The Five Temperaments: Which One Are You?
New Zealand has produced a world-leading longitudinal study following 1000 people from birth to adulthood over a 40 year period. This study is changing the world as it reforms the way we think about human development – and the things that cause us to become the people we become.
Without question the study is revealing that humans are influenced by both “nature and nurture”. Our genetic composition influences what we CAN become, and our family environment in the first five to ten years will determine how these genes WILL play out into our future – for good and for harm.
One thing they observed is that children can be grouped into five temperaments that tend to stay consistent through the lifetime (but are changeable). They are:
- Well adjusted: can handle novel situations, self-confident, adaptable, social, resourceful, self-controlled
- Reserved: introverted, timid, socially uncomfortable, can overcome to achieve goals
- Inhibited: socially reticent, easily upset, shy, anxious, neurotic, don’t like novelty, highly strung, depressed
- Under-controlled: sensation seekers, aggressive, irritable, highly strung, don’t like change or novelty, socially ill adjusted, negative
- Confident: presence carrying, go-getters, explorers, friendly, impulsive, independent
These traits determine how we get what we need and want and how we treat and consider those around us in the process.
The most influential skill/trait a three year old exhibited in terms of predicting a successful happy future was: SELF CONTROL. Kids can be taught this from a young age and it will make a world of difference to their adult experience.
So parents: teach your children the art of self-control by:
- Teaching them to distract themselves from focusing on what they want until they can actually have it.
- Helping them to understand the long term consequences of their behaviours.
- Highlighting to them how their behaviours impact upon others.
Becoming More Creative
Being creative can increase our sense of well being and happiness. If we are stuck in a rut of depression, or caught out with an enduring sense of anxiety, being creative can help jump start us back onto a more joy filled track. A feeling of accomplishment can instantly boost our “happy hormones” and the very act of creativity re-fires our neural system in our brain. Creativity in one area can promote creativity in other areas. The act of being creative in a practical manner can help our brain to be creative in an emotional or conceptual area. So get yourself moving today and you will find doors opening for you in positive ways as you release the creativity inside of you!
Here are some tips for being your best creative self:
- Play music. Research has shown that listening to music, especially classical music, can increase our creativity, concentration and numerous other cognitive functions.
- Imagine what it would be like to have something you desire come to pass. Think through the details of what would happen how you would feel, what would result. Daydreaming can be extremely helpful in the creativity process.
- Think about something unrelated to your life. Thinking about how to solve someone elses problem, in a far away place, in another time even, can release you from being stuck in the here and now to solve what is in front of you.
- Get a fresh piece of paper and write things down by hand. Being physically involved in the simple act of creating words or pictures on paper can enhance every aspect of your creative process.
- Step out into nature for a break. Take some time to walk in the park, or by the sea. Not only do the colours green and blue stimulate your creative senses, taking a time out, and increasing your blood flow to your brain, are also useful in the creative process.
- Change rooms. Change your work environment and you may find your creative thinking also moves “outside of the box”.
- Pull the problem you are facing apart and re-label each component of it. This can broaden your understanding of it and open your mind up to new ways of thinking about it.
- Stop and watch a funny clip. Play round with someone and get them laughing. Laughter helps release happy hormones which in turn promote creativity.
- Lie down and roll your eyes around. Your eyes are the doorway to the brain. Give your brain a break and let the blood flow easily to it while you stimulate your “eye-gate”.
- Talk to someone. Get their take on creative ideas – and keep positive and open to what they have to say. If you simply critique their thoughts it will shut down your own creativity. So consider their thoughts no matter how crazy, and be positive about them. Being positive is a great creativity boost.
- Make something with your hands. Cook yourself an egg, tidy up the bench, weed the garden. Employing your senses in a collaborative effort can help you think more creatively.
- Try something new. Try a new card game you’ve never played before. Take a new route home. Eat a food you’ve never tasted. The element of novelty can spark creativity.
Here’s to this being your most creative year yet!