“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.”
~ Martin Seligman
Well-being is a construct, much like weather. Well-being is comprised of 5 different elements, coming together as well-being theory, the centerpiece of Positive Psychology.Advertising
Well-being is a combination of thinking and feeling good, in addition to having meaning, good relationships, and accomplishment in your life. Having high levels of well-being and performing at your best are closely correlated.
The acronym PERMA, coined by best-selling author and renowned well-being researcher Martin Seligman, PhD., consists of 5 measurable elements of well-being:
1. Positive Emotion
(Including happiness and life satisfaction): Feeling good: pleasure, gratitude, love, joy, comfort, warmth, ecstasy, curiosity, inspiration, and rapture. Positive emotion involves much more than a smile. Positive emotion helps us to perform better at work and study. Positive emotion engages our imagination and helps us to persevere in the face of challenges. Positive emotion is experienced in the present and helps us to undo negative emotion.Advertising
A state of flow: Being completely in the zone; when time stops for you; when you lose self-consciousness. Anyone who’s ever tried to stop their child from playing video games knows what engagement looks like. Engagement comes naturally when you’re doing activities love or are good at. You feel nothing at all while completely engaged. You can only look back retrospectively and remember how much fun you had.
Unlike positive emotion, there are no shortcuts to engagement. You must use your signature strengths and talents to meet your highest challenges. Identifying your signature strengths is huge. I recommend a visit to AuthenticHappiness.org. There you can identify your signature strengths, including how to use them more in your day-to-day life.
3. Positive Relationships
As social beings, positive relationships are essential to well-being. Those with positive relationships in their lives are noticeably happier than those without. Feelings of support, familiarity, and security that accompany positive relationships are all correlated with increased levels of well-being. Even relationships built on social media can increase well-being.Advertising
Positive relationships are especially necessary for children. Children showing a willingness to befriend others tend to be more comfortable sharing their feelings. Social connectedness is essential in adolescence as children tend to look to their peers for approval.
Belonging to and serving something bigger than the self. Politics, religion, and philanthropy are a few examples. Science has demonstrated that wealth and material possessions don’t correlate with much more than a temporary spike in well-being. Meaning increases well-being because it gives you a sense of purpose in life. Love is great example of meaning. When you’re in love, you’re inspired to live for, and take care of, someone other than yourself. You’re also less likely to be depressed with a strong sense of meaning because it promotes socializing.
Having goals, no matter the size, and making efforts to accomplish them is essential to your well-being. Merely trying to accomplish your goals increases life satisfaction.Advertising
Children model parents who have a drive to accomplish. Acknowledging your child’s small victories increases their self-belief. The more your child believes in themselves, the harder they try. Such strong self-belief builds resiliency and self-esteem.
What about happiness?
The 3 elements of happiness are the elements of positive emotion, engagement, and meaning. These 3 elements are measured subjectively by self-report.
Hopefully PERMA can help us to see happiness and well-being in a new light. As we strive to increase well-being and flourishing, PERMA can help us to realize what constitutes a life worth living, both for ourselves and our children.
Featured photo credit: Ludovica Verna via flickr.com
Last Updated on August 16, 2018
10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks
The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.
In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.
Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:
1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone
What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?
Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.
2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome
Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.
How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.
Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?
Or, are you afraid of being ignored?
3. Get comfortable with discomfort
One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.
Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.
4. See failure as a teacher
Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.
Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?
Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:
5. Take baby steps
Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.
Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.
Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:
6. Hang out with risk takers
There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).
Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.
7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses
Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”
Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.
8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you
What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.
9. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.
If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.
10. Focus on the fun
Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com