psyche-thumbFrom our discussion last week, I indicated a new framework on positivity and wellbeing. How can we flourish? Through PERMA. This stands for P-ositive Emotions, E-ngagement, R-elationships, M-eaning, and Accomplishment.

To develop positive emotions we need to practice the following: Attitude of Gratitude, Savoring the Moment, Learn Optimism, Humor and Laughter, Mindfulness, Regular Exercise, Connect with Nature, and Eat Good Food. Today, we will talk about the remaining components of PERMA.

To increase wellbeing, our level of engagement with our activities is of prime importance. Engagement refers to the congruence between our talents and abilities with that of our work.


A lot of people are in jobs that they do not really like. That causes many problems mainly because even if they try their best, they can at best be mediocre in an area that is not their strength.

If you do the work that you love and you know you have the abilities to accomplish in this area, you experience a state of “flow” which gives you a feeling of accomplishment and achievement.

How do we find our strengths? Ask these following questions: What are you doing when you are at your best? What do you find easy and what are you naturally good at? When do you feel at your most alive? What energizes you? What makes you say this is “the real me?” What sort of skill do you pick up rapidly and effortlessly?

Here are some more: What do you do just for the love of it? What are you naturally drawn to? What puts you in the “zone” where you’re completely absorbed and lose track of time? What are you passionate about? What were you good at as a child? Take time to jot down your answers to these questions and you will discover your strength.

The next element to improve wellbeing is relationships. Positive connections are the leading source of happiness. Just as we have a positive ration for us to flourish as individuals, there is also a positivity ration for relationships and its stands at 5:1; higher than for individual wellbeing.

This means it takes fivepositive experiences (such as being affectionate, kind or interested in what’s going on in each other’s life) to makeup for every negative event (such as being hostile, critical, ignoring your partner or hurting their feelings).

Negativity is highly destructive in relationships, with more potential to inflict damage on a relationship that the positive has the capacity to heal and unite a pair.

This positivity ratio comes from the research of John Gottman, who has studied relationships for many years in his “love lab” and has been able to predict with great accuracy which couples will stay together and which will break up, based on the way they interact with each other.

Incidentally the positivity ration in couples that divorce is typically under 1:1; so they rate marginally higher on negativity than positivity.

The next element is meaning. What gives your life meaning? Is it your loved ones, your faith,

your vocation, your achievements? Or is it creative expression or your journey of self-discovery? Whatever the source, it’s a deeply personal matter. Remember, the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.

Lastly, what are your accomplishments? Happiness and satisfaction with life can also be gained through achieving goals that are important to you.

There you go. To increase your level of happiness and wellbeing, just remember PERMA. We can all choose to be happy and it is one thing that is within our powers to do so. (By Kit Nemenzo Balane)

P.S. For consultations, please contact09122506898. You can also find me on Facebook or email me at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *