When I first heard about the field of Positive Psychology I was mindblown! “What, there exists a whole science of happiness?”. Seems like more people struggle with it and have the feeling as if they could get more out of their lives. Do you know that feeling as well?
I knew that, scientifically, I did not suffer from depression, but I knew that I was not living to my fullest “happiness potential”. To change that, I took some extra courses in Positive Psychology and studies all the techniques. Let me share with you what I found to be the most helpful theory:
This is the PERMA Model by Martin Seligman (as presented in my last blog, he is one of the most important professors in this area). The components of the model are:
As you see, only with positive emotions, we don’t really come that far. According to Seligman, the other 4 elements are equally important and only when we find balance within these factors we can live a truly fulfilled and happy life.
Let me explain what he means by each level.
Positive Emotion: The “kick” that we get when we ride a rollercoaster, or when we express our gratitude. Or the excitement when we start a new show on Netflix.
Engagement: Doing something that makes us forget time and we feel “in the flow”. For me, this would be salsa dancing or painting… I completely forget about time and space.
Relationships (positive): Spending quality time with loved ones. And yes, quality time doesn’t mean sitting next to each other and checking Instagram, but actually being present in the moment and enjoying the companionship of the other person.
Meaning: Of course, meaning can be very subjective. Something that is meaningful to me can be without any value for you (like a little rock that I found last holiday on the beach for example). What he means is the objective meaning, something that contributes to the wellbeing of society, like the science of AIDS.
Accomplishment: Working on and reaching goals in life.
Isn’t that interesting? 🙂 When we only search for “kicks” on our life but are lacking a sense of meaning or accomplishments we can never be truly happy…
Now! It’s time for action! Take some time to self-reflect and try to be completely honest. Which point is your weakest? What do you lack the most? Why do you think is that way? How could you change it?
If you want some tips on improving your PERMA- score then stay tuned for part 2 of this Topic. (Tips for improving your “PERMA- score”)
PS: In case you have any questions, you are more than welcome to message me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Bee Naturalles on Unsplash