The online magazine Epic just published a summary of the work of psychologist Martin Seligman. In his book Flourish he identifies five elements of emotional well-being and happiness which are summarized below.
The elements according to Seligman are: positive emotion; engagement; relationships; meaning; and accomplishment. The more you can incorporate these into your life the happier you will be, says Seligman.
Positive emotion. These would be emotions of happiness, gratitude, love, contentment, peace, etc. Try to engineer more happy moments in your life. Find ways to laugh more and share with others. Look for things that cause you to feel gratitude. Experience them and take the time to appreciate it. Try keeping a journal and write down things you are grateful for each day.
Engagement. This means being connected and living in the moment. How often do you really feel like you are present and flowing in the moment? Try to find ways to engage your senses and yourself in what is going on around you in the present. One way I like to do this is by taking my time with a meal or snack and really pay attention to the textures and flavors I am experiencing.
Relationships. We all have relationships but how much time and effort are you investing in the ones that matter most? Take time to appreciate your loved ones and friends. Really listen to them and pay attention when they speak. Show them you care and enjoy some time together. When someone significant in your life starts talking to you, make a point of stopping what you are doing and give them your full attention.
Meaning. Do the things you spend your time doing have meaning for you or someone you care about? Do they have value and contribute to your satisfaction? If not, try to think of what it is that you and the important people in your life enjoy and care about. Try to find more ways and times to do more of these things that have meaning. Make a list of things that have meaning for you.
Accomplishment. Do you feel good about what you have accomplished? When you look back over time can you feel proud of your work? If not, spend some time considering what sorts of accomplishments would give you pride. Don’t just think of big things. Try to list accomplishments small (such as paying a compliment to a friend) and large (completing a degree) and then make plans to achieve them.
If you’d like to read the article in full you can find it here.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Seligman? Please leave your comments below.
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