Make no mistake, stress can cause death, actually stress is the first cause of diseases such as heart attack, high blood pressure and many more. According to research, low level stress can raise the risk of fatal heart attacks and stroke by twenty per cent.
Did you know that your personality affects the way you cope with stressors in your life? Some people cope fine with levels of stress that others would find crippling. Our reactions to stress are partly inborn and partly learned throughout our lifetime. Everyone reacts to stress, it just depends on the level of stress you can handle before symptoms arise. Some people are really quite ‘bomb proof’ and seem to cope fine with a multitude of stressful situations, but even they will eventually react once the pressure becomes too much for them.
As we live our everyday lives stress builds up until, like an overfull water barrel, it overflows and symptoms appear. Using the water barrel simile, if you open the water barrel tap and let some stress out every-so-often then the barrel is less likely to overflow, and no matter what your personality, you will cope better.
How do you turn on the ‘tap’ to reduce the pressure? There are many different ways to reduce stress, the way that will work best for you will depend on your personality. Some people find relaxation / meditation is the best way to relieve stress, but it has to be done regularly to have any real effect. Other types of people find that taking part in energetic sports works best for them.
Whether you relax or work out will depend on your personality and your approach to life in general. One thing is certain, we all need to keep an eye on our stress levels and work consistently to reduce them, because stress related illnesses are common and emotional problems caused by poorly controlled stress levels can effect us all whether we are the sufferer ourselves or effected by a close colleague / friend or relative’s problem.
Use the check lists below to find out which personality type fits you best.
If you are a perfectionist:
- Obviously, everything must be perfect, you just can’t leave it alone.
- If you make even one little mistake you want to repeat the whole process.
- You dislike your routine being disrupted.
- You get upset when others do not do their job properly, and may take over, increasing your work load.
- You can’t rest till the job is done to your satisfaction, no matter how long it takes.
- You do all your work to your own, self-imposed, superhuman standards.
- You react badly to emergencies or change.These people create their own stress by being too hard on themselves. They need to be more realistic and forgiving of themselves. You will probably find that relaxation helps, just let yourself have time off, build leisure time and relaxation breaks into your daily routine.