Stressful Personality Traits

Beyond our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs which increase the stress we experience, known as internal stressors, we also have personality traits which can create or increase our stress levels on a regular basis. Essentially, if you’re a “control freak,” you are adding stress to your life – and to the lives of those you love.

Highly competitive individuals, multi-taskers, over-organizers, and anyone who lacks the ability to truly relax regularly are just a few examples of “personality stressors.” These individuals tend to create or increase their own stress levels unconsciously, by their very behaviors, behaviors which may also have profound effects on those around them. We call these stressful personality traits and, – Hallelujah – they can be changed.

Check out this list of 10 Stressful Personality Traits and ask yourself, “Are any of these people me?”

  1. Multi-tasking – is generally considered a valuable personality trait. However, trying to do everything at once may not be the most efficient use of your time, and many of the details may be lost, which may actually lead to increased stress levels.
  2. Over-planning – or over scheduling, can lead to a huge increase in stress levels. After all, what happens if you “fall behind?” How will you ever “catch up?”
  3. Urgency addiction – when everything is “urgent,” nothing is important. Understanding the difference will lead to reduced stress levels.
  4. Win-at-all-costs compulsion – no matter who pays the cost, is not a good way to build relationships, and will eventually lead to unrealistic expectations of your own performance.
  5. Advancement addict – needs constant reinforcement from others of their worth and value. Know yourself, and your value, instead.
  6. Impatience – cannot handle delays – for any reason. The increased sense of urgency in multiple situations will only add to your stress levels.
  7. Workaholic – has a problem with compulsion; literally, the inability to stop working. The physical and mental stress caused by this compulsion will nearly always lead to disaster.
  8. Commitment addict – will always have an over-full schedule, which will usually result in missed connections or tardiness, leading to increased urgency and – more stress.
  9. Overly competitive – individuals just can’t seem to have fun. Everything is a challenge, similar to the win-at-all-costs personality. Remember, the world will not end if your brother-in-law beats you at ping pong.
  10. 10.  Relaxation negation – the inability to relax and enjoy a bit of time off, to simply enjoy some down-time, is a huge stressor. When even a simple bike ride with a friend becomes a competition, rather than a time of sharing and enjoying each other’s company, you are in relaxation negation mode.
(Some of the information contained herein was gleaned from or enhanced by the article, “10 High-Stress Personality Characteristics: Chronic Stress Isn't Normal” – By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer & Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer)

Only by identifying and understanding our internal stressors can we even begin to hope to make the changes that will reduce the amount of stress we cause ourselves. While it may not be possible to reduce the number of external stressors you experience regularly, commuter traffic is as commuter traffic does, we can work on the stressors we cause ourselves.

Whatever you choose to do to relieve stress in your life, be consistent and committed and you will find success.

And that’s good enough.

If you believe you need help identifying your internal stressors and managing your stressful personality traits, as well as developing strategies to deal with them, get in touch with us today.


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