We like to categorize ourselves as introverts or extroverts based on our social preferences, but these preferences are also indicative of the ways our brains work. Extroverts tend to rely on external brain stimuli in order to feel engaged and activated, whereas introverts often have so much internal brain stimuli that outside input can feel overwhelming.
Because of this, extroverts will thrive with a flood of stimulation from their surrounding environment. Conversely, introverts may become agitated with so much external input. Your level of introversion and extroversion at any given moment is determined by the brain activity happening inside your head! Aspects of this brain activity can be predicted based on genetic characteristics.
At the same time, however, studies of twins have shown a genetic component of 39 to 58%, with the remaining influences being environmental—more evidence of the importance of understanding how epigenetic factors affect us. Epigenetics explores the ways that environmental factors (the nurture part of nature vs. nurture) determine genetic expression. For example, just because someone carries the gene for a particular disease, like the BRAC1 gene for breast cancer, it doesn’t mean that disease will express itself in the individual.
What makes the difference? Epigenetics. And because of this potent understanding, we each have the power to minimize the expression of disease-related genes. As this relates to introversion and extroversion, however, it means that it’s important to honor your natural tendencies and use your environment to your advantage.
If you’re naturally more inclined towards extroversion, make sure that you surround yourself with the positive mental stimuli you need to keep yourself alert and inspired. Similarly, an introvert’s environment should help prevent overwhelm by remaining streamlined and calm, without an excess of distraction.
Environmental factors have the power to harm or heal, and the more you know about yourself, the better you will be able to take care of your unique needs. Learn more about how your mind works on the ph360 MIND dashboard today. Don’t miss out on our limited time offer of a Lifetime Membership for only $97—it might mean the difference between finding your balance and never truly knowing what it feels like to thrive.