INTJs and Anxiety / Stress Management

It doesn’t matter who we are or what our personality type is, at some point in our lives we have an overwhelming amount of stress or anxiety about something that we find ourselves needing to manage. As INTJs, going down the whoa is me, victim path, of why does everything awful keep happening to me, isn’t really something we have to worry about. Our issue tends to be getting hyper analytical. Seeing the problem with a magnifying glass, running our extrapolations and not liking what we see, realizing that no matter how much we want to control or fix the path we’re on to create a different outcome, it is not in our hands. We must succumb.

Many personality types can be much better skilled at just rolling with things. Accepting whatever the doctor says, or their friend says, or their boss says. Not questioning it or putting it through the realism test. For better or for worse, INTJs weren’t wired with that trait. Not only do we struggle believing verbal information, we need to see the data, the back-up support. Our brains cross check everything at lightening speeds, much like others that are hypersensitive to shame can quickly scan a room and see all risks to their ego. Same skill, applied very differently.

As with most times in life when we need to lean on others for support and guidance, our varied perspective and outlook on life can create challenges which is what inspired this post. How often as an INTJ are you in need of a rebalance, a recharge, a distraction to something you cannot control (perhaps an impending divorce, cancer, death of a child, etc.). Your friends might say things like – go get a massage, do brunch with friends, go shopping, get a manicure. Chances are the person telling you this is an Extroverted Feeler, they probably have the best intensions filled with compassion and love, but it’s not anywhere close to what works for us. Which leads me to, what can an INTJ do? Here are some things that help me:

1. Lose yourself in the Internet – start researching something of interest and follow that bunny trail you so naturally do

2. Build something – whether it’s a craft, a new iPhone app, a shed for the backyard, whatever your thing, get building

3. Take a long train ride – really anything that gives you complete isolation for long enough to get your thoughts in balance (ideally reserve all the seats in a compartment)

4. Soak up the sun – let the sunshine re-energize you, whether it’s just walking outside, sitting on the back patio, or anything to catch that vitamin D

5. Write – we’re natural writers, despite our incredible privacy, our self-awareness and openness allows us to get it all out on paper, releasing it into the ether

It’s times like these when we need support the most that we often can’t find it in a way that works for us given how different our brains are wired. Perhaps you just need a backrub or box of chocolates or other things main stream media recommend, or perhaps you’re more like the rest of us strangely wired INTJs that find no solace in either of those things. If so, I’ve found it’s more about diving into the things you love. Chances are those people love chocolate and backrubs. As an incredibly self-aware INTJ, you know what you love, don’t listen to anyone else (you never do anyway right), and follow what you love. For me, that’s researching Boeing’s latest airplane, United’s fleet changes, capitals of every country, cheap flights, etc. So I just pretend when someone says – just eat chocolate – that they are really saying, have you seen the new 747-8 interior or the people that live in old converted airplanes? Think of what works for you and hang in there, life is weird and temporal no doubt. Keeping sane is the only thing we can control.

Hope this helps,
Sara

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