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Are You PERMAlicious?

The happiness or well-being theory is encapsulated in the acronym PERMA, which stands for Positive Emotions, Engagement, positive Relationships, Meaning and Achievement/Accomplishment. 


Positive emotions encompass contentment, joy, excitement, enthusiasm and awe. The benefits of positive emotions are expanded attention, openness, creativity, flexibility, resiliency and seeing the bigger picture.


How does one increase one’s positive emotions? Savouring is one way - savouring music, food, sporting activity.  I count my blessings by reflecting on three good things that happened in the day and giving thanks for them before I go to sleep. Gratitude is a great attitude. When we intentionally convey appreciation to others with a thankful heart, there is a sense of joy that all is well.


Engagement can be achieved through experiencing fulfilling work, involving in interesting hobbies, and being in a state of ‘flow’- an optimal state where one performs best and feels best.


Positive Relationships revolve around social connectedness, love, intimacy and emotional and physical interactions. This can include spending time with family and friends, having meals together, playing sports or catching movies.


Having purpose and finding meaning in life are the main essence of the dimension of Meaning. I am currently involved in counselling, training and writing at a community service agency. Being able to contribute in meaningful ways deepens my spirit of service to humanity.


Lastly, Achievement/Accomplishment can be explained by one’s ambitions, having realistic goals, and expressing pride in oneself.



Give it a try and apply PERMA to your life:

·      Embrace a positive outlook as much as you can

·      Identify the “PERMAlicious” things that make you joyful and engaged

·      Focus on your relationships with family and friends, exploring ways to connect

·      Search for meaning and live life purposefully

·       Celebrate your accomplishments and plan for future achievement

By Dr Cecilia Soong


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