PERMA is an acronym for a model of well-being put forth by a pioneer in the field of positive psychology, Martin Seligman. According to Seligman, PERMA makes up five important building blocks of well-being and happiness:
- Positive emotions – feeling good
- Engagement – being completely absorbed in activities
- Relationships – being authentically connected to others
- Meaning – purposeful existence
- Achievement – a sense of accomplishment and success
Positive emotions are among the many components that make up happiness and well-being, and one of the more obvious layers of happiness. Let’s begin by distinguishing between pleasure and enjoyment. While pleasure relates to satisfying bodily needs like hunger, thirst, or taking a long sleep after a tough day, enjoyment comes from intellectual stimulation and creativity. We see enjoyment in action when we observe children screaming with delight as they run and skip in the mud, or build snowmen and throw snowballs at each other. Enjoyment also involves being intellectually challenged and standing up to it. When 10-year old Jack was able to put a jigsaw puzzle together, which requires concentration and careful figuring out, smiles of contentment and enjoyment spread over his beaming face.
Everyone has had the experience of becoming so absorbed in work or in reading a book that they completely lose sense of time or forget an appointment. We’ve also seen children becoming so involved in play that it’s not easy to get their attention, or to get them to stop. Achieving this state of flow or total engagement is natural, especially when people are involved in activities they love and are good at, such as dancing, playing sport, or pursuing creative activities and hobbies.
Happiness and psychological health are inextricably linked with close, meaningful, and intimate relationships. Fleeting social relationships with strangers as well as longstanding ones with peers, siblings, parents, extended family, and friends are all sources of positive emotions and support. According to research, one important function of social networks is that they can spread happiness, cheer and laughter like wild fire.
True happiness, according to the psychologist Rollo May, comes from creating and having meaning in life, rather than from the pursuit of pleasure and material wealth. Loving someone and being loved is a meaningful phenomenon, for example, because such acts inspire people to live for, and take care of, someone other than the self. Living a meaningful life is, in essence, related to attaching oneself to something larger than oneself. It instills the sense that there is a larger purpose to life, and being a part of it confers meaning. Having such connections with something bigger is also an effective barrier against depression. Research shows, for example, that religious or spiritual people generally have more meaningful lives because they believe in and worship something greater than themselves.
Having explicit goals in life, even small ones like reading for an hour everyday, and making efforts to achieve them are important to well-being and happiness. Achievement helps to build self-esteem and provides a sense of accomplishment. It also strengthens self-belief. Parents that actively set and try to achieve goals, such as daily exercise, for example, tend to have children who develop similar attitudes.
Link(s) and Source(s): See Here