Personality Types:  What does it have to do with stress?

Earth Day Yoga

Let’s talk personality types. Sounds a little irrelevant you may think but studies have shown that people who display certain characteristics in behavior are more likely to suffer from stress and so are prone to all the ill effects associated with stress, physical and emotional illnesses etc.

Psychologists have over the years found that there exists two main types of personality, type A and type B. It is true to say that none of us neatly fall into one personality type or another, in most cases we are a mixture of both.

However if your discover of the two personality types you leans more towards the type A characteristics, then stress is a bigger issue for you.

Let’s take a closer look at these two types.

Type A Personalities

Personality types - traits of a type A can be quite pronounced and extreme but sometimes they can appear normal and are often put down to someone being ambitious and competitive. However if you put together many of the traits, it will soon become apparent that these people are pushing themselves beyond a healthy lifestyle.

Type A personality traits:

  • Very competitive
  • Talk rapidly and often focus on themselves
  • Are constantly on the go
  • Complain of never having enough time to do everything
  • Do more than one thing at once
  • Deny that they are pushing themselves too far
  • Are impatient
  • Have agitated body movements when standing still, clenching fists, shuffling feet etc
  • Blink a lot

Recognize anyone? These are just a few outward signs but I think it is clear that these people are pushing themselves to the point where not only stress will start to impact their lives, but long term illness is also a real possibility.

Type B Personalities

By contrast a type B personality is practically the opposite. 

Type B personality traits:

  • Competitive but very accepting and always happy to see others achieve
  • Happy to delegate work to others
  • Like to take their time and do things well one thing at a time
  • Relaxation comes easily to them and although not lazy are happy to sit still and enjoy free time
  • Are patient and prepared to wait there turn
  • Do not get easily agitated or frustrated

Reading this list you might think that being a type B personality means you don't care or are lazy or a bit simple even. But this is far from the truth it simply means that they are more considered people and do not let stressful life events take control. In fact they are in control and can achieve much throughout there lives.

So which personality type are you?

As stated previously, no one is completely a type A or type B personality and so you may not recognize all of the traits in yourself (check with others though, you never know you may be more completive than you know).

To find out if you are more type A than type B, take this quick personality test.

Reducing Type A Behavior

If you have taken the test and have come out with more of type A traits than B, you may be shocked or you may not be surprised at all. Either way you will realize that these traits are doing you no good at all and will want to find ways to change these behaviors and find stress relief to avoid future stress related health issues.

It is fair to say that it won't be easy to change habits of a lifetime but if you tackle one trait at a time and take your time; you will be able to change some of these stress inviting behaviors.

Here are a few things you can try to reduce type A behaviors, some will be more suited to your own lifestyle than others, choose the ones best for you and the ones you feel will benefit you the most.

  • Find a friend who is more type B than type A - this will encourage you to copy there behaviors.
  • Talk about your emotions more, bottle them up is stressful over time
  • Take up a new hobby, one which is non competitive
  • Decide what your working hors are and stick to them. Appointments outside these times are a no no.
  • Try not to butt in others conversations, allow others to take the floor.
  • Learn to delegate more
  • Take a fresh look at your priorities and decide which ones are truly important to you and focus on these.
  • Do things one at a time
  • Make time to eat and do nothing else whilst doing it.
  • Learn to congratulate or praise people for their work.
  • Stop clock watching; take your watch off if this will helps
  • Make time for yourself at lest one a week, go to the theatre, take a walk, whatever you like to do

Alternative Remedies To Benefit Type A Personalities:

Aromatherapy oils - Camomile, Geranium, Rosemary, Sandalwood

Bach flower remedies - Rock water, Beech, Vervain, Chicory

› Personality Types

Outside of the US? Find stress relief products in the UK and Canada.