A bit ago, someone jumped me out to nowhere. I wasn’t super hurt, but man, it took me a while to shake it off. Then, a good friend of mine had something kinda like it happen, maybe even worse. But, he just brushed it off like it was nothing.
It got me thinking, why do some of us get so rattled while others just roll with the punches? There was this study I heard about that might have some answers. The smarty-pants people checked out how our personalities and stress levels connect (that’s some Luo et al. 2023 stuff). They mashed up info from like 250 studies to see what stuck. Turns out, people with these five personality things (they call it the “Big 5”) tend to shrug off stress, even when things get real tough.
People who are more outgoing seem to really dig hanging out with others and do a lot of social stuff. The study peeps thought maybe these outgoing people have more friends around to help when times get tough.
And get this: the researchers think these chatty types might see the sunny side of bad situations. Like, if someone’s moving, they might be all, “Cool, new places to eat!” instead of stressing about the move. Makes me think, did my buddy feel proud ’cause he stood up to the bad guys, instead of freaking out about the scary part?
So, people who don’t get upset easily? They don’t feel as stressed. But on the flip side, if someone’s kinda jittery or jumpy (that’s one of the “Big 5” personality things), they might feel more stressed out.
The brainy team, Luo and friends, figured people who keep their cool just don’t see stuff as super stressful. Plus, they might steer clear of drama. There’s an evidence talk about how our “ready-set-go” body reaction doesn’t kick in as much for the chill people.
People who like to plan stuff out? They usually dodge stress ’cause they see problems coming a mile away. They play it safe and look after themselves, which means less stuff to stress about.
Some people are super curious and always up for something new. These peeps? They don’t get stressed easy. They’re like, “Oh, that’s different!” and roll with it. Plus, they might not get that jumpy feeling when things get tense.
Then there are the real friendly people. They get on with just about anyone, so there’s less drama for them. Having so many friends means they’ve got loads of peeps to lean on when stuff gets rough.
Handling Stress Like a Pro
Good news! There are cool ways to deal with stress, no matter how you’re wired. Here are some top tips (inspired by Mindful Cognitive Behavioral Therapy):
Being in the Now: Don’t fight the stress. Just let things be. When your brain starts racing about tomorrow, bring it back to right now.
Chill Your Muscles: Listen to a guided thingy like this one to help your body relax.
Easy Breathing: Breathe in slow and count to three. Breathe out even slower, counting to six. Do it with your eyes shut if you want, and go for three to five rounds (or more!).
Think Different: If your brain’s going all doom and gloom, try to see things in a new light.
Have Fun: Slot in some cool stuff in your day. Good vibes can kick stress to the curb.
Know When to Say No: Cut out stuff that stresses you out when you can.
Tackle To-Dos: Got a big thing to do? Break it down into tiny bits and get ’em done so they stop bugging you.
Look After You: Eat good stuff, sleep enough, and move that body!