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Does “be yourself” really make you happier?

 

Almost. I’d revise it to “be your best self.”

People who deliberately exercised their signature strengths — those qualities they were uniquely best at, the talents that set them apart from others — on a daily basis became significantly happier for months.

Via The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work:

When 577 volunteers were encouraged to pick one of their signature strengths and use it in a new way each day for a week, they became significantly happier and less depressed than control groups. And these benefits lasted: Even after the experiment was over, their levels of happiness remained heightened a full months later. Studies have shown that the more you use your signature strengths in daily life, the happier you become.

HEY YOU: Before you flit on to the next shiny thing on the internet, pause for a just a second:

What are you uniquely good at? Could you do it more often? When? Make a quick plan to do it daily at a specific time or triggered by a consistent event. After you accomplish it, reward yourself. You’re already on your way to a life-changing good habit.

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About Eric Barker