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  • Michael Gamble

How your personality type expresses stress.

How does your personality type deal with stress?

Stress is a feeling that’s created when we react to particular events. It’s the body’s way of rising to a challenge and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness.

The events that provoke stress are called stressors, and they cover a whole range of situations – everything from outright physical danger to making a class presentation or taking a semester’s worth of your toughest subject.

much of our stress is subtle and occurs without obvious threat to survival.

Most comes from things like work overload, conflicting priorities, inconsistent values, over-challenging deadlines, conflict with co-workers, unpleasant environments and so on. Not only do these reduce our performance as we divert mental effort into handling them, they can also cause a great deal of unhappiness.

As we live our everyday lives stress builds up until, like an overfull water barrel, it overflows and symptoms appear. Using the water barrel simile, if you open the water barrel tap and let some stress out every-so-often, then the barrel is less likely to overflow, and no matter what your personality, you will cope better.

What is the effect of acute stress?

The best way to envision the effect of acute stress is to imagine oneself in a primitive situation, such as being chased by a bear.

The Brain’s Response to Acute Stress

In response to seeing the bear, a part of the brain called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system is activated.

Release of Steroid Hormones. The HPA systems trigger the production and release of steroid hormones ( glucocorticoids), including the primary stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is very important in marshaling systems throughout the body (including the heart, lungs, circulation, metabolism, immune systems, and skin) to deal quickly with the bear.

Release of Catecholamines. The HPA system also releases certain neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) called catecholamines, particularly those known as known as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (also called adrenaline).

How do you turn on the ‘tap’ to reduce the pressure? There are many different ways to reduce stress, the way that will work best for you will depend on your personality.

Some people find relaxation / meditation is the best way to relieve stress, but it has to be done regularly to have any real effect.

Other types of people find that taking part in energetic sports works best for them. Whether you relax or work out will depend on your personality and your approach to life in general.

One thing is certain, we all need to keep an eye on our stress levels and work consistently to reduce them, because stress related illnesses are common and emotional problems caused by poorly controlled stress levels can effect us all whether we are the sufferer ourselves or effected by a close colleague / friend or relative’s problem.

So how does your personality archetype affect the way you deal with stress?

Type 1: The perfectionist:

These people create their own stress by being too hard on themselves.

Obviously, everything must be perfect, you just can’t leave it alone.

If you make even one little mistake you want to repeat the whole process.

You dislike your routine being disrupted, and you have a tendency to react poorly to emergencies or change.

You get upset when others do not do their job properly, and may take over, increasing your work load.

As a perfectionist it will help to be more realistic and forgiving of yourself.

You will probably find that relaxation helps, and it's best to let yourself have time off, build leisure time and relaxation breaks into your daily routine.

Type 2: STIMULUS or THRILL seekers:

They are the bungee jumpers, fast car drivers, mountain climbers of life. Their attention span can be short as they are racing on to the next thing

You are full of ideas

habitually take risks.

are easily bored.

You dislike routine.

You start projects easily.

You don’t often finish the project off completely.

find little details to be time wasting...

Stimulus seekers tend to smoke or drink too much and forget to take care of themselves properly

Often this type will respond well to taking part in energetic sports or activities to burn off the tension.

Type 3: The Anxious type

These people tend to have poor self-esteem, and often take on jobs that are not demanding enough and then become bored and frustrated.

They can spend so much time avoiding things that they miss out on living a full life.

You say “Sorry” easily and even if it wasn’t your fault.

You bottle up anger so well that even you don’t know it's there.

You just can’t say “No”.

fear being unpopular.

are probably too nervous to make a change, even though you realize it would help you.

Even small disagreements upset you.

Although relaxation and or meditation is helpful for this group, it should be combined with methods to build self esteem.

A few hypnotherapy sessions can do wonders to build up self confidence and the effects can be life changing.

Type 4: The Ambitious Type:

These people are often the most stressed, but least ready to do anything about it!

They deny that they are stressed and just keep going until ill health forces them to stop.

These are power driven people, often somewhat aggressive and have a deep need to be in control.

are totally dedicated to anything you begin.

always finish anything you start.

You think relaxation is a waste of time.

Work is more important to you than a social life.

You often do two or more jobs or tasks at once.

You can focus on your present task to the total exclusion of other things, even forgetting forget meal times.

People getting in your way, even slowing you down, make you angry.

You feel that there is a high sense of urgency for every task, and never enough time.

It is important that others see you achieve.

A combination of relaxation and active leisure pursuits can help, as well as sticking to a routine which includes time out away from work related activities.

You may be obviously one type or you could be a mixture of types. Once you recognize certain qualities about yourself, you may be able to find a better balance, understanding and harmony within yourself.

You may have noticed that all these personality types are driven by fear, and the reaction to fear is stress.

If you recognize yourself here then do something now to make the changes you need to make to help yourself to a better, happier life.

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