In his 1856 journal, the great American philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau wrote, "I love the winter, with its imprisonment and its cold, for it compels the prisoner to try new fields ...View Article
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The technical end of wellness psychology encourages normal responses to the challenges of life, rather than just treating mental and emotional conditions. Understanding the concept of personality makes this approach clearer. For example, people tend to have patterns of behavior, some of which work better than others, but the patterns usually persist until they are broken or replaced. Noticing these patterns and evaluating them to see if they are constructive or destructive, and shifting the patterns accordingly, make wellness more accessible.
There are many ways to group or evaluate personality types. People tend to favor one of the three major ways the brain processes - visual (seeing), auditory (hearing), and kinesthetic (feeling), and each group has common patterns of behavior. Or, you can divide people by personality style, such as: drivers, expressives, analyticals, and amiables. You can notice typical behaviors, known as metaprograms, such as moving toward benefits or moving away from consequences, or having an internal or external frame of reference. There are more technical systems of personality also, like Myers-Briggs or the enneagram, which offer a deeper understanding of personality and can help create a pathway to personal growth.
Why is personality important? Healthy people express themselves consistent with their personality types, and those types vary greatly, so there is a wide spectrum of normal behaviors that could be considered well behaviors. Knowing yourself, and understanding others you have a relationship with, can give you insight into the unique nature of your personality. You can also understand the likely patterns of health, so you can choose the actions that support wellness for someone of your personality type. Patterns of personality also provide clues for wellness professionals to intervene in a way that is custom-tailored for the needs of each individual. This guides the person toward a well state and even amplifys their health, wellness, and peak performance through personalized wellness counseling.