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Type A Personality Advise Tips
June 8, 2005
1:29 pm
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angel4U
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Copied this from my results of the test too. The suggestions they give are very helpful, and I have used many of them myself to help me relax and get balance back in my life.

Advice & Tips for transforming a Type A Personality

People should not consider so much what they are to do, as what they are.
-Master Eckhart

In a culture in which the supreme goal is to have -and to have more and more - and in which one can speak of someone as "being worth a million dollars", is it any wonder there are many people with Type A personalities? We live in a society centered around things rather than around persons. The character structure of the average individual and the socioeconomic structure of the society of which s/he is a part are interdependent.

In today's competitive corporate world, our relationship to the world is one of owning, one that concentrates on material possession, acquisitiveness, control, and aggressive drive. Thirst for money, fame, and power has become the most prevailing themes in our lives. This mode of existence comes to shape our character; determining the totality of our thinking, feeling, and acting.

We mustn't forget that acquisition is only one possible orientation. Social analyst Dr. Erich Fromm in his work "To Have or To Be?" reminds us of another fundamental mode of existence struggling for the attention of humankind: the 'being' mode. The 'being' mode of existence is one in contrast to 'having'. It is based on sharing and on meaningful activity. It means being alive and authentically related to the world.

If persons with Type A personality want to transform their lifestyle, they should look upon the task in terms of what they need. They should not only get rid of the unhealthy beliefs and behaviors, but also replace them with ones that will work even better for them. Then they are on to something with a much greater potential for success.

Quality in performance results from patience, concentration and a broadened perspective, combined with ability and motivation. People with Type A personalities may have ability and motivation similar to those with Type B, if not better, but they lack the essential ingredients necessary for sustained success, personal satisfaction and overall quality of life.

Below are some helpful suggestions.

Accept yourself for who you are
Self-acceptance is the first step on the road to a successful life. It's important to remember that acceptance isn't about giving up. It's about finding joy in your life by coming to terms with who you are right now.

Let go of envy
Envy is a tough emotion to manage, but if you don't control it, it will control you. Envy makes us prisoners of other people's image issues as well as our own. It is a negative emotion; it keeps you from appreciating the positive aspects of your own life; and it totally distorts your sense of reality. Remember, self-acceptance is the first step on the road to a successful life.

Stop putting off living
People who exhibit Type A behavior put off relationships, love, friendships, and personal growth. They postpone developing interests, furthering talents, and fostering creativity. They defer days in the country and they put off getting enough sleep. They keep anticipating 'tomorrow' and forgetting about 'right now'. If you aren't living in the here-and-now, you're not living. Try to notice and take pleasure in the little things, take the time to appreciate what you have, whether in terms of material things, relationships, experience, etc.

Know when to compete and when to let go
Many people who know Type A persons would complain that they are arrogant. Their emphasis on "winning and losing" is intimidating and grating. Most people feel they couldn't (or wouldn't want to) "keep up with a Type A". Type As don't care; they are winners and that's all that matters. If you are a Type A, you should recognize your accomplishments, give yourself a pat on the back, and leave the winning to others from time to time. Learn to let go. We've all been taught to compete, to do everything we can to win. But there are so many times when the game isn't worth playing. We all need to learn to save our energy for the important battles, and to let go of those things that don't count in the long run. There is so much that happens in the course of our life that is not ultimately important to our welfare. Learn to distinguish what really matters and pick your battles.

Learn how to express your emotions in a healthy manner
The most "toxic" personality traits of Type A people are frequent reactions of hostility and anger. A tendency to cope with unpleasant events in a rigid, unemotional manner is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and the development and progression of cancer. Therefore, learning to express your emotions in a healthy, constructive way will increase your chances of living a long healthy life. You should work on improving your communication skills -there are non-threatening ways of letting others now how you feel, your listening skills, and your conflict and anger management skills.

Know how to make small improvements
Everyone can change his or her life. The question is how much and how fast. Many of us envision change as something sweeping to the point of exhilaration. By viewing change only in giant steps, we paralyze ourselves and block ourselves from taking all those little steps that are the stuff that real change is made of. Taking little steps has the added advantage of continuous encouragement - big steps might seem insurmountable, but small changes are quite feasible. Don't forget to acknowledge the small victories.

Take good care of yourself
Getting enough sleep, eating properly, exercising regularly - basic stuff. But it is the stuff we tend to ignore. There is only one problem: we can't do that without ultimately paying the price. Stop making yourself function on too little rest, nutrients, and exercise. It will not work in the long run. It's probably not even working today. Do you need to change your habits? Make a sensible plan and start working on it today.

Spend time with the people who care about you
Everyone needs to feel accepted. Acceptance provides a relaxed feeling, a sense of belonging, of contentment and well-being. Spend time with those to whom you can admit your greatest fears, shortcomings, failures, and anxieties, with whom can you come forward secure with the knowledge that you can be your real self. A polished image need not be presented to anyone worth knowing. True friends will be happy for your success but won't view it as a prerequisite to friendship.

Find time to play
Recreation means play time, and nobody can achieve a balanced life without finding time for play. There is a difference between recreation and going out a lot. Getting involved in some real recreation means spending time doing those things you enjoy, with people you like, in a way that is meaningful to you and to them. That means you are fully "there" and involved with the experience, not trying to win and not just going through the motions.

Give yourself a break
Schedule "down" time for yourself, and make sure you stick to it. Turn off your phone, say no to any social invitation, promise not to let yourself feel guilty and then do something you enjoy. Unwind, pamper yourself...and make it a habit. And remember, 'rest' doesn't have to mean sitting idle on a couch all day. Rest can involve varying behavior that breaks from what you were doing before. You rest from one thing by doing something different. It is important that you expand your definition of relaxation and rest as 'state of mind' and not an absence of physical or mental activity.

Take care of your own spiritual development
Whether you define it as your connection to the divine, your connection to the planet, or your connection to yourself, taking care of your inner spirit is an essential ingredient to leading a successful life.

Re-examine your long-term goals
Are you doing what you want to be doing with your life? From the vantage point of your deathbed, what do you want to be able to say about how you spent these years?

Re-examine your short-term goals
Remind yourself of the things you have already accomplished rather than just those you still need to accomplish. Do this daily. A moment of reflection can help keep things in perspective.

Put balance in your life
Do you do nothing but work and worry? If so, you're stuck, so what you have to do is break free. To get your life back into balance, you have to introduce change. You need to try to live in a balanced way. Make an effort to find appropriate recreational outlets, to relate to others in a more balanced fashion, and to accept yourself for who you are. And don't get discouraged because you can't change your life overnight.

Enjoy the process
People who feel they have successful lives uniformly emphasize the fact that success is a process. It would appear that when it comes to the business of living, the process is everything. Though having goals is instrumental, there are really no final end points. Things continue to evolve. Goals change; we change. If you can't take part in the process, if you live only for some moment in the distant future, you are cheating yourself and those who love you. So remember, the process is everything. Enjoy it and appreciate it while it's happening.

Improve your coping skills
Coping with stress is not automatic. It requires effort and learned techniques to manage (not control) the situation. Health, positive outlook, social support, and social skills are all soldiers in each individual's personal stress-defeating army.

Strategies for dealing with stress depend on the problem and the person. By being aware of the problems, what is making you stressed out and why, you can wisely choose your shield. Here are some suggestions:

Tackle one thing at a time:
Don't try to do too much at once; you'll only end up doing a so-so job, and won't truly get the best out of every experience.
Don't get overly caught up in competitiveness:
Sure, you want to want to succeed and a little bit of competition is healthy - but too much can push you towards the brink of burnout. Ask yourself if being number one is really worth jeopardizing your health.
Don't try to be perfect:
Setting extremely high standards for yourself will only amount to added pressure. Accept that you are human, and forgive yourself for making mistakes once in awhile. Learn to appreciate errors as learning experiences.
Know your limits:
Just as you should be able to say "no" to others, you should also learn to say "no" to yourself. While you may think you have to have a sparkling clean house or you need to belong to a certain organization, you also need to respect that you simply can't do everything - and that some things are just not as essential as you think they are.

Simplify:
Sometimes we've got so much going on in our lives at the same time that the only way we can deal with it is to shut down. Avoid that happening to you by making your life less complicated. That might mean taking on fewer activities, cutting back work hours or even moving to a smaller house.
Exercise:
Not only does regular exercise promote good health and high self-esteem, but according to research, it battles anxiety and depression. Exercise releases tension, stress and endorphins (feel-good hormones). Try working out (half an hour of walking, running, bicycling, swimming, etc.) at least 3 times a week. Being outside in nature is also a naturally soothing experience (and an added bonus for walking, biking and running). Take a yoga class or buy a yoga book. Yoga is an excellent way to integrate mental and physical well-being.

Meditate:
Find a book about meditation and practice daily, or join a group. This relaxing activity allows you to detach from all the clutter that is filling your mind. It helps you to gain perspective and to accept the present situation. If you are not into this, try to sit back and listen to music, without doing anything else.

Learn to say no:
If you are really overloaded, it is in everybody's best interest that you not take on anymore. If you just can't handle an extra project at work, or find the time to meet your friends for dinner, say so. Assess what is really important to you and cut out those components of your life that aren't integral to your happiness and personal success.
Nurture your spiritual side:
Paying attention to your spiritual nature, whether it means attending church or walking outside to connect with nature, can help calm those feelings of anxiety that can creep up on us unsuspectingly. Take time to figure out what your inner self needs to stay nurtured, and keep tuned in!

Laugh:
Laughter is an excellent stress-buster. Make an effort to see funny movies, hang out with a hilarious friend, or do whatever it is that makes you giggle.
Break routine occasionally:
Increase your ability to adapt to new situations and people by trying little variations on your life routines. Talk to someone you don't normally socialize with at work/school, visit a different part of town, cook something exotic. Flexibility will make you better able to adjust to changes that come along in the future.

Cut nasty habits:
Alcohol and cigarettes only weaken your personal arsenal against stress. Even though a cigarette or drink may initially relax or calm you down, the after-effects are such that you'll end up feeling worse than you were before the drink or smoke. As with other drugs, alcohol physiologically brings you down and intensifies your negative feelings once the initial high subsides. While moderate indulgence might not be hazardous, it is best to avoid drinking during high stress. If you are a smoker, giving up the habit will give your mind and body an extra boost against the dangers of stress.

Seek help if you can't cope:
When Type A people experience stress, their heart rate and blood pressure climb higher than with more easygoing people. Don't be afraid to get professional help if you just aren't coping. You wouldn't hesitate to see a doctor if you were physically under the weather, would you? And don't wait until you need medical attention.

June 8, 2005
2:31 pm
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Rasputin
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Angel4u,

Thank you so much for these precious information and literature. They are an answer to a prayer!!! God bless you richly!!!

(((Hugs)))

June 8, 2005
2:36 pm
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angel4U
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Your very welcome, Raz. Anytime, sweetie!!! Is this for school?

June 8, 2005
2:43 pm
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Rasputin
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No, but I used to be workaholic and now I am recovered workaholic; so I have to watch out for relapses.

June 8, 2005
2:49 pm
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sewunique
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I had to take a peck in here, you two. Thanks, angel4u for taking the time to research this and share it with us. You are really a special person.

Well, ladies, I for one am saving this article to have for my own reminders.

Life is good.

Life IS good.

Life is GOOD.

Heck, live a little;

LIFE is good!

As one of my favorite lines from Auntie Mame is from Rosalind Russell............"life is a banquet, and most damn fools are starving to death...so live, live, live!"

Apologes to Ms. Russell, not sure if I quoted it in the correct sequence, but you get the idea.

June 8, 2005
2:53 pm
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angel4U
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Me too! The biggest step was to start saying no, and clearly letting my boss know what I could and could not handle. Unfortunately my last boss was not so nice, and had high expectations anway. In these situations, the only option you have if you are doing the others is to change positions/bosses or jobs.

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