The Good Life

good life

>Ahh, the Good Life. The Secret, It’s Not Just One Thing.

What constitutes ‘a good life?’ The field of Positive Psychology defines it as ‘living an optimal and meaningful life.’

To push this brief description a bit further, positive psychology is…

a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behavior with a focus on strengths instead of weakness,

building the good in life instead of repairing the bad,

and taking the lives of average people up to “great” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal.”

Think about this for a minute. A scientific community focused on what’s right with people and how to make life better? Who doesn’t want that?

But it isn’t all about putting on your rose colored glasses and ignoring the bad stuff in life.

If it were only that easy, we would all be doing it.

Building and experiencing a ‘good life’ does entail some amount of work. Our brains can be re-wired through the process of neuroplasticity, but we have to take steps to initiate and continue that re-wiring process.

In other words, we have to DO something, it doesn’t just magically happen. It takes practice and a change in thoughts, behaviors and habits.

If you keep the PERMA model of well being in mind, you will find ways to practice new ways of thinking and behaving that will increase elements of a ‘good life’ for you:

“PERMA” is an acronym for the five facets of well-being:

• P – Positive Emotions: do more of the things that make you happy, and bring enjoyment into your daily routine.

• E – Engagement: pursue hobbies that interest you, develop your skills, and look for a job more suited to your passions, if necessary.

• R – (Positive) Relationships: improve the quality (and/or quantity) of your relationships with others; work on building more positive and supportive relationships with your friends, family, and significant other(s).

• M – Meaning: seek out meaning; if you don’t find it through your work, look for it in volunteering opportunities, personal hobbies or leisure activities, or acting as a mentor for others.

• A – Accomplishment / Achievement: keep your focus on achieving your goals—but don’t focus too hard; try to keep your ambition in balance with all of the other important things in life.

Happiness alone, meaning positive emotions, will likely not propel you towards a ‘good life’, but well-being will.