a day of solitude and quiet reflection?
If you chose the latter, you may consider yourself an introvertsomeone who feels easily exhausted by social interaction and feels most content being left alone.
In other words, extraverts appear to have immune systems that can deal effectively with infectionperhaps because their socially oriented nature exposes them to more germs overall.
Oishi says that introverts' immunity may also be hampered because they tend to feel positive emotions less frequently than extraverts.
But for introverts, group classes may actually turn them off to exercising.
In a 2011 study on personality type and body weight, researchers noted that "lifestyle and exercise interventions that are done in a group setting may be more effective for extraverts than for introverts.""The assumption is that we're all extraverts and we will all benefit from the same activities, and that can really mess up our game as introverts," says Helgoe.
Instead, no matter where you live, seek out secluded spaces where you feel comfortable, whether it's the library, a quiet park, or even a special area in your house.