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Personality Type and Building Resilience to Stress

Personality Type and Building Resilience to Stress

By Donna Dunning

This is the first in a nine part series that describes typical stress response patterns linked to personality type preferences.

Steps for building resilience

People can thrive under an optimal level of stress. However, too much stress may trigger a wide range of psychological and physical problems. Everyone wants to minimize, manage, recover quickly from, and hopefully learn to avoid overly stressful situations. You can build resilience by using these three steps:

1. Identify the signs of stress.

2. Identify your stressors.

3. Take actions to reduce your stress level.

Everyone experiences stress differently

Although these three steps may sound easy in principle, in reality everyone reacts to and deals with stress differently. Personality type theory provides a useful framework for helping understand your stress responses.

Generally, when you are engaged in work or personal activities that allow you to use your natural preferences you are often highly motivated and satisfied. When the environment requires you to operate outside of your preferences you can become tired, overwhelmed, and experience excess stress.

Your response to stress

Typically, when experiencing stress, people initially respond by over-using their core personality type preference. Then, if stress is prolonged or increased, people may “flip” into a non-preferred mode of operating. This experience is usually unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and disorienting.

The information in these posts shows you how to assess your stress levels, identify your stressors, and build resilience to stress. When you understand your stress response you can learn to note the first signs of stress, implement changes to build resilience, and avoid the unpleasant experience of stress taking over.

The second post in this series explores the typical stress pattern for Responders, people who have ESTP and ESFP preferences.

The material in this series has been adapted from In the Grip by Naomi Quenk. This is a useful booklet for anyone who wants to understand his or her stress response in more detail.

The photos accompanying this series are “signs of stress”, everyday cautions and warnings we see in the world around us.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at 11:15 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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