Your Personality & Stress Resilience



A few years ago, stress was something that came in waves and affected us all at some point. But we’ve never had a period like the past year where the entire planet has been placed under a significant amount of stress, all at the same time.


We react to stress differently, and what may help is examining how YOU particularly respond to different situations, so that you can be aware of your triggers – and care for yourself better.


While there is no blueprint for personality types (because the world is filled with a range of unique human beings that can’t all be classified), we can try and see if we lean towards one of the below categories. Knowledge is power after all, so the more we know about ourselves – the better.


  1. Type A


It may surprise you to discover that this well-known personality type was first described in the 1950s by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, who argued that it was a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease. Type As are highly competitive, organised, ambitious, impatient and even aggressive.


This type of person may experience anger and hostility more often, which can lead to significant health problems including hypertension. Instead of lashing out in a stressful situation, these types should try and remember to breathe and pause, considering why they’re feeling this way and what the best course of action could be. Establishing more social connections also helps Types A's deal with stress better, as this makes them feel less isolated (another typical Type A problem).


  1. Type B


Type B's are generally less competitive, more relaxed and less stressed in general. This means that they are less likely to experience tension-related conditions, but this certainly doesn’t exclude them from ever feeling stressed or anxious. The good thing is that when they are stressed, Type B's tend to reach out and ask others for help, which is always a good idea in these situations.


While it’s great that stress visits them less often, Type B's tend to be less disciplined when it comes to maintaining healthy habits like eating well and exercising, which can have a negative impact on their health in a different way.


  1. The worriers


Neurotic people are those who tend to respond to small or minor stressors with very strong or intense emotions. They worry excessively about the future and find it very difficult to live in the NOW. Because they feel stressed by nearly everything, this can have a serious impact on their mental and physical health, sometimes leading to mental disorders. Worriers also tend to be less sociable, spending more time alone – which doesn’t help as they don’t share their concerns with others. If this sounds like you, you need to put some firm preventative strategies in place and try control your worry. This could include relaxation techniques, speaking to friends or a professional, or taking up activities that inspire and distract you.


While your personality might lend itself to the way you inherently deal with stress, it’s comforting to know that coping skills can be developed and strengthened, improving your resilience to life’s challenges.


Resilient people are aware of situations, their own emotional reactions, and the behaviour of those around them. A few key characteristics of individuals with strong coping skills include:


  • Sense of control: a belief that your actions will affect the outcome of events.
  • Problem-solving skills: you’re able to sensibly analyse a problem and envision a solution.
  • Strong social connections: having people that you can talk to about a challenge provides a sounding board and alternative perspectives and solutions.
  • Identifying as a survivor and not a victim.
  • Ability to ask for help: being resourceful is essential but it’s also important to know when to ask for assistance.  

Resilience does not eliminate stress, but it enables you to possess the mental outlook that allows you to tackle challenges head-on, overcome adversity, learn from the experience and prosper.


Want to better understand the mental health benefits offered through your medical scheme? Click here or Contact your Sasfin Healthcare Consultant today.

About the Author

Charleen Rix
Head of Healthcare, Sasfin Wealth

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