In Part 1 we started to explore why it is that some people can face the adverse situations that life presents them and come through without becoming depressed. This opened up a new branch of psychology now called POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY.
In this Part 2 of the series we shall explore new ways of using your key strengths, and before you start thinking “I have no key strengths;” WRONG! Everyone has some strengths!
Try to list as many things, no matter how small or big, that you like about yourself. Think about your character in particular. Here are some hints to get you started:
- Being considerate of others
- Good cook
- Work ethic
- Liking to read
- Handy around the house
- Good eye for decorating or art
- Enjoying bike-riding
- Good at your job
- Kind to people
- Good driver
- Easy to get along with
Once you have made this list, carry it with you and look at it from time to time, remind yourself of your strengths even if you are not using them at this time.
Begin to think of what potential you could reach by using these strengths, begin to appreciate yourself more instead of being down on yourself about your weaknesses. Stop comparing yourself to others, you are you and no one else can be you! Appreciate your uniqueness!
Next start using your strengths in a way that benefits you and others as well. Helping others is a way to help yourself too. For example, from the list above here are a few suggestions:
- Good cook – you could volunteer to cook for ‘Meals on Wheels’
- Kind to People – you could join some organization that helps people
- Good driver – you could offer your driving skills to transport people who do not drive or have a vehicle
I remember when I was working in a Health Store, one of the customers, a young man in his twenties, came in looking very depressed. I asked him why he was so depressed and he told me his girlfriend had left him. A few weeks later he came into the shop again, still looking as depressed as before.
I asked what he had been doing, to which he replied “nothing, I just stay home feeling sorry for myself.” So I suggested he could spend some of his time to help others, and by helping others he could get to feel better about himself.
The next time he came into the shop he looked happier, and he told me “you were right! I helped my sister with some problems she was experiencing and I do feel better now.” YES!
Here is what YOU do now:
- Make a list of your strengths
- Appreciate who you are
- Start thinking about how you can turn your strengths into POSITIVE ACTION
- Make the changes happen!
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