Type 2: The Distracter
If you're a distracter, you would rather stick your head in the sand and not know the details. You find it easy to mentally escape.
You Know You're One If . . . During a medical procedure, you maintain a let-me-know-when-it's-over mindset. "You're inclined to say, 'Just give me the big picture,' or "Don't tell me,'" says Dr. Carol Goldberg, PhD, a New York-based clinical psychologist and president of Getting Ahead Programs, which specializes in stress-management and wellness workshops.
During a choppy airplane ride, you find it easy to sleep or escape into a good book. You also want to be spared the pilot's play-by-play on the PA system.
When your boss drops yet another last-minute project on your desk and you're already late to get home and make dinner, you take a quick mental time-out and imagine yourself sipping margaritas on the veranda at sunset. Ahh….
StressRx: If this sounds like you, milk your talents for creative visualization. Imagine yourself somewhere better during trying times—but don't focus on just any mental image. "Try different scenarios and pick one you truly find relaxing," says Seskevich. Keep engaging reading material and your favorite movies on hand for instant escapism.
"Focus on an interesting object in the room or a complex and meaningful thought, something that gets your mind involved," suggests Dr. C. David Jenkins, adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Turn to music. Concentrate on the lyrics, or remember a time or a place associated with the song or artist. For stress relief on the run, tote your iPod or a handheld CD player stocked with tunes that soothe you.