Radiating Sunshine: P.E.R.M.A {Happy}

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

P.E.R.M.A {Happy}

Living a positive lifestyle is so important to your overall wellbeing. The father of positive psychology, Seligman claims that we shouldn't just increase human happiness, but we should work on human flourishing. Originally, Seligman thought that there were three main area towards positive psychology: the pleasant life- the life of enjoyment, the good life- the life of engagement, and the meaningful life- the life of affiliation. But, after a lot of reflection the meaningful life transformed into P.E.R.M.A. 

So, what is PERMA?

Positive emotion: There are a ton of different positive emotions. They include peace, inspiration, gratitude, or love. The message here is that it is so important to evaluate how you're feeling. It is suggested to get a journal and once a day document three things that went really well and why. 

Celebrating. everyday. moments. I really try to make sure I recognize when I'm happy and when I do a good job. So, whether that is on an academic assignment or something as simple as connecting with one of my RAs I like to recognize a job well done and now I know why!

Engagement: When we are truly engaged in an assignment or a project we experience what is defined as flow. Which basically means we can lose track of time and get totally absorbed by the task at hand! It is suggested that if this is an area you need to improve on: removing distractions and using your best strengths to perform the task is the most helpful. 

Have you ever just been working on a project and totally lost track of time? This happens to me all the time especially, if I'm in a deep conversation with someone important and when I finally check the clock four hours have passed and I had no idea. 

Relationships: "good" relationships are so important to us. Out of all species, we are the most social and we create the largest groups to associate with. It has been shown that those who have meaningful and positive relationships with other people are genuinely happier than those who don't It is suggested to either get out and meet new people or work on the relationships you have. 

I know for me relationships are so important. I spend a lot of time developing various friendships and relationships with people and I would much rather have a long and deep conversation with a close friend, than just have a ton of meaningless conversations. 

Meaning: "meaning comes from serving a cause much bigger than ourselves" Whether your goal is for your sports team to win or to master the art of knitting; as long as the goal goes towards helping others in some way or another you'll experience the wonderful feeling of a meaningful life. So, go out and serve at a soup kitchen or donate some old clothes and also make sure that what you are doing in work gives you satisfaction. 

This is probably one of the points I connect with the most on the PERMA scale. I'm always trying to serve a cause bigger than myself, not because it is the nice thing to do or makes me look better in other people's view but, because at the end of the day I want to have lived my life for others instead of myself. That type of life is more rewarding for me. 

Achievement: it feels nice to accomplish something. Whether that is an A on a test, a nod from the boss, or successfully cooking a meal; achievements boost your mood. It is nice to do well and excel in an area… especially one that you're struggling in. Studies show that determination can go a long way in this area!

I'm not afraid of failure by any means. I know a ton of people who cringe at the thought of being unsuccessful, but for me I just want to do what I do to the best of my ability. And I almost always have my perfectionist cap on, so that combination works out pretty well when it comes to achieving things. 

Seligman says by focusing on all 5 of these themes we can really flourish in life and live a happy lifestyle. How does PERMA play a role in your life? Happy Tuesday, folks!
sources: PERMA Model

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Remember, "every time you smile at a someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing"- Mother Teresa

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