How to Relieve Stress As a Type A Personality

Опубликовал Admin
4-12-2019, 20:00
Updated: November 27, 2019 People with a Type A personality are thought of as competitive and urgent, and as people who tend to crave perfection. Some psychologists consider the Type A/Type B dichotomy to be less of a personality trait and more of a way to describe strategies for handling stress. If you are someone who knows you tend toward Type A stress management, it can be difficult to find a way out of negative patterns. By taking a hint from some Type B strategies and finding ways to calm yourself down under pressure and in your daily life, you can relieve some of the stress that weighs you down.

Changing Your Perspective

  1. Put failures and anxieties into context. As a Type A personality, it can be easy to get stuck on momentary feelings of failure, regret, and worry about the future. When these feelings start to overcome you, try to think of them on a bigger scale by thinking about how there are always factors that are outside of your control.
    • One of the defining features of a Type A personality is a focus on details at the expense of the bigger picture, which can put a lot of stress on you.
    • For stressors that seem all-consuming, like being stuck in traffic on the way to a meeting or losing a big project at work, try putting them on a scale of time, asking yourself if the issue will seem so important in a week, in a year, or even in a decade or two.
  2. Redefine what success looks like in terms of your tasks and goals. Many Type A personalities have a sense of perfectionism that tries to quarantine their work into two boxes of strictly “Success” and “Failure.” Instead of getting stuck on worrying about failure, focus on new ideas of what success can mean in your life and work, on both a small and large scale.
    • Try to think of situations in the context of your life right now. Ask yourself if something is the best you could do here and now, in the situation that you are in, rather than imagining a perfect world.
    • For example, if you feel like you can’t finish a task as well as you want to, ask yourself if the work you’ve done is acceptable for the resources and time you have available.
  3. Think positive thoughts about yourself. In order to avoid spiraling into negative thought patterns, you’ll need to rephrase your internal monologue when you get down on yourself. For Type A personalities, drowning out your inner critic can be a challenge, but try repeating affirmations about yourself that reinforce your self-worth.
    • Some ways to try positive self-talk include focusing on your accomplishments, praising yourself for your strengths, and forgiving yourself for your mistakes.
    • Examples of things you can say to yourself include, “I am capable of doing this,” “My worth isn’t defined by my ability to do this,” and “I’m not a bad person for messing that up, I’ll try again and get better.”
  4. Build a growth mindset by believing in your ability to improve. One way to move past stress is to change your perspective from the ground up. Try to build one that doesn’t get held back by labels or past mistakes, often called a “growth mindset.” Start to view yourself as someone capable of improving and growing, rather than “a failure” or “a success.”
    • As you build up a growth mindset, you may find yourself feeling better about the challenges life throws at you.
    • You might try responding to your own black-and-white thinking with phrases like, “No, I’m not a failure, but I’m not a success either. I am me, and I can always get better.”

Calming Yourself Down

  1. Focus on your breath. If you find yourself in a particularly stressful situation, one of the best ways to address it is to pay attention to your breathing and try to slow it down. One technique that is used by professionals like paramedics and firefighters is to breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and then hold your exhale for 4 seconds.
    • This breathing method will kickstart your body’s natural relaxation response.
  2. Ground yourself in your body by tensing and relaxing muscle groups. Starting with your shoulders, feel any discomfort in your body and tense up your muscles, releasing them after about 5 seconds. As you move through your body, tensing and releasing muscles, you will be simultaneously releasing tension and helping ground your mind in your body.
  3. Walk around the office or the block. Going for a walk will relax you as it shifts your attention from a stressful situation. Walks also make good opportunities to focus on breathing and your body. If you are stressed by an interaction with someone, a walk allows you to take a break and come back feeling refreshed.
    • A walk is also a great time to check in with yourself about your priorities and to identify what is causing you the most stress.
  4. Repeat a calming word or phrase out loud or in your head. Quiet repetition is often soothing, and by repeating an uplifting or reassuring thought, you may start to feel more capable and strong. Find a word or phrase that is simple and clear, but still inspires you to feel confident, like “I can do this,” or “this feeling will pass.”

Slowing Down Your Day-to-Day Life

  1. Practice a relaxing activity like yoga, tai chi, qigong, or meditation. Starting a regular practice that helps you center yourself and focus on calming racing thoughts can make it easier to cope with the stresses of perfectionism and deadlines. Try using meditation videos or apps to get the hang of quieting your mind, and consider attending classes on yoga, tai chi, or qigong.
    • Grounding yourself in your body is a good way to help reduce the stress of getting caught up in your head.
  2. Set aside time to do something you love without distraction. Spend 30 minutes or an hour each day reading, exercising, gardening, or anything else that brings you joy with anything that stresses you out turned off or put away. Taking time to enjoy an activity without anything getting in the way will help create quality time with yourself that will relieve stress and help keep it away..
    • Some examples of things to put away are devices that can give you notifications, especially work gadgets and smartphones, and keeping things like school materials out of sight.
    • You might also start to grow more confident that you can take breaks without the world crashing down.
  3. Keep a journal to feel more in control of your emotions. Filling a journal full of daily entries, drawings, and scribblings can give you an opportunity to feel more control over your emotions and your reactions to things in your daily life. Writing is a powerful way to change your perspective too, since you can catch yourself writing negative thoughts and try to reframe them.
    • Trying to express your feelings in a creative way will also help you gain insight into the thoughts and feelings you have, which can make you more in touch throughout the day.
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