The World Health Organization (WHO) Definition of Wellbeing (using the UK and Australian spelling of well-being): "Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community."
Awareness of the wellness needs of students, teachers, staff, and administrators has increased due to the effects of the pandemic. Wellness has also become a big business, especially regarding the topic of self-care and the products and services offered to support it.
Audrey and I are both teachers/coaches of wellness. Our approach to wellness is through the scientifically supported field of Positive Psychology. We will do some podcast episodes on wellness, and this blog will have many posts about it.
The commonly accepted definition of Positive Psychology is "Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living... with afocus 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 element (PERMA) model of psychological wellbeing and happiness. Dr. Seligman believes that these five elements help people work towards a life of fulfillment and meaning. In other words, we can increase our opportunity to flourish (thrive) by 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.
We will unpack PERMAH in another post.
Explore the other posts in our Wellness Series: