The Type A Stress Factor

By Tracy Gowler 4 years ago
Home  /  Autoimmune and Self Care  /  The Type A Stress Factor

I’ve been spending a lot of time with this topic lately.  In my own health journey, it has played such a big role and it isn’t being talked about a lot.  I mean we talk about stress and how it contributes but none of us women really stop long enough to pay attention. Let’s talk the Type A stress factor.

Let me give you a visual. 

Type A women are driven, career oriented, family focused, moving at the speed of light in everything they do, never stopping or slowing down to give their body a well-deserved break.  And quite honestly, they don’t know how to.

They burn the midnight oil, take on every project that could promote their careers and go home to run kids to events, looking after the house, finding time to exercise and take those late night and early calls with their jobs.  They love the challenge, especially if someone tells them they can’t because they will prove them wrong.  They are a mystery to many because trying to understand that level of energy with that many balls in the air successfully is a real feat and they make it look easy.  They are used to existing at that level and they get a buzz from it quite honestly.

How many of you are Type A?

Go ahead, hold up your hand.

How might this be affecting you? 

Did you ever consider that it might be affecting you?  Just writing this, I can feel the buzz and I love the buzz too.  We will get back to this in a minute.

Back in my days at Motorola, they were trying to improve the moral in our group.  They decided to make poster of us with 3 words that described us.  I had no clue, so I asked my colleagues for a word.

Tenacious was the word most used for me. 

One of the definitions that I found for this word is “persisting in existence, not easily dispelled”.  Certainly, fits a Type A.  I think we are born this way.  Add overachiever to it and you have a powerhouse.

Let me ask the question again.  How might this be affecting you?

Without understanding the cost and that it needs to be turned off to preserve your health this go-getter lifestyle can lead to constant stress, burnout, and even chronic illness or autoimmune disease.

Ouch, right? 

And you might be thinking to yourself right now that I’m full of shit because we Type A’s also like colorful metaphors.

Let me ask you a question.

Do you have symptoms?  Headaches, digestive issues, skin issues, joint issues, constipation, weird pains?  How about heart palpitations, weird menstrual cycles, weight gain?  Hair loss?  How about any symptoms at all like that?

Just an FYI, symptoms aren’t normal. 

Let’s get back to how this might be affecting you.

This type of existence is stress, big stress and it does greatly impact the development of dysfunction in the body.  Early on, it might have been more of a eustress which is a good stress.  It feeds us and fuels us, makes us feel good.  But over time, it becomes a chronic way of existing in our bodies.  It contributes to the breakdown of tissues and organs in the body.  Symptoms will develop and they will be ignored.

Are you ignoring your symptoms? 

Sure, you are because the symptoms don’t fit the lifestyle.  But even if you wanted to pay attention you are unable to slow down to address what is happening.  Next thing you know, you will come to a complete halt.

You are sick.

It is impacting your career and your families.  All your hard work becomes worthless. Your life is completely overturned in what feels like a nanosecond.  The reality is the dysfunction has been happening for quite a while.

You just ignore the signs. 

If you are a Type A and you are ignoring the signs, it is time to stop and pay attention.  Your lifestyle needs an overhaul.  You need some proactive stress management that actually works like TRE or meditation.

And your diet should be shifted to support you, not add to the stress.  Paleo is the best way to give your body what it needs for nutrients.

Your body requires at least 8 hours of sleep every night to complete the functions that happen at night.  Every night.

And exercise is not in that crazed fashion that feeds your Type A personality.  No, deliberate movement like yoga or Taiichi with some lean muscle building and small bouts of cardio is best.  You don’t have to be a marathon runner or a body builder unless that is your goal.

And slow it down, take some time for mindless activities like silly romance novels or some Netflix TV.  Not the documentaries, something that is mindless but maybe entertaining.

Just understand that you will pay if you keep driving your body at a pace that it can’t sustain.

Last thing.  Don’t be me. 

I have been down this road and I wish I would have understood years ago what I was doing to myself.

Making small shifts can make a huge difference in your ability to have it all.

If you are interested in learning more about what those small shifts are, email me, I’d love to chat with you.

If you are already struggling with symptoms, let’s talk about it and see what the next steps to saving all your hard work might be.

Email me at

Have a great rest of your week.

  Autoimmune and Self Care, Autoimmune Disease, chronic infections, Digestion issues, Health, Healthy Lifestyle, Stress, Tracy's Corner
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 Tracy Gowler

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