The researchers at Positive Psychology offer the following descriptors of Positive Psychology and the PERMAH model at its core.
Positive Psychology is described in many ways and with many words, but the commonly accepted definition of the field is this: "Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living... with a focus on strengths instead of weaknesses, building the good life instead of repairing the bad, and taking the lives of average people up to 'great' instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to normal." (Peterson, 2008).
Dr. Martin Seligman, one of the founders of Positive Psychology, developed the five core elements (PERMA) model of psychological well-being and happiness. Dr. Seligman believes that these five elements help people achieve fulfillment and meaning when present. In other words, we can increase our opportunity to flourish by regularly engaging within each of the PERMA pillars in our lives.
Over time H for health has been added to the PERMA acronym to become PERMAH.
Positive Emotions - "Experiencing comfortable feelings like happiness, peace, and joy." Engagement - "Being fully involved in a task and living with interest and curiosity." Relationships - "Having solid relationships with self and others. Feeling loved and connected." Meaning - "Feeling that our lives are worthwhile and serving a cause greater than ourselves." Accomplishment - "Striving for and achieving things that really matter to us." Health - "Establishing habits that increase physical and psychological health."
As you think about enhancing your well-being by exercising your character strengths (link) within the PERMAH pillars, think of yourself as a designer. Create strategies to build habits supporting your intentional efforts to bring these tenets of Positive Psychology into your daily routine.
Learn more about PERMAH.
Explore the other posts in our Wellness Series:
How Can Leveraging Character Strengths Improve My Life?
Why You Should Leave Your Comfort Zone - and 7 Ways to Do So
Who Should Care About Wellness in International Schools?