“It’s in the genes”, I’ve heard people say when they find it difficult to let go of all the stress and tension in their lives, “My mother/father /grandparent/uncle was just the same”.
So is it in the genes?
Well, whether it’s a result of nurture or nature, it’s not unusual to find the same physical, emotional and mental patterns within a family: migraine; anger; fearfulness; impatience. Or something more positive such as: optimism; persistence, creativity, robust health.
In an attempt to define how personality can impact on stress and health, psychologists and doctors have been distinguished 3 distinct “types” who respond very differently and are likely to have very different levels of stress.
The Type A individual could be characterised as high-achieving and hard-working. They enjoy a challenge and are highly competitive, multi-taskers. They are likely to be impatient, time conscious and push themselves to meet deadlines and this can cause irritation and exasperation when they face setbacks. They can be controlling and ambitious and they are definitely the ones to put in charge if you want something done quickly and well. The drive and time-consciousness demonstrated by Type A people make them easily stressed.
Type B personalities could be characterised as patient, relaxed and easy-going - and perhaps lacking an overriding sense of urgency. They may be reflective and creative and enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. They are not competitive and don’t mind losing. Although they enjoy achievement they aren’t driven to over-achieve. The laid-back, relaxed approach that Type B people demonstrate, means they aren’t often stressed.
Type C personalities could be characterised as serious, consistent and dependable who tend to follow the rules. They are neat, perfectionist and like to go into detail. And they are patient and stick at something until they crack it. They can be passive and likely to conform to the wishes of others and they have difficulty expressing emotions, feelings or needs. This lack of emotional expression and passivity results in suppression of feelings which can be a source of stress.
Is your personality type making life easy or difficult?
You can be driven and goal orientated ......... without being stressed. Working to high levels of pressure doesn’t mean becoming stressed, as long as you have a balance between work, rest and play.
And you can choose to adjust your behaviour, change your response, and manage pressure to avoid stress. The genes play their part, but you also have choice.
If you could choose to change one thing to reduce your stress, what would it be?
And if you want to hand over all the hard work of reducing your stress to someone else - just for a while - then you could always book in for a treatment of Reflexology or Indian Head Massage. To find out more about treatments in Edinburgh or Midlothian contact me, Doris Wylie on 07724 197627.