Your Inner Strengths Should Be Nurtured

Your Inner Strengths Should Be Nurtured

I write and talk a lot about acceptance.

Acceptance of ALL emotions, of imperfections and, among other things, of life’s ups and downs.

None of us are perfect; so we all have faults and failings and weaknesses.

But at the same time, we all also have strengths; inner attributes we could and probably should use much more …

via Psychology Today by Rick Hanson


  • Inner strengths are stable traits—an enduring source of well-being, wise and practical action, and contributions to others.
  • Two-thirds of your inner strengths can be developed over time. You get them by growing them.
  • Experiences matter as they make changes in your neural networks.

Source: 100426683_MarkLambert/Dreamstime

I’ve hiked a lot and have often had to depend on what was in my pack. Inner strengths are the supplies you’ve got in your pack as you make your way down the twisting and often hard road of life. They include a positive mood, common sense, integrity, inner peace, determination, and a warm heart. Researchers have identified other strengths as well, such as self-compassion, secure attachmentemotional intelligence, learned optimism, relaxation response, self-esteem, distress tolerance, self-regulationresilience, and executive functions. I’m using the word strength broadly to include positive feelings such as calm, contentment, and caring, as well as skills, useful perspectives and inclinations, and embodied qualities such as vitality or relaxation. Unlike fleeting mental states, inner strengths are stable traits, an enduring source of well-being, wise and effective action, and contributions to others.

The idea of inner strengths might seem abstract at first. Let’s bring it down to earth with some concrete examples. The alarm goes off, and you’d rather snooze, so you find the will to get up. Let’s say you have kids and they’re squabbling, and it’s frustrating—so, instead of yelling, you get in touch with that place inside that’s firm but not angry. You’re embarrassed about making a mistake at work—so you call up a sense of worth from past accomplishments. You get stressed racing around—so you find some welcome calm in several long exhalations. You feel sad about not having a partner—so you find some comfort in thinking about the friends you do have. Throughout your day, other inner strengths are operating automatically in the back of your mind, such as a sense of perspective, faith, or self-awareness.

Challenges, Vulnerabilities, and Strengths

A well-known idea in medicine and psychology is that how you feel and act—both throughout your life and in specific relationships and situations—is determined by three factors: the challenges you face, the vulnerabilities these challenges grind on, and the strengths you have for meeting your challenges and protecting your vulnerabilities. For example, the challenge of a critical boss would be intensified by a person’s vulnerability to anxiety, but he or she could cope by calling on inner strengths of self-soothing and feeling respected by others…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE