Courtesy of soniaadammurray – Off

Would you like to know the secret of life? Well, it’s one thing; yes; only one thing, and that’s PERMA – as founded by Dr Martin Seligman (Positive Psychology). PERMA stands for:

PERMA stands for:

P – Positive Emotions

E- Engagement

R – (Positive) Relationships

M – Meaning

A – Accomplishments


POSITIVE EMOTIONS include joy, gratitude, love, hope, pride, inspiration, serenity, and so on. Barbara Fredrikson stated that you need to have more positive to negative emotions in a day (3:1) for increased wellness.

You can have experiences that trigger positive emotions. Having more positive emotions changes your mindset and increases performance level.

ENGAGEMENT is about absorbing yourself in a task to the point that you don’t notice time passing. You are challenged by the task (the right balance between an easy task versus a hard task). Engagement is also known as ‘FLOW’ and is great for wellness. With Engagement, you are totally focused on the task. You have no time to think about anything else. After the task, you realise how much you enjoyed undertaking the activity as you’ve put your whole self into the task.

POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS – When times are tough, you need support to help you grow. Positive support can increase your wellness, demonstrating you are not alone.

MEANING is about finding the reason you wish to do something in your life. For example, I’d like to get fit so I can spend more quality time with my children. Meaning is about how you make sense of your world. You wonder what the purpose of particular events is, or why you’ve had to experience a particular challenge.

ACCOMPLISHMENT is when you achieve success and mastery because you want to.

Martin Seligman believed that pursuing a goal and taking steps to attain that goal, increases wellness.


  • Use language that will create positive emotions.
  • Reframe a situation by looking at the bright side, or the silver lining.
  • Identify your strengths.
  • Find tasks that create FLOW or ENGAGEMENT, and set goals in these areas.
  • Focus on your positive relationships or seek out support.
  • Attain small, achievable goals so you can get a sense of accomplishment.
  • Bounce back from challenges so you can form a resilient mindset.
  • Find areas of your life that will give you a sense of purpose.
  • Learn from your challenges, and ask why you had this particular experience (to attain meaning of an event).

In conclusion, PERMA is an acronym developed by Martin Seligman in Positive Psychology. It is something you need to apply to your life for increased positivity and wellness. Remind yourself of your positivity today and always.