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The long and short of it is because it is good for you and easier to do than focussing on your challenges. This is because you are more likely to achieve a goal when you don’t have to reach as far to achieve it. Think of giving up something totally verses reducing it.
Psychologists report a growing body of research finding that people who use their strengths:
Are happier – reporting lower levels of depression, higher levels of vitality and good mental health.
Feel less stressed – reporting higher degrees of positivity; particularly in the character strengths of Kindness, Social Intelligence, Self-regulation, and Perspective. These appear to create a buffer against the negative effects of stress and trauma.
Feel healthier and have more energy – endorsement of character strengths is connected with a number of healthy behaviours including leading an active life, pursuing enjoyable activities, and eating well.
Are more confident – significantly associated with self-efficacy, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-confidence.
Experience faster growth and development – positive self-examination and strengths building are particularly helpful when learning something new, something difficult, or something believed to be difficult.
Our strengths are those qualities that rejuvenate us, those things we feel passionate about and enjoy. By concentrating on strengths our positivity and energy is increased and we can use them to work on our challenges and goals.
Martin Seligman and his work on positive psychology, Marcus Buckingham (who did extensive research into ‘what do great managers do differently’) there is now sound evidence that focusing on strengths will improve the overall performance of individuals, teams and businesses (http://developmentsolutions.org.uk).
Research shows that spotlighting our strengths can also increase employee engagement, productivity, resilience and creativity.