How Personality Impacts Stress

Have you ever noticed how some people don't appear as bothered by stress and worry compared to other adults?  These people seem to handle stressors that would cause others to have health issues. Ever wonder why this is?

Your personality plays a significant role in the way that you cope with stress each day. Reactions to stress are partially in our nature and partly learned throughout different experiences. How much pressure can you experience before stress symptoms appear and then remain consistent every day?

Some people have better resilience or a more robust shell. They defend against stress despite having their share of stress-inducing situations. However, even the more robust people will react once the pressure of stressors becomes too overwhelming. Eventually, if not monitored, repercussions of stress appear as:

  • Mental health problems, like anxiety or depression.
  • Cardiovascular disease, like high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke.

Chronic Stress Is Dangerous

How do you reduce the pressure and alleviate the stress?

There are different methods for reducing stress. Which one works best for you depends on your personality and also the situation at hand?

Exercises like meditation and relaxation techniques relieve stress well. The caveat is that the practices are only useful if done on a regular schedule.

Also, any vigorous activities or sports strengthen resilience. Whether you choose to relax or you choose to work out, your activity and results are dependant on your personality and your general approach to life.

While this is not an official assessment,  the following sets of questions narrow down your general personality type. Then you can determine how you'll combat the stress and keep your mind and body balanced.

Perfectionist

Perfectionists frequently create their own stress by being far too hard on themselves. It helps to practice having more realistic expectations and being more forgiving of mistakes and shortcomings. If you're a perfectionist, you'll probably find that relaxation does help you. Allow yourself the time off to ensure leisurely activities, and relaxation makes their way into your routine regularly.

Seeking Stimulus

If you are easily bored an dislike routines, then you might seek action and stimulus. Habits bore you. You enjoy changes and start new projects easily. However, you tend to leave plans unfinished.  Completing details are tedious. You thrive on risk and enjoy adventures. You have unique ideas and love change and new people. Maintaining longer-term relationships is problematic.

  • Little details are time wasters to you
  • You're consistently full of unique and fresh ideas
  • You find it difficult to maintain a steady relationship

Feeling Anxious?

Does your anxiety manifest in any of these ways:

  • You feel that people take advantage of you.
  • Disagreements upset you.
  • You worry a lot about making changes, even if they are helpful to you.
  • Sometimes, you don't feel confident, but feel vulnerable.
  • You apologize too much.
  • You find it hard to say no.
  • You have a fear of being unliked, unpopular, and so on.

More often than not, the anxious type of personality possesses poor self-esteem.  You take on a job that's not demanding enough and then grow bored and frustrated. You might end up investing time to avoid something else.

Relaxation and meditation can be helpful each of these personality groups. Also, suggestions to increase self-esteem are useful.

Some even suggest that a few hypnotherapy sessions can work wonders when it comes to building up things like self-confidence and the effects can end up being completely life-changing.

Example of Ideal Client Description

My ideal client is between 35 and 65. She may be married or divorced with one or two children. She is middle class, educated, and lives in a middle-to-upper class neighborhood.

She has always been financially independent. She owns her own business or would like to have a part-time business of her own. She is discerning with money, though will rarely spend it on herself unless it’s for a practical reason.

She makes lists and likes to be able to cross everything off her list, even though there is often more there than she can achieve. She compares her achievements to others as a way of gauging her worth. She often is overcritical of herself and lacks compassion for herself, though finds it for others.

She grew up in an environment where she had to take on responsibilities too early, which forced her to put aside her creative, spontaneous side and lose touch with her own needs and intuition. As a result, she is an over-responsible, independent, strong adult. She is dependable and tries to be there for others, whether it is in her best interest or not. She is overly loyal and often takes care of others because she feels like she should because nice people do that.

She follows the rules. She lives a lot in her own head and is afraid of making the wrong decision. She is a thinker and analyzer. As a result, she has lost touch with her own feelings and needs.

She has difficulty setting boundaries with others until circumstances become extreme. When she does set a boundary, she feels guilty and often softens the boundary or changes it to suit the other person. She says “yes” when she doesn’t want to, then feels resentful. She doesn’t have a good sense of self-worth and therefore has difficulty honoring herself.

She’s unaware of her own values and using them as a way of navigating life or making decisions. She makes decisions out of fear or guilt. Only when she feels she’s been pushed too far will she get angry and lash out or finally give herself what she wants.

She is a busy person who experiences free-floating anxiety during quiet moments. She tries to get out of these feelings by staying busy, eating, or distracting herself with Internet activities. She is afraid to feel “negative” feelings for fear they will lead to something bad or shut her down completely. She is knowledgeable about positive thinking and feels guilty or fearful if she isn't thinking constructively.
She has a spiritual reference (God, the Universe, Spirit, Higher Self) and may engage in a spiritual practice. She has trouble with meditation because her mind is constantly busy. She loves self-help books, psychology, and spirituality (especially relationship books, Law of Attraction, and codependency). She loves to read or learn about these things so she can fix her problems. When an issue arises, a book or self-help source soothes her. She feels in control of the problem.

She is afraid to let go of control. She has difficulty relaxing and will often need to eat, drink, or distract herself with Internet use to relax.
She is constantly thinking about the future and the next moment. She’d like to have more fun or nurturing activities, but can’t give herself permission or justify them. She often feels overwhelmed and drained. Her feelings seem to vacillate between anxious and depressed.
She can be found working on her computer either from home or at coffee shops, running errands, and taking care of the people in her life. She enjoys bookstores and self-growth classes. She has a creative side, though it is undeveloped and not given priority. She has a worldly cause she believes in that she may or may not be aware of yet. She enjoys people and has friends, but doesn’t make relationships a priority – this can be because of lack of time or lack of energy.

She has difficulty trusting or being intimate with men. She often attracts untrustworthy or needy men. (Or this could describe her relationship to a husband.)

Her greatest desire is to learn to love herself. She realizes she doesn’t treat herself well and wants to change. Yet she feels caught in shame or guilt when taking steps toward this.

She is tired of feeling anxious and depressed. She wants to feel better about herself and her relationships but does not know how, despite the self-help books.

She is attracted to my sense of self-acceptance, non-judgment, safety, optimism, and trust in myself and a Higher Power for my safety and future.

She is ready to work with me because she sees my story and wants the balance and security I’ve achieved within myself. She feels seen and safe.

I offer her a place to begin to get to know her own feelings and emotions without fear. I show her how to feel her feelings in a way that will allow, heal them, and lead her to hear her own Inner Voice. She feels encouraged to listen to and take action toward her own needs and self-care. She experiences more self-love, self-compassion, and self-trust.

She feels more settled in her body and is able to feel good about herself and her decisions. When she makes a mistake, she sees the growth and good without shame. Though life may present her challenges, she feels more confident in herself and in life to take care of her. She is able to be with others in a way that allows her to be real and unafraid. She is able to lovingly set boundaries. Her relationship with herself and others are healthier because she is different inside. She now honors herself and is able to present with others in a way that honors them.

New ideas and desires arise in her as a result. She is more in touch with her body, needs, and emotions. She knows more of what she needs and where her limits are. She knows herself and how to take care of herself under stress. She has the resources, tools, and knowledge to handle her life. She can hear own Inner Voice and feels empowered to take risks towards what she desires.

Behavioral Regulation-1-Through-Family-Play

“Play is a uniquely adaptive act, not subordinate to some other adaptive act; but with a special function of its own in human experience.”

Johan Huizinga

Families with children with behavioral disorders...

...may not remember how to play, have fun, and spend peaceful times with each other. Rather, energy is spent in repeating relationships.

When I step in to coach this type of family, who have forgotten, the concept of joy and family time is often painfully absent. Rather, focus is shaped amidst the turmoil and enormous energy spent caring for a child with difficult behaviors.

As parents practice new skills to calm their internal landscapes as well as the environments of their homes, they must also re-learn how to have fun. A vital part of healing the family is reintroducing fun, connective activities, joy and humor into the schedule. A new module in the Coaching Families With Special Needs In Behavioral Regulation provides practical information to help coaches and parents co-create a plan for repairing relationships through family fun.

The other day, when I was in town, I witnessed a shocking event. A funeral procession was slowly making its way down Main Street.. The hearse appeared to have engine trouble at the top of the hill. Suddenly, the back doors of the hearse burst open, and the coffin flew out the back of the vehicle! A few people screamed as the coffin skidded down the street and crashed into a pharmacy at the bottom of the hill. Remarkably, it came to a stop right in front of the pharmacist’s desk. In a flash the lid popped open, and the guy inside asked the pharmacist, “Doctor, doctor! Can you give me something to stop this awful coffin?”

NOTE: What just happened in your brain and body?

Some significant processes occurred in your neurophysiology that have the power to alter not only the way you feel, but also your perception and outlook on past, present, and future situations.

How does the joke relate to self-regulation and repairing family relationships?

[ctt template="5" link="ueYc6" via="yes" ]Laughter IS the best medicine. No, really! It’s true. We had a decent laugh over the joke I just told, and each of you are still benefiting from its effects. @parent_coach[/ctt]

Laughter and humor cause the brain to release ‘feel-good’ endorphins that flood  bodies and minds with well-being. Laughter causes us to breathe deeper and fills our lungs and bodies with stress busting oxygen. The wonderful combination of endorphins and oxygen culminates in a feeling of happiness.

Studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic as recently as 2013, show that laughter and smiling relieves depression, anxiety, and helps the body to produce natural painkillers. Additionally, positive self-affirming thoughts, release neuropeptides that improve our immune systems and help us fight stress. This strikes at the heart of our topic.

Neuropeptides make it easier for us to cope in difficult situations. Here are the chemical reactions we WANT to occur more regularly in the brains and bodies of disorganized and dysregulated families and children. This is just the prescription families need to coax them back to emotional balance and relationship; only, they do not know if you are a parenting coach, who arrives to model and teach this concept.

[ctt template="5" link="bza94" via="yes" ]Now, here is the challenge. How do you coach the long-suffering, overwhelmed parents to initiate a plan to have fun while they are still suffering the after effects of secondary trauma and high stress? @parent_coach[/ctt]

 

Here are some of the challenges you face.

  • Some parents do not believe they will ever have fun or smile again.
  • Others ache to smile light-heartedly and long to regain some of their previous carefree lives.
  • Some parents have convinced themselves that a strict schedule where the child accounts for every minute of the day is the only sane way to keep their child on the straight and narrow; therefore, they do not have time for fun.
  • Others are resentful and angry because of the extreme difficulties a behavioral child brings to the family dynamic, resulting in radical changes in lifestyle.
  • Parents, brothers and sisters have learned to live compartmentalized and disjointed lives in the chaos and conflict that sometimes ensues when living with a child with disruptive behaviors.

All of these caregivers may believe the simple pleasures of life are long lost. It is likely that none of them know how to break current ingrained negative patterns of interacting and bring family together again in playful ways.

Been There Too!

Referring to my personal experience, I recall feeling old, tired, depleted, and played out. (No pun intended!) However, the words of George Bernard Shaw are appropriate here:, “We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”

We know that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and this is true for parents and kids alike. The ramifications of a life without the emotional glue of experiencing happiness, love and joyful interactions with those persons who mean the most to us are profoundly limiting.

So, how do we draw our hard pressed and pressured caregivers out of their old paradigms and beliefs and into the lighter side of life? Here is the four step secret formula to help families begin to have fun together, even while dark clouds linger.

  1. Administer fun in small measured daily doses.
  2. Monitor frequently for signs of heightened stress or conflict.
  3. Troubleshoot prevention, intervention, and exit and salvage strategies with parents should activities show signs of spiraling downward.
  4. Reflection of the effects on each family member is encouraged.

See also Behavioral Regulation 2 and Behavioral Regulation 3

 

Enroll Now in Coaching Families with Special Needs in Behavior Regulation

Family Consultants Coach Communication Skills

. How we parents communicate and demonstrate conversations with our children speaks louder than any intention or goal. A parent coach or family consultant trains parents and family members in communications skills. How are your communications skills?

 

Not Like This

"Caron, speak up." My father screamed. Other statements he used were....

"Quit mumbling. Stop mumbling. You are driving me nuts."

"Quit mumbling. 

My father was a man with a hearing loss, probably acquired from his stent of service in the second world war. He boasted how he was lucky to be alive despite the shard of metal in his brain. He drank a lot which often resulted in being a happy drunk until he couldn't hear what one of his children said. Then, his short fuse resulted in the not-so-nice screaming bout.

The story of my father demonstrates how truly important establishing two-way communication within families is. Two-way communication implies two people are speaking, but also listening, as well as respecting, opinions and solutions. Two-way communication suggests that listening receives as much respect as speaking. 

Communication styles are characterized by the way people want to appear and be heard:

  • People want to look (or attempt to appear) a certain way when communicating. For example, it was necessary to my father that he raised his voice and corrected me because he was the "boss." 

 Unclear, poor communication leaves family members unhappy and lonely. If your communication skills are lacking, then a family member may be miserable and feel alone. These tips can help you improve the opportunities for being heard, speaking your truth, and inviting conversations with your children. 

Ten Right-Way Communication Skills for the Home 

Fostering a more favorable environment in your home includes offering opportunities for discussions and space for disagreements, Try these communication strategies

1. Be open and honest with one another. While being honest, be kind when saying something that may cause a family member any distress. Children are more receptive to calm voices, kind words, and tone of voice, but then, isn't everyone? 

2. Have some fun each day. Family fun doesn't have to take up a lot of time. It can be as simple as having ice cream cones or playing with your pets. Simple tasks or rituals make a significant difference in how the communication flows in a home, mainly when people are engaged in functions together. 

3. Set priorities for chores that everyone must do. Agree on who does what chores and when they should do them, so everyone participates in age-appropriate tasks. Write them on a chore chart ahead of time to prevent arguments! 

4. Keep privacy boundaries. Adults and kids both need their privacy on a regular basis. Ensure that the kids understand the importance of respecting this priority.

5. Have a family meeting each week to discuss family issues. Find a time in which everyone in the family can attend. Hold the meeting every week, preferably at the same time. In the meeting, let each family member speak their mind, even if it's a complaint. Solve challenges, run ideas by each other, and make plans for the future together.

6. Allow free time. Everyone needs some time to do things on their own or with their friends.  Meeting this need will help each family member feel more satisfied, fulfilled, and open to communicating.

7. Spend holidays and special events together as a family. Strengthen your family bond with special occasion family traditions. Let the kids share their ideas about the occasion, too.

8. Establish a weekly family night. Make time just to enjoy being together. Watch movies, play games, or have story time. Encourage laughter and open communication.

9. Learn to negotiate. Learning to compromise and come up with win-win solutions for everyone involved is a priceless skill that will serve your family members well throughout their lives.

10. Say, "I love you." Each day, remember to show your spouse and kids how much you love them. Share loving, encouraging words and hugs freely throughout the day - even if it's a hard day, especially if it's a hard day!)

A happy home promotes a supportive place to live, play, and look forward to the future! A comfortable home welcomes your loved ones when they return from work or other outings. They can leave the stresses of the outside world behind as they enter the warm sanctuary of home. Practice these communication strategies to create an inviting environment in your home because you shape the foundation for your child's ability to get along in life. 

Fulfill Your Calling and Train as a Family Coach

Why Success Habits Must Evolve

Success habits should not be set in stone because you constantly evolve. As you grow and change so do your habits because you will be redefining your goals and plans.

To create success habits, one essential is that you know what you want to achieve and why you want it. When you feel confident in your “why,” then you can make your commitment to creating it. This requires you to understand how you will change and how this affects your daily life.

You create a plan and there is an end goal.

You evaluate your plan every day to ensure that you are on the right path.

Following these two steps are prime examples of successive steps. Success habits require commitment and focus. To maintain these, you need a positive mindset and to be emotionally invested in achieving your goal. Without these, you could lose interest and momentum. Eventually, you might allow negative self-talk and behaviors to interfere with your practice and plans.

If your end goal changes then put the new goal into your plan and re-check every step to ensure that you remain committed and able to achieve the goal.

It may be that your original goal was to wake at 6.00 am every day as this would give you 2 extra hours before the start of your normal working day’s routine. Waking early is a success habit adopted by the majority of successful people as they understand the importance of time and routine. You may find that 2 hours is not enough time to complete the tasks that you feel are essential for reaching your goal and that you feel stressed and inefficient instead of positive and well planned.

You could re-plan and go to bed slightly earlier so that you can get up at 5.00 am. This would give you an extra hour in the morning to complete the tasks you feel are essential for a successful start to your day. Looking at these small changes in routines and not hesitating to make necessary shifts truly serves to strengthen your habits.

Your day can start in a positive way. This sets you up for success from the start.  Develop a morning routine that works for you. It should include a healthy nutritious breakfast, as well as activity that will provide positive motivation for the day ahead. This will probably involve Planning different activities such as exercise, reading, listening to audio recordings, studying, yoga, self-hypnosis, visualization or using positive affirmations.

What works for you? Success routines take trial and error and also involve using different methods depending on the habit you are trying to create and the end goal. Being flexible is crucial. Flexibility ensures that when a change occurs, you view it in a positive light, accept it and go with it.

As you change and your business evolves, your routines may also change. You will want to evaluate which success habits you need. Don’t be afraid to change them, as the changes will create more commitment and focus. For your ultimate goal to be achieved you need to undertake the constant evaluation of your mindset, your habits, strengths, weaknesses, motivation, and goal. This constant re-evaluation will help you create success habits that work for you and not against you.

Success habits should not be set in stone. In fact, they constantly evolve because you will be redefining your goals and plans.

For you to be successful in creating habits, know what you want to achieve and why you want it. You need to committed to creating it and this requires you to understand why it is important to you. How it you change as a result? How will your life evolve?

Success habits require commitment and focus. To maintain both, create a positive mindset and to be emotionally invested in achieving your goal. It is too easy to lose interest and momentum without those goals lingering in your thoughts. If your end goal changes then put the new goal into your plan and re-check every step to ensure that you remain committed and able to achieve the goal.

It may be that your original goal was to wake at 6.00 am every day as this would give you two extra hours before the start of your normal working routine. Waking early is a success habit adopted by the majority of successful people as they understand the importance of time and routine. You may find that 2 hours is not enough time to complete the tasks that you feel are essential for reaching your goal and that you feel stressed and inefficient instead of positive and well planned.

Success Planning

You could re-plan and go to bed slightly earlier so that you can get up at 5.00 am. This would give you an extra hour in the morning to complete the tasks you feel are essential for a successful start to your day.

Start your day in a positive way! This sets you up for success from the start. Developing a morning routine will work for you.

Do you a healthy nutritious breakfast?

Do you have an exercise routine?

Do you read inspiring affirmation for your positive mindset?

Do you hold a specific goal in your mind that represents the day’s accomplishments?

Do you have life activities for reducing stress and promoting positivity, such as exercise, reading, listening to audio recordings, yoga, self-hypnosis, visualization or using positive affirmations?

It is important that you find what works for you depending on the habit you are trying to create and the end goal. Being flexible is crucial. Flexibility ensures that when change occurs you view it in a positive light, accept it and go with it.

As you change and grow, creating the success is so deeply satisfying. For your ultimate goal to be achieved, continue to evaluate your mindset,  habits, strengths, motivation, and goal. This constant re-evaluation will help you create success habits that work for you and not against you.