Four ways to reduce stress based on your DISC personality style

4 Ways to Reduce Stress Based on Your DISC Personality Style

Everybody knows that stress is bad. It’s talked about here and here and here and everywhere. But the very sentence “stress can kill you” might be enough to stress you out. Ironic, isn’t it? People who try to help you by telling you to stop stressing out for your health are actually causing the very response they are telling you to avoid. They’re stressing you out. (We just did too, sorry about that.)

But while stress may be unavoidable, letting it ruin your life isn’t.

I Know Stress is Bad for Me, But I Don’t Know What to Do About It!

Maybe the key to controlling your stress is finding the stress-reduction method that works best for your personality. If the method you use fits your style and you enjoy it, you’ll be more likely to use it. DISC could help.

The DISC personality system is based on four primary personality styles. Everyone has a little bit of each of these styles in them. (You can take a quiz to find out your type if you aren’t sure.) Once you know what personality style you have, you can try to find a stress-reduction technique that fits with your personality style.

How to De-Stress Based on your DISC Personality Style

1) Meditation: "D" or "C" style personalities

The scientific benefits of meditation have been proven. This method for reducing stress is highly beneficial for any personality type but it may be even more so for the Dominant and Conscientious styles.

Why? The "D" and "C" personality styles may be reluctant to engage in a practice like meditation. These styles are task-oriented and productive by nature. Meditation typically involves sitting and not “doing” anything. But it might be helpful to try to think of meditation in a different way.

Meditation is actually productive, just not towards accomplishing your to-do list. Meditation is a quick and efficient way to complete a different type of task- the important task of de-stressing. If you take five minutes a day to focus on the important task of reducing your stress, you can use mediation as a shortcut.

Some of the benefits of meditation are achieved immediately, and the more substantial benefits of meditation are seen as you invest more time. But the idea that you can be productive even when you are relaxing will probably appeal to the task-oriented personality types.

2) Deep Breathing Exercises: "C" style personalities

This is another important stress reduction effort that is really great for every personality style, but the "C" style may be especially primed to reap the benefits. This relaxation technique may not appeal to the "C" style, but it may be what they need most.

Taking deep breaths, and focusing on your breath is beneficial for maintaining perspective and organizing your priorities, and "Cs" could use that. "C" styles are very thorough and analytical, and so prone to perfectionism that they can get overwhelmed.

The process of planning and executing a project or series of tasks while keeping an eye on all the details and demanding absolute perfection can be overwhelming.

"C" styles never think that their tasks have been accomplished perfectly. There is always room for improvement. They take their time when they are looking to make decisions. But they can become paralyzed when they have too much information to be certain about their decision. Stopping to take some deep breaths could be really helpful.

Taking deep breaths, and focusing on just doing this one thing perfectly can help to calm their nerves. They don’t have to think about 100 different variables and details; they just have to think about their breath. They don’t have to analyze if they are doing this correctly. They don’t have to worry that they are failing to meet their own impossible standards. It’s just breathing. In and Out. You can’t do it wrong.

And once you’ve done this one thing perfectly (lowering your blood pressure in the process) you can try to slow your racing thoughts. You may be able to apply some perspective to the rest of the items on your to-do list.

3) Reaching Out: "I" or "S" style personalities

If you have a people-oriented personality, it may be helpful to reach out to your friends or family when you are stressed.

The outgoing, extremely social Influential/Inspiring style personality may want to arrange a social gathering when they are feeling stressed out. This social gathering can serve two functions- as a stress-reduction technique, and as a reward to you for finally finishing your taxes (or other tasks.)

"I" styles are at their best when they are in social gatherings. This type of interaction energizes them and helps them to relax. "I" styles could arrange a night out with their friends, hold a dinner party, or participate in any other type of social event to de-stress and recharge.

Steady styles prefer a different type of approach. "S" styles are people-oriented, too. But unlike the extremely social "I" styles who want to be the life of the party, "S" styles prefer smaller, intimate relationships. They prefer the company of family or close friends. "S" styles get stressed out when they perceive a lack of security, and life is full of uncertainty. Spending time with the people from their stable relationships helps them. They can return to that sense of security and stability that they want when they are stressed out.

4) Exercise: "D" or "I" style personalities

"D" and "I" style personalities are active personality styles. They have a lot of energy to expend, and they can put this to good use by exercising to reduce stress.

When an active personality style is stressed out, they are going to want to do something about it. They don’t just want to sit and think about the things that are causing them to feel this way, they want to do something about it (D) or do something to get rid of it (I.)

A Dominant style may want to rush into tackling the tasks that they believe will eliminate the stress. But sometimes, stress isn’t like that. Take filing your taxes for example. You can finish the task of filing the taxes, but if your stress is about whether or not you will be audited, there isn’t a task you can accomplish to eliminate it. It is out of your control. You can’t “do” something to control the stress you feel about your potential audit. What’s a "D" style to do? Spend that energy exercising, and enjoy the relaxing benefits of having done something that is good for your body and your mind.

An active "I" style personality can also benefit from this relaxation skill. The "I" styles aren’t great at getting things finished; they tend to use their high energy to jump from task to task. Exercising will not only burn off some of this excess energy but help train them to increase their willpower. The discipline required to participate in a regular training routine may encourage them to become more disciplined in other areas of life. Or, if they just give themselves a set amount of time to work out, they can limit the time they spend burning off steam, so at least they won’t spend all day relaxing, and not enough time being productive.

Whatever method you choose, remember to take time out of your day to reduce your stress. Your body and mind will thank you.

Learn more about applying DISC behavioral principles to stress management through our online Managing Stress course.

Register today for the online Managing Stress course!

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Posted By: Shanna Bennell

Former PeopleKeys Employee