Your mind is your strongest muscle, but it can also be your worst enemy, so you have to train it well. PERMA is an acronym for a model of wellbeing put forth by a pioneer in the field of positive psychology, Martin Seligman. According to Seligman, PERMA defines five important building blocks of wellbeing and happiness:
Positive Emotion – Things like gratitude and compassion. One of the most effective ways to cultivate positive emotions is to keep a gratitude journal. Having a list of three things that you are grateful for on a daily basis. This could be your health, friends and family, your pet, or simply your ability to be present in this very moment.
Engagement – How do you engage in what you are doing? Can you fully be present to experience your emotions? When you engage in positive rituals you create feelings of happiness, self-recognition, and a feeling of purpose.
Relationship – Relationships can be the most powerful source of self-satisfaction. We are social animals who are hardwired to bond, connect, and depend on one another. Positive relationships with a spouse, family, friends, co-workers, and other peers are essential in order to experience genuine joy. Strong relationships also create a foundation of support and resilience during challenging times (i.e., Covid crisis).
Meaning – Connecting to something larger than yourself. Having goals and ambitions opens you to opportunities for a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction. Tuning into your “why” will provide a sense of belonging and stability. When you tune into your meaning, it is easier to know where you belong. Understand the impact of your work and why you choose your “why.” This will create genuine happiness.
Accomplishments – Think about your ambition, your pride, and your short and long-term goals. Enjoy the adventure in getting where you’re going, rather than the bumps on the road. In some ways, the most powerful accomplishments are the things that are just consistent with your personal values. It doesn’t necessarily mean starting a business or getting a degree. Don’t just wait for the finish line to be proud of yourself. Take pride in the journey, because that is actually where life happens.