Stress Susceptibility: The Connection Between Stress and Personality Traits
People who experience stressful life events tend to overeat and develop stress-related conditions, such as high blood pressure, or worse yet, a heart attack. Have you ever wondered why some people can deal better with stressful situations than others? Here’s why your attitudes or issues make you more prone to being stressed out and prone to its unhealthy effects, such as weight gain, frequent headaches, hypertension, heart disease, forgetfulness, frequent colds, and neck/back pain to name just a few?
Individual Differences in Stress Susceptibility
Why Do Some People Get More Stressed Than Others?
Stress is encountered in almost every aspect of your life and is a major cause of not being able to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan, but the degree in which people experience stress lies in their attitudes. Do you tackle life with a positive outlook or are you easily defeated?
If you possess any of the following nine attitudes or issues, you could be the source of your own stress. Are you…
✔️Impatient – If you’re impatient, You are critical of how others perform. You expect others to work, walk, drive (you name it) faster. If other people don’t meet your lightning speed standards, you boil over inside and are never at peace.
✔️A perfectionist – If you’re a perfectionist, you strive to be perfect in all the things you do. Since it’s not possible to be “perfect”, you often feel anxiety, disappointment, pressure, and a sense of failure.
✔️Always ‘on the go’ – If you’re unable to relax, you’re always working and jumping from one project or chore to another. You never stop to relax and calm your body and mind. This builds up to what’s called a “deadly stress momentum”. It’s not the act of keeping busy that causes your tension and angst, it’s when you continually push yourself that builds stress.
✔️Powerless – If you’re in a role, whether at home or at work, where your feelings or opinions are not respected or heard, you feel unimportant and thus, feel an inner contempt. Practice asserting yourself to diminish your susceptibility to stress.
✔️Angry and explosive – If you’re angry, you’re often loud, explosive and mad about people and things. You may have heard it’s good to “let go” of your feelings and not let them build up inside, but there are more constructive ways to control your anger before it controls you.
✔️Rigid – If you’re rigid, you always find something to be upset about. It’s difficult for you to accept another opinion or a different way of doing something, therefore, you argue a lot.
✔️Obsessed with competition – If you’re excessively competitive, you’re ALWAYS competing which creates unnecessary pressure in your life. Not only do you want to win in sports, but you want to win in other areas of your life, such as in making more money, buying the bigger house, nicer car or clothes, etc. Your happiness is contingent on whether you’re “winning” and thus, you’re in a constant state of stress.
✔️Humorless and unenthusiastic – If you have a “sour attitude”, you bring about your own stress. Learning to laugh and feel excitement can ignite some enthusiasm about life. You are fuming inside (perhaps depressed) and full of self-contempt.
✔️Chronically ill – If you have a chronic illness or condition, this can lead to relentless stress. Managing your plan of care, such as selecting your practitioners and type of therapies (conventional or alternative) can help. You will be less prone to stress when you have better control over your treatment.
Karen’s Fit Tip: You may not be able to control stressful situations, but you can control the way you react to them. By journaling your feelings, you become more aware of the things that cause you stress. When you’re aware of your stress and what triggers it, you can develop a strategy to manage it.
Source: The Permanente Medical Group, Healthy Lifestyles and Weight Management