There are many paths to wellbeing. Very often people think that if they have a good diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep; that that’s it. And they’re right to some extent; those are the basics, what I think of as the foundations of wellbeing. But you can have all of those things and still not feel great in yourself, and be a long way off thriving.
Over years of research, the father of Positive Psychology Martin Seligman developed the PERMA Model of wellbeing, since revised to PERMAH. Using this model, there are 6 paths to wellbeing – Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment and Healthy Habits. Last year I developed a 6-month program for leaders incorporating the PERMAH model, allocating a theme to each month. The first cohort of female leaders have just completed their 6-month program, with transformational results in their lives, careers, wellbeing and happiness levels, I’m excited to say.
So how can PERMAH help you? Well, since the beginning of the year I’ve been focusing on a new theme each month, sharing tips and resources so that you too can create your 6 paths to wellbeing. We began in January by focusing on creating a healthy habit – how are you getting on with that? If it has fallen by the wayside, don’t despair; remember there is no such thing as failure here, you just pick yourself back up and get started again. Focus on one habit and stick with it. In February we focused on Positive Emotions – have you been more aware of getting your 5:1 ratio?
For the month ahead we will be focusing on Engagement. Being engaged in our work and/or our interests and life itself, usually means that we are working to our strengths, at the right level of challenge to keep us interested (not bored but not frustrated, stretched to just the right amount) and we can enter a flow state where time flies by and we feel great. Perhaps you get into the flow when you are writing, running, swimming, dancing, speaking in front of an audience….it could be any activity that you can lose yourself in, that you can immerse yourself in so fully that you lose track of time and think of nothing else while you’re just in it.
What are your flow activities? How can you bring more flow into your life and deepen your engagement? Tune in with me over the month ahead for tips and resources to support your engagement, and learn what it takes to keep your team engaged.
To find out more about Flow states watch this TED talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who contributed 30 years of research to the concept.