Introduction to Well Being

Well-being, according to Dr. Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, is much more than finding happiness, it’s about “exploring what makes life worth living and building the enabling conditions of a life worth living.”

In his landmark book Flourish (A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being) Seligman sets out the five elements that make up well-being. Those elements are represented in his now famous acronym PERMA®. 

They stand for:

Positive Emotions





In this article we will be exploring what each element means, ideas on how to apply that element in your life. I’ve included exercises suggested by Martin Seligman and a Core Values Assessment from BSM .

Learning and Application

Knowing these five elements won’t change your life. However, learning them and how to apply them (the magic sauce) will.

In fact that’s the promise Martin Seligman makes in his book. 


This book will help you flourish. There I have finally said it. I have spent my professional life avoiding unguarded promises like this one.

Now before I go on you might be interested in my Be Inspired page where you will find my Sunday Affirmations each week. Click on the button below and give us a thumbs up to join other Be-Inspired Enthusiasts.

Before We Explore Each Element a short overview.

1 Positive Emotions



The positive emotions of well-being extend beyond just happiness. Positive emotions equate to the elevated emotions mentioned by Dr. Joe Dispenza in his book Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon. 

These emotions include joy, gratitude, appreciation, hope, and other high vibratory emotions that help us overcome habitual negative thinking.

When we exhibit positive emotions we also look more positively at the events in our life and the likely hood of a bright future. 

Practical Applications: How to Increase Your Positive Emotions

I have written extensively about positive thinking, and the need to balance negative thinking with positive thinking.

Using positive affirmations is the key to changing your mindset.

Click the brown bar below to download a free copy of  How to Write and Use Powerful “I AM ” Affirmations.

There is also a very beneficial exercise developed by Seligman called What Went Well.
I talk more about that in a Facebook Live I did recently.

Engagement is about being immersed in something you love, something that attracts your full attention. Quite often when we are fully engaged in an activity we lose track of time.

This is often referred to as the flow. state.

Can you remember a time when you were fully engaged in an activity and you lost track of time?

How did it make you feel?

When we are fully engaged we tend to be in the present moment and nothing exists outside this heightened state.

Often we feel an incredible boost of energy, a deep sense of fulfillment, and a connection to something greater than ourselves.

Simple, practical, and applicable things to deepen your state of engagement.

It’s easier to fully engage in things you love.

1 Set a goal you want to achieve in your area of interest. For example, I often end up in a flow state writing an article like this one. I don’t just have a goal to complete the article by a certain time, I want to be fully engaged and challenged to create material that inspires myself and others to grow[and learn from the process.  My goal then is that the reader and myself walk away with a deeper understanding of the subject, plus the ability to apply it.

2 Eliminate distractions. Think ahead of time about what will pull your focus away from what you are doing and eliminate that distraction before you start. once you are in that flow state distractions tend to fade into the background as you focus deeply on your work.

3 Have all the materials you need within easy reach. If you are an artist that means having all your paints, brushes, cleaning materials, canvas, within your reach.

4. Meditation is a good practice to help you find and stay in the flow state.

To learn more about Flow read Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi the co-founder of Positive Psychology and the study of well-being. 


Positive relationships are another cornerstone of our sense of well-being. 

We are social beings. We look to our relationships for support, love, and the sense of value that affords us. 

Positive relationships include our most intimate relations including our friends, our family, our colleges, and even people we’ve met through social media.


  1. Sharpen your listening skills. Building strong, positive relationships is about listening to the other person, asking questions about what they say to deepen your understanding and to show that you truly are listening. 
  2. Life is going to create challenges in any relationship. Become the master of quickly repairing a relationship that hits a snag. (Hint: Let go of ego.)
  3. Make a habit of writing out your gratitude for all your positive relationships. And take time to express that gratitude directly.

4 Meaning

It is pretty hard to experience a sense of well-being if we feel our life has no meaning

In Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being Seligman talks about meaning being about service to something higher than oneself.

From purpose, we derive our sense of value and worth.

In my opinion, having a well-defined purpose gives you an anchor on which to evaluate opportunities, make clear decisions, and formulate goals that align with your purpose. 

Each of us has a unique purpose and how we serve that purpose is also uniquely ours.

Our meaning and purpose are closely allied to things we love to do.

Building Meaning

  1. Volunteer your time or talents to something activity you are passionate about.
  2. Join groups that share in your passions.
  3. Read books about the things you love.

If you are interested in learning more, read

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

See below for the details of my basic coaching package which includes coming up with your purpose statement. 


 Recall a time when you set a goal and then achieved it. How did that accomplishment make you feel?

That feeling, that sense of confidence in your ability to set and reach a goal, contributes to your overall sense of well-being.

It contributes a sense of happiness and pride, the sense that you can meet obstacles and overcome them.

And finally, you gain a certainty that you can reach even higher and achieve even more.

Sharpening Accomplishments.

1, Use that first question: Recall a time when you set a goal and then use it to create a list of ten accomplishments you are proud of.

2. Create a new goal for you to work towards.

3. Remember to celebrate your accomplishments.  Join our Be-Inspired Facebook Page where every Friday you can share your accomplishments.

Join Here


In Closing

 Take a moment now to rank yourself on each of the 5 elements. Use a scale between one and 5. Five being the highest-ranking and 1 the lowest.

Which one was your strongest element? Which one was your weakest? How would you rank your overall sense of well-being?

Share in the comment section below

Further Resources

My name is Nick Grimshawe and I help people seeking to live extraordinary lives to use the tools of affirmations, gratitude, mindfulness, and Meditation to live the life they envision.

We share one new video a week on one of those topics.

Wednesdays I do a Facebook Live at 2 PM eastern. Each week I include a free piece of content either a check sheet cheat sheet or resource to help you move forward with your adventure. You can connect to me on social media through the links below.

Books Recommend in this post.

The Power of  Believing that You Can Improve

Connect With Me

My Blog:

Be Inspired Facebook Page

Be-Inspired Enthusiasts Group






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