Updated: Jul 5, 2019
I’ve always struggled with the fact that I can’t be in control. I like knowing where this road is going to take me. Most of my life I feel like my next step is plunging me into a dark fog. My vision is inhibited. I’m not sure if I’m bringing myself closer to a dark chasm or if I’ll ever reach the light and clarity I’m longing for.
I know I’m not alone in this. Just type the word stress into Google, and a million different self-help philosophies on navigating this emotional and physical tension meets your eyes.
The truth is we’ll never be able to escape uncertainty. You and I will never know what will happen next. There’s too many variables in life that can and will affect the outcome you want. This fact hasn’t stopped me from searching for security and predictability though. I want to feel comfortable and safe, is that really too much to ask?
Of course, stress in small amounts is good for you, it keeps you on your toes and pushes you to your goals. But I tend to stress out about everything. Everything. Some of my friends seem immune to it though. While I’m over here pulling my hair out about my latest work dilemma, my best friend seems almost nonchalant about her conflicts.
As I began to do more research on stress and how I could utilize it to be beneficial in my life, I came across different personality types and the link between your personality and stress levels.
I’ve always labeled myself as someone with a type A personality, I know people with type A personalities are very driven, competitive, and can be workaholics, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge on personalities.
As I did more in depth research I realized the impact your specific personality has, not only on your stress levels, but also on your health and social interactions.
If you have type A personality you are very competitive, achievement and goal oriented, focused and diligent. Wow…let’s go type A! But there are side affects to the A personality. Those who fall on the type A spectrum are also more emotional and are more likely to have mental breakdowns and heart attacks, they’re easily irritated and of course become stressed much more easily.
In this day and age of competitiveness in the work force, type A personalities are viewed as superior to type B.
As a type A myself, I don’t have a problem with acknowledging that perhaps, we are. But before we can make a statement like that, let’s look at type B personality traits.
Those with type B personalities tend to be very laid back. They’re flexible and easygoing. They don’t get irritated or angry as easily as type A personalities. They are very patient and have the self-control that type A personalities often tend to forget about.
They aren’t overly competitive either. While I’m over here calculating how I can be better and faster than those around me, wondering what idiot decided to put Bill in charge instead of me; type B isn’t complaining or fretting about the lack of speed in their team and would much rather let someone else lead.
While being on time is a huge issue for type A, those with type B personalities tend to procrasinate and following a strict schedule isn’t important to them.
I personally have always lived with a lot of stress. I have a lot of drive which pushes me to accomplish my tasks, but keeps me constantly moving. You may be in the same boat. Some of the most successful people in the world have been identified as type A personalities, but the way we handle stress has proven to decrease our productivity and increase our risk of disease over time.
Remember to take a deep breath and give yourself time to relax, you don’t have to change who you are, but learning effective ways to manage stress is important.
Break It Down
Sometimes the most stressful thing about situations or goals is the fact that they’re huge. The shadow they cast over you is intimidating. Learning to break everything down into actionable steps has helped me to realize that I can finish that huge, overwhelming project without the pile of stress I once bore. Paralyzing stress comes from not knowing how to take the next step. When you’re able to break down the huge goal into small steps you’re able to step across that bridge, instead of trying to cross the chasm in one leap.
If you’re not already, take the time to actively express and examine your thoughts through journaling. Writing about my feelings, especially if I’ve had conflicts at work or in my relationships, helps me to put everything in perspective and realize I can make a plan to remedy the situation.
Your Life Is Just As Important As Work
Our schedules are normally jam-packed. But remembering to set time aside for relaxing is important. We’re work oriented, I know. Taking time out of my day to relax, is just plain lazy, and I can’t stand lazy people. Hustling and grinding is my favorite thing to do, why should I stop and sit when I’ve got 5 gazillion things to do? But part of life as a type A is learning to balance work and play. And remember the saying: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Part of this is remembering to stay connected to the people in your life. We’re social beings and isolating yourself by working too much can cause even more stress. Surround yourself with people who are supportive. Friendships are just as valuable as time, so putting time into the people you care about is vital to keeping your life balanced and less stressful
Stress is part of being human and to an extent it can be good for you, but knowing how to handle it according to your unique personality will allow you to lead a happier, more productive life.