How to practice Mindfulness and Character Strengths.
Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), offers a unique integration of Mindfulness Practice and Character Strengths Practice and emphasizes the use of mindfulness to uncover and boost what is best in individuals.
MBSP is an 8-session program that brings the practice of mindfulness and the practice of character strengths together. It includes discussions, meditations, strengths practices, lecture/input, and homework exercises.
Typically each session runs to 90 minutes and can be delivered either on-site or virtually, but we can also run 60 minute versions of the course. We can also run the course as a short series of workshops, where the course is delivered in 3, four hour workshops, typically run every 2 weeks.
There are two general categories of integration:
1. Strong mindfulness: improving mindfulness practices by weaving in character strengths.
2. Mindful strengths use: improving character strength use by weaving in mindfulness.
MBSP teaches individuals to engage more deeply with life. Emphasis is placed on exercises that are discussed and practiced each week. This course teaches the basics of mindfulness and of character strengths, and offers more advanced, practical ways to integrate the two. It presents a unique angle to living one’s best life, re-discovering happiness, achieving goals, finding deeper meaning and life engagement, and coping with problems.
What are Character Strengths?
You are a person of Character. We all are. Each of us has it within us, to varying degrees, certain traits that are respected and admired by others around us. Sometimes it's humour, or courage or the perseverance to push a project through. Other times its Forgiveness, Gratitude or the Zest to go after deadlines. These traits are called Character strengths. Some of them will be immediately obvious to you, others you might be strong in, but never have noticed. Others might sit quite dormant, just waiting for the tiniest of nudges from you to suddenly spring forward. Some we can call on in a crises and others we can nurture and grow.
There are 24 Character Strengths in total and each represents a fundamental human trait. The Character Strengths we bring forward the most often and the most naturally are our Signature Strengths and it is the combination of these Character Strengths that make each of us who we are.
Character strengths, and how they apply to "Who we are," were developed by over 50 research scientists led by Dr. Neal Mayerson and Dr. Martin Seligman, to explore what is best about human beings.
Character Strengths are the positive qualities that come naturally to you - such as love, hope, creativity and fairness - that impact the way you think, feel and behave in all aspects of your life. Character strengths are viewed as "who we are," in other words, they are part of our core identity.
The VIA 24 character strengths are considered to be the backbone of the study of what is "right" with people, and may occupy the most central role in the field of positive psychology as pleasure, flow, engagement and other positive experiences are enabled by good character.
To discover your character strengths, take the only free, scientifically-validated survey of character strengths in the world, the VIA Survey
What is Mindfulness?.
Leading scientists in mindfulness have arrived at a 2-part definition* that explains what mindfulness really is.
- The self-regulation of your attention - whether it be attending to a present emotion, thought, belief, impulse, sensation, or something in your surrounding environment, and,
- Approaching it with an attitude of curiosity / openness / acceptance.
Mindfulness is about shifting in the way we relate to ourselves. It's about seeing and experiencing ourselves in a different way. We are taking control of what we focus on and keeping our attention alive in the present moment. Mindfulness helps us not to change our thoughts but to relate to our thoughts in a different way - a way that is balanced and nonjudgmental, curious and accepting
What are your Character Strengths? Take the Free VIA survey.?
The VIA Survey of Character Strengths is a simple self-assessment that takes less about 15 minutes and provides a wealth of information to help you understand your core characteristics. Most personality tests focus on negative and neutral traits, but the VIA Survey focuses on your best qualities.
Created under the direction of Dr. Martin Seligman, the "father of Positive Psychology" and author of Authentic Happiness and Flourish, and Dr. Christopher Peterson, distinguished scientist at the University of Michigan and author of A Primer in Positive Psychology, and validated by Robert McGrath, Ph.D., the VIA Survey is regarded as a central tool of positive psychology and has been used in hundreds of research studies and taken by over 5 million people in over 190 countries resulting in better workplaces... schools... teams...LIVES the world over.
If you would like to run a Mindfulness and Character Strengths course at your company or club please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org