type A

I’m An ‘A-Lister’ – Are You? Personality ‘Type A’ & the Fibromyalgia CFS Connection (Part 1)

In Blog by Alyssa Reid6 Comments

Hello everyone! (Which means, hello Mom, always good to know I have at least one follower (and hopefully fan!)).

Today I thought we would look at personality traits of the Type A person…and how this affects how many of us experience life.  (A life that is high achieving, stressful and many other detrimental things to our physical and mental wellbeing…).

Image result for type a and b personality

How many of you identify mostly with Type A Personalities?

Type A and B Personality Traits

The personality traits for Types A and B were created over 50 years ago by…cardiologists.  Because they saw a pattern in regards to the type of people who tended to have heart attacks had a different personality to those who didn’t. (Fantastic! Not!).

Interested in taking a quick online personality trait test?  Click HERE.

Hands Up! I’m an ‘A Type’ Personality and I am Proud!Image result for I'm proud

In my ongoing journey of self-discovery in getting to a place of less pain, reduction in stress and start living life – albeit a new chapter due to how my chronic pain and fibromyalgia – I am on a mission. (Typical Type A Personality!).  The mission is to bring love, happiness, joy, positive thinking and to stop negative thoughts and patterns interfere and ultimately make my life much more stressful.

I also believe that there are some qualities of my personality that, not only make me the person that I am today, but are indeed good qualities.  I see how my strengths are my husband’s weaknesses in areas…and vice versa (Hubby is a typical Type B personality…probably why we get along so well). This is a good thing (although at times I drive myself batty in regards to how long it takes him to get around to doing things…because I want it all done – yesterday!) And I am learning to prioritise what the difference is between ‘need’ and ‘want’ (in everything in my life – from material things to running the house.) Ultimately, this will play a huge role in kicking the stress and negativity out – all of which are my perceptions and stories…well, they need to GO! NOW! Yesterday in fact… 🙂

This means looking at how I act and react to everything in my life…

…and make conscious choices in regards to how I am going to choose to deal with things differently than in the past.  Image result for digging deepThis means digging deep and getting a better understanding of myself.  Who I am and what makes me tick (and what makes me explode!).  How I deal with things…and because of fibromyalgia and chronic pain, understanding that my thoughts and actions ultimately have a huge role to play in pain levels and other symptoms.

What You Perceive – You Believe…

Looking at my personality -and ultimately how I perceive things to be…rather than what they may well be is an interesting experience.  Image result for looking inwardWe all have our stories.  And understanding ourselves and why we do what we do, means that we can ultimately change our patterns- and our personality. Looking inwards isn’t always easy…but when you have an ‘Aha’ moment, and things click…it means you are able to move forwards as well…My new hero on hubby’s and my journey of changing our lives is Dr. Brene Brown.  I love her work as a researcher and as a human bean.  Her Ted Talk on ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ has opened our eyes hugely in how we act and react – and why.  Plus she has a great sense of humour.  And she has been on Oprah. (So that says everything, right?).

Here’s her Ted Talk…Brilliant. Dr Brown has broken down into simplistic terms about vulnerability and shame.  And believe it or not, it’s something to embrace!

 Personality = Personal Reality!

Why Bother?

For me/us, we know that it is imperative to make some substantial changes in our lives.  And for me, one of the biggest issues to break down is how I deal with and perceive things.  From there I can learn, grow and change.

But I am equally interested (and sharing this with you) because many people who have fibromyalgia, in particular tend to lean towards having a Type A personality.   Now, please don’t get too caught up in the whole thing that Type A personalities are rude, aggressive and haughty!  (Although we can be – so can everyone!).

Stress and Personality Type A

Bottom line is that this type of personality is much more prone to stress – and illness than Type B peeps. Stress causes many illnesses.  End of story.  So, I don’t want to have any more stress in my life!  It is making me ill!

As mentioned above, we know that one of the main triggers for fibro flare ups is stress.  And for the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why stress was making my pain increase.  Then someone pointed out to me that when we are stressed out, all our muscles tighten, particularly in the neck and back, but it can be anywhere in our bodies, including our stomachs (IBS), heads (headaches)…well, everywhere we have muscles (and we have a lot of muscles in our bodies), there is potential for them to become tense from stress and ultimately wind you up in a flare up. Certainly makes sense to me!

Road To Wellness

I fully believe that I can change my experience of pain and other symptoms not by pharmaceutical medications – but by mental and emotional applications to my everyday living.

By understanding more about myself and my personality – and that I have the ability to change my personality (which means changing my personal reality), means that I can gain more control.  (Us A Listers like control!!!).  And ultimately, make changes and track how these changes are affecting me positively – not to mention those around me.  An exciting study!  Project ME! 🙂 (Yay, me!)

And, by using the FibroMapp App, I am able to track how these changes are benefiting my physical and mental wellbeing. (Considering I am off amitriptyline, most pain meds and am using natural alternatives to help, on top of things like meditation, I know that I am pointed in the right direction – a positive direction at that!)

Homescreen of FibroMapp App

Homescreen of FibroMapp Appour 8-in-1 chronic pain tracker (plus the app does lots more!) to track everything from chronic pain to sleep, medications to moods and keeping a chronic pain diary, I can see clearly that when I let stress, upset, impatience, frustration and anger come into my life, that’s when my pain and other symptoms starts to soar and my sleep diminishes.

And there is every likelihood that many of you reading this are the same.  And we CAN change!

The Goal

It is my personal goal to be as painfree as possible.  I believe that we all have the capacity to heal ourselves – I really do.  But before we can start to heal ourselves, we need to understand ourselves and pinpoint areas that are causing us issues – physically and mentally/emotionally.

Therefore, being able to use the FibroMapp  tracker app in regards to my daily experiences as well as to be able to journal and see the reports that the app collates, shows me whether I am on the right path – or not. Right now, as I type this, my pain levels are high, no doubt about it.  The weather is horrible – wet and damp.  BUT.  I am dealing with stressful situations a lot differently – and it is amazing how just letting things go and surrendering is such a relief!

On top of getting my pain under control – I want to live a life that is full of abundance, joy, happiness, laughter, fun, love and hope. In fact, what an amazing world this would be if we all had these things in our life, instead of being full of fear, doubt, negativity and scarcity?

These things take time to go from a caterpillar to a butterfly! Heck, a few months ago I would have told you I can’t stop thinking in order to meditate…but I am getting there!Image result for caterpillar butterfly

 

As Paul Hudson says in his article about Type A personality traits:

‘Those who would be grouped mostly towards the Type A side of the spectrum are those that are more driven, more focused, more goal-oriented, more diligent, more likely to get stressed and emotional, more likely to have heart attacks and more likely to have mental breakdowns. To think we started out with such good traits…’

In Part Two, we will look at the 25 Things That People with Type A Personality Do, by Paul Hudson (with my personal running commentary/experiences).  I’d love to read your comments, thoughts and experiences.

Thank you for reading this.

With gratitude,

Alyssa

p.s. I have edited this blog 22 times in the past 5 days.  Perfectionist? Who me?!

Comments

  1. Beautifully written, well researched both from an inward point of view and from a learning perspective from those who have so much to share.

  2. Nice one Aly.
    We are all a blend of A and B but some more on the A side and others more on the B. I fall into the “half and half” and so i can see the positives(but also the negatives) of both. Its about finding what works for you as an individual.

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