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  1. #1
    Junior Member Alchemilla's Avatar
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    Default INFJs and stress relief

    When I first joined the forums I made a post asking if knowing your personality type could help you manage stress. I'd heard about typology only a week or so before, and now I've had time for the information to sink in I'm starting to see some ways it can really help.

    For example, I tend to bottle up and have a maze of internal walls. I was more or less unconscious of this until I spent sometime reading the posts by people on the NF forums, and I liked the way INFPs came across as very open and receptive. (It especially helped knowing that this wasn't a personal flaw that I "should" feel guilty about, but that it was a trait of many INFJs and I shouldn't worry about it at all.) The awareness of it has helped me risk opening up more, and to push myself to put words to the emotional fog I've been walking through lately.

    It's been worth it.

    Another area I'd like to work on is being practical, and not living in the future all the time. I think if I reigned in my focus I'd be able to do more of the things I enjoy rather than dreaming about them, and that in itself would make me feel less stressed.

    Having too high expectations is another classic sore spot.

    It is tricky though because I often dislike myself, I have a history of depression and anxiety and I want to make the most of myself without feeding the feeling of wanting to be a whole different person entirely.

    What are your ideas, observations or experiences? I'd also like to hear more about how INFJs experience stress, even if not what they can do to reduce it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alchemilla View Post
    It is tricky though because I often dislike myself, I have a history of depression and anxiety and I want to make the most of myself without feeding the feeling of wanting to be a whole different person entirely.

    What are your ideas, observations or experiences? I'd also like to hear more about how INFJs experience stress, even if not what they can do to reduce it.
    Have you tried shooting heroine? I hear it works wonders for some people. You'll have to decide if it's right for you though. Get it? That was the punchline...nevermind, no one ever does.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lily flower's Avatar
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    I find that getting involved in some repetitious writing project helps. Also, making plans and fantasizing about the future.

    Listening to music, reading, taking a long hot bath.

    Talking to someone on a really deep level helps if I can find someone.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    Also, making plans and fantasizing about the future.
    I would not advise indulging in this often. We can easily overdo this by imagining our ideal self/future over and over, but never actualizing it. Taking positive action is better.

    Also, exercising helps me when I motivate myself to do it!
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  5. #5
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    I usually start with reduction, subtraction, and withdrawal.
    Remove what's stressing you. This makes more sense than trying to tolerate what is stressing you.
    Then I come up with a new strategy and try again.
    I am stressed a lot.
    So maybe this isn't working.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Ms. Tea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    I would not advise indulging in this often. We can easily overdo this by imagining our ideal self/future over and over, but never actualizing it. Taking positive action is better.

    Also, exercising helps me when I motivate myself to do it!
    Ya, exercising helps me. I know this sounds strange but when I am reflecting, I like to pace. Calms the nerves. It's kinda like a great idea, I am always walking when one pops in my head.

    I also find playing an instrument is very therapeutic :smiley_violin:

  7. #7
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    Listening to music, go try some new dish at a new restaurant, reading, long walks, exercise, do absolutely nothing.

    I'm looking to add martial arts as another option to destress, too.

  8. #8
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    a few things I've been trying recently are
    - write down everything that's stressing you out
    - cross of the things you can eliminate
    - alot a time to take care of these matters
    - seperate work and leisure time. DO NOT WORK when you're not scheduled to
    - when working, take occasional breaks for about 20 minutes or so to relax
    - is your job stressing you out? look for another one
    - how much free time do you have? not much? find a way to get more. INFJs need a lot of time to relax and reflect on things.

    this should take care of most of your problems. now, some ways to relax
    - a book
    - a movie (you can spend time with the kids or snuggle up with a significant other)
    - hot tea
    - hot bath
    - visit to the spa (if you have the time and money)
    - have sex (seriously)
    - spend time with the kids.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    alchemilla: (It especially helped knowing that this wasn't a personal flaw that I "should" feel guilty about, but that it was a trait of many INFJs and I shouldn't worry about it at all.)
    I couldn't agree more This forum has made a huge difference for me, for exactly this reason.

    Some things that are helpful when your super-high expectations are plaguing you, or you can't get thoughts of the future out of your head:
    -physical activity, where you can't let your mind wander (rock climbing, step aerobics, body pump, dance)
    -reading a novel (just because you have a problem, doesn't mean you can't ignore it for a few hours and then go back to it and solve it. That's healthy, if you need it).
    -There are some podcasts I like listening to -- Tara Brach, This American Life, and Bellaruth Naparstek are all helpful (and available for free via grooveshark.com)
    -Forcing myself to do what I find fun - performing arts in tiny theaters, going to an art gallery, shopping, just going for a walk. Actually, I am desperately needing a break - I'm going to go catch some rays for 10 minutes right now.

    When you take a break, "veg out", or do nothing, what activities are those? Just curious, so I can get idea of what you find restful.

    More later

  10. #10
    Junior Member Alchemilla's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone! Much of my problem lies with not being able to escape from stress. I have a fairly severe chronic illness, which has taken a downturn over the last six months. I've barely been able to leave the house and when I do it is to go to see the doctor which can take me up to a week to recover from.

    I live with my parents (stressful in itself) and I badly want to move out and start my own life. Today, for example, I'm stressed because my mum has been talking a lot about how well I've been doing lately which is in dramatic contrast to how I feel physically! She's incredibly good at denial. I feel lost.

    I think exercise would be a great way to release some burdens, but it isn't an option at all right now. There are some things I can do which are physical (like learning to crochet or knit or whatever) to get me out of my head and focused on something else, which is exactly what I need.

    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    I couldn't agree more This forum has made a huge difference for me, for exactly this reason.

    Some things that are helpful when your super-high expectations are plaguing you, or you can't get thoughts of the future out of your head:
    -physical activity, where you can't let your mind wander (rock climbing, step aerobics, body pump, dance)
    -reading a novel (just because you have a problem, doesn't mean you can't ignore it for a few hours and then go back to it and solve it. That's healthy, if you need it).
    -There are some podcasts I like listening to -- Tara Brach, This American Life, and Bellaruth Naparstek are all helpful (and available for free via grooveshark.com)
    -Forcing myself to do what I find fun - performing arts in tiny theaters, going to an art gallery, shopping, just going for a walk. Actually, I am desperately needing a break - I'm going to go catch some rays for 10 minutes right now.

    When you take a break, "veg out", or do nothing, what activities are those? Just curious, so I can get idea of what you find restful.

    More later
    I hope you do post more, that was great! I've been pushing myself to be more social, giving myself challenges so I can feel I've succeeded at something and so on, and these things do help. Rather than just relaxing I want to figure out how to balance out some of the ways I become stressed in the first place.

    For example, I become my perfectionist side grows considerably and I criticize myself badly. In my original post I said there was a tricky balance between trying to make the most of myself while not trying to change myself. I think this could be part of my personality anyway, but it is compounded badly by the illness.
    Being ill is SO stressful. When it gets on top of me I hate the kind of life I have - I want to be healthy and move out and do all those things, and then I start thinking that maybe I am weak or flawed, or maybe everyone will hate me and I'm rubbish and too this and not enough of that and so on.

    I also feel fragmented, which I'm sure a lot of NFs will relate to.
    Conflict is extremely stressful (I do feel trampled on by everyone at home, and there's little I can do about it until I move out) and I make way too many compromises.

    Being able to be more assertive would be a great stress relief, but sometimes I feel like I can't handle all of this.

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