New Positive Psychology Exercise: What are Your “Defining Moments”?

August 9, 2012 by ·

Life is what happens between monotony and miracles, as one sage put it. Indeed, our lives are a collection of moments in time – some mundane and routine, some extraordinary, and many others. I’m not sure that we are shaped by every moment and every event of our lives,... Read More

Mindfulness and Character Strengths: Training #5 (Nourishment & Healing)

July 24, 2012 by ·

We have seeds of character strengths within us. At least 24 of them. Some of these seeds have blossomed and are blooming fruit and beautiful flowers. Others lie dormant awaiting us to touch them with mindfulness. Mindfulness and Thich Nhat Hanh’s “five mindfulness trainings” offer us an opportunity to... Read More

Mindfulness and Character Strengths: Training #4 (Loving Speech and Deep Listening)

July 5, 2012 by ·

Consider a world in which people, groups and organizations bring careful intentionality to what they are doing. They listen to one another with strong compassion, and reflect deeply on the impact their words have on others. Thich Nhat Hanh’s “five mindfulness trainings” are a recipe for mindful living as... Read More

Mindfulness and Character Strengths: Training #3 (True Love)

July 3, 2012 by ·

The wise, humble and zestful monk, Thich Nhat Hanh has inspired countless individuals over the years with his teachings on mindfulness, peace and compassion. One of his teachings is the five mindfulness trainings which offer a practical and positive approach to living. Keep in mind: These are mindfulness trainings... Read More

Mindfulness and Character Strengths: Training #2 (True Happiness)

July 1, 2012 by ·

Perhaps nobody has brought more clarity to how mindfulness can manifest in our daily lives than Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh offers five mindfulness trainings that help individuals bring more depth, purpose and meaning into their lives. Keep in mind: These are mindfulness trainings not mindfulness commandments. The... Read More

Mindfulness and Character Strengths: Training #1 (Reverance for Life)

June 29, 2012 by ·

Do good in this world. Do good for this world. Mindfulness will help you. Character strengths will help you. The practice of mindfulness and the practice of character strengths have each been connected with a number of positive benefits relating to happiness, health, relationships, achievement and other valued outcomes.... Read More

The Power of Positive Labeling

May 30, 2012 by ·

“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: “I’ve lived my life from... Read More

Mental Health: Thinking, Feeling, & Acting From Your Strengths

May 21, 2012 by ·

What does curiosity feel like? What does bravery think like? What does humility look like? 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,... Read More

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

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