Use Your Personality Traits to Benefit Mental Health
Regardless of whether you have a mood disorder, knowing your personality traits can help you improve mental health conditions. Personality trait awareness can help those with mood disorders learn how to manage their symptoms. It can also help supporters learn how to effectively advocate for their loved ones. Read this article to learn how to identify and use personality traits for mental health benefits.
How I Became Interested in Personality Traits
If you are wondering why I am writing about this topic, it is because I love studying psychology and human behavior. After I heard about the Myers-Briggs 16 personality types, I took the test and got ENFJ as a result. To test the accuracy, I took the test again at different times. I almost always got a different result. I found that you have to take the test results with a grain of salt. We are all unique, and we have a wide range of personality traits that cannot be measured by a simple test.
However, the test can give us some idea about why we behave the way we do. For instance, some people have more extroverted tendencies while others have more introverted tendencies. Some people love to make up stories; others prefer to prove theories using logic. Some people visualize a great future by thinking about what could happen; others visualize a not-so-great future by predicting what will not happen.
How to Identify Personality Traits
When it comes to identifying personality traits, it is very important to remember that a personality test cannot define you. Sure, it can challenge the way you feel about your personality. But only you can figure out what your traits are. Your loved ones can help you out ("How to Identify Your Good Qualities When You Feel Worthless"). If you have a mood disorder, think about the following questions to identify your personality traits. Be honest and include as much detail as you can to back up your answers.
- How do I feel in social situations, anxious, or relaxed?
- Am I creative, logical, or a little bit of both?
- Have my peers and/or loved ones pointed out my strengths recently or in the distant past? If so, what have they said?
- Have my peers and loved ones pointed out my weaknesses? If so, what have they said?
- How have I used my strengths and weaknesses to my advantage?
After answering these questions, have a discussion with your mental health supporter(s). Getting another person's perspective can help you identify your thought patterns and behaviors that you might not have noticed.
Personality Traits Have False Stereotypes that Undermine Their Value
It can be easy to compare your personality traits to the traits of others. It can be just as easy to overanalyze them and judge them as good or bad. You might find yourself believing stereotypes about the personality traits that you do not have. While all of these traits are valuable, the stereotypes are not always true.
As an example, people with extroverted tendencies are not always as confident as they seem. I can attest to this one, as I have learned to intentionally seek out social interactions. After the interactions, however, I ruminate over the conversation and wonder if I said something I shouldn't have ("Extroverts Can Experience Social Anxiety, Too"). Another example is the difference between people with emotional and logical personality traits. It is often assumed that people with emotional personalities can easily empathize with others while those with logical personality traits struggle to interact in social situations. Again, these stereotypes are not always true.
I want to end this article with some challenges. First, find things that you appreciate about your own personality traits as well as the traits of someone else. Then compliment someone who has opposite personality traits. Share your insights and discoveries in the comments.
Lueck, M. (2020, March 9). Use Your Personality Traits to Benefit Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 14 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2020/3/use-your-personality-traits-to-benefit-mental-health
Author: Martha Lueck
I think this is such a fabulous little mini-challenge to take on! Not only can it encourage us to look at our own traits in a new light, but also the traits of others, and even the comparisons that we may have previously made. I think it's so important to do what we can to step outside of ourselves and our own veils of perception to really see things from another space. Beautiful!
Thank you very much, Lizanne! Getting lost in our own minds can make it really hard to remember that there is an outside perspective.