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Change Your Mind, Boost Your Health

Change Your Mind, Boost Your Health
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Thursday, 01 March 2018 11:56 AM

Experts in psychiatry and psychology have long believed that our personalities are essentially set in early childhood and remain consistent throughout life. However, the latest scientific evidence contradicts this long-held assumption.

New compelling evidence indicates that we can change our personalities — on our own, with the help of a therapist, or using a combination of the two methods — and that meaningful personality change can be achieved in as little as 30 days.

These groundbreaking findings have shattered the false belief that we are locked into our negative personality traits, no matter how much they hinder our potential happiness and success, says Dr. Gary Small, Director of the UCLA Longevity Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and author of the Mind Health Report newsletter.

Small, who is also the author of the new book “SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days,” writes: “Personality is the sum of the relatively stable traits that make up our unique character, and is driven by our distinctive patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Each of us has a personality-fingerprint that reflects who we are — our inner temperament that drives how we act and react in the world.

“Based on all available research to date, most psychiatrists, including myself, have been trained to operate under the assumption that true, core personality traits are fundamentally set by early childhood. In therapy, we could help patients change specific behaviors, but not necessarily the basics of their personalities.

“But now, startling new research contradicts that long-held tenet. The latest science points to a new conclusion that has literally reversed our assumptions about how — and how rapidly — personality can change.”

Small cites the work of psychologist Brent Roberts and his co-workers at the University of Illinois who did an in-depth assessment of studies that asked whether different mental health treatments changed personality. The number of volunteers totaled more than 20,000.

When the scientists pooled all the results from this large analysis, they drew a remarkable conclusion: both clinical (involving treatment from a mental health professional) and nonclinical self-help interventions (such as Internet-based cognitive therapy or meditation) resulted in positive improvements in personality traits over a relatively brief period of time.

Also, the personality benefits resulting from the interventions were sustained after the treatment was completed for a year or more when subjects were followed that long.

The type of therapy didn’t seem to matter much when it came to improving personality traits. Supportive psychotherapy, psychodynamic therapy, and cognitive behavior therapy demonstrated comparable levels of benefits.

Whether or not the research volunteers were being treated for depression, anxiety, or no particular disorder at all also had no influence on the results. Personality traits consistently improved in the full range of people who were studied.

So when is the best time to start changing your personality? According to Small, the simple answer is: right now. But getting started is often the most challenging step.

Keep in mind that just trying to change your personality can take forever, but committing to change and making it happen is within your reach — and it can happen in only 30 days, Small says.

"As you read 'SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days,' you will gain a better understanding of who you are now, how others see you, and which aspects of yourself you’d like to change," he adds. 

"If you are committed to change, this book will provide a roadmap to achieving your goals and becoming a better you."

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Mental health specialists have long believed that our personalities are essentially set in early childhood. But a new book by Dr. Gary Small, 'SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days,' argues that we can change our personalities, and boost our health at the same time.
health, mind, mental, personality, gary, small, ucla, longevity, center, alzheimer
Thursday, 01 March 2018 11:56 AM
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