Well-being is understood as "the combination of feeling good and functioning well; the experience of positive emotions such as happiness and contentment; the development of one’s potential; having some control over one’s life; having a sense of purpose, and experiencing positive relationships".
As a result, happiness is a natural outcome of our efforts to improve our well-being and satisfaction with life. For a long time, Professor Martin Seligman, one of the pioneers of positive psychology, worked on a theory of happiness. He wanted to figure out what makes people's lives better or what promotes wellbeing. He proposed the theory of the PERMA model, a five-dimensional construct of happiness. These are the five elements Seligman found essential to human well-being:
1. Positive Emotion Positive emotions are a key indicator of well-being, and they can be nurtured or learned to boost wellbeing. Positive feelings entail a lot more than just being happy. It includes emotions like hope, interest, joy, love, compassion, pride, amusement, and gratitude. Many of us have a natural propensity for pessimism. When we teach ourselves to nurture a positive outlook toward life, we learn to hope for the best, see the bright side, and choose amazing opportunities when they arise. Feeling good enhances our task and study performance, boosts our physical health, enriches our relationships, and motivates us to be creative, overcome obstacles, and look forward to the future with optimism and hope. How so? By spending time with friends and family, actively engaging in our hobbies, being physically active, getting out in nature, or having amazing meals. We need to make sure we have time for all these things. Research has identified certain skills and exercises that can enhance feelings and lead to positive emotions.
2. Engagement "The flow" describes a state of total immersion in the blessed immersion of this moment. When we engage in an activity and fully immerse ourselves in it, we gain momentum and focus. It involves identifying and cultivating personal strengths, virtues, and talents. When we identify our own greatest strengths, we can consciously engage in work and activities that make us feel confident, productive, and valuable. We can also develop skills for cultivating joy and focusing on the present. Mindfulness is one of these valuable skills. Using mindfulness, we learn to develop an awareness of the present moment, both at a physical and mental level. 3. Relationships Humans are social animals. We crave connection, affection, and physical and emotional interaction with others. We improve our personal well-being by forming strong networks of relationships with our family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and everyone else in our lives. We rely on others to maintain this balance in our lives. Relationships make us feel supported, loved, and valued at different points in life. 4. Meaning Seligman (2012) defined meaning as a sense of belonging to and/or service to something larger than oneself. In the midst of great hardship or misfortune, having a life purpose can help people focus on what matters most. Studies have shown that people who belong to a community and pursue common goals are happier than others. Once you've figured out what means a lot to you, when you meet like-minded people and start working with them, you achieve serenity. Some find this meaning in their professional life or in their personal life.
5. Accomplishment Working toward and achieving objectives, mastering a skill, and having the self-motivation to do what you set out to achieve all contribute to a sense of achievement. Individuals may look back on their lives with pride, which contributes to their well-being (Seligman, 2012). Achievement, for many, means "the passion to achieve goals". It builds individual confidence and self-esteem. When we achieve something, we feel proud of our past success and have a positive outlook for the future. Just like someone said, "Success doesn’t always come easy, but if we stay positive and focused, we don’t give up when adversity strikes." Mainly Our intrinsic growth and development boost our happiness more than any external factor.
We all want to experience a higher level of wellbeing and "flourish" in life. The PERMA model is an evidence-based approach to improving "happiness" by working on the above 5 factors. One factor can be more important in your life than the other in giving you more happiness.