Positive Psychology Questionnaires

>> Sunday

THE FOLLOWING is a list of questionnaires from Martin Seligman's Positive Psychology Center. Seligman is the premiere researcher into happiness, depression, and personal strength, and his questionnaires are not hokey sideshow nonsense, but the real thing, used by researchers and therapists.

You can learn something about yourself that will really help you improve your mood in the long run. Follow the links and you'll find descriptions for each questionnaire, as well as links to download them.

Curiosity and Exploration Inventory

Gratitude Questionnaire

Inspiration Scale

Meaning in Life Questionnaire

Mindful Attention Awareness Scale

Older Adults' Attributional Style Questionnaire

Personal Growth Initiative Scale

Psychological Well-Being Scales

Quality of Life Inventory

Satisfaction with Life Scale

Silver Lining Questionnaire

State-Trait-Cheerfulness Inventory

Subjective Happiness Scale

Transgression-Related Interpersonal Motivations Inventory

VIA Inventory of Strengths

You can use the "Subjective Happiness Scale" to measure your progress. Take the questionnaire and then try the methods on this site to raise your mood for say, a month, and then take the questionnaire again.

The most useful questionnaire in my opinion is "The VIA (Values In Action) Inventory of Strengths." It reveals your "signature strengths." A signature strength is not only something you're good at but something you also love to do. Add more actions that involve your signature strengths and you'll see your mood rise right off the chart!


National Thank You Day, September 24th

Have you thanked anyone today? The day isn't over yet! Even if it's late, you can send a heartfelt email. Not only does it make the other person feel good, it makes you feel good too.

Back in August, I told you about the first National Thank You Day. It has finally arrived: Monday, September 24th. The original post I made, Who Deserves a Thank You, has some suggestions for how to make a good acknowledgment and why appreciation is such a good thing to do.

I first heard about this event at the Good News Network. They had this to say:

National Thank You Day, to be held annually on the last Monday of September, was inspired by the findings of a recent survey conducted by merci and The Emily Post Institute that found that while 87.3 percent of Americans said they are bothered when people don’t say thank you, 90.2 percent feel that they don’t say thank you enough. The 1,088 people surveyed believed saying please, thank you and you’re welcome are the most important good manners to observe, followed by practicing patience while waiting in lines.

One hundred first prize winners will receive an autographed copy of Post’s latest book, "Excuse Me, But I Was Next...": How to Handle the Top 100 Manners Dilemmas, and a box of merci Finest Assortment of European Chocolates. All nominators who submit an eligible entry will receive two boxes of merci — one to enjoy and one to pass on to the person they would like to thank.

The winners will be announced Monday on the merci site. The grand prize winner will be selected by Peggy Post, among other judges, and presented with their prize in person by the celebrity etiquette expert. The winner will be selected based on having the most inspirational and sincere story, and being the most deserving nominee.

National Thank You Day hopes to encourage you to recognize everyday acts of kindness shown to you by offering a heartfelt thanks – in any form – to all those whose good deeds have gone a long way to help or inspire you.

Sponsored by merci Finest Assortment of European Chocolates in collaboration with the Emily Post Institute, National Thank You Day is held annually on the last Monday of September.


Who Deserves a Thank You?

>> Saturday

GIVING appreciation to someone raises her mood, and it raises yours at the same time, which is why I'm talking about it here on moodraiser.com. It is a simple and easy way to feel better.

Because of your brain's naturally negative bias, you tend to notice what's wrong easier than you notice what's right. But you can override that tendency fairly easily. Simply find a system that reminds you to look for what you appreciate.

Here's one such system: Put five pennies in your left pocket at the beginning of the day. Make five good acknowledgments or thank-you's during the day. Every time you make a one, move a penny from your left pocket to your right.

Having this game keeps you on the lookout for what you appreciate. Which means it keeps your attention focused on the good stuff. And when you find something and express your appreciation, you'll feel even better.

To maximize the impact of an acknowledgment, follow these guidelines:

1. Be specific. People have a tendency to write off general acknowledgments as merely someone "being nice." But when you talk about something specific the person did and how you specifically feel about it, you make your appreciation almost impossible to write off.

2. Talk about what the person did. If you acknowledge an action, you're acknowledging something she had a choice about. If you acknowledge her height, it doesn't mean as much because she didn't have any choice in the matter.

3. Talk about what you feel. Describe your feelings about what the person did. This is what really makes your thank you meaningful.

One of the most important things you can do to become happier is say thank you, show your gratitude, and give good acknowledgments often.

You know this already. But could you do better at it? Starting today? Try it, and then leave a comment letting us know how it worked (did it make your day more enjoyable?) and what worked best.


10 Ways to Squash a Bad Mood

>> Tuesday

THE ACHIEVE IT BLOG has a list of ten ways to improve your mood. The one I liked best was:

"List 20 things you are thankful for...You can’t be genuinely thankful and grumpy at the same time. Try it and see!"

If you've never done this, I think you'll be surprised at how well it works. And it really has to be done by writing. Try to do it in your head and your mind will probably wander, and whenever the mind wanders, it tends to drift into something negative and then it sticks there, bringing you down. So get paper and pen and spend a few minutes writing down what you're thankful for.

Researchers have been trying to find out what makes people happy, and this exercise has been one of the most effective and easiest for people to do. In one study, spending a mere five minutes writing down what they're grateful for every day made people measurably happier.

And you don't have to wait for a reward. You don't have to do it every day as some sort of burden. You can do it today and you will feel better...today.

Why does it work so well? Because the human brain has a negative bias. Your brain is better at noticing what's wrong than what's right. It pays more attention to what's wrong, and thinks about it longer. This may be a good strategy for survival in dangerous times, but doesn't help us feel great.

By deliberately trying to think of what you're glad about, you change the focus of your attention to the good stuff you've been overlooking. It works like magic on your mood.

Further reading: One of my favorite books on the research on happiness and how you can apply it is Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment



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