If you've ever been described as 'neurotic', you'll know how much it can sting.

The suggestion that you over-analyse everything, obsess over the smallest issues and find it difficult to let things go doesn't exactly make for the perfect party guest.

And for the vast majority of us who exhibit these particular traits, it's not exactly a walk in the park, with worry, stress and anxiety casting a long shadow over our perception of interactions and exchanges.

However, recent scientific research has suggested that neuroticism is actually linked to lower mortality meaning you're more likely to outlive your more relaxed peers.

An enormous study, which collated the data of more than half a million people in the UK, measured what researchers termed 'neuroticism levels' against various other health factors including BMI, blood pressure and cognitive functioning.

Six years after analysing the responses provided by the individuals, who were aged between 37 and 73, researchers learned that almost 5,000 participants had died, with those who exhibited signs of neurosis having outlived their counterparts.

"Our findings are important because they suggest that being high in neuroticism may sometimes have a protective effect, perhaps by making people more vigilant about their health," explains lead researcher Catherine R. Gale.

"We also found that people who scored highly on one aspect of neuroticism related to worry and vulnerability had a reduced risk of death regardless of how they rated their health," Catherine added,

The study was published in Psychological Science.