What is PERMA?

Illustration of the word PERMA

PERMA (Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Achievement) is an acronym that stands for the five elements developed by Martin Seligman that account for what makes up the “good life” – an authentic and sustained happiness and well-being. No one element defines well-being, but each contribute, either subjectively or objectively.

Positive Emotion is one of the cornerstones to well-being. Kindness, gratitude, hope, contentment are all positive emotions that contribute to the “pleasant life.”

Engagement, much like positive emotion, is a subjective element to well-being. Engagement is about being totally absorbed (in the flow) by a present task where time and self- consciousness seem to cease. 

Relationships are an important part of well-being. People who maintain strong positive relationships are generally happier in life. We are “social beings” who need to connect with one another.

Meaning in life comes from serving something that is bigger than self. To have a sense of well-being, finding a purpose in life is essential. Altruism and philanthropy are good methods to establishing a meaningful life.

Achievement is a sense of accomplishment. Having goals and meeting those goals, improves your well-being and allows you to flourish.

 

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