“Wow, that’s a strength? It all makes sense now. That’s incredible!”
I’ll never forget this reaction from a freshman at a local university in Cincinnati, after he discovered his highest strength of character was appreciation of beauty and excellence.
He went on to say:
Mental health is about thinking, feeling and behaving in healthy ways. We can improve our mental health by widening the way we use our strengths of character. Each of our character strengths –creativity, judgment, zest, teamwork, hope – are actually capacities for thinking, feeling and behaving.
We spend a lot of our waking moments being consumed with negative thoughts – how we didn’t measure up, pondering a mistake we made, or worrying about a conflict that is arising.
We spend a fair amount of time being upset with painful emotions such as anger, sadness, guilt and anxiety. Why not balance our negativity with healthy thoughts and positive feelings? We can turn to our strengths to help.
Holidays are catalysts for character strengths.
Each holiday poses a special opportunity to awaken us from our slumber and activate one or more strengths. It seems that in the U.S., the culture collectively turns its attention to a particular strength each holiday. Consider the following:
What about Mother’s Day? Many strengths are great contenders on this holiday. However, it is unlikely that any can topple the importance of love.
What have you been missing or not considering?
There are plenty of quick fixes for weight loss. Just about any weight loss program, diet, or trick will work. Yes, it’s true. But this is temporary. The vast majority of individuals gain their weight back – and often they become heavier than their original weight.
By far, the biggest challenge in losing weight is maintenance. Keeping weight off is quite simply the elephant in the room. Not enough programs and experts talk about this.
“I’ve taken a strengths test, now what do I do?”
“I work with employees (or students or clients) and I want to help them tap into their strengths, what’s the next step?”
These are the most common questions the VIA Institute receives about strengths from people around the world. The VIA Institute has taken so many steps to thoroughly answer these questions that they are becoming moot. VIA offers a staggering amount of resources on strengths: