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Positive Psychology Exercises

Submitted by on April 28, 2007 – 12:22 pm 401 views No Comment

I came across a great post this morning on Integral Options Cafe. This is a repost from the Personal Development Suite 101 blog.

Positive Psychology Exercises

Research studies point out personal development directions
Maximize your personal development results and get the most benefit from your personal growth efforts by incorporating these findings from the latest research in Positive Psychology. Exercises that lead to greater happiness and life satisfaction–the good life–can help you make the most of the time and energy you devote to personal development.
Positive Psychology Studies

Positive psychology researchers study the ingredients of the good life–happiness, fulfillment, and life satisfaction. Their goal is to find those activities and ways of thinking that characterize happy people. Can each of us be happier by choosing how we think and what we do? The answer, happily, is yes.
Positive Psychology Exercises

There is no lack of self help advice available at dozens of Internet sites (including this one), in hundreds of books, and through workshops presented by many present-day gurus. Though most of the advice is sound, some is based on personal anecdote and experience and may not be effective for most people. The following three personal growth exercises are validated by scientific research.

  • Discover life purpose
  • There is a strong correlation between one’s happiness and their sense of purpose or meaning in life. These exercises are designed to help you find your own personal sense of purpose and meaning. Any one of these may be sufficient, so if the first one you pick doesn’t work well for you, try another.

    1. Recall instances of great satisfaction and happiness. What were you doing? What were the circumstances? What is the underlying theme, if any?

    2. Recall times when you’ve been occupied with an activity and lost all track of time. Perhaps you worked through normal meal or sleep times without realizing it. What were you doing? What talents were you using?

    3. Start with a blank sheet of paper or computer screen. At the top, write My Purpose in Life is… Start writing whatever comes to your mind. When you write something that evokes great emotion, perhaps even tears of joy, you’ve touched on a life purpose that is meaningful and important to you.

  • Focus on personal growth
  • Personal growth and development is correlated with greater happiness. As with life purpose, try any or all of the following exercises to identify aspects of personal growth most important to you.

    1. Make a list of your accomplishments over the past twelve months. Reflect on how these accomplishments have contributed to your personal growth. Can you see an underlying theme of personal development directions that is most satisfying?

    2. Make a list of the opposite, those accomplishments that were drudgery and left you with little or no satisfaction other than that of completion.

  • Use your unique strengths
  • Researchers find there is a strong correlation between happiness and using one’s strengths in daily activities. Use one or more of these techniques to clarify your top strengths:

    1. Make a list of those things you do really well. Combine and narrow the list until you have only five or six of your top strengths. These are qualities that you have used in moments of greatest pride and satisfaction.

    2. Ask people who are close to you what qualities they most admire about you.

    3. Fill out the VIA questionnaire here which provides an assessment of your top five strengths. Compare these results with the above methods and look for consistent areas. Discard any that you disagree with.

    Devoting time and energy to these three growth exercises, Life Purpose, Personal Growth, and Using Unique Strengths, will enrich your life and bring a sense of greater satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness.

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