People With These Traits Are Happier, Healthier and More Successful

By Sebastian Voortman / Pexels
By Sebastian Voortman / Pexels

It’s clear from the thriving self-help industry that most of us are constantly seeking personal betterment, but what might improve our chances? More cash? Access to contacts and connections? Visible abs? Scientists at the University College London claim to have discovered the combination of personality traits and skills that enable individuals to “do life” better that the rest of us.

To define the life skills conducive to health, happiness and success researchers looked at data from 8,000 participants of the 11-year-long English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. They discovered the magic mix of determination, emotional stability, self-control, conscientiousness and optimism enables people to thrive on both a personal and professional level.

Among those who scored highly on all five key traits, only 3% reported suffering from depression, while 22% of those with fewer of the defined skills felt depressed.

They were also less likely to be lonely – only 10.5% reported experiencing loneliness compared to almost 50% of the lesser skilled group.

By Joshua Earle / Unsplash

What’s more, individuals with more skills had smaller waistlines (and therefore a lesser chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, which has been linked to fat that accumulates around the midsection), lower levels of cholesterol and C-reactive protein (an inflammation increasing substance produced by the liver) and a faster walking pace.

It might be easy to dismiss the results as relating to other factors, but the researchers were careful to account for family background, education level and general cognitive function.

“No single attribute was more important than others. Rather, the effects depended on the accumulation of life skills,” Professor Andrew Steptoe, from UCL’s department of Epidemiology & Public Health, told Refinery29. “We were surprised by the range of processes – economic, social, psychological, biological, and health and disability related – that seem to be related to these life skills.”

All of this begs the question – is it possible to learn or develop these traits if you aren’t born with them? Some scientists believe 40% of your personality is down to genetics, which means there’s plenty of potential to cultivate the key five – determination, emotional stability, self-control, conscientiousness and optimism – of your own volition.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article