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Flourishing

June 19, 2024 | Jessie Nolasco-Sandino, LMSW | 5 min. read

Today we’re also covering Flourishing, a benefit of Positive Psychology, the topic of the month. 

So I’d like to usher in some positivity for us by bringing our attention and arriving at flourishing. While flourishing encapsulates and incorporates various positive psychology concepts, it particularly highlights the transformative potential of adversity.

8 Dimensions of Wellness

As described in the article, Flourishing means that we can connect to a sense of meaning in our lives, experience positive emotions, build relationships with people and communities that matter to us, and recognize and appreciate our accomplishments even in challenging moments.

But, how do we cultivate Flourishing? The PERMA model developed by Seligman (2011) explains what contributes to a sense of flourishing. The five factors in this model are:

  • Positive emotions
  • Engagement
  • Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishments

Some examples of ways to cultivate Flourishing based on the PERMA model could be:

 

1. Establish a Gratitude Practice

Research shows that regularly practicing gratitude has the greatest impact. A simple gratitude exercise each day of less than five minutes could have great benefits in building positive emotions. For example, as you’re brushing your teeth in the morning and in the evening, use that time to reflect on what you’re grateful for in your life. Gratitude can be for something as big as your health or as small as a great cup of coffee.

2. Prioritize Acts of Kindness

Acts of kindness enhance well-being and connections with others in the community which builds healthy engagement. Doing multiple acts of kindness in a single day has a greater impact on your level of flourishing than spreading them throughout the week. So, if you’re experimenting with this practice, choose a specific day each week and vary your acts of kindness rather than doing the same act of kindness, to have a major effect.

3. Leverage your Signature Strengths

Using signature strengths help deepen our relationships with Self and engagement with others in our social circles. These are the strengths that feel most authentic to us, that we’re most excited to use, that energize rather than drain us, and that give us a sense of joy while we’re using them. The VIA Character Strengths assessment can help you identify your own.

4. Celebrate your Accomplishments

Celebrating accomplishments boosts our positive self-regard and emotions. When we pause to celebrate our accomplishments, it helps us actually feel them — what psychologists sometimes refer to as “savoring” — rather than simply checking them off a list of goals and moving forward.

Positive emotions, accomplishments, engagement, finding meaning, and a sense of belonging within one’s community and relationships emerge as key components of flourishing.

By navigating through challenging life moments and leveraging the lessons learned, individuals can cultivate resilience, grit, deepen their relationships, and find renewed purpose. This month, I encourage us to explore the pathways to flourishing, reflecting on our experiences and identifying opportunities for growth and improvement.

What Is Flourishing in Positive Psychology? (+8 Tips & PDF)

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