Written by Ellen Scott
Do you struggle to find the energy to get through the day? If you fall into one of these personality types, that might be why, says Karina Antram.
Constantly exhausted? You shouldn’t be putting up with it. Low energy levels can be caused by a wide range of factors, such as illness (which is why, if you’re constantly tired, it’s vital you talk to a medical professional), stress, diet, and poor-quality sleep. But one cause you probably haven’t considered? Your personality type.
In her new book, Fix Your Fatigue, coach and nutritionist Karina Antram notes that certain personality types are prone to feeling more tired, pointing to research (Greenberg, 2002) that found that people with any of these four key characteristics are more prone to fatigue and burnout: hard-working, perfectionist, obsessive-compulsive and overactive.
“Type A personality types, such as those who are competitive, highly motivated, organised and ambitious, according to science have a greater risk of fatigue and burnout than Type Bs who are more relaxed, content and less ambitious,” Antram tells Stylist.
She goes on to describe five personality types that are also likely to be more tired, more often. Do any of them resonate?
Are you someone who gives, gives, gives, only to find you’ve got no time or energy left to take care of yourself? That’s being ‘the supporter’, and, as you’d expect, results in tiredness.
The mood depleter
“You focus on past events, ruminating on what you could have done differently or failed at,” Antram explains. “As a result, you struggle to root yourself in the present day.”
When your brain is so busy thinking about the past and beating itself up, it’s no surprise that you’re exhausted by lunchtime.
If the mood depleter is all about the past, the futuristic is – you guessed it – the same pattern, but about the future. You worry so much about what will happen next that you can’t be in the present moment.
Of this type, Antram says: “You are always in fight or flight mode, which uses up a lot of energy. You often give thoughts far too much time and attention, creating fear or anxiety about what is to come.”
Sounds tiring, right?
Empaths, prepare to be @-ed.
Of the captive personality type, Antram says: “If your family or friends are going through a tough time, you have a tendency to absorb these emotions. This can eat away at energy.”
Basically, you’re like a sponge, soaking up other people’s negative vibes and mishaps. When you’re carrying not only your own emotions, but everyone else’s, you’re bound to feel wiped out.
Feel like you’re ticking off multiple types? That’s normal.
“We may naturally fall into one personality type but the likelihood is we may fall across some or all of them,” Antram notes. “If we all just fit into one personality type we would do our wonderful personalities a disservice.
“What this is suggesting is to be mindful of some of the traits you have, as they may cause energy leaks.
“Take the futuristic. You may be someone who really struggles to be present. You are always planning the next task, meal, event, holiday or project and can’t ever be content with your present reality. This may manifest in constantly moving from one thing to the next and never really appreciating what you have at any given moment.”
Don’t stress about this too much, though. Having these personality types does not mean you have a life sentence to the always-tired club. Antram emphasises that we can change, improve and tackle any tiredness triggers at the source – and understanding where your low energy comes from is the first step.
“According to the research, 8% of us genetically are predisposed to having low energy levels,” she tells us. “That said, we know we do have the capability of switching our genes on and off, due to epigenetics. If your tiredness is due to a biochemical reason or perhaps because you have one of these personality types like the futuristic, then I always believe we have the capacity to change.”
One way to approach this change is by using the ACE technique. This helps you to stop negative thought loops (which are a big part of the personality types above) in their tracks and come back to the present moment. Antram breaks it down ahead.
How to use the ACE technique
Antram says: “Controlling how and what we think might sound impossible, but it’s actually easier than you think. With a little practice, you can learn to notice unhelpful thoughts and stop them from draining your energy. This is particularly helpful if you are struggling with long-term fatigue. To do this, use the ACE acronym.”
A: acknowledge thoughts and feelings
“Try naming the thought process (eg ‘There’s an anxious/worried/frustrated thought’) and notice where you feel the emotion in your body.”
C: connect with your body
“Ground your feet into the floor, stretch your back, press your hands and fingers together. Bring your focus of attention to your physical being as encapsulating your thoughts and feelings.”
E: engage with the world around you
“Notice four things you can see, four things you can hear and four things you can touch.”
Fix Your Fatigue: 5 Steps To Regaining Your Energy by Karina Antram is out now.
Main image: Getty; Stylist
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