Are you Type A for Anxiety?

Good morn­ing my Type A friends.

You know who you are. You are the per­son oth­ers rely upon to get the job done. You show up. You give good sup­port and advice. You’re a good friend. You are read­ing this blog right now because there are oth­er sides to your fab­ulous self…

Anxiety and Type A personalities
Worry cre­ates stress..and the cycle con­tin­ues.
Compliments of thecord.ca

You also worry a bit. Or maybe a lot. You can’t sleep through the night eas­ily, or haven’t slept at all for many, many years. You feel on edge and a bit snappy at times. You check your alarm clock set­tings 10 times before bed to make sure that your alarm has been set to the right wake up time.

You’re not the only one

Type A, or per­fec­tion­ist­ic per­son­al­it­ies, evolve from both an encour­age­ment of the beha­viours from those around us (fam­ily, friends, ment­ors) when we are in our child­hood to teen­aged years. These beha­vi­our­al pat­terns have lots of bene­fits, includ­ing recog­ni­tion, praise, accom­plish­ments, and being in many places at once and doing it well.

What are some of the disadvantages?

You live in fight-or-flight. Adrenaline and cortisol are stress hor­mones that are released to help us to cope with stress­ful events. When we per­ceive some­thing as stress­ful (anti­cip­at­ing a neg­at­ive out­come or being con­cerned that we can­not con­trol an out­come), the hor­mone cortisol or the molecule adren­aline will elev­ate to assist our body to have the energy and tools to get through that stress­ful event. In order to get a job done right, or per­fectly, we rely on these hor­mones and brain molecules (neur­o­trans­mit­ters) like dopam­ine and nore­pineph­rine again and again. Over time, our body gets tired, and the mes­saging gets screwed up.

Type A = anxiety

Anxiety occurs when we typ­ic­ally have too much of these molecules float­ing around in our brain, and too much stress hor­mone float­ing around when it should not be there. We can obsess about events before they hap­pen and because as Type A per­son­al­it­ies we are good at anti­cip­at­ing short­com­ings, we also obsess about our own short­com­ings. A cycle of worry and stress both beha­vi­our­ally and phys­ic­ally starts, and it can be dif­fi­cult to stop the train.

What things are helpful?

Reducing the “jit­ters” — We can start in the body by treat­ing phys­ic­al symp­toms at their root by bal­an­cing hor­mones and brain molecules (neur­o­trans­mit­ters) by adding herbs or vit­am­ins to address defi­cien­cies and excesses (some­times we will test for this).

Introduce new beha­vi­our­al sup­ports — We might start with deep breath­ing exer­cises, start­ing a yoga or med­it­a­tion class series to enhance your body’s abil­ity to get relaxed, hyp­nosis etc.

Introduce new healthy beha­viours — 
Carving out “you time”, learn­ing how to let go.
Friends, fam­ily, or a pro­fes­sion­al who can make you account­able can be really import­ant here — identi­fy­ing our trig­gers and break­ing our nor­mal habits of cop­ing is one of the hard­est things to do.

The most import­ant thing to under­stand is that anxi­ety is that it is nev­er just a phys­ic­al issue nor just a men­tal issue. It’s BOTH. They work togeth­er, they play off one anoth­er, they dance togeth­er.

Where do I start?

Repeat this phrase to your­self first and fore­most:

I’m not per­fect, but I am per­fectly imper­fect!

It’s okay to not know the answers, and to ask for help when you want to do things dif­fer­ently.

We can abso­lutely address your anxi­ety, but look­ing at you the whole per­son, and start­ing new­er and health­i­er habits to help lessen and man­age your wor­ries. First step is com­ing in to deal with it.

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