the creative individual

People are more creative than others and are literally bubbling with ideas, while others rarely or never show signs of creativity. What should we look for when searching for creative people?
Creativity can quite simply be defined as the capacity to come up with new ideas to serve a purpose. Creativity is thus one of the most important sources of renewal. Creativity contributes to innovation and improvements in working life, commerce and industry.

No wonder employers want creative employees in areas where it is essential to come up with proposals for new products and services, and new ways of doing things.
The creative personality
Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen at BI Norwegian Business School has conducted a study to develop a personality profile for creative people: Which personality traits characterize creative people?
The study was conducted with 481 people with different backgrounds. The segment consists of various groups of more or less creative people.

  • The first group of creative people consists of 69 artists working as actors or musicians in a well-known symphony orchestra or are members of an artist’s organization with admission requirements.
  • The second group of creative people consists of 48 students of marketing.
  • The remaining participants in the study are managers, lecturers and students in programs that are less associated with creativity than marketing.

The creativity researcher mapped the participants’ personality traits and tested their creative abilities and skills through various types of tasks.
Seven creativity characteristics
In his study Martinsen identifies seven paramount personality traits that characterize creative people:
• 1. Associative orientation: Imaginative, playful, have a wealth of ideas, ability to be committed, sliding transitions between fact and fiction.
• 2. Need for originality: Resists rules and conventions. Have a rebellious attitude due to a need to do things no one else does.
• 3. Motivation: Have a need to perform, goal-oriented, innovative attitude, stamina to tackle difficult issues.
• 4. Ambition: Have a need to be influential, attract attention and recognition.
• 5. Flexibility: Have the ability to see different aspects of issues and come up with optional solutions.
• 6. Low emotional stability: Have a tendency to experience negative emotions, greater fluctuations in moods and emotional state, failing self-confidence.
• 7. Low sociability: Have a tendency not to be very considerate, are obstinate and find faults and flaws in ideas and people.
Among the seven personality traits, associative orientation and flexibility are the factors that to the greatest extent lead to creative thinking.
“Associative orientation is linked to ingenuity. Flexibility is linked to insight,” says the professor. The other five characteristics describe emotional inclinations and motivational factors that influence creativity or spark an interest in creativity.
“The seven personality traits influence creative performance through inter-action,” Martinsen points out.
Øyvind L. Martinsen. The Creative Personality: A Synthesis and Development of the Creative Person Profile. Creativity Research Journal, 2011; 23 (3): 185 DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2011.595656

 

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Resiliency

In groups I sometimes work with the idea of resiliency.
Resiliency ….. What does it mean to be resilient? Bounce back, bounce off of, withstand, remain standing. Is it a part of our hereditary, our inborn temperament? Perhaps it’s a positive self concept. An ability to remember the past, live in the present, and look to the future.
Could it also involve hitting rock bottom, being aware of limitations, seeking support? Perhaps it’s a mentor, a will to live, a focus on healing.
Could it be that resiliency is a connection with spirituality, a commitment to listen to others, a willingness to be truthful?
One thing is certain that resiliency is different for everyone, with some commonality mixed in here and there.
As a child, I found/rediscovered resiliency outside moving, often in my favorite tree.
A tree stands alone
Wind rustles leaves together
We sway arm in branch
As an adult, I have found resiliency many places and many ways. Often, in combining the practice of creative movement, tai chi and hatha yoga, something I first learned to do  in a Creative Dance Class in 1983. Something that I teach/guide individuals and groups to do whenever I can.

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Wellness

Wellness is not the mere absence of disease. It is a proactive, preventive approach designed to achieve optimum levels of health, social and emotional functioning. Wellness can also be defined as an active process through which you become aware of and make choices toward a more successful existence.

The definition of Wellness is: NOUN
1. mental and physical soundness: physical well-being, especially when maintained or achieved through good diet and regular exercise.

A wellness-oriented lifestyle encourages you to adopt habits and behaviors that promote better health and an improved quality of life. It also involves the recognition that you have physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs, with each dimension being necessary for optimal levels of functioning.f-060

Wellness is a positive approach to living – an approach that emphasizes the whole person. It is the integration of the body, mind, and spirit; and the appreciation that everything you do, think, feel, and believe has an impact on your state of health.

Since lifestyle has been found to be the single most important factor determining your pattern of general health, it is important that you be educated to “take charge” of your daily life and to set healthy lifestyle goals. The choices you make have a dominant influence on your health ad wellness. The secret is not in medical care, but consistent self- care. While traditional medicine concentrates on alleviating or curing disease, the wellness approach encourages you to take personal responsibility for your well-being.

Remember, Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.

“…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” – The World Health Organization

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Men and Depression

In my years f doing groups I have on occasion facilitated men only groups. One issue that comes up is depression. We all have bouts of sadness now and than and when those bouts of sadness interfere with our daily lives than we need to take a step in the direction of change. Below is a handout I often use, particularly with dual diagnosed men.  5241352878_f53a343088

Symptoms of Depression

Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few; some people suffer many. The severity of symptoms varies among individuals and also over time.

· Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.

· Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism.

· Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.

· Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyable

· Decreased energy, fatigue; feeling “slowed down.”

· Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.

· Trouble sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping.

· Changes in appetite and/or weight.

· Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts.

· Restlessness or irritability.

· Persistent physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain that do not respond to routine treatment.


Co-Occurrence of Depression with Other Illnesses

Depression can coexist with other illnesses. In such cases, it is important that the depression and each co-occurring illness be appropriately diagnosed and treated. Research has shown that anxiety disorders which include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder commonly accompany depression.

Substance use disorders (abuse or dependence) also frequently co-occur with depressive disorders. Research has revealed that people with drug and/or alcohol addiction are almost twice as likely to experience depression.

Depression has been found to occur at a higher rate among people who have other serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, HIV, diabetes, and Parkinson’s.

Causes of Depression

Very often, a combination of cognitive, genetic, and environmental factors is involved in the onset of depression. Modern brain-imaging technologies reveal that, in depression, neural circuits responsible for the regulation of moods, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior fail to function properly.

In some families, depressive disorders seem to occur generation after generation; however, they can also occur in people with no family history of these illnesses. Genetics research indicates that risk for depression results from the influence of specific multiple genes acting together with non-genetic factors.

Environmental factors such as trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, financial problem, or any stressful change in life patterns, whether the change is unwelcome or desired, can trigger a depressive episode in vulnerable individuals. Once someone experiences a bout of depression later episodes of depression may occur without an obvious cause.

Men and Depression

Men are more likely than women to report alcohol and drug abuse or dependence in their lifetime; however, there is debate among researchers as to whether substance use is a “symptom” of underlying depression in men or a co-occurring condition that more commonly develops in men. Nevertheless, substance use can mask depression, making it harder to recognize depression as a separate illness that needs treatment.

Instead of acknowledging their feelings, asking for help, or seeking appropriate treatment, men may turn to alcohol or drugs when they are depressed, or become frustrated, discouraged, angry, irritable, and, sometimes, violently abusive. Some men deal with depression by throwing themselves compulsively into their work, attempting to hide their depression from themselves, family, and friends. Other men may respond to depression by engaging in reckless behavior, taking risks, and putting themselves in harm’s way.

How to Help Yourself if You Are Depressed

Depressive disorders can make one feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. It is important to realize that these negative views are part of the depression and do not accurately reflect the actual circumstances. Negative thinking fades as treatment begins to take effect. In the meantime:

  • Engage in mild exercise. Go to a movie, a ballgame, or participate in religious, social, AA/NA meetings or other healthy activities.
  • Set realistic goals and assume a reasonable amount of responsibility.
  • Break large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and what you can as you can.
  • Try to be with other people and to confide in someone; it is usually better than being alone and secretive.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
  • Feeling better takes time. Often during treatment of depression, sleep and appetite will begin to improve before depressed mood lifts.
  • Postpone important decisions. Before deciding to make a significant transition–change jobs, get married or divorced–discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • Do not expect to ‘snap out of’ a depression. But do expect to feel a little better day-by-day.
  • Remember, positive thinking will replace the negative thinking as your depression responds to treatment.
  • Let your family and friends help you.
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Addiction and trust:

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