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I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman
This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
M.G.
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
C.M.
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
Sherrie
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan

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How to Remedy Anxiety and Stress When You’re an Introverted Feeling Type

blurred racing thoughts

Anxiety reared her ugly uninvited head recently. I thought she’d been sent packing by my relaxed self-guided lifestyle and spiffy low-sugar diet but noooooo… She wakes me at 4AM with adrenaline shots and racing thought chasers. Like a resentful relative she reminds me of every stressful situation I have brewing.

Anxiety is a bad old friend. I know her favorite reasons to visit. I know what brings her ’round. I even know how I’ll react to her presence—although I almost never realize I’m reacting until the visit is over and I stand observing the aftermath.

She shows up when I feel confined to everyone else’s needs and expectations.

She often arrives just after her cronies, Idealism and Perfectionism, pay a visit.

She loves to niggle me when I’m dying to achieve something but can’t find the time or when I’ve been immersed in negativity for too long.

The dreamy introvert has goals

As an introvert with a penchant for possibilities, an innate desire for harmony and a love of wide -open schedules, I am especially sensitive to restrictions imposed by others.

My new year’s precepts (not resolutions, they never work) for 2014 are:

1. Accomplish more

2. Establish and maintain personal boundaries

3. Be more concise (I’ve all but given up on this one. I freely own that I am a wordy expressive babe;).

The dreamy introvert gets real (bitchy)

I am aware of the importance of being unselfish. I have children and they have kid needs, including affection and care-giving from their mother. I will always make sure their needs are met because I love and enjoy the little buggers and their highly individualized personalities. I can meet their needs because I have built in pockets of rest between bursts of people/child interfacing. Sometimes these pockets are eaten up by unusual events such as school closings, their father traveling for work, lice and flu outbreaks, other family members needing help, keeping a house immaculate for showings, etc.

These are the times when too much togetherness leads to bickering, negativity and a lack of Woman putting on lipstick, Humans of New Yorksolitude.These are the times my conscious energy flags and Anxiety draws on her eye-brows, blots her lipstick and prepares for a proper visit. She usually arrives in the wee hours of the morning. Thanks. Her lack of consideration and inconvenient timing often create a bitter bout of sleep-deprivation as well.

Needless to say, fish and anxiety- riddled me, stink after three days. I don’t get anything accomplished and my boundaries are seriously weak.

I feel skinless and overly sensitive.

I start acting like a general. I become overly analytical and obsessed with details. I get on the kids about helping out and cleaning up the place  — and I don’t use my Carol Brady voice, more like my Mommy Dearest No Wire Hangers voice.

I even find myself being harsh and critical with my son for being harsh and critical. Wha?? This is so confusing and ultimately turns into personal shame for being so hard on him.

I start to see myself as indecisive and incompetent. Why can’t I think of anything for dinner? Why can’t I be quicker with consequences for misbehavior? I never finish anything…

This is how I react. I’m not proud. At all.

I go through all of this because…

I need to better develop my unconscious and lesser used mental functions. I need to gain control. I want to have a say about what goes on in my house.

I want to balance my overused sense of attunement (feeling what everyone else is feeling) with an analytical and detached sense of order.

I need to acknowledge and accept my own need for achievement. It’s OK to accomplish something myself occasionally.

I need to topple from my pedestal of idealism. I need the realism and relief. I’m not perfect. I fail at composure. I can be incompetent and so can others. I can’t expect others to be kind, helpful and cheerful all the time.

How to ditch Anxiety and return to normal

1. Wait it out. For introverted feeling types, she often leaves on her own.

2. Have an intimate conversation with someone who validates you (even your strong negative feelings).

woman with light bulb idea3. Find time to reflect on and prioritize personal values. Solitude, of course.

4. Start a new project that uses established skills. An intriguing new idea can motivate and energize.

5. Get relief from others’ needs. Take a break. Be alone. Nurture you.

Being in the grip of Anxiety can be intense but it’s not a good idea to avoid her. Often these visits bring clarity and new knowledge. She brings the unconscious world into the conscious with her cloying blend of stress and personal growth. Anxiety, with her pesky intrusiveness can make you change, often for the better.

When was the last time anxiety visited you? How did you react? How did you return to normal? What did you learn from its presence?

If you enjoyed How to Remedy Anxiety and Stress…, then you may also like:

Go Lightly Even If You Feel Deeply

When Parenting Overwhelms:Tough Days as an Introverted Parent

Video: The Space We Need: An Introvert Wakes Up, Slows Down and Starts Living According to Her True Nature

The Catastrophe of Success: Remove the Struggle, Lose Your Way of Being

** Much insight for this post was gleaned from Naomi Quenk’s, In the Grip: Understanding Type, Stress and the Inferior Function.

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24 Comments

  1. […] How to Remedy Anxiety and Stress When You’re an Introverted Feeling Type […]

  2. […] How to Remedy Anxiety and Stress When You’re an Introverted Feeling Type […]

  3. […] How to Remedy Anxiety and Stress When You’re an Introverted Feeling Type […]

  4. […] How to Remedy Anxiety and Stress When You’re an Introverted Feeling Type […]

  5. […] How to Remedy Anxiety and Stress When You’re an Introverted Feeling Type […]

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  7. […] How to Remedy Anxiety and Stress When You’re an Introverted Feeling Type […]

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  10. Sandra February 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Brenda – When you learn this one “balance my overused sense of attunement (feeling what everyone else is feeling) with an analytical and detached sense of order,” please let me know so you can tell me your tricks!

    • Brenda Knowles February 19, 2014 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      Work in progress Sandra. Us Feelers can’t help but absorb others energy.;) Sometimes it’s a blessing, sometimes it’s exhausting. I’ll gladly share if I have any breakthroughs.Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you are well MI friend.

  11. November February 10, 2014 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    She shows up when I feel confined to everyone else’s needs and expectations.
    Or
    She shows up when I feel confined to what I perceive are everyone else’s needs and expectations, and how life falls apart if I do not meet them.

    *sigh*
    I wish I could read all your posts every day to help me remember everything I’m trying to learn about myself.

    • Brenda Knowles February 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      I’m sure many of the expectations I feel from others are perceived, but darn, they feel real.;) You seem like a very self-aware person. Be gentle with yourself.:)

  12. […] As an introvert with a penchant for possibilities, an innate desire for harmony and a love of wide -open schedules, I am especially sensitive to restrictions imposed by others. My new year's precepts (not resolutions, they never …  […]

  13. susipet February 10, 2014 at 1:47 am - Reply

    Oh yes…I know how this is!

  14. oawritingspoemspaintings February 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Very well put! We all have our moments which sometimes stretches to longer ones 😉
    It surely isn’t easy & seems to happen to more in winter to my limited knowledge…

    • Brenda Knowles February 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm - Reply

      I agree. I think anxiety creeps in more often during the winter months. Less optimistic sunshine. More confinement to the home. Perhaps less action, more thinking time, which can lead to worrying about the future instead of enjoying a distracting activity. Thanks for your comment.:)

  15. Doug Toft February 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Brenda: You’ve advanced mental health treatment with your image of anxiety and description of her.

    I don’t always comment but know that I am still a fan. Your blog gets better and more gutsy every week. I admire you.

    Also, you’d enjoy this memoir—The Buddha and The Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism & Online Dating by Kiera Van Gelder— for a funny and profound treatment of dealing with emotional extremes (agented by Scott).

    • Brenda Knowles February 8, 2014 at 6:39 am - Reply

      So good to hear from you Doug! Thank you for your kind words. I keep on practicing this writing thing.;) I can’t stop now. It’s my therapy.

      I put the memoir suggestion in Evernote so I can find it when I’m looking for my next meaningful read. It sounds funny, irreverent and like I might learn something. Perfect!

  16. ilona fried February 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    What a brilliant personification of anxiety, with an image to match! Thanks for helping me laugh at this vexing visitor.

    • Brenda Knowles February 7, 2014 at 5:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks Ilona.:) I had fun with this. It’s nice to lighten up a heavy subject like anxiety.

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