Stress. I really dislike this word. I’ve used it too many times and have heard it countless more; to the point where the word itself causes me stress.
It’s all we hear about now days, it seems. If we’re not hearing about stress, we’re reading articles or hearing people talk about the dangers of the world, political problems, foods we should or shouldn’t eat and lifestyles we’re missing out on.
Modern life sounds miserable….and it can be if we absorb it all.
Today I share some help. Personality-wise, I am mostly blue and white, (more about that below) which basically means I’m kind of an introvert and I tend to be overly sensitive to…everything. Basically, my soul is often wide open without a lot of protection.
I’m deeply affected by abrasive movies, situations and people- which then kicks in my fight or flight system…usually flight since, ahem, as I mentioned before, I’m an introvert.
So I’ve experienced my fair share (and then some!) of worry, anxiety and fear, along with body pains. Social situations can throw me over the edge pretty quickly if I get way out of my safety zone.
As a wife, mother and adult, I am aware of my ‘soft spots’ or areas I need to work on in order to be strong in all areas of my life. I have allowed myself to leave my safety zone many, many times- knowing it was beneficial to my growth.
In other words, I’ve done a lot of hard things, experienced a lot of difficult situations- some by choice, others popping up over the course of my life.
What I wish I knew more about, back in my twenties and thirties, was how stress can affect your body in ways you never thought possible.
I was blessed with a strong constitution and managed very well for years under chronic life stressors. The sad thing is, if I’d had the tools I have now, I would have reminded my younger self that life and stressful situations are only as stressful as you believe them to be.
As a people-pleaser and idealist, I often created my own stress while trying to raise six children, home educate them, keep a home and farm running smoothly while my husband worked;
Evenings peaceful and organized so my husband would have a nice atmosphere to enjoy when he arrived home, church callings to attend to;
Friendships to keep up, visiting relatives to prepare for, a home budget to stay within, etc, etc.
Each and every one of these a worthy endeavor, and FUN even, with the right mindset.
Honestly, it was my own self-criticism that caused the stress I often felt. Always feeling that I never quite measured up, comparing myself to others, and keeping my goals just out of my own reach….I sabotaged myself.
Truly, life is made up of the stories we tell ourselves.
So, at this point, I could now look at myself and say- “See, you stressed yourself out, you brought this on yourself….and never DID measure up or meet your goals completely.”
But…NO. I accomplished a hell of a lot, provided a warm, loving home for my family (still happening), have enjoyed truly countless wonderful life moments with my family that have forged a strong bond between us all.
Life was and is fun, we’ve learned so much and the past twenty-seven years have been very full indeed. I am filled with gratitude.
So what, then, are solid tools to help keep life’s difficulties in their place?
What can create a forcefield, if you will, around souls like mine that tend to be wide open and vulnerable?
I’ll be going over some of them in the next few posts.
Today, let’s begin with The Color Code by Dr. Taylor Hartman.
Brilliant like the Myers & Briggs personality test, yet simple and even humorous, the information I learned from this book and Dr. Hartman’s videos transformed my views of people and really improved my marriage.
From the website:
“Life can be puzzling. People can be puzzling. But above all, your relationships can be most puzzling. Let’s face it: All life is about relationships: personally, professionally, and socially.
Do you wonder why some people are so easy to love, work for, and befriend, while constant effort is required to build and maintain a healthy relationship with others? What part do you play in making the relationships in your life work?
Every relationship begins with YOU. Who are you? Do you really understand why you think and behave as you do? Imagine the power of truly knowing yourself, what motivates you, and how you impact the relationships in your life.
The Color Code is the most revolutionary and ACCURATE measurement of your personality available on the market today. Once you have learned the Color Code you will never see yourself or others the same again! The Color Code is your best bet for understanding how to make sense out of life’s relationship puzzles.”
There are four basic personality types; Red, Blue, White and Yellow. Ideally, everyone would be a little of each, to keep well-rounded and healthy.
Most people’s makeup centers on one or two types- mine being Blue and White.
I’m married to a Red, with some Blue.
Each personality type comes with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Reds are the movers and shakers type of people, those that get things done and keep organized. They can be loud, forceful, and stubborn….and sometimes extremely over-bearing.
Blues are the feelers, empathizers, do-gooders…but they can also be emotionally wounded with ease, feel sorry for themselves and have their expectations so high they become critical of others.
Whites are easy-going, deep thinkers and often people-pleasers. However, they are quietly stubborn when they don’t agree with something and can withdraw without a word from a situation; making them seem flaky.
Yellows are fun-loving, adventurous and up for anything, but they can be irresponsible with no follow-through and often live an unorganized life.
Dr. Hartman’s videos go into much more detail about each type and how they interact with others.
In my own life, this knowledge has helped me understand my relationship to friends, co-workers, my extended family, my husband and my children.
For Example– My husband, being mostly Red, can often speak quite loudly and forcefully on things he’s serious about. For me, this translated to practically yelling and drove me crazy. Why couldn’t he just speak in a normal volume to get his point across?
When I learned that Reds tend to speak this way and that other Reds get it, no problem, while Yellows naturally let it roll off of their backs for the most part…but Blues and Whites feel as if they’ve been assaulted…I knew I was understanding my husband on a new level.
Studying it together- which translates into me studying it and explaining it to him in detail- helped us both understand our own idiosyncrasies and gain a new awareness of our behaviors. It’s really helped.
He’s learned to be aware of his tone and volume and I’ve learned that when he forgets, I can gently remind him while not being overly sensitive to it.
A father is a Blue, the mother a White and their child a Yellow. This fun-loving Yellow child is falling behind in school; the father is very worried but works a lot of hours and so asks his wife if she can really stay on top of reminders for their child’s homework assignments. The mother agrees, but in reality is annoyed her husband is expecting her to ‘do it all’ and thinks their child is fine…so she never actually follows through.
So, you see, there can be many nuances to relationships based on these personality traits.
And I’ll tell you what- this knowledge has helped me breathe a sigh of relief every time I realize a person in my life isn’t trying to drive me crazy or be irresponsible….it’s in their nature! I can work on it from there.
In my next few posts, I’ll be covering other great tips on How to Deal with Stress. This is good stuff!