Enneagram and Health: Using Personality Types to Improve Physical and Mental Well-being


The Enneagram is a model of personality that helps us understand ourselves and others on a deeper level. It provides insight into our motivations, fears, and behaviors, which can be used to improve overall well-being. Personality typing has long been associated with health, as certain personality traits can lead to specific health concerns. When trying to improve our health, it’s important to consider both personality and physical health.

Enneagram Overview

There are nine Enneagram types, each with its own core motivation, fear, and behavior. These types are categorized into three groups: the Gut or Instinctive Center, the Heart or Feeling Center, and the Head or Thinking Center.

Type One, the Perfectionist, is motivated by the desire to be good and right. They fear being wrong or bad and tend to behave in an orderly, structured manner.

Type Two, the Helper, is motivated by the desire to be loved and needed. They fear being unwanted or unloved and tend to behave in a helpful, caring manner.

Type Three, the Achiever, is motivated by the desire to succeed and be admired. They fear failure and tend to behave in a competitive, goal-oriented manner.

Type Four, the Individualist, is motivated by the desire to be unique and special. They fear being ordinary and tend to behave in a creative, introspective manner.

Type Five, the Investigator, is motivated by the desire to understand and be knowledgeable. They fear being ignorant and tend to behave in a logical, analytical manner.

Type Six, the Loyalist, is motivated by the desire to feel secure and supported. They fear being alone and tend to behave in a loyal, cautious manner.

Type Seven, the Enthusiast, is motivated by the desire to experience and enjoy life to the fullest. They fear being limited or bored and tend to behave in an adventurous, optimistic manner.

Type Eight, the Challenger, is motivated by the desire to be strong and in control. They fear being vulnerable and tend to behave in a decisive, assertive manner.

Type Nine, the Peacemaker, is motivated by the desire for peace and harmony. They fear conflict and tend to behave in a calm, accommodating manner.

Enneagram and Physical Health

The Enneagram is a powerful tool for understanding personality and behavior. It is a model that describes nine distinct types of people, each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. While the Enneagram is often used to explore emotional and spiritual aspects of a person, it can also be useful in understanding how each type might approach physical health and fitness.

Type 1: The Perfectionist

Type 1s are known for their discipline and desire for perfection. They tend to be very conscientious about their health and take pride in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Type 1s may gravitate toward intense exercise routines, such as long-distance running or high-intensity interval training. They may also be attracted to strict diets or nutritional plans that allow them to feel in control of their food choices.

However, the downside for Type 1s is that they can become overly critical of themselves when it comes to their physical health. They may set unrealistic goals and push themselves too hard, leading to burnout or injury. To combat this, Type 1s should focus on finding balance in their exercise routine and allowing themselves to indulge in moderation without guilt.

Type 2: The Helper

Type 2s are driven by a desire to help others, and this extends to their approach to physical health and fitness. They may enjoy group exercise classes or partnering up with a friend to stay motivated. Type 2s may also prioritize healthy habits, such as drinking enough water or getting enough sleep, so that they have the energy to care for others.

However, like all types, Type 2s can struggle with self-care. They may put others’ needs ahead of their own and neglect their own health in the process. To address this, Type 2s should prioritize making time for themselves, whether that means scheduling a massage or taking a solo yoga class.

Type 3: The Achiever

Type 3s are motivated by success and achievement, and this can translate to their approach to physical fitness. They may enjoy competition or setting goals for themselves, such as running a marathon or achieving a certain level of strength. Type 3s may also be attracted to trendy workout programs that promise quick results.

However, the downside for Type 3s is that they can become overly focused on external validation and lose sight of the joy in movement. To combat this, Type 3s should focus on finding exercise routines that feel personally fulfilling, whether that means trying a new sport or dance class.

Type 4: The Individualist

Type 4s are known for their creativity and desire for authenticity. When it comes to physical health and fitness, they may be drawn to unconventional forms of exercise, such as aerial yoga or outdoor rock climbing. Type 4s may also prioritize self-expression in their workout attire or music choices.

However, the downside for Type 4s is that they can become overly focused on their own individuality and miss out on the benefits of working with others. To address this, Type 4s should try partnering up with a workout buddy or taking a group class.

Type 5: The Investigator

Type 5s are curious and analytical, and this can extend to their approach to physical health and fitness. They may enjoy researching different types of exercise or nutrition plans to find the most efficient or effective methods. Type 5s may also prefer solo workouts so that they can focus on optimizing their own performance.

However, the downside for Type 5s is that they can become overly focused on data and research and miss out on the experiential aspects of physical activity. To combat this, Type 5s should prioritize trying new things and allowing themselves to have fun with movement.

Type 6: The Loyalist

Type 6s are driven by a desire for security and stability. When it comes to physical health and fitness, they may be drawn to routines or plans that provide structure or predictability. Type 6s may also prioritize safety in their exercise choices, avoiding risky or extreme activities.

However, the downside for Type 6s is that they can become overly anxious or fearful about their health and fitness. To address this, Type 6s should focus on finding a sense of empowerment through movement and challenge themselves to step outside of their comfort zone.

Type 7: The Enthusiast

Type 7s are known for their love of adventure and desire for stimulation. They may enjoy trying new forms of exercise or exploring different modalities of movement. Type 7s may also prioritize fun and enjoyment in their workouts rather than strict adherence to a plan.

However, the downside for Type 7s is that they can become overly impulsive and neglect the importance of consistency in their exercise routine. To combat this, Type 7s should prioritize finding balance between novelty and consistency and set realistic goals for themselves.

Type 8: The Challenger

One of the primary challenges for Type 8 is a tendency towards anger and aggression. They may struggle with a need for control and power, leading them to dominate others and push away vulnerability. This can lead to challenges in relationships as they may struggle with empathy or emotional connection.

Type 9: The Peacemaker

Type 9’s common negative pattern is a tendency towards passivity and indecisiveness.

Enneagram and Mental Health

The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system that categorizes individuals into nine distinct types, each with its own unique characteristics and coping mechanisms. Understanding your Enneagram type can provide valuable insights into how you approach mental health and emotional well-being, including your coping mechanisms and potential challenges.

Type 1 – The Perfectionist: Type 1s often struggle with anxiety and the need to be in control. They may cope by setting high standards for themselves and others, but this can lead to self-criticism and burnout.

Type 2 – The Helper: Type 2s tend to focus on the needs of others rather than their own. They may have difficulty setting boundaries and taking care of their own emotional needs.

Type 3 – The Achiever: Type 3s are driven to succeed and can become workaholics. They may struggle with feelings of failure if they do not meet their goals.

Type 4 – The Individualist: Type 4s are highly emotional and introspective. They may struggle to regulate their emotions and feel misunderstood by others.

Type 5 – The Investigator: Type 5s value knowledge and may become isolated from others in pursuit of learning. They may struggle with social anxiety and emotional intimacy.

Type 6 – The Loyalist: Type 6s seek security and may struggle with anxiety and indecision. They may cope by seeking guidance from authority figures or relying heavily on routines and rituals.

Type 7 – The Enthusiast: Type 7s are adventurous and seek new experiences. They may struggle to sit with uncomfortable emotions and may avoid facing difficult situations.

Type 8 – The Challenger: Type 8s are strong-willed and assertive, but may struggle with vulnerability and trust. They may cope by pushing others away or becoming aggressive.

Type 9 – The Peacemaker: Type 9s avoid conflict and may struggle with indecision. They may cope by neglecting their own needs and going along with the desires of others.

Awareness of your Enneagram type can lead to better self-care and improved mental health outcomes. By understanding your coping mechanisms and potential challenges, you can take steps to address them and improve your well-being.

Enneagram and Self-Care

Self-care looks different for each Enneagram type. Here are some tips and strategies tailored to each type:

Type 1 – The Perfectionist: Practice self-compassion and set realistic expectations for yourself. Allow yourself to make mistakes and focus on progress rather than perfection.

Type 2 – The Helper: Set boundaries and prioritize your own needs. Practice saying no when necessary and engage in activities that bring you joy.

Type 3 – The Achiever: Take time to rest and recharge. Set goals that align with your values rather than societal expectations.

Type 4 – The Individualist: Practice mindfulness and self-awareness. Embrace your emotions and express them in healthy ways.

Type 5 – The Investigator: Find a balance between learning and socializing. Engage in activities that allow you to use your knowledge to help others.

Type 6 – The Loyalist: Practice stress-management techniques such as meditation or deep breathing. Seek support from trusted friends and family members.

Type 7 – The Enthusiast: Practice grounding techniques such as meditation or yoga. Allow yourself to feel all emotions, even uncomfortable ones.

Type 8 – The Challenger: Practice vulnerability and trust in relationships. Engage in activities that allow you to let go of control and embrace spontaneity.

Type 9 – The Peacemaker: Practice assertiveness and speak up for your own needs. Engage in activities that allow you to connect with your own desires and preferences.

By using your understanding of your Enneagram type to develop a personalized self-care plan, you can improve your physical and mental well-being.


Summarize the key takeaways from the article and emphasize the importance of using personality typing to inform health and wellness decisions.

Encourage readers to further explore the Enneagram and its potential benefits for improving physical and mental well-being.


  1. Enneagram Transformations: Releases and Affirmations for Healing Your Personality Type by Don Richard Riso – This book offers practical tools for using the Enneagram to overcome negative patterns and achieve personal growth. It includes affirmations and meditations designed to help readers release limiting beliefs and behaviors.
  2. The Enneagram for Teens: Discover Your Personality Type and Celebrate Your True Self by Elizabeth Wagele – This book is specifically written for teenagers and provides a fun and engaging introduction to the Enneagram. It includes quizzes, cartoons, and real-life stories to help young adults identify their type and understand themselves better.

The hottest questions and answers about Enneagram

1. What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a personality typing system that consists of nine different types or “numbers.” Each number represents a distinct pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

2. What are the nine Enneagram numbers?

The nine Enneagram numbers are: 1 (The Perfectionist), 2 (The Helper), 3 (The Achiever), 4 (The Individualist), 5 (The Investigator), 6 (The Loyalist), 7 (The Enthusiast), 8 (The Challenger), and 9 (The Peacemaker).

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