As a teen, your brain is changing every day. You’re more aware of the challenges and difficulties of life. You’re questioning everything. And you can tell when grownups are being fake or dishonest. All of these sudden realizations can be overwhelming, and as a result, you may fall into a “negativity trap.” And while there’s nothing wrong with a little sarcasm or skepticism—after a while, negative thoughts have a way of turning inward, causing stress, damaging your self-esteem, and crushing your confidence. So, how can you start building the real positivity you need to be happy, healthy, and in control of your life?
You only need to look inside yourself.
In this unique workbook, you’ll learn to tap into the power of your own character strengths—such as bravery, creativity, being a good friend, perseverance, honesty, and more—in order to build self-confidence, boost a positive attitude, and cope with the inevitable stress of life. You’ll also find out how to spot strengths in those around you, such as friends, family, teachers, and more. Finally, you’ll discover how your own character strengths can help bolster your engagement in life, enhance positive and healthy relationships, give your life greater meaning, increase your accomplishments, and even improve your physical health.
This isn’t a workbook to help you be sunny and happy for the benefit of others. It’s not a workbook to help you ignore the difficulties and injustices of our world. What it is is a toolkit for finding your own inner strengths and using those strengths to be your very best. Imagine all you can accomplish with the power of real positivity—both for yourself and the world!
About the Author
Ryan M. Niemiec, PsyD, is a leading figure in the global education, research, and practice of character strengths that are found in all human beings. He is education director of the renown VIA Institute on Character, a nonprofit organization in Cincinnati, OH, that leads the advancement of the science of character strengths. He is an award-winning psychologist; certified coach; annual instructor at the University of Pennsylvania; and author and coauthor of ten books, nearly one hundred academic papers, and several-hundred user-friendly articles. Niemiec’s books include the best-selling The Power of Character Strengths; and other leading books, including The Strengths-Based Workbook for Stress Relief, Character Strengths Interventions, and Mindfulness and Character Strengths. As a frequent keynote speaker and workshop leader, he has offered several hundred presentations on positive psychology topics across the globe. He is a fellow of the International Positive Psychology Association, and serves on their Council of Advisors. He lives in Cincinnati, OH, with his wife and three young, zestful children. His highest strengths are hope, love, honesty, fairness, spirituality, and appreciation of beauty.
Table of Contents
Letter to Parents and Professionals ix
Part 1 Manifesting Positive Vibes Positive Emotions → Well-Being
Activity 1 Identifying Positive Emotions 12
Activity 2 The ABCs of Mood 15
Activity 3 Forecasting Your Mood 25
Activity 4 Happiness (Zest Booster!) 32
Activity 5 Optimism (Hope Booster!) 36
Activity 6 LOL and Live Fully (Humor Booster!) 41
Activity 7 How Positive Emotions Can Relieve Mental Stress 45
Part 2 Finding The Flow Of Your Life Your Engagement → Well-Being
Activity 8 What Motivates You? 50
Activity 9 Getting in the Flow 54
Activity 10 Engage with Your Signature Strengths 58
Activity 11 Commit Random Acts of Kindness 64
Activity 12 Use Your Strengths to Engage Your Mind and Heart 67
Activity 13 Overcoming Boredom 71
Part 3 Developing A Drama-Free (And Happy) Tribe Positive Relationships → Well-Being
Activity 14 Next-Level Bully Management 78
Activity 15 Are You My Friend or Frenemy? 82
Activity 16 Your Key Relationship Strengths 86
Activity 17 Stop Comparing Yourself to Others! 92
Activity 18 Getting Off (or On) the Social Media Bandwagon 95
Activity 19 Combatting Loneliness and Isolation 98
Part 4 Cultivating What Matters Most Meaning → Well-Being
Activity 20 Savor Special Moments with Family 104
Activity 21 Build an Attitude of Gratitude 107
Activity 22 Create Mindfulness Moments of Strength 110
Activity 23 Mindful Walking in Nature 113
Activity 24 Awe and Elevation 117
Activity 25 Cultivating Spirituality and the Sacred 120
Activity 26 Overcoming Jealousy, Envy and FOMO 123
Part 5 Your Goals, Your Life Accomplishment → Well-Being
Activity 27 Your Best Possible Self 130
Activity 28 Hope for Your Goals 133
Activity 29 Taming Your Inner Critic 136
Part 6 Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Your Positive Health → Well-Being
Activity 30 Promoting Good Health 142
Further Reading 149
Bocci resides in Wilsonville, OR; Niemiec resides in Loveland, OH (the Greater Cincinnati Area).