Enneagram Stress and Growth: What It Means & How It Works

The Enneagram symbol represents how your energy changes and shifts. Your sensations, emotions, and thoughts can all change within a matter of minutes. You can find your flow by analyzing your enneagram stress and growth patterns. The Enneagram system shows how your energy can shift in two different directions; neither are necessarily good or bad.
enneagram stress and growth

On the Enneagram symbol, each number has two lines associated with it.

Under stress, you tend to move along one of those lines (the other represents growth).

The first direction is integration. If you move towards the direction of integration, that means your type is getting healthier. You will feel better in all nine personality types as you get healthier in your type.

If you gravitate towards the second direction– stress, your personality type will be affected, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Stress signs are a sign that you need to take action towards integration.

You can find balance within your Enneagram type by learning from your growth and stress patterns. It is important to examine both your healthy traits and average behaviors.

The more you become self-aware, the quicker you realize when you’re stuck within your personality type.

In times of stress, the type you go to is like an emergency valve to keep you from getting worse. It keeps you from drifting away from your true self.

Once you’ve discovered your Enneagram type, you can look at the following information to see how you are doing.

Take note of your personality traits and how you present yourself to the world and use that information to help keep yourself at your best.

Remember, if stress becomes an issue and you feel you are moving towards unhealthy traits, it’s important to take steps towards better self-care.

Integration and Stress Movements

Paying attention to your enneagram growth and stress pattern will help you be more present each day and be open to your inner wisdom.

Type 1: The Reformer

Integration Moves Toward The Healthy Side of Enneagram Type 7

  • Curious
  • Playful
  • You can see the whole picture
  • Want’s to make the most of your life
  • You see the beauty of life

Stress Moves Toward The Average Side of Enneagram Type 4

  • Likes to work overtime
  • Becomes highly sensitive
  • Feels misunderstood
  • Leans towards daydream or fantasy

Type 2: The Helper

 Integration Moves Toward The Healthy Side of Enneagram Type 4

  • Knows how to practice self-care
  • Learns how to say no
  • Allow their inner experiences to guide them
  • The ability to express the creative side

 Stress Moves Toward The Average Side of Enneagram Type 8

  • neediness becomes into dominance
  • Love can become demanding and even hysterical
  • Not able to trust others
  • Resorts to bullying and attempts to control others by taking over

Type 3: Achiever

Integration Moves Toward The Healthy Side of Enneagram Type 6

  • More open to following and less need to control
  • Less competitive
  • Relationships and teamwork become easier
  • Loyalty is important

Stress Moves Toward The Average Side of Enneagram Type 9

  • The doing becomes blocked
  • Feels worn out easily
  • Becomes less productive
  • Uses alcohol, food, or drugs as ways to numb feelings

Type 4: The Individualist

Integration Moves Toward The Healthy Side of Enneagram Type 1

  • Gains strength and becomes self confident and empowered
  • Get rids of physical desires
  • Becomes more assertive and vocal
  • Feels more competent

Stress Moves Toward The Average Side of Enneagram Type 2

  • Resorts to compulsive doing
  • Uses pleasure such as drugs, games, Internet to escape
  • Becomes hyperactive
  • Manic thoughts take over your life

Type 5: The Investigator

Integration Moves Toward The Healthy Side of Enneagram Type 8

  • Finds strength and become empowered
  • Lives a more fulfilling life
  • Can effectively step into leadership roles
  • Becomes more assertive and vocal

Stress Moves Toward The Average Side of Enneagram Type 7

  • Resorts into compulsive doing
  • Uses fantasy to escape reality
  • Manic thoughts can lead to risky behavior
  • Escape through pleasurable activities

Type 6: The Loyalist

Integration Moves Toward The Healthy Side of Enneagram Type 9

  • Mind quiets down
  • Tends to be more flexible and trusting
  • Becomes more supportive
  • They can trust their gut

Stress Moves Toward The Average Side of Enneagram Type 3

  • Increased anxiety
  • Frequent attempts to gather resources
  • May deceive or tell lies to appear competent
  • Motivated to produce outcomes

Type 7: The Enthusiast

Integration Moves Toward The Healthy Side of Enneagram Type 5

  • Gets more focused
  • Able to practice contemplative activities
  • Decrease general consumption
  • Practices introspection

Stress Moves Toward The Average Side of Enneagram Type 1

  • Becomes more critical and judgmental
  • Agitated with anyone who restricts freedom
  • Black and White Thinking
  • Becomes picky and rigid

Type 8: The Challenger

Integration Moves Toward The Healthy Side of Enneagram Type 2

  • Becomes more giving and softer to others
  • Becomes more attentive to others and shows more compassion
  • Express vulnerability and tenderness
  • Knows how to respect others’ beliefs and to see other people as equals

Stress Moves Toward The Average Side of Enneagram Type 5

  • Resorts to isolation and withdrawal
  • Tends to be less expressive and emotionally disconnected
  • Detaches from the vitality of life
  • Lose energy and self-care is forgotten

Type 9: The Peacemaker

Integration Moves Toward The Healthy Side of Enneagram Type 3

  • Takes decisive actions in the world
  • Learns to Feel special.
  • Adopts an optimistic view
  • Has confidence to stand behind accomplishments

Stress Moves Toward The Average Side of Enneagram Type 6

  • Passivity can be replaced by worry, and reactivity
  • Finds security in other external sources
  • Turns suspicious, and anxiety increases
  • It leads to self-doubting
  • Gets more involved in their complex inner world

Final Thoughts: The Benefits Of Exploring Your Stress & Growth Lines

Knowing your Enneagram type is the beginning point of self-exploration.

You will be able to explore your Enneagram growth and stress lines once you have identified your Enneagram type. You can figure out your Enneagram type by taking our Free Enneagram Test here (Enneagram Test page).

You can become your best self by learning how to move towards directions of integration and stress.

It takes a lifetime to become your best self and be a fully functioning person.

But life is full of surprises. You will rebound quickly after stress when you have more life experience and are more skilled at healing.

As you begin life exploration, you will begin to notice signs. You can get back to your true self faster if you learn to recognize the signs sooner.

You can change your circumstances by being patient, working hard, and being determined.

The better you can interpret your Enneagram growth and stress lines, the more balanced you’ll be in your life.

This will happen in each of the nine Enneagram types as you continue to practice your understanding.

My Own Terms

My Own Terms is a company founded by Joshua T. Osborne to help people take back control of their lives and live life on Their Own Terms.

Want More?

Check out our Enneagram Test for an in-depth guide to get you started on your new life journey.

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