How to Practice Mindfulness – 5 Tips No One Has Told You

Mindfulness is a paradox. It’s the easiest thing in the world and the hardest thing in the world. But, you can cultivate your mindfulness. Here are 5 tips to find success with your mindfulness practice, whether you are new to mindfulness or someone who has been experiencing some hiccups in your practice.

Learning to Soar: Your Intelligences + Character Strengths

Have you heard the story about the farmer finding an eagle’s egg?

Top 10 Amazing (Recent) Findings on Character Strengths

The science of character strengths has exploded in the last decade and a half and we are gaining plenty of new knowledge about these core positive qualities in human beings. Here are 10 interesting and very recent research studies on VIA character strengths.

24 Simple Phrases to Boost Your Happiness

Character strengths use is connected to greater happiness. Many scientific studies have shown this. But, sometimes clarity is needed on what strengths are and how to use them. Here 24 strengths and phrases you can memorize that get at the essence of each universal quality.

Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials: Are Strengths Decreasing?

The VIA Institute on Character examined hundreds of thousands of strength profiles of the 4 main, living, adult generations (Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists). There are consistencies and interesting differences across the generations.

Your Lower Strengths Matter (Thanks Jim Gaffigan!)

Humor is my lowest character strength. Yet, it is of great value. Here's why: New research by Rene Proyer and colleagues shows that expressing either our highest character strengths OR our lowest strengths can be associated with higher levels of happiness. This supports one of the VIA Institute’s core teachings: All 24 character strengths matter.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Coping: Imitate Anna (not Elsa)

Society continues to get it wrong. All the accolades, attention, and toy products emphasize Elsa over Anna. But, which character in Frozen can teach you about healthy coping with problems? Unhealthy coping? Who would you like your child to emulate? Learn about the various ways Elsa and Anna cope in the most popular animated film of all time.

Happify With Your Strengths!

Interested in the science of character strengths? Get tons of interesting research and information all in one image!

Depression: Here's One Forgotten Approach

The use of character strengths is not a cure for depression. It is an important adjunct. In fact, it's an often forgotten aspect of depression therapies. This is surprising because it couldn't be easier for people with depression or their therapists to integrate strengths into treatment. Here's how...

You Are Not Strengths-Based, Even When You Think You Are

Most people who help others believe they are "strengths-based." This is a fallacy. Each of these individuals is likely for more problem-based than strengths-based. Many people are "momentary strengths-based." Here are some stories to exemplify these points. I conclude with 10 insights on strengths blindness and mindfulness and strengths.

New Ways to Happiness with Strengths

Need a happiness boost? Looking for more meaning in life? Trying to reach a goal? A new pathway to reach these benefits is to identify your signature strengths (your best personality characteristics) and use them in a new way each day. Research on strengths has repeatedly found this intervention...

Take Your Mental Health “Pill” Every Day!

A depressed client of mine once remarked—“I found out I need to take my signature strengths pill every day.” She was speaking of the research-based psychology intervention of “use 1 of your signature strengths in a new way each day.”

4 Character Strengths Sustain U2’s Success

How does U2 reflect a connection culture? One reason is the band's many character strengths that they express and appreciate in one another, such as love, humility, and appreciation of beauty and excellence.

Making a Change? Remember the Key Ingredient!

When I listen to people speak about changes they are making, they often speak as if they have no control. They say things like “I’ll have to wait and see what happens” or “I just hope things go back to the way they were.” These statements indicate a passivity—a sense of inaction. They forget they have core internal qualities that give them some control.

24 Ways to Make Mindfulness Stickier

Learn how to "supercharge" your mindful breathing, mindful walking, or other meditation practice. Enhance your intrinsic motivation by bringing your best strengths to your practice. Here are 24 examples to help you get started!

5 Key Tips for Finding Happiness at Work

Five key findings from the VIA Institute about bringing character strengths to work, including grow more from using your strengths rather than improving your weaknesses; connect character strengths with your everyday work tasks; and more!

Follow Your Bliss

Interests and character strengths are two natural energy resources within us. What would your life be like if you maximized both? How might you merge the two together?

Understand Your Strengths

Digging deeper into commonly misunderstood character strengths such as humility, prudence, spirituality, leadership, judgment, and creativity

Well-Doing + Well-Being for Children

Educators and teachers have become too focused on behavioral “well-doing” and not sufficiently focused on experiential “well-being.” The key of social-emotional learning is to bridge the two.

The Strengths of the Gone Girl Psychopath

Delving into the dark side of character by examining character strengths misuse among the psychopathic character of Amy Dunne in Gone Girl.

Character Strengths and Your Career

Traditional career counseling focuses on many different categories of strength, such as interests, skills, and talents. What is rarely discussed in career counseling is strengths of character.

Three Ways to Improve the Development of Your Strengths

Have your strengths ever gotten you into trouble at work? Have your strengths ever collided with a colleague's strengths and made your relationship more tense?

The Many Benefits of Showing Appreciation

Learn what the latest science says about appreciation and some practical tips!

Character Education: Molding Clay or Planting Seeds?

What is the next step for character education? What is our underlying philosophy in how we view students? The dominant approach in character education is an approach and philosophy of prescription (e.g., build up these 3-5 character qualities in all students). This is in direct contrast with an approach of description.

Top 6 Misconceptions About Strengths

Many, if not most, practitioners refer to themselves as “strengths-based.” However, the word strengths has become a generic term that does not have universal meaning. What follows are 6 common misconceptions people have about strengths.

Are the Best Things in Life Free?

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” This was (and is) one of my father’s favorite phrases. He was usually right. This adage helped me to balance my signature strength of curiosity with a healthy skepticism (the strength of judgment) and caution (the strength of prudence). But, let me offer you a rare exception in which this phrase does not apply...

Myers-Briggs or VIA Survey (Character Strengths)?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the VIA Survey are two of the most popular tests in psychology for both personal and professional use. There are some similarities but many important differences to understand. These are offered as well as ideas for integration.

Do This One Simple Thing to Boost the Mood of Others

During one of the hospital rounds, a team of three doctors came in and went through the standard questions, comments, and advice. Nothing new. But one doctor did something different: With her Irish dialect she offered some observations of my son over the days. She made describing him, I caught the words: “vibrant,” “hard-working,” and “inquisitive."

Divergent: Use the Movie to Create the Best Version of You

Divergent — the best fictional portrayal of character strengths written — has become a popular movie and franchise. Divergent is a marvelous opportunity for strengths enthusiasts to look closely at issues relating to strength and virtue. Take both the Divergent test and the VIA Survey. Compare the results and deeper your self-knowledge!

What You are Missing When You See a Person with a Disability

If there was ever a day to start spotting strengths, it is today. Today is World Down Syndrome Day. This day promotes awareness and understanding of Down syndrome. Thus, why not promote the character strengths of people with Down syndrome?