Ways to Thrive

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m passionate about Psychology! It’s National Psychology Week in November 6-12. The theme for this year’s program is: Ways to thrive. So, I thought I’d share with you some suggestions for how to live happy, fulfilling lives despite the daily challenges we face in life.

There are many ways of thinking about wellbeing and happiness. Professor Martin Seligman suggests five pillars that underpin flourishing (PERMA): Positive Emotion, Engagement, Positive Relationships and having a sense of Meaning and Accomplishment.

There are many ways you can improve your wellbeing and find ways to thrive! Using the PERMA model, here are some ideas you might like to try.

Positive emotion: Experiencing positive feelings such as joy, calmness and satisfaction.

How can you create more moments of heartfelt positivity in every day? Spend time in nature, seek out funny TV shows, books or movies, go for a walk, share time with a special friend or make time to do those things you enjoy.

Engagement: Being interested and involved in life.

Play to your strengths! Do the things you know you are good at, and that you enjoy. This will help you feel more confident, energised and engaged.

Positive Relationships: Feeling loved, valued and connected with others.

Disconnect from technology, and make time to connect with people! Express gratitude, show kindness, really listen and show an interest in another person’s life.

Meaning: Having a sense of direction, feeling that our lives are valuable and worthwhile, and connecting to something bigger than ourselves.

Remember that what you do each day can have a positive impact on others. Connect with your personal values and let them be your compass.

Accomplishment: The belief and ability to do things that matter most to us, achieving goals and having a sense of mastery.

Embrace a learning mindset. Set yourself achievable goals. Track your progress against those goals and celebrate each step along the way.

To find out more about PERMA, you might like to read Martin Seligman’s book (2012): “Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being”.

There may be a time when professional help may be required. A psychologist can help you identify behaviours or thought patterns that are impacting your wellbeing and help you make changes that will help you to thrive. To find the right Psychologist, I recommend you speak to your GP to discuss the Psychologist who is best suited to you. Alternatively, contact the APS ‘Find a Psychologist’ service www.findapsychologist.org.au

Lisa Hyde, Clinical Psychologist