I’ve done a lot of work in the area of Flourishing, researched it, wrote about it, and sought to apply it.
I’ve based this on a well-researched model of well-being (the PERMA model) created by Seligman.
Seligman says that in the PERMA model there are five key elements that contribute towards well being. They are:
Positive emotion (of which happiness and life satisfaction are all aspects)
As Seligman says:
“No element defines well-being, but each contributes to it.”
See that key part there at the end? The presence of all of these elements more often than not, not 24/7, not all day everyday, but more often than not, are important.
Seligman has said flourishing cannot exist without the presence of both positivity and negativity.
This means there is no need to force a positive attitude or anything like that nor to expect to be happy or ‘up’ every second of every day!
I love this line from him:
“Is there someone in your life whom you would feel comfortable phoning at four in the morning to tell your troubles to? If your answer is yes, you will likely live longer than someone whose answer is no.”
I also love this exercise:
“Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three things that went well today and why they went well. You may use a journal or your computer to write about events, but it is important that you have a physical record of what you wrote. The three things need not be earthshaking in importance (“My husband picked up my favorite ice cream for dessert on the way home from work today”), but they can be important (“My sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy”).
Next to each positive event, answer the question “Why did this happen?” For example, if you wrote that your husband picked up ice cream, write “because my husband is really thoughtful sometimes” or “because I remembered to call him from work and remind him to stop by the grocery store.” Or if you write, “My sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy,” you might pick as the cause “God was looking out for her” or “She did everything right during her pregnancy.”
Writing about why the positive events in your life happened may seem awkward at first, but please stick with it for one week. It will get easier. The odds are that you will be less depressed, happier, and addicted to this exercise six months from now.”
There is a lot we can say about Flourishing.
More importantly, there is a lot you can do to flourish.
Over to you…