Positive Psychology: Can Your Personal Strengths Help To Manage Stress?

The growing area of Positive Psychology helps people to harness what they are doing well, rather than focus on problems. It works with the understanding that people will naturally want to lead fulfilling lives and have often overcome significant problems in their lives by using personal qualities that encourage resilience.


We know about The Importance of Resilience in the Workplace and how it can help individuals to ‘bounce back’ during stressful periods at work, such as when an organisation is undergoing restructuring. But can recognising your own strengths help too? Leading cognitive therapists Christine Padesky and Kathleen Mooney suggest that identifying your personal strengths can help to build your own personal model of resilience.


Some key questions to identify your strengths:


  • What are your passionate interests or hobbies? The things that you always manage to do or take an interest in no matter what?
  • What happens if you encounter an obstacle or set back with this hobby? What personal qualities do you have that help you to overcome obstacles? For example, if you enjoy running but are temporarily injured, what helps you focus on getting back to running? Your strengths might be ‘discipline’ in ensuring your recovery or ‘focussing on the longer-term benefits’ of returning to running, rather than becoming disheartened about your current situation.
  • How can these personal qualities help you to overcome other obstacles? For example, at work? Maybe the personal qualities that you use to overcome difficulties in your hobbies can help you to navigate stressful periods in the workplace. Strengths such as discipline or focussing on longer-term benefits could help you out by encouraging you to remain resilient in the face of adversity.


For further information about how Strengths Based CBT can help with workplace difficulties contact Penny Hayler at Central Occupational Health here

Blog compiled by Penny Hayler, Head CBT and Counselling Psychologist, at Central Occupational Health


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