Everyone seems to be in the pursuit of happiness nowadays.
Most of us think we know what happiness is, but what are the actual elements that promote happiness within each of us?
Seligman’s theoretical model of happiness (PERMA) helps us understand these elements and what we can do to maximize each element to reach a life full of happiness.
Seligman’s PERMA Model
The PERMA model was designed by Martin Seligman with five core element of psychological well-being and happiness. Seligman believes that these five elements can help people reach a life of fulfillment, happiness, and meaning. This model can also be applied to institutions to develop programs to help people develop new cognitive and emotional tools.
P – Positive Emotion
This element of the model is one of the most obvious connections to happiness. Being able to focus on positive emotions is more than just smiling, it is the ability to be optimistic and view the past, present, and future in a positive perspective.
This positive view of life can help you in relationships, work, and inspire you to be more creative and take more chances. In everyone’s life, there are highs and lows, focusing on the lows increase your chances of developing depression, therefore, you should focus on the high and positive aspects of life. There are also many health benefits to optimism and positivity.
Distinguishing between pleasure and enjoyment is important in this element of the model.
Pleasure is connected to satisfying bodily needs for survival; such as thirst, hunger, and sleep. Whereas enjoyment comes from intellectual stimulation and creativity.
This type of positive emotion is needed, as when someone enjoys the tasks in their lives they are more likely to persevere and battle challenges through creative and alternative solutions.
E – Engagement
It is important in our lives to be able to find activities that needs our full engagement. Engagement in the activities in our lives is important for us to learn, grow and nurture our personal happiness.
Everyone is different and we all find enjoyment in different things whether it’s playing an instrument, playing a sport, dancing, working on an interesting project at work or even just a hobby.
We all need something in our lives that entirely absorbs us into the present moment, creating a ‘flow’ of blissful immersion into the task or activity.
This type of ‘flow’ of engagement is important to stretch our intelligence, skills, and emotional capabilities.
R – Relationships
Relationships and social connections are one of the most important aspect of life. Humans are social animals that thrive on connection, love, intimacy, and a strong emotional and physical interaction with other humans.
Having strong relationships gives you support in difficult times.
Building positive relationships with your parents, siblings, peers, and friends are important to spread love and joy.
M – Meaning
Having a purpose and meaning to why each of us is on this earth is important to living a life of happiness and fulfillment.
Rather than the pursuit of pleasure and material wealth, there is an actual meaning to our life. Such meaning gives people a reason for their life and that there is a greater purpose to life.
A – Accomplishments
Having goals and ambition in life can help us to achieve things that can give us a sense of accomplishment.
Having accomplishments in life is important to push ourselves to thrive and flourish.
You should make realistic goals that can be met and just putting in the effort to achieving those goals can already give you a sense of satisfaction when you finally achieve those goals a sense of pride and fulfillment will be reached.
This article is an extract from Positive Psychology Program. Click here to read the original article