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Stress And Personality: Factors that Influence your Stress Stress and Personality When I was 25, I got testicular cancer and nearly died. I don’t know why I am still alive. I can only guess. I have a tough constitution and my profession taught me how to compete against long odds and big obstacles. —Lance Armstrong Personality • Personality is thought to be comprised of several… – traits; – characteristics; – behaviors; – expressions; – moods; and – feeling as perceived by others. Personality • The complexity of one’s personality is thought to be shaped by: – genetic factors; – family dynamics; – social influences; and – personal experiences. • “Who you really are” is an evolutionary process. Personality types and Stress • Type A behavior • Codependent personality • Helpless-hopeless personality • Hardy personality • Type R personality (sensation seeker) Self-Concept/Self-Esteem • An awareness of who you are as a person and how your personality affects your stress levels is an essential element of a comprehensive stress management program. • An analysis of your strengths and weaknesses lets you target or work on those elements that impact your ability to cope with stress. To raise or maintain your Self- Esteem • Focus on your good qualities. • Try to change or improve your weaknesses • Avoid the statement “I should have” • Focus on who you really are…be true to yourself • Avoid comparisons with others • Reassert yourself and your values • Recognize that every individual has an intrinsic self-worth. Type A Behavior Characteristics • A sense of Time Urgency: – Preoccupied with time, impatient, feels guilty about relaxing. • Polyphasia: Engaging in more than one thought or activity at a time. • Ultra-competiveness: Egocentric, more concerned with quantity than quality • Rapid Speech • Manipulative Control: a desire to influence others, exert dominant control • Hyperagressiveness/Hostility Helpless/Hopeless Personality • Based on an external Locus of Control – perception that external factors control behavior – Often shows signs of apathy and complacency – Takes little responsibility for their actions • Poor self-esteem and low self-motivation • Perceptions of failure dominate • Often associated with emotional dysfunction, depression. Hardy Personality • More resistant to stress and it’s effects • Has a strong Internal locus of control, sense of empowerment, will-power • Has the ability to “just do it” • Has an investment into personal values and potential (high self-esteem) • Sees changes and problems as an opportunity for growth and not as a threat Co-Dependent Personality • Super-overachievers; Perfectionists • Always seeking approval from others • Crisis managers (thrive on chaos) • Loyalty to others • Martyrs (puts others needs first) • “Victims” (always taken advantage of) • Reactionaries (overreact to situations) • Manipulators • Tries to gain a sense of self-importance from others Type “R” personality (sensation seekers) • This is the “sensation-seeking” personality; those people who seek thrills and sensations but take calculated risks in their endeavors • They appear to be dominated by an adventurous spirit. • They are willing to accept challenges, and in fact, thrive on them. Assignment: • 1. What personality characteristics do you have that have a tendency to create stressful situations or increase your levels of stress? • 2. What personality characteristics do you have that help you get through stressful situations? • 3. What two elements of your personality would you like to change the most in order to allow you to cope with stress more effectively? How could this be accomplished?
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