The theory that is the foundation of positive-attitude psychology is called the PERMA theory. The approach is a general method to determine if someone has healthy wellbeing as were are all humans. P stands for Positive emotions, E stands for engagement (flow), R stands for relationships, M stands for meaning/purpose, and A stands for achievement and accomplishment. I feel that these methods are the first steps to understand the complexity of the human mind completely. For decades, Psychology focused on preventing the negatives, but that would only lead to a neutral state without any positivity. There is constant growth within this complicated science that shows how learning optimism can improve relationships and prevent people from having psychological issues in the first place.
Positive emotions refer to joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love. Studies show that people who are in a positive emotional state can perform much better than if they want. It helps you think clearly and broadens the possibilities enabling you to make the best possible decisions. There was a study on helplessness (Martin E. P. Seligman was apart of this) in which they learned that people that have hope for a better future are more resilient and capable of escaping any adverse situation. To improve this, you have to see the positives in life as negative emotions tend to have a more dramatic effect on you. Even during the Black Rights Movement, it is an inspiration for people to work together to create a society in which everyone can focus on the positives.
“Flow” means that you are in a state of utter, blissful immersion. This state generally accompanies mindfulness, meaning that you can learn “to develop a full and clear awareness of the present, both physically and mentally.” When I am passionate about something, I feel that I have the purpose of benefiting the society that I am by spreading my experiences and learning as much as I can to impact people later in life. Everyone needs to find a job that they can enjoy because when you believe in what you are doing, you will work harder for it. Being in a state of flow makes you forget time exists, and you immerse yourself in the activity. I feel this way when I swim: I only see myself doing the next stroke, the next lap, and becoming a better swimmer following each time I swim. Find something that can give you the momentum to push forward and be your best self.
As social beings, we need connections, which include emotional love and physical connections. It is amazing to hug a friend or family member to feel safe and to know that they believe in you. The links to my family and supportive friends are the reason why I can get up each day. Communities are just a ‘network of support” around, which is why most people feel a need to assist the society we are in because nobody is perfect. To maintain good relationships, you have to listen, share, and make an effort to maintain connections. Communicating with Active and Constructive communication is a perfect example of listening and engaging in what they are telling you. People also love talking about themselves, and it is surprisingly an extremely relaxing thing to do and keeps me emotionally balanced.
Meaning correlates to dedicating our time to something greater than ourselves. People attend school and learn from others to do something that benefits everybody. The reason why I try to learn as much as I do is to create a resource of information for the disease that does not have much information out there. It was hard for me to find information that helped me and took days to research, which is why I feel the need to show others around me. Giving people confidence and making them smile by making/showing them how to be truly happy gives me the most satisfaction. While it may sound cheesy, I cannot describe how it feels to improve someone’s life, even if it is one thoughtful comment. The image below is from Gettingthru.org in their article called “The Life Purpose Breakthru System,” which summarizes the meaning of life.
Finally, people must achieve their goals and ambitions as it makes them more confident and optimistic about their lives. I would recommend setting goals for yourself every week and maybe setting long term ones that you want to achieve in the future. It helps you stay focused or in a state of ‘flow’ so that you can be your most productive and joyful self. By keeping your goals close to you, you will repeatedly motivate yourself to work harder without needing someone to do it for you. People are always motivated by their achievement, which explains why people keep trophies and other reminders for their accomplishments. Other people’s achievements should encourage you to attempt to do the same, but do not act out of jealousy act from inspiration.
In the end, five different words summarize the foundations of wellbeing. Try to have the right amount of each category as it ensures that you can have a beautiful life. Remember to focus on the good things in life, but do not entirely avoid negative emotions as both types of feelings lead to different kinds of growth. When you are feeling down, be hopeful, and regain balance with the understanding of the methods that define a broad term of “wellbeing.” understanding wellbeing has enabled me to be resilient and find the enjoyable aspects out of my life that gives me a reason to experience life.