How to Improve Your Feeling of Well-being — P.E.R.M.A. Model for Happiness
Are you in the pursuit of happiness? Or are you waiting for it to come to you? “The pursuit of happiness” is one of our unalienable rights, according to the U. S. Declaration of Independence. Isn’t that interesting? They focused on the process of searching for happiness, not happiness itself. Think about that deeply, because it will begin to profoundly change you.
If you want to improve your feeling of well-being, it’s important to make the mental shift away from the idea that “I’ll be happy when this thing happens”. Because when you get that thing, it’s not the key to lasting happiness. No, life shifts again and you want more or something different. The key to feeling happy isn’t simply obtaining your desires. The key is finding delight in the whole process of living!
How can you improve your feeling of well-being by focusing on the process or life system you use?
To begin with, it’s important to recognize that what makes me, or anyone else, happy isn’t what makes you happy. For example, I love my pets, cats especially. Life wouldn’t be complete without them. But you may hate cats, or you may be allergic to them, so they make your life miserable.
We’re all so different. So to define happiness is impossible. But to mindfully choose to be happy – choosing to see the beauty in every situation – is part of the process. Yes, everybody wants happiness, but it is elusive because people focus on the wrong part of the process. The writer Denis Waitley takes us to an eye-opening conclusion:
“It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.”
What can you focus on to increase your feeling of well-being?
If you had to list what makes you happy, can you easily do it? Or is it difficult to define? Is your list the same as it was 25 years ago? Most likely not!
In his book Flourish, psychologist Martin Seligman provides some clues that will help you find your happiness. (He’s known as the face of positive psychology.) He proposes the PERMA Contrast – the need for a balance between five different components of life. When you mindfully work on each of the aspects mentioned below, it naturally follows that your happiness and feeling of well-being improve. (If you want to grab a copy of Dr. Seligman’s book, Flourish, you can find it on Amazon. (In full disclosure, I’ll receive a few pennies in commission. It won’t affect your price at all.)
The PERMA Model
1) Lead a life of Positive Emotions – maximize positive emotions and accept and understand negative emotions. Your feeling of well-being comes from things deeper than fleeting emotions or moods.
2) Lead a life of Engagement – seek out activities that allow you to be in flow. (You’re so involved you lose track of time and self.)
3) Lead a life of Relationships — this powerfully plays a role in supporting the other four components of well-being.
4) Lead a life of Meaning – belong to and serve something that is bigger than self (family, religion, community, country, ideals, or causes).
5) Lead a life of Accomplishment – pursue excellence and mastery, both as goals and as processes.
To maintain a feeling of well-being all five of these needs must be met and balanced. Try applying the 20/80 rule to your life. Spend the first 20% of each morning on small mindful practices such as exercise, centering, meditation, reading, appreciation, and gratitude. When you do, you’ll find that you’re able to handle 80% of your day in a positive way no matter what circumstances you encounter.
Remember: it doesn’t take great changes to make you happy. It’s the small acts of self-love, mindfulness, and appreciation that matter. Of course, being happy doesn’t mean you’re smiling all the time. It means you’re living the life that you’re meant to live. Then you’re able to accept whatever comes your way.
Your feeling of well-being increases when you understand yourself and your core strengths and use them daily. Do you see areas that could benefit from some attention? Would you like some assistance in creating a balanced life? Download my free 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment. It’s a great way to start to reconnect with your body, mind, and spirit.
I also invite you to learn how Somatic Coaching can help you tune into what your body is telling you and how you can give it exactly what it needs when it needs it. It will help you pay attention to the processes and systems that create the greatest impact in your life.