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Reducing stress | enneagram types five, six and seven

Some stress is caused by external factors, some stress has internal causes, and most stress is a combination of the two. It is always helpful to identify the external sources of stress and change these if you can. At the same time, the amount of stress we experience is often made more difficult by our own internal reactions. And some stress may be caused by what we think, how we feel, and what we do.

In this first blog of a three-part series, you can learn how the Enneagram types formed in the Head Center of Intelligence – Fives, Sixes and Sevens – act when stressed, what stresses individuals of these types, and how people of each type can change their self-talk to reduce their stress.

FIVES under stress become highly withdrawn, exhausted, depleted, brooding, strategizing, even more emotionally detached than normal, angry, isolated, and depressed.

Stressors
-Believing someone intends to harm them
-After trusting someone, that trust has been betrayed
-Information has been withheld from them
-Interacting longer or having to be more forthcoming than they were comfortable doing
-Feeling invaded in some way
-Their autonomy has been compromised
-An ideal they hold dear has been violated
-Feeling overwhelmed by work, demands on their time, energy, emotional disclosure, or another’s energy

To reduce stress…change your self-talk
Notice when you say something negative or non-productive to yourself; this worsens your stress. Take that statement, then change the statement to its opposite, and say the new statement to yourself instead. Use this process each time you engage in negative or non-productive self-talk.

Change this: If I give what they ask, they’ll want more to this: I am fully empowered to give what I truly feel like giving.
Change this: Where are they coming from? to this: I can handle whatever happens, so I can be open.
Change this: Let’s keep it simple and reasonable; do it my way to this: Complexity and unreasonableness might add some fun in my life.

SIXES under stress worry even more than normal; become highly anxious; fret about extremely small secondary items; feel wound-up and exhausted; spin in circular thinking about their worst-case scenarios; engage in excessive self-doubt; and can become highly reactive, angry, and aggressive.

Stressors
-Attempting to make an important decision and being unsure of the consequences
-An authority figure wanting to discuss something with them, and their not being sure what will occur
-Having already or being about to break a rule (and imagining the negative consequences)
-Perceiving, imagining, or hearing that another plans to cause them harm
-Someone challenging an opinion they believe to be true or is related to their deeper values
-Perceiving a situation as extremely uncertain, volatile, or dangerous
-Being under stress already, then having additional pressure put on them

To reduce stress…change your self-talk
Notice when you say something negative or non-productive to yourself; this worsens your stress. Take that statement, then change the statement to its opposite, and say the new statement to yourself instead. Use this process each time you engage in negative or non-productive self-talk.

Change this: How do I know I can trust – me, you, the situation, my assessment, my impulses? to this: I can trust myself to know.
Change this: What is your authority to tell me that? to this: I have an abundance of deep personal power.
Change this: Is this person a potential ally or a threat? How can I avoid inadvertently provoking this person? to this: Sit back and let me watch the movie of my life.

SEVENS under stress can be hyper-manic; depressed; excessively talkative or extremely quiet; highly anxious and far more in touch with their fear than normal; sad; and both angry and blaming.

Stressors
-Feeling trapped in any way: their job, life, relationships, rules, specific tasks, and commitments they don’t want to fulfill
-Not being listened to or taken seriously
-Having their ideas not fully considered
-Hurting or offending someone they care about and not knowing it
-Feeling sad or hurt
-Having something they believe they know or think they can do questioned or challenged
-An authority figure asserting his or her role-based or personal authority

To reduce stress…change your self-talk
Notice when you say something negative or non-productive to yourself; this worsens your stress. Take that statement, then change the statement to its opposite, and say the new statement to yourself instead. Use this process each time you engage in negative or non-productive self-talk.

Change this: I got the point; it’s not new, what’s next? to this: I need to hear this fully.
Change this: It will be great, just wait and see to this: Stay still and go inside.
Change this: Let’s move on, someone will fix it to this: I have the focus, capability, and will to resolve this to completion.

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of six best-selling Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs for professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit her website: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com. ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

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Iamwithher
Iamwithher
3 years ago

This article was very inspiring-and helpful. .
As a 7 with 6 wing I read for both 6s and 7s (my wing has a very strong influence and was actually puzzle piece that was missing when deciphering my type!)..as I read the srressors for both types my anxiety rose, and when I read the healthier options and choices on how to deal with these stressors I literally felt excited and a sense of hope for new ways of growing and integrating into a healthier being!

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