Whether you’re new to the field of positive psychology or you’re an experienced positive psychology practitioner, you can always use more resources on positive psychology topics.
The PDFs in this piece are a valuable collection to print and hand out to your clients, students, colleagues, and friends.
Everywhere in the world, people want to be happy, to have positive and meaningful relationships with other people, to have their needs met, and to develop and grow. People want to love and to be loved.
It is these universals that we study as positive psychologists, and it is these universal desires that can be met with practical positive psychology interventions.
This article contains:
7 Practical Resources for Applying Positive Psychology
These resources are practical, applied, and simple to implement in your life or to share with your clients. They provide an enjoyable, gentle introduction to the kind of self-work people do in positive psychology.
1. About Me Worksheet
This is a free worksheet that can help you get to know yourself. Self-awareness is not only an essential construct in positive psychology, but it’s also a vital first step towards getting to know yourself, improving yourself, and improving your life.
It poses an easy set of prompts you can answer in a few sentences or less, but they are effective in getting you to think about who you are and what you value, what you are proud of, and what you enjoy.
The prompts include:
- I was really happy when…
- Something that my friends like about me is…
- I am very proud of…
- My family was very happy with me when I…
- In school, I am very good at…
- Something that makes me really unique is…
Respond to these simple prompts, and you’ll have taken a good first step towards greater self-awareness and, eventually, greater self-knowledge and self-love. You can download the About Me Worksheet here.
2. Self-Awareness Worksheet for Adults
Another great resource for boosting self-awareness is this Self-Awareness Worksheet aimed towards adults. It will get a little deeper than the last worksheet, which means it also requires a bit more thought and effort. Try the worksheet above first if you’re just dipping your toes into self-awareness.
The questions in this worksheet are:
- What are your greatest talents or skills?
- Which of your talents or skills gives you the greatest sense of pride or satisfaction?
- What talents or skills do you admire most in others?
- What talent or skill do you wish to develop for yourself?
- What are your five greatest strengths?
- What do you feel are your two biggest weaknesses?
- What are your best qualities/characteristics?
- What behaviors, traits, or qualities do you want other people to admire in you?
- What are the three most important things to you?
- Do you spend as much time as you would like to on/with these things? Why or why not?
- What makes it hard to be yourself with others?
- How are you trying to please others with the way you live your life?
- Who are the people with whom you feel ‘yourself’?
- What three things are you most proud of in your life to date?
- What do you hope to achieve in life?
Give these questions some thought, and you’ll find yourself with a greater and deeper understanding of yourself, which gives you an excellent platform to build on and improve yourself.
3. Daily Mood Tracker
This resource provides the user with a simple way to track their mood throughout the day. If you’ve never tracked your mood before, you might find that you uncover some surprising insights from it. Of course, there are apps for that sort of thing these days, but it’s nice to be able to put it directly on paper–and it’s free!
The resource is set up in 9 columns, with the time in the first column (6 am to 8 am, 8 am to 10 am, etc.). The next seven columns list moods you may be feeling during the day, including happy, sad, angry, excited, anxious, tired, and other.
You can use these columns however feels right to you, whether that’s using an “X” or shading it in or writing “yes,” but you may find it helpful to rate each feeling on a scale from 0 to 10, 0 being none of the feeling at all and 10 being the highest intensity of that feeling. The final column leaves space for you to take notes.
For example, you may find yourself anxious at a certain point in the day, but you’re not sure why; in such a case, you could take a few moments to think about it and write down any notes or insights you have.
Maybe you noticed you’re anxious right when you get to work because you have a stressful meeting early in the morning, or that you’re angry when you get home because you’re in a period of tension with your spouse. This resource can help you identify those sneaky things that impact our mood when we may usually be oblivious to them.
You can download the Free Daily Mood Tracker here.
4. Problem Solving Worksheet for Adults
We all have problems, and we all find our own ways to solve them (or, less effectively, ignore them). However, some problems pose particular difficulty or uncertainty. If you want to find ways to solve your problems effectively and positively, try this worksheet.
Here are the instructions laid out in the worksheet:
- Identify the problem. Break it down into smaller steps and decide what you need to action first.
- Write down as many ideas as you can that might help solve the problem, no matter how silly they seem– don’t dismiss any possible solutions.
- Weigh the consequences. List the pros and cons of each option.
- Choose one of the possible solutions that looks likely to work, based on the advantages and disadvantages.
- Decide and act. Describe what you will do. Explain your decision.
- On a separate piece of paper, plan out step-by-step what you need to do to carry out this solution. What? When? How? With whom or what? What could cause problems? How can you get around these problems? Is this realistic and achievable?
- Did you achieve what you set out to achieve? If not, how could you have done it differently? Did you achieve any progress, however small, towards your goal? What have you learned?
At first glance, this looks like a simple set of questions and suggestions to guide your problem-solving process–and it is! But to really answer them, you will need to do some thoughtful reflection.
Don’t worry, that reflection will pay off when you find yourself applying your newly developed, highly effective problem-solving skills! Download the Problem Solving Worksheet for Adults here.
5. Techniques for Disputing Irrational Beliefs (DIBS)
One of the pillars of positive psychology is growth and flourishing at the individual level. Although this resource is borrowed from Dr. Albert Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) playbook, it fits in nicely with the positive focus on the self.
This resource lists some questions to ask yourself to get deeper into beliefs you may hold that is irrational and damaging to yourself.
These questions include:
- What self-defeating irrational belief do I want to dispute and surrender?
- Can I rationally support this belief?
- What evidence exists of the falseness of this belief?
- Does any evidence exist of the truth of this belief?
- What are the worst things that could happen to me if I don’t get what I think I must (or get what I think I must not get)?
- What good things could I make happen if I don’t get what I think I must (or do get what I think I must not get)?
These questions are all accompanied by excellent examples to help you think through them. Dr. Ellis also suggests that you record your answers, but you could also write them down in a journal or notebook.
You can download the Techniques for Disputing Irrational Beliefs resource here.
6. Your Core Values Worksheet
This resource will help you identify and define your core values, which gives you a path to using and honoring them more in your daily life. When we live by our core values, we flourish. Use this worksheet to help you figure out what those values are.
This is a small sample of the values listed in the worksheet, but there are many more–as well as space to write in your own values that are not listed there:
Next, the worksheet directs you to grouping your values in a way that makes sense. For example, you may have chosen a values group like abundance, growth, wealth, security, freedom, independence, and flexibility.
Finally, read through the groupings and see which one acts as a good representative for the whole group. In our above example, you might choose “freedom” as the others contribute to freedom and make freedom feel more possible. Do this for each of your groupings, and you will identify your core values.
You can download the Core Values Worksheet here.
7. SMART+ Goals Worksheet
You have probably heard of SMART goals already. They are goals that are created to meet several criteria, making them more effective and making you more likely to meet them.
SMART goals are a way to make self-improvement more likely, more impactful, and more fulfilling to achieve. Meeting your SMART goals will lead you to thrive and flourish.
Here’s what SMART goals are:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable or Agreed Upon
- R – Realistic
- T – Timely
This means that the goals:
- Answer the “what, why, and how” questions about the goal.
- Are short-term, and you will know when they have been attained.
- Are hopeful and attainable.
- Can be met with the skills and resources you currently have.
- Allow enough time to be met.
The part that makes these goals SMART “plus” is the accountability; when you set your SMART+ goals, make sure to consider how you will be held accountable for meeting your goals.
The resource also includes some tips and prompts to help you achieve your goals, including:
- What is my first step I’m willing to take toward my goal?
- What am I willing to notice about what is going well? Where will I keep track of what I’m noticing?
- What experiments am I willing to try?
- Who will be my accountabilibuddy?*
*An accountabilibuddy is someone who you have recruited to help you stay committed to your goals, and who you support and hold accountable in return.
You can find the free SMART+ Goals Worksheet for download here.
Dive Deeper with 5 More Informational Resources
Here are some bonus resources for those interested in diving deeper into positive psychology. They generally have more of an academic bent rather than a practical application, but they can be good starting points for those that want to learn more.
1. Positive Psychology Fact Sheet from the Black Dog Institute
The Black Dog Institute is an Australian organization dedicated to raising awareness, reducing stigma, and providing resources for people struggling with mental illness.
This fact sheet outlines what positive psychology is and how it can help. It’s a great introduction to the subject and can spark curiosity and a willingness to try new things with your clients or patients.
Also, check out the Black Dog Institute’s website for more resources.
2. Positive Psychologists on Positive Psychology
In this PDF, you’ll find a collection of interviews with some of positive psychology’s most prominent researchers and contributors, including Ed Diener, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Barbara Fredrickson.
Aaron Jarden–a senior lecturer at Auckland University, a wellbeing consultant, and a co-founder and co-editor of the International Journal of Wellbeing–conducted the interviews.
3. Positive Psychology in Clinical Practice
Angela Duckworth, Martin Seligman, and Tracy Steen offer in this PDF an introduction to positive psychology by defining it and including a brief history of psychology since World War II. They also make a case for the complementary use of positive psychology in clinical practice.
4. Flourish: Positive Psychology and Positive Interventions
Martin Seligman is one of the founding fathers of positive psychology and is an expert in the subjects of resilience, learned helplessness, depression, optimism, and pessimism. He has written more than 250 scholarly publications and 20 books.
In this PDF, you’ll find his vision of a positive human future and his explanations of positive psychology, wellbeing, and positive interventions.
5. Signature Strengths
Created by the SUNY Fredonia Counseling Center, this PDF can help us examine our signature strengths. Research on this topic has shown that individuals function optimally when consistently living their values and virtues, and when using their strengths to craft their lives successfully.
You’ll find a description of character strengths and a brainstorming section for how to practice resilience and reenergize your life.
Other Positive Psychology Resources
If this list of resources isn’t enough, you’re in luck! There are many other resources available for you to peruse in the Positive Psychology Toolkit (purchase required).
It includes over 300 resources, positive psychology exercises, questionnaires, and assessments that you can use in your own life and to help your clients or patients improve their own lives. It’s a treasure trove of positivity!
“Knowledge is a treasure.
But practice is the key to it.”
17 Positive Psychology Exercises – If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others enhance their wellbeing, this signature collection contains 17 validated positive psychology tools for practitioners. Use them to help others flourish and thrive.
I hope you find these resources helpful. Whether you’re brand new to positive psychology, looking for resources to share with your clients or patients, or a seasoned positive psychology pro, there should be something new here for you to consider.
If you enjoyed these PDF’s, feel free to browse through these Practical Positive Psychology Worksheets and Exercises as well.
What other positive psychology resources do you think would be valuable? What resources do you share with others? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading.