Even if we don’t always realize it, every day we are faced with a multitude of real and imaginary demands which can end up affecting our health and personal well-being.
The individual who faces these demands – that is, the way we solve problems – is of great importance in maintaining personal balance.
The consequences of coping styles
Several studies have analyzed the effects of the coping styles we use in unfavorable situationsand they come to the conclusion that we face challenges with varying degrees of success depending on the traits that make up our personality.
For example, an emotion-focused coping style that includes distancing, self-control, seeking social support, evasion, accepting responsibility, and positive reassessment will be more beneficial than one. adjustment that includes isolation, guilt, fear and negative reassessment. The way we deal with our emotions in these difficult situations will manifest itself in either stability or emotional instability.
The importance of self-knowledge in the face of everyday challenges
Knowing yourself has been one of the great challenges posed since antiquity; therefore, current science has designed sophisticated personality tests perfected with certain mathematical algorithms and of course always subject to the interpretation of an expert professional.
Currently, the instruments that can help us the most in the process of improving therapy are personality tests and anxiety scales.
To measure personality structure, the most widely used model is the five-factor model, using the NE0 PI-R personality inventory (Costa and McCrae, 2008). This test is one of the most prestigious tools for the assessment of non-pathological personality and has become one of the most used tools in various fields. It consists of 240 questions that are answered on a scale of five response options and assess the five main personality factors: neuroticism, extroversion, openness, kindness and responsibility.
The pillars of personality
The five-factor model of personality traits was an important novelty in personality research, and the results obtained from tests based on this have led to new avenues of knowledge in personality theories.
These theories place paramount importance on the traits that make up a given personality typology and also address the influence of the social and cultural environment on the evolution of the trait structure that defines us as unique individuals.
On another side, to measure the degree of anxiety, the most used instrument is the STAI questionnaire (Spielberger, Gorsuch & Lushene, 2011).
This test assesses two independent concepts of anxiety and consists of two sections of 20 questions each. The first analyzes anxiety as a state (A / E) and the second analyzes anxiety as a trait (A / R). It is filled with a scale with four answer options for each question. The results provide us with information on two independent concepts of anxiety.
The first is defined as a state of transient emotional anxiety (A / E) and which depends on the circumstances of the time the test is taken. The second gives us the data of a stable trait (A / R) and which characterizes individuals who tend to perceive situations as more or less threatening.
The influence of personality on coping styles
The first trait evaluated by NEO-PIR is neuroticism, and it defines this concept as the innate tendency to exhibit emotional stability or instability. Much research has investigated the relationship between our personality traits and the levels of anxiety experienced. Correlations found between neurosis factor and trait and state anxiety indicate that high levels of neurosis factor and its corresponding facets correspond to high scores on trait and state anxiety.
People with a high trait of neuroticism will use an emotion-focused approach to solve stressful situations, which can lead to long-term exhaustion due to continuous emotional wear and are manifested both by physical problems (infections, fatigue, pain …) and psychological problems (caries) , apathy, fear, doubts …).
Other personality traits that we want to know about before going into therapy are kindness and extroversion.. These personality traits assess traits of interpersonal tendencies. High scores on these factors define an affectionate, energetic and positive personality for interpersonal relationships.
Responsibility and Openness to experience, the two other characteristics that complement the “big five” respectively define the tendency to focus on achieving our goals and openness.
In short, the famous motto “know yourself” can be the key to regaining lost balance.