What Your Enneagram Type Means For Managing Stress And Anxiety
We all handle stress differently. However, we perhaps don’t look too deeply as to why that is. Enneagrams, meaning ‘nine points’ in Greek, have a long and complex history. In recent years, they have grown in popularity as a way to better understand personalities and what makes people tick. From this, you can work out exactly how to handle every situation, based on your enneagram type.
In this post, we’ll be focusing on stress and anxiety and how, by understanding your enneagram, you can manage your stress in a way that you know will work well for you.
What Is An Enneagram?
A psychological enneagram is a nine-point diagram that explains your personality through interconnected personality types. Thought to have been developed by the psychiatrist, Claudio Naranjo, enneagrams have been cross-referenced, studied and validated across other psychological constructs as a way of understanding personalities and social styles.
If you’re not sure what enneagram type is the best fit for you, there are lots of free enneagram personality tests available online, like this one.
It is important to note that you’re never just one of the nine types, but you’ll usually have one or two categories that are dominant in your personality.
How Should I Best Manage Stress?
So, now you know what enneagram type you most relate to, you can begin to understand the actions you can take in stressful situations.
For each enneagram type, we’ll uncover the best stressbusting techniques based on your personality.
1. Perfectly Correct
This enneagram type is motivated by their high standards of morals and ethics. It is in their inherent nature to be good and to be perfect.
Stress is likely to come from negative self-judgement and being overly critical of themselves. Stress may also occur when people are not following the rules or are acting immorally or unethically.
The Stressbuster For Self-Criticism
Let it all go. When you’re stressed, you probably have a million thoughts that you just want to vent. This is where freewriting can really help. Freewriting serves two main benefits. To start with, there is no focus on writing perfectly or being grammatically correct. It is just about getting all of your thoughts, ideas and frustrations down on paper. It can teach you to embrace imperfections.
The second benefit is that it is a chance to stop overthinking, and just let your creativity take over to relax you.
2. Selfless Helper
People who fall into Type 2 on the enneagram are typically motivated by their need to please and help others. They may become stressed if their efforts aren’t appreciated, or if they burn out by focusing all of their energy on others. People in this category are givers by nature, but often overlook their own needs; which are vital to prioritise if you want to help others.
The focus on being indispensable to others means that Type 2 individuals will often neglect themselves and lose sight of their own needs, wants and plans.
The Stressbuster For Self-Neglect
The best way to destress as a selfless helper is to reconnect with the self. One of the best ways to do this is through self-reflective meditation. Mirror meditations can be beneficial in reconnecting with who you are.
If you feel uncomfortable with mirror meditations, start by looking into Ho’oponopono meditations which focus on self-acceptance, self-compassion and self-awareness.
3. Always Achieving
Often described as the workaholics, these individuals will focus on their successes and will always be striving to achieve more. However, this determination to succeed may come from a need to promote a positive image and appearance. Sometimes the success driver may be to look good, rather than feel good.
Stress will often come through burnout and the feeling of juggling too many commitments at one time.
The Stressbuster For Workaholics
Relaxation! This is something Type 3 individuals struggle with but is so necessary to reduce stress and avoid burnout. The best way to you get enough rest and relaxation is to make it a goal and a habit. It can help to add ‘rest time’ to your diary before you fill your days with meetings, events, work and self-improvement activities.
By putting relaxation in your diary before anything else, you can commit to following it. It will become a priority, and it will no longer be an activity you’ll squeeze in if you have time.
4. Big Thinker
Type 4 individuals are known for being unique and individual. They like to spend time alone, daydreaming and using their imagination. Typically, Type 4 individuals will become stressed when they are too busy to focus on their creative space and do not have the time to think deeply.
During periods of stress, big thinker types will usually close-off from the world and forget about practical activities. They will look to others to be reliable and to care for them.
The Stressbuster For Busy Thinkers
These individuals will find that the best way to lower stress is through a creative activity. This could be joining an art group, a book club, or a writer’s retreat. By allowing creativity to be the priority, it means that Big Thinkers can refuel and re-inspire their creative energies and big ideas.
5. The Analyst
With an investigative and intuitive mindset, Type 5 individuals can find themselves continually searching for answers and solutions without stopping to ask for help. There is a determination to be self-reliant. Type 5s will use data and logic as fact rather than consider how they are actually feeling.
Stress often comes from being unable to solve a problem by themselves or coming across an issue that they do not understand and cannot logically fix.
The Stressbuster For Data Lovers
By focusing so much on answers and logic, it is easy to get lost in your own head. To combat this, it can help to focus on the body instead. Yoga can be a fantastic stressbuster for this as you switch off your mind and focus on what your body can do and how to move your body to your breath.
After a yoga practice, your mind is likely to be quiet, with fewer racing thoughts.
6. Comfort Seeker
These enneagram types focus their attention on being safe and secure. This often means preparing for every eventuality. For Type 6 individuals, their stress comes from situations that are out of their control. If something takes an unexpected turn, this is likely to cause stress and anxiety.
The Stressbuster For Safety Planners
The way to reduce stress in this situation is to flip the mindset. Instead of worrying about how an event will affect the future, it can help to focus your attention on what the positives are in that moment.
A gratitude journal can be incredibly beneficial as it enables you to take stock of all the positives that are happening right now, so you don’t get too lost in future concerns.
7. Adrenaline Junkie
Type 7 on the enneagram focuses on high energy and fun. Their motivation is to feel good at all times and will do anything to avoid feeling pain or unease. Stress can come when any negativity catches up with them, or when they cannot avert periods of boredom.
With a focus on avoiding stress at all costs, it can be incredibly difficult to cope with negative emotions when there is no escape from them.
The Stressbuster For Negativity Avoiders
While this can feel uncomfortable, Type 7 individuals can benefit from embracing their feelings and accepting all emotions that they may experience. Breathing techniques can be super helpful in allowing individuals to slow down and understand exactly what they are feeling and experiencing.
8. Leading Extrovert
These individuals are not shy to challenge conventions and will fight for what they believe in. In their bid to protect themselves and others, they may find that they build a wall around themselves. They may put barriers in place to stop people from getting to close for fear that others may control them.
Stress can come when Type 8 individuals are being told what to do or when they feel like they do not have free will.
The Stressbuster For Freedom Fighters
Confiding in and trusting a friend is a vital way for Type 8s to reduce their stress. While you may usually prefer group activities, meeting just one trusted friend to talk things through can be really beneficial. It can help you to let your guard down and value the opinions of others.
9. Low Profiler
The last thing Type 9s want is to make a scene. Their focus is on keeping a low profile so that they can keep the peace. In their bid to remove any conflict, they may completely disregard their own thoughts, feelings and opinions. They may focus solely on others that they forget about their own desires.
The stress for these low profilers can come when there is conflict, and they are trying to please too many people to keep the peace.
The Stressbuster For Peacemakers
With the focus on making sure everything is running smoothly, you may neglect your own goals. You may be going along with something that isn’t what you want or need. In these situations, it can help to physically remove yourself from the situation, environment and people that are causing stress.
A walk in nature can be the perfect remedy to help ground your feelings and make sure you have considered your own needs when trying to look after the needs of others.
Tailored Support For Your Enneagram Type
My bespoke therapy packages are tailored around your needs, goals and personality types. So, if there is a concern that you want to address, an obstacle you want to overcome or a goal you want to achieve, I will create a personalised plan that is built around you.
I will focus my energy on really understanding you and your desires before developing a bespoke blended therapy package that works for you. To find out more (and for me to find out more about you!), please book your free consultation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.