Positive Psychology is especialy important to everyone with everything that is going on in the world and our own life experiences. Recently Dr. Marty Seligman, his work with Authentic Happiness has put out a revised theory in his new book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. Knowing more about the constructs of well-being can help you decide how to focus your personal and family life.
- Social support. The more friends and the more love in your life, the less illness. People who have one person they would be comfortable calling at three in the morning to tell their troubles were healthier. Lonely people are markedly less healthy than sociable people. Happy people have richer social networks than unhappy people, and social connectedness contributes to a lack of disability as we age.
- Optimists take action and have healthier lifestyles. Optimists know that their actions matter, pessimists believe they are helpless and that nothing they do will matter. Optimists keep on trying, while pessimists lapse into passive helplessness. Optimists act on medical advice readily, research has found when the surgeon general’s report on smoking and health came out in 1964; it was the optimists who gave up smoking, not the pessimists. Optimists may take better care of themselves.
- Biological mechanisms. A pathological circulatory response to repeated stress. Pessimists give up readily and suffer more stress, whereas optimists cope better with stress. Repeated episodes of stress, especially when you are feeling helpless is more likely to mobilize the stress hormone cortisol and other circulatory responses that induce or exacerbate damage to the walls of blood vessels and promote atherosclerosis.
Well-Being Theory: PERMA
The new well-being theory, human flourishing rests on five pillars, denoted by the handy mnemonic PERMA:
These elements, which we choose for their own sake in our own efforts to flourish, are the rock-bottom fundamentals to human well-being. What is the good life? It is pleasant, engaged, meaningful, achieving, and connected.
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