Mindfulness strategies by personality type

According to personality theory, when an individual becomes stressed, they will find themselves in the grip of their shadow side of their persoanlity type, sort of a distorted view of the polar opposite of one’s normal personality. While much research ahs shown the benefits of mindfulness in handling stress. Now a couple of writers are advocating specific mindful practices to specific personality types to combat stress. 

The ideas below come directly from Gabriel Taylor and ring true to my thinking on both meditation and personality types. Read the whole ArticleBasically, for each type she suggests one or more of the following practices:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Spiritual meditation
  • Zazen meditation
  • Mantra meditation
  • Movement meditation

Mindfulness meditation: This is the most commonly known meditation. By being present, allow whatever thoughts occur to rise then detach. Be aware of your breath patterns, deep breaths mean you’re slowing down and relaxing, shallow breaths means you’re tensing up. This quieting of the mind by letting thoughts come and go and being more of an observer will naturally allow the meditator to let go of any invading thoughts, the goals is not to empty the mind but to notice and let go. This is ideal for ISTJ, ISFJ, ISFP and INFJ.

Where to start?

Spiritual meditation: This is a good solution for those that are facing a problem and need a higher power for guidance to work through it. You can practice this anywhere quiet, just sit still, form your problem into a query and listen for your higher powers guidance. This meditation would be good for the types ESTP, ENTJ, ESFP and ESFJ.

Where to start?

Zazen meditation: This meditation is more traditional and takes disciple to practice due to long periods of stillness in one position. Its focus is on holding position, focusing on breath and being discipled to stay present with a clear mind for long periods of time. It is perfect for those that are unafraid of self-study and reflection. Types such as INTP, INFP, ISTPand ENFJ may find the challenge appealing.

Mantra meditation: Is simply repeating a word or words while meditating. You can look to tradition and use Om or bring your own like love or joy. Chanting helps keep the meditator focused and cuts down on distraction for deeper meditation practice. Types INTJ, ISTPand ISFP would benefit most from this style.

Where to start?

Movement meditation: For those that find it difficult to sit still and do nothing or be silent. To gain the multiple benefits of meditation, one doesn’t have to sit and be still. You can still clear your mind, slow your thoughts and let go of stress by slowing down your movements, and listening to relaxing music. Yoga, Qi gong, walking, are movement meditations. For example, in yoga, you can chose to meditate on one thing while you are going through the poses, like peace of mind. You can also take a nature walk, and mindfully let go of any stress-full thoughts. Some will even practice this while doing chores, it’s just a matter of being present. ENTJ, ESTJ, ENTP and ENFP personalities will find this exercise may suit them best.

Where to start?


Qi Gong —video instructions

Walking Meditation guide here and another more philosophical one here

Here is some more detailed options

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