Probably the biggest insight … is that happiness is not just a place, but also a process. … Happiness is an ongoing process of fresh challenges, and… it takes the right attitudes and activities to continue to be happy. — Ed Diener
Lynn Soots PhD describes flourishing as, “the product of the pursuit and engagement in an authentic life that brings inner joy and happiness through meeting goals, being connected with life passions, and relishing in accomplishments through the peaks and valleys of life.” Martin Seligman PhD, one of the founders of Positive Psychology, developed a model referred to as PERMA, which highlights the key components of what is referred to as flourishing. This model can provide useful starting points for cultivating resilience and well-being.
What do you know would support you in experiencing more positive emotions?
How could you make time for doing the things that bring you joy?
What could you do to play more or bring a sense of fun and enjoyment into your daily life?
What are some of the activities that you really love doing?
How could you do these more often?
What activities connect with the expression of your strengths and sense of agency?
Which long standing relationships have supported you or have been a resource for you over the last year?
When have you felt particularly loved, respected, and cared for?
In which relationships did you feel a sense of intimacy where you could really be yourself?
Which relationships are you aware of that really support your sense of wellbeing?
How can you make time to connect more in these relationships?
What actions do you want to take that you know will help you to experience more meaning on a regular basis?
Which people support you to feel more connected to meaning, and how could you prioritize spending more time with them?
How could you use your passions to help or serve others?
What things would be intrinsically satisfying for you to focus on?
What specific habits or routines would you like to consolidate or develop?
How might you monitor your progress regularly and connect with a sense of progress?
How could you regularly take time to prioritize celebrating your accomplishments and feeling a sense of pride?
If this seems like a lot, try selecting one category and one question for today. For example, in the category of engagement, you might ask, “What are some of the activities that you really love doing, that you could do more often?” Possible answers might include reading for pleasure, hiking, playing music, or getting coffee with friends. Under meaning you might select, “What actions do you want to take that you know will help you to experience more meaning on a regular basis?” Reflecting on what has felt most meaningful to you over the past weeks or months might be a good place to start. Likewise, reflecting on values and purpose could provide ideas for actions and activities to connect with greater meaning. If friends and family bring greater meaning into your life, you might simply consider ways of spending more time together or plan an activity with your friends or family.
In closing, it is important to note the role of play. This is often overlooked as a variable of well-being and dismissed by adults. However, even Freud highlighted the capacity for play as one of three central components of psychological wellness and we know that play is central to the well-being of many animal species. Ask yourself, “What could I do to play more or bring a sense of fun and enjoyment into my daily life?”
Dr. Thomas Lindquist, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist
PSYPACT Authority to Practice Interjurisdictional Telepsychology (APIT) Map of Participating States
Email to schedule an appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org
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