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Authentic Happiness Counseling Center University of Cincinnati.

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Presentation on theme: "Authentic Happiness Counseling Center University of Cincinnati."— Presentation transcript:

1 Authentic Happiness Counseling Center University of Cincinnati

2 How Do You Define Happiness?  Is it about your latest purchase?  Dating the best-looking person?  Winning the lottery? My definition of happiness is: ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________

3 Psychologists Have Found  A good definition of real or true happiness is… Feeling many pleasures. Feeling few pains. Finding satisfaction with life.

4 And Feeling… Positive emotions such as... Satisfaction Zest Fulfillment Gratitude Hope Cheer Joy

5 My positive emotions include: ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________

6 Also…  Real or “authentic happiness” turns out to be about strengths, character, and virtues in daily life.

7 How Do I Get There?  Develop strengths. Strengths can help you create hope, contentment, and satisfaction.

8 Strengths  Some strengths include: Curiosity and interest in the world Diligence (being thorough and careful) Honesty Kindness Leadership

9 More Strengths Hope Modesty Humor Enthusiasm And many more! (Seligman, M. E. P., 2002)

10 What Are My Strengths?  Researchers have come up with a variety of ways to measure strengths.

11 What Are My Strengths?  Here are some questions from Seligman’s Values in Action (VIA) Strengths Test to help you think about your strengths.  How much do these statements apply to you?

12 What Are My Strengths? 1. I always keep my promises. 2. I always say thank you, even for the little things. 3. I always look on the bright side. 4. My life has a strong purpose. 5. I always finish what I start. 6. I throw myself into everything I do. (Seligman, M. E. P., 2002)

13 Strengths to Virtues  Using personal strengths usually leads to pride, satisfaction, joy, fulfillment, harmony and…  By using strengths, you achieve virtues. (Seligman, M. E. P., 2002)

14 Virtues: What’s That?  Virtues are… Showing respect for yourself, others and the rules you live by. The essence of human spirit. Your character.

15 Some Virtues Wisdom (using knowledge well) Courage (facing difficult obstacles) Love and humanity (being good to others)

16 More Virtues Temperance (self-control) Spirituality and transcendence (finding meaning beyond the material world) Justice (being fair to others) Dependability

17 My Virtues My virtues include: ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________

18 Can I Become Happier?  If you are not as happy as you want to be, cheer up!  It is possible to create happiness!

19 Here Are Some Steps Develop strategies to cope with stress and hardship. Focus on the positive. Appreciate the good things. Be true to yourself and sincere with others. (Wallis, 2004;

20 And… Invest time and energy into family and friends. Keep commitments to others. Meditate. Pray. Smile. Laugh.

21 Let’s Start… Think about strengths.  My strengths include:

22 Focus on the good in life.  Some good things in my life are:

23 Once a week, write down 3-5 things you are thankful for.  I am thankful for:

24 Practice acts of kindness such as volunteering or mentoring.  I will engage in these acts of kindness:

25 Make and meet goals—for the day, the week, long-term, etc.  My goals include:

26 Talk out problems or concerns with a good friend.  When I am upset I will talk to:

27 Use positive self-talk with statements such as “I can get through this” and “I can solve problems.”  When I am upset I will tell myself: ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________

28 Take care of your body by getting enough sleep and exercise.  I will sleep ______ hours per night  I will exercise _____ days per week

29 Some benefits of using strengths and virtues… High motivation. Feeling involved. Greater productivity. Achievement of goals. Making decisions that are good for you and for others.

30 As Well As… Stronger relationships. Positive thoughts and feelings. Confidence and pride. Satisfaction with life. and… Happiness—real, true, lasting,… “authentic.”

31 Measurements Of Happiness  You can take the entire VIA Strengths Test, and find other tools that measure your happiness, life satisfaction, strengths, gratitude, and grit at:

32 Further Information  For further information on positive psychology go to  Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. New York, NY: The Free Press.

33 Counseling Center We offer:  Confidential counseling for UC students – individual and group  Free walk-in urgent care services during business hours  Consultation with faculty, staff, family, and friends concerned about a student  Workshops and presentations – stress management, communication, relationships and balancing demands, and other life-enhancing topics 316 Dyer Hall (513)


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