A new poll suggests the more individuals use their strengths; the less likely they are to suffer from stress.

According to a Gallup poll, the more Americans get to use their strengths to do what they do best, the less likely they will experience feelings of stress, anxiety, sadness or physical pain. The survey based their results on telephone interviews that involved more than 5,000 individuals aged 18 and older.

The survey revealed 21 percent of the individuals interviewed use their strengths for three or fewer hours per day and are overwhelmed with a heavier emotional burden compared to adults who are able to use their strengths throughout the day. Only one in four participants exercise their strengths 10 or more hours per day, which equates to 75 percent of adults that are not using their strengths to achieve the maximum emotional benefit.

The poll found the more hours a day adults utilize their strengths and full potential, the more likely they are to report having bursts of energy, feeling well-rested, feelings of happiness, smiling or laughing more, learning something deemed to be interesting and being treated with respect.

It was found within in just a few hours of utilizing one's strengths; it can maximize one's chance of having a good day. Also, with each additional hour one utilizes his or her strengths, it reduces his or her levels of stress and worry and respect increases.

Among different ethnicities Hispanics are less likely to utilize their strengths. Whites reported using their strengths on average seven hours a day, African-Americans were found to utilize their strengths 6.9 hours a day and Asians 6.8 hours a day. 

Researchers believe using one's strength is directly linked to feelings of accomplishment and endurance. Individuals who learn their own strengths are 7.8 percent more productive compared to their counterparts. It was found the more people utilize their strengths they were more engaged in their work, display better performance and less likely to leave their organization. Education and income did not influence how often an individual used his or her strengths. 

Health experts suggest to maximize your strengths you should:

  • To first develop your strengths and learn how to best apply them
  • Be aware of and applying strengths on a daily basis
  • Don't based your strengths off of what is being done to you

 Always remember you are the authority of your own strengths.