10 Healthy Personality Traits That Are Key To Your Psychological Well-Being (2023)

We're all unique people, with specific dispositions, preferences, and aversions. These components are what make you, you, and while there are no rights or wrongs with regard to any permutation of these factors, there are certain healthy personality traits scientifically connected to being psychologically well-adjusted.

According to research published in the journal Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, there are 10 healthy personality traits that are key for your mental well-being. In the first of three studies, researchers asked 137 experts in trait psychology to describe their idea of a psychologically healthy person using the NEO Psychological Inventory, Revised, which groups 240 items into 30 narrower personality traits. This inventory is also a longer version of the NEO-Five-Factor Inventory that examines a person's Big Five personality traits.

What are the Big Five personality traits?

The Big Five has become a popular personality indicator that can "be used for individuals to learn about themselves and their strengths, or it can be used by organizations to predict success," Katy Caselli, an organizational psychologist who specializes in personality frameworks, previously told Well+Good. The Big Five quiz (here's a free one you can take online) includes a series of questions that you can respond to with a range of answers between "disagree strongly" and "agree strongly." Based on your answers, you'll learn where on a spectrum of zero to 100 you fall on the Big Five personality traits:

  1. Openness to experience
  2. Conscientiousness
  3. Extraversion
  4. Agreeableness
  5. Neuroticism

The 10 personality traits of a psychologically healthy person

Crucially, the Big Five test won't tell you whether you're extroverted, for example, but whether you score low in extraversion. Because of this, the study researchers (mentioned above) set out to get a more in-depth understanding of what constitutes a "healthy personality," based on levels of given traits, many of which connect to the Big Five. According to the report, "healthy personality functioning can be best characterized by high levels of openness to feelings, positive emotions, and straightforwardness, and low levels on all facets of neuroticism."

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On a more granular level, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD, names 10 specific personality traits in Scientific American. And thus, the 10 personality traits of a psychologically healthy person were established. (To see where you fall on the scale, you can take an online test created by Dr. Kaufman).

While knowing the characteristics of a healthy person can create more mindfulness around certain thoughts and behaviors moving forward, it helps to have psychological trait examples. With that in mind, below, existential and trauma-based psychotherapist Cristalle Hayes, who is the author of Angry Mother Assertive Mother: From Maternal Anger to Radical Repair, explains what each trait pertains to and how each of the 10 personality traits lend to an overly psychologically healthy mentality.

1. Openness to feelings

“Openness to feelings means that we are not afraid of our feelings,” says Hayes. “We trust and accept our emotions and use them to guide and inform us. When we are afraid of our feelings or battling with them, we may tend to suppress or manage our emotions through substances that can have a devastating impact on our lives. Being open to the feelings of others means we can connect with others and be more intimate in our relationships.”

2. Straightforwardness

“When someone is being straightforward or authentic, we are cultivating authentic and genuine relationships with others,” says Hayes. “We are not manipulating ourselves or others. We are entering a genuine relationship. Having authentic relationships means bringing more connection and intimacy into our lives.”

3. Competence

“When we feel competent, we are not in a place of shame and feelings of inadequacy,” says Hayes. “Feeling competent is feeling that ‘I am okay.’ Feeling competent generates warm feelings about who we are in the world, which is great for self-esteem. When we feel competent, we are less likely to avoid situations that make us feel incompetent or overcompensate to prove ourselves and our worth.”

4. Warmth

“Warmth generates intimacy and connection,” says Hayes. “People are more likely to trust us and feel good around us. When we are psychologically healthy, it is easier to be friendlier and more affectionate because we trust each other.”

5. Positive emotions

“When we experience joy, it gives us room to breathe,” says Hayes. “It is a childlike, carefree feeling. When we feel love, joy, and excitement, that brings a level of vulnerability. When we don’t allow these feelings to happen, they may make us feel vulnerable to disappointment. Again, it is about trusting a situation and a feeling and accepting it and allowing ourselves freedom in joy.”

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6. Low levels of angry hostility

“Anger and hostility can be destructive to our relationships,” Hayes says. “Humans are meant to connect, and hostility creates a disconnect: anger, unreflected upon, impacts our health and body.”

7. Low anxiety

“A little bit of anxiety is helpful as it tells us something about a situation and helps us exercise caution or perceive risk,” Hayes says. “But if we feel too much anxiety, we limit ourselves and avoid situations. Our comfort zone becomes small, and we do not live with a sense of freedom and safety.”

8. Low depression

“A psychologically healthy person has more flexibility in thinking and can see the shades of gray in situations,” Hayes says. “When we feel depressed, we can experience a lot of intrusive negative thoughts. Our thoughts become more black and white and very fixed.”

9. Low vulnerability to stress

“Low vulnerability to stress means we are facing life with more resilience,” says Hayes. “When life throws us something stressful, we feel more competent to deal with it. We can also be more discerning about what stress to take on board. Underneath, we are more in control, more proactive and less reactive.”

10. Low impulsivity

“Low impulsivity makes us more psychologically healthy as it means that we are more grounded and empowered and in control of our reactions, and less reliant on outside sources,” Hayes says.

Key factors that influence healthy personality traits

When it comes to this list of character traits—and especially if you’ve scored less than favorably on any of them—it’s important not to take them entirely at face value. “Rather, dive into the intricacies of each and ask how they can contribute to psychological well-being,” says Caroline Fenkel, MSS, DSW, LCSW, co-founder and chief clinical officer of Charlie Health, an online mental health clinic for teens and young adults. “For example, while it is important that we stay open to feelings, it’s also necessary that we are able to observe our feelings without being attached to them. Feelings aren't facts. This is a critical component of being able to take on stress, adversity, and life in general as it comes. We also have to be willing to talk about these feelings with others in order to make sure we don't isolate and insulate ourselves within our own heads.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that many of these healthy personality traits boil down to nature vs. nurture, with a heavy emphasis on the latter. “In many ways, warmth is a learned trait as opposed to a genetic one,” Dr. Fenkel says. “You need to be raised by warmth and surrounded by it in order to learn how to express it. If not, you'll have to learn later in life, which can be more challenging than having it embedded into your personality from a young age. The same goes for low levels of anger and hostility. In order to be a calm and measured person in the face of anger (which is a natural emotion and response), you have to have been raised without anger and hostility. The way you learn to respond to stress begins very early in development. Not leading with anger is a trait that, with time and practice, can be cultivated as an adult.”

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The Takeaway

You don't have to have all those personality traits to have a healthy life, though, Dr. Kaufman is quick to point out. Rather, "the key determination [for psychological health] is the extent to which low scores on this profile block you from reaching your personal goals," he says.

In two additional studies, the researchers compared these trait profiles to over 3,000 students, and found that the traits were associated with greater life satisfaction, more self-esteem, self-sufficiency, being more optimistic, having less anger and aggression, and having more self-control. But what can you do if you don't score high naturally in these traits?

The good news is that you're not doomed to live a life without healthy personality traits, no matter what your natural personality makeup is. It's possible that you can mindfully shift facets of your personality over time to work in better alignment with your goals. For instance, if you can identify that you're closed off to feelings, then you can be more mindful of opening up to vulnerabilities moving forward. While you may never change your natural inclinations (nor should you—your unique predispositions are what makes you, you!), being aware of where you fall on the scale of healthy personality traits can help you, well, level up how mentally healthy you can be.

Tags: Healthy Mind, Self-Care Tips


What are the 10 characteristics of a healthy person? ›

Characteristics of a healthy person:
  • Is free from sickness and diseases.
  • Shows no unnecessary anxiety.
  • Has self- confidence.
  • Has organs and organ system which are healthy and function properly.
  • Is free from social and mental stress.

What is an example of a healthy personality? ›

They found that high levels of openness to feelings, positive emotions and straightforwardness, combined with low levels of neuroticism were most indicative of a healthy personality.

What is an example of psychological well being? ›

Psychological well-being is a core feature of mental health, and may be defined as including hedonic (enjoyment, pleasure) and eudaimonic (meaning, fulfillment) happiness, as well as resilience (coping, emotion regulation, healthy problem solving).

What is an example of a psychological trait? ›

For example, we might say someone is responsible, creative, emotional, or outgoing. Now we view these adjectives to be examples of personality traits.

Which of the 10 characteristics you think would be enough to be possessed by a good leader? ›

Good leaders possess self-awareness, garner credibility, focus on relationship-building, have a bias for action, exhibit humility, empower others, stay authentic, present themselves as constant and consistent, become role models and are fully present.

What are the characteristics of a healthy community give ten 10? ›

quality education; • adequate and safe housing; • employment opportunities and job skills training; • access to public transportation and recreational opportunities; • healthy, clean and safe physical environments; and • health education and access to health care (Norris, Lampe, 1994).

What are the 20 healthy habits? ›

20 Simple Health Habits
  • Drink a gallon of water every day. ...
  • Walk for 30 minutes every day. ...
  • Do 25-50 lunges daily. ...
  • Do 50 heel raises.
  • Do 25 sit ups.
  • Eat one piece of fruit. ...
  • Make sure your plate consists of equal proportions of protein, a source of minerals and vitamins (vegetables), and carbs.

What are the 10 habits that show healthy living? ›

  • Measure and Watch Your Weight. ...
  • Limit Unhealthy Foods and Eat Healthy Meals. ...
  • Take Multivitamin Supplements. ...
  • Drink Water and Stay Hydrated, and Limit Sugared Beverages. ...
  • Exercise Regularly and Be Physically Active. ...
  • Reduce Sitting and Screen Time. ...
  • Get Enough Good Sleep. ...
  • Go Easy on Alcohol and Stay Sober.

What is positive personality traits? ›

Examples of personal positive qualities: kind, gentle, strong, resilient, caring, assertive, hard-working, reliable, honest, practical, responsible, loyal, mature, creative, consistent, appreciative, capable, quick, sensitive, perceptive, patient, thoughtful, fit, trustworthy, shows initiative, motivated, versatile, ...

What are the big 6 personality traits? ›

Markers of six personality traits (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Openness to Experience, and Honesty-Humility) were assessed using the Mini-International-Personality-Item-Pool-6 (Mini-IPIP6; Donnellan et al., 2006; Sibley et al., 2011).

What are the Big Five personality traits psychology today? ›

Today, psychologists often describe personality in terms of five basic traits. The so-called Big Five are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. A newer model, called HEXACO, incorporates honesty-humility as a sixth key trait.

What are the 7 skills of psychosocial well-being? ›

Psychosocial well-being incorporates the physical, economic, social, mental, emotional, cultural, and spiritual determinants of health.

How can I improve my psychological well-being? ›

5 steps to mental wellbeing
  1. Connect with other people. Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. ...
  2. Be physically active. Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. ...
  3. Learn new skills. ...
  4. Give to others. ...
  5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

What is positive psychology well-being? ›

Positive psychology is a relatively new branch of psychology that shifts the focus from what is clinically wrong, to the promotion of wellbeing and the creation of a satisfying life filled with meaning, pleasure, engagement, positive relationships and accomplishment.

Which are the 16 personalities? ›

Socionics divides people into 16 different types, called sociotypes which are; ESTJ, ENTJ, ESFJ, ENFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ, INTJ, INFJ, ESTP, ESFP, ENTP, ENFP, ISTP, ISFP, INTP & INFP. A formal conversion is carried out following the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator.

What are types and traits in psychology? ›

A trait is a characteristic pattern of behavior or conscious motive which can be self‐assessed or assessed by peers. The term type is used to identify a certain collection of traits that make up a broad, general personality classification.

What are 5 examples of traits? ›

Character Traits Examples
  • loyal.
  • generous.
  • kind.
  • sincere.
  • persistent.
  • open-minded.
  • brave.
  • quiet.

What are the 10 character traits that will serve as tools so that the honor and power of a leader will increase? ›

Exhibiting leadership qualities, like adaptability, can help you to excel at your job as well as advance your career .
Top 10 leadership traits
  • Accountability. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Confidence. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Focus. ...
  • Positivity. ...
  • Risk-taking.
Oct 7, 2019

What are the characteristics you must possess to be a successful person give at least 5 and explain briefly? ›

You have the determination to work harder than most and make sure things get done. You pride yourself on seeing things getting completed and you take charge when necessary. You drive yourself with purpose and align yourself with excellence. You can shoulder responsibilities and be accountable.

What are some of the personality traits that you prefer your leader to possess? ›

15 Most Important Personality Traits of Effective Leaders
  • Openness and Friendliness. ...
  • Kindness. ...
  • Thoughtfulness. ...
  • Emotional Stability. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Effective Communicators. ...
  • Integrity. ...
  • Self-Awareness.
Apr 20, 2021

What are the 10 characteristics of a healthy school? ›

  • A clear and shared focus. ...
  • High standards and expectations for all students. ...
  • Effective school leadership. ...
  • High levels of collaboration and communication. ...
  • Curriculum, instruction and assessments aligned with state standards. ...
  • Frequent monitoring of learning and teaching. ...
  • Focused professional development.

What are the five healthy habits for a healthy community? ›

Here are five ways you can improve health in your community.
5 Ways to Improve Health in Your Community
  • Eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies.
  • Spend less than 2 hours on recreational screen time.
  • Be active at least 1 hour.
  • Consume 0 sugary drinks.
Oct 15, 2018

How would a healthy community affect you mentally? ›

Being part of a community can have a positive effect on mental health and emotional wellbeing. Community involvement provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness. It can also offer extra meaning and purpose to everyday life.

What are the 7 Habits of Healthy People? ›

Seven Habits of a Healthy Person
  • Hydrate. Water is absolutely essential for a healthy life. ...
  • Move. Consistent exercise is key. ...
  • Eat lean protein. When it comes to eating meat, the fewer the legs, the better. ...
  • Eat natural foods. ...
  • Sleep. ...
  • Find an outlet. ...
  • Have a purpose.

What are the 7 Habits for a healthy mind and body? ›

7 Habits That Healthy people have
  • 1) They plan their meals in advance.
  • 2) They eat breakfast.
  • 3) They always have a water bottle nearby.
  • 4) They stay active, even if it's just walking.
  • 5) They disconnect from the world.
  • 6) They live in the moment.
  • 7) They get a good night's sleep.

What are 10 simple habits people can do everyday to improve one's well-being? ›

Here are 14 healthy habits you should start implementing today:
  • Moderate Your Alcohol Intake. ...
  • Quit Smoking. ...
  • Boost Your Immunity With Healthy Eating. ...
  • Don't Skip Meals. ...
  • Drink Plenty Of Water Per Day. ...
  • Incorporate Simple Exercises Into Your Daily Routine. ...
  • Take a Few Minutes for Meditation. ...
  • Turn Off Electronics 1+ Hour Before Bed.
May 28, 2020

What are the 10 healthy activities? ›

10 heart-healthy outdoor activities to try this Spring
  • Take up a sport. You don't have to become a professional soccer player to be athletically inclined. ...
  • Swim. When was the last time you went swimming? ...
  • Play with your kids. The best exercise happens when you are having fun. ...
  • Garden. ...
  • Bike. ...
  • Dance. ...
  • Hike. ...
  • Spring clean.
Feb 6, 2018

What does healthy life mean for you 10 lines? ›

1) Living with habits that help to improve our health is a Healthy Lifestyle. 2) Healthy Lifestyle leads us to a life free of stress and diseases. 3) Having a positive attitude is a part of the Healthy Lifestyle. 4) Various exercises and Physical therapies help to maintain our health and flexibility.

What are the 8 healthy Habits? ›

The 8 Habits of Healthy Living
  • Stop smoking. ...
  • Lose weight (if you're overweight). ...
  • Exercise. ...
  • Drink only in moderation. ...
  • Cut out red & processed meats. ...
  • Eat fruits & veggies. ...
  • Reduce salt, and saturated/trans fats. ...
  • Reduce stress.

What are the 10 factors that affect health? ›

  • Ten Factors that. Affect. Your Health Status.
  • Heredity.
  • Quality of the Environment.
  • Random Events.
  • Health Care.
  • Behaviors You Choose.
  • Quality of your Relationships.
  • Decisions You Make.

What are the 10 behavior risk factors of health? ›

Behaviours & risk factors
  • Alcohol.
  • Environment and health.
  • Family, domestic and sexual violence.
  • Food & nutrition.
  • Illicit use of drugs.
  • Overweight & obesity.
  • Physical activity.
  • Risk factors.
Jul 17, 2017

What are the 4 personality trait types? ›

A large new study published in Nature Human Behavior, however, provides evidence for the existence of at least four personality types: average, reserved, self-centered and role model.

Why are the Big 5 personality traits important? ›

Why the Big Five Personality Traits Are Important. The five-factor model not only helps people better understand how they compare to others and to put names to their characteristics. It's also used to explore relationships between personality and many other life indicators.

What is the most important Big 5 personality trait? ›

According to Essentials of Organizational Behavior: 14th Edition, the big five personality dimension that has the biggest influence on job performance is conscientiousness. Those who score higher in this trait are likely to have higher levels of job-related knowledge as those who are highly conscientious learn more.

Which personality trait is most strongly related to well being? ›

Extraversion emerged as the personality with the strongest positive associated with Social well-being. This may be due to their inherent nature, Extraversion tends to attach so much importance to having strong social networks, connecting and interacting with people.

What are the Big 5 personality factors and how do they explain personality? ›

Definition of Big Five Personality Traits:

The Five Factor Model breaks personality down into five components: Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Openness, and Stress Tolerance. Personality tests that are based on this model measure where an individual lies on the spectrum of each of the five traits.

What are the Big 5 personality traits How are the Big 5 personality traits related to your self and social awareness? ›

The Big 5 Personality dimensions are: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. These spell out the common acronym OCEAN. Each person has a score for all of these aspects and that unique combination of each trait makes up your personality.

Who made the Big 5 personality traits? ›

Robert McCrae and Paul Costa went on to develop the Five-Factor Model (FFM), describing the personality in terms of five broad factors. Psychologist Lewis Goldberg used the term the 'Big Five' and developed the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP), the first psychometric test.

What are 4 qualities of psychologically healthy people? ›

They found that experts rated openness to feelings, warmth, positivity, and straightforwardness as the traits most likely to appear in well-adjusted individuals.

What are the characteristics of a healthy psychosocial environment? ›

Key aspects for a nurturing psychosocial environment include: People – friendships and relationships that students create with peers and teachers in schools; this also links to effective parental involvement, positive teacher attitudes as well as collaborative practices.

What are the six healthy personality traits? ›

The six factors, or dimensions, include Honesty-Humility (H), Emotionality (E), Extraversion (X), Agreeableness (A), Conscientiousness (C), and Openness to Experience (O). Each factor is composed of traits with characteristics indicating high and low levels of the factor.

How can you ensure a healthy psychosocial well-being? ›

5 steps to mental wellbeing
  1. Connect with other people. Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. ...
  2. Be physically active. Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. ...
  3. Learn new skills. ...
  4. Give to others. ...
  5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

What are positive psychosocial factors? ›

We define positive psychosocial factors broadly to include such diverse potentially helpful constructs as beliefs (optimism, finding meaning, spirituality), positive affect, behaviors (active coping, altruistic behaviors, expressing emotions with processing), personality dispositions (openness, extra-version, ...

What are physiological aspects of health? ›

Physiological aspects include activities like warming up, conditioning and cooling down, effects of exercises on muscular, digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems. These are also the part of this chapter. The terms growth and development are used in various aspects of life.


1. Psychiatrist Explains BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) - Psychology 101
2. Emotion, Stress, and Health: Crash Course Psychology #26
3. How to Have a Good Conversation | Celeste Headlee | TEDxCreativeCoast
(TEDx Talks)
4. Who are you, really? The puzzle of personality | Brian Little
5. Developing a Healthy Personality - Chapter 21 by Brian Tracy | Power of Personal Achievement
(Success Coach)
6. Personality Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #34
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