Use Your Strengths
Why Should You Try It: Sometimes we give our weaknesses and limitations more attention than our strengths. Yet research suggests that thinking about personal strengths can increase our happiness and reduce depression. This exercise asks you to identify one of your personal strengths—a positive trait that contributes to your character, such as kindness or perseverance—and consider how you could use it in a new and different way.
Time Required: Every day for a week. Time required each day will vary depending on how you choose to exercise your strengths.
How to Do It:
- Take a moment to think about one of your personal strengths—for instance, creativity, perseverance, kindness, modesty, or curiosity. Consider how you could use this strength today in a new and different way. For example, if you choose the personal strength of perseverance, you might make a list of tasks that you have found challenging recently, then try to tackle each one of them. Or if you choose curiosity, you might attempt an activity that you’ve never tried before.
- Describe in writing the personal strength you plan to use today and how you are going to use it. Then, go ahead and do it—act on your strength as frequently as possible throughout the day.
- Repeat the steps above every day for a week. You may use the same personal strength across multiple days, or try using a new personal strength each day.
- At the end of the week, write about the personal strengths that you focused on during the week and how you used them. Write in detail about what you did, how you felt, and what you learned from the experience.
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