Cynical Hostility: Chill Out, Live Longer

hostilityCynical hostility is a personality style of cynicism and mistrust in social relationships. In a recent study, researchers from France and University College London looked at data from a long-term study of 3,399 British civil servants. Those in the top 25% of cynical hostility levels were over four-and-a-half times more likely to be become depressed 20 years later in the follow-up.

In another study of 434 British people without heart disease with the average age 63, researchers looked at the relationship of cynical hostility with two risk factors for early death involving shortened telomeres, structures that are essential to cell reproduction. Short telomere length seems to be a reliable marker of vulnerability to many illnesses.

These results are consistent with other studies that show that hostile men are prone to an exaggerated and prolonged stress response, poor self-care, and heart disease.

Brydon L et al. Hostility and cellular aging in men from the Whitehall II cohort. Biol Psychiatry 2012 May 1; 71:767.

What are your thoughts on the recent research? If you have identify with the topic of this article, but do not know what to do next, please check out these resources to help with cynical hostility:

  • Transforming Anger: The Heartmath Solution for Letting Go of Rage, Frustration, and Irritation by Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman
  • The Anger Trap: Free Yourself from the Frustrations that Sabotage Your Life by Les Carter
  • Beyond Anger: A Guide for Men: How to Free Yourself from the Grip of Anger and Get More Out of Life by Thomas J. Harbin