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How to enjoy PERMA-nent Happiness


Researcher Martin Seligman (2012) investigated what makes life worth living and how we might define and create wellbeing. He narrowed it down to five elements that can contribute to our happiness.

The five elements (PERMA) are:

  1. Positive emotions
  2. Engagement
  3. Relationships
  4. Meaning
  5. Accomplishments

Research has shown a strong connection between the PERMA elements and health, vitality, and life satisfaction.

Let’s look at the first element of PERMA which is P for Positive Emotions.

Positive Emotion goes beyond feeling happy and includes gratitude, hope, interest, joy, and compassion.

The presence of positive emotions points to a flourishing life and can promote resilience. If they are in short

supply in your life, they can be developed to help stop the cycle of negative thoughts and actions.

Increasing positive emotions assists individuals in building psychological, social, and intellectual resources that lead to this resilience and overall wellbeing.

Some ways to increasing positive emotions include:

  • Spend time doing activities that you enjoy (hobbies etc.)
  • Reflect on what you are grateful for and what is going well.
  • Invest time in relationships with people you care about.
  • Listen to uplifting and inspirational music.

Look out for the next one in the PERMA series of elements, E for Engagement.