A Mother’s Day Challenge

May 13, 2012 by ·

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. Read More

Weight Management: Strengths and Mindfulness are Missing Pieces to the Puzzle

May 9, 2012 by ·

What are the ingredients of successful weight loss? 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... Read More

Strengths of the Heart and Mind and Other Strengths Topics

May 2, 2012 by ·

“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 on Character receives about strengths from people around... Read More

Can Character Strengths Save Your Life?

April 29, 2012 by ·

I recently watched the reenactment of a story of a young man, Dave, who decided he would impress a group of friends by swimming across a Florida canal to a pier and back. Dave’s friends were gathered at a cottage home, celebrating a recent college graduation. They were busy... Read More

Re-discover Happiness with Laughter and Humor

April 25, 2012 by ·

I used to lead a laughter group a few times a year for clients at a psychotherapy clinic. The group was interactive and educational. The purpose was to highlight the therapeutic benefits of laughter. Participants were encouraged to bring jokes, funny stories, and come dressed in costume. There was... Read More

New Ways To Happiness with Strengths

April 20, 2012 by ·

Need a happiness boost? Discover your signature strengths and use them in a new way each day. Research has found this intervention gives a boost to happiness and a decrease to depression, with some studies finding effects lasting up to six months. Below are examples of how this intervention... Read More

ROAD-MAP To Strengths Use

April 18, 2012 by ·

When you are exploring your VIA character strengths or attempting to help someone connect more with their own, it is useful to have some guideposts. In other words, everyone needs a “road map” at one point or another, and the phrase “road map” can also serve as an acronym... Read More

Using Mindfulness and VIA Strengths To Overcome Anxiety

April 15, 2012 by ·

A few years ago, I worked with a middle-aged man (I’ll call him “Jim”) who was legally blind and suffered from social anxiety disorder (social phobia). Jim also experienced panic attacks. He wanted to learn to manage his anxiety better and to not have to take his anti-anxiety pills.... Read More

Losing Your Mindfulness? Find Redemption With Your Strengths

April 13, 2012 by ·

Awhile back I was struggling to turn out of a downtown parking garage. Growing impatient, I forced my car into the traffic so I could get on with my day. In doing so I cut off another driver and I became the recipient of a short barrage of honks.... Read More

Depression? Turn to your VIA Strengths!

April 11, 2012 by ·

Using your top VIA strengths – your signature strengths – has been shown to be effective to increasing happiness and decreasing depression. Several scientific studies have shown this. As a psychologist for many years helping clients with depression, I focused heavily on what was wrong. I asked my clients... Read More