2 thoughts on “10 Tried-and-True Happiness Boosters

  • December 9, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Signature strengths? How can I find those when I’m in the depths of despair and depression?

    Reply
    • December 9, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      This is an important question, Marvin. Signature strengths are part of the equation (almost always a missing part) in helping with depression. They are a terrific adjunct to medication, psychotherapy, mindfulness, and so on. And they are also part of an orientation or approach that therapists and helpers can take – they can learn to look at problems through a strengths lens and offer addition support in that way.

      To your question about finding signature strengths in the depths of depression, this will vary by the person and how their depression operates. For many people with depression, their depression is empowered by inactivty, negative beliefs, automatic pilot, and other physical/psychological/social elements that create a vicious circle; to look to strengths can “seem” trivial, superficial or impossible. One strategy is to know one’s signature strengths PRIOR to a depression episode and have them displayed in one’s environment to remind oneself to turn to curiosity or social intelligence or creativity or kindness or prudence or etc. at those times. Another strategy is to keep strengths top of mind when interacting with others – you might not be willing to spot your own strengths when depressed but could still be motivated to spot strengths in family, friends, and co-workers. Tell them about their strengths and ask them to return the favor. A final comment is to have a solid character strengths-practice set up on a personal level (not unlike having a daily exercise routine or a routine to take medicine each morning). Character strengths have been found to help buffer problems (keep them at bay) and manage problems so having a strengths practice you do every day no matter what can be of further help.

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