This week we are continuing with the theme of personality types and patterns of behaviour.

When dealing with a stressful or demanding situation, we become more vulnerable to other minor or major irritations.

Problems tend not to come one at a time: When trying to cope with work-related pressures, you might also be faced with family issues or relationship or financial problems.

Anger and grief are natural responses to difficult and stressful situations, they prepare you for the fight or flight response.

But whether you swim or sink will depend on whether you adopt adaptive or maladaptive behaviour.

So how can you recognise both types of behaviour?

Maladaptive behaviour includes trying not to think about problems and behaving as if nothing has happened. It means keeping your feelings to yourself and bottling things up or, alternatively, avoiding people altogether.

Worrying constantly, eating for comfort, smoking and drinking too much are all forms of maladaptive behaviour.

As is dwelling on how things could or should have been.

Responding to problems by exploding into a temper or going off on an expensive shopping spree is also maladaptive behaviour.

None of these responses is likely to help solve your problems and are likely to perpetuate anxieties and further defensive behaviour.

Adaptive behaviour, on the other hand, allows you to manage stress and enables you to retain your equanimity. This means you are more likely to achieve enjoyment and satisfaction in spite of adversity.

If you allow yourself time to sit and think things through, go over the problem in your mind to try to understand it, you are more likely to learn something even from distressing situations.

Let your feelings out, talk to close friends who can give you sympathy and understanding.

Approach your problems logically, reason things out and work out a plan of action. Try to get practical help from someone who can do something about the problem.

In order to change your behaviour so you can cope more easily when problems arise and then move on from them, you need to have faith in yourself.

Spending time with positive people or joining professional personal training groups, receiving professional counselling and/or cognitive behavioural therapy can all help to initiate this process.

Learn to connect with your inner spiritual energy through prayer, meditation and pranayama. This will provide you with the strength to initiate positive action.

For classes on holistic stress management, contact Dr Jani at his clinic at the address below.

Dr Milind Jani works as a conventional and holistic GP and Dr Asmita Jani as Ayurvedic Consultant from 3 Eaton Gardens, Hove. Call them on: 01273 777448 or e-mail: