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PERMAnent Happiness - "E"

E – Engagement

This is part two in the series of “How to enjoy PERMA-NENT Happiness”.

The last time we looked at the ‘P’ in PERMA, we examined the benefits of Positive Emotions.  The next piece of the PERMA puzzle is ‘E’ for engagement which includes some ideas from Mindfulness and the ‘state of flow’ (another positive psychology concept).

Flow is when you are engaged in a task, and you are only focused on what you are doing. Your mind is not thinking about your to-do list or other worries. You are entirely present in this moment.

Seligman (2012) states that engagement is “being one with the music.” Flow or engagement occurs when there is a perfect marriage of challenge and ability (Csikszentmihalyi & LeFevre, 1989).

Research on engagement shows that individuals who try to use their strengths in new ways each day for one week were happier and less depressed after six months (Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005).

Engagement is much more potent than simply feeling happy, but happiness is one of the many by-products of being engaged in what you’re doing.

Ways to increase engagement:

  1. Participate in activities that you love, the things where you lose track of time when you do them.
  2. Practise living in the moment, even during daily activities or mundane work tasks.
  3. Spend time in nature, watching and taking in what is happening around you.
  4. Identify and learn about your character strengths and skills - do things that you excel at.