Blog List

Sick of Just Settling? Electrify Your Existence!

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active
 

One in 400 trillion. That's the probability of ever actually being here on this planet. Let me say that again- one in 400 trillion! My brain tries to grapple with how extraordinarily miraculous this really is, and I'm overcome by a sense of awe.

 

With this awe comes the chilling realisation of how close I came to NOT being born. Yet I am here. So are you. And we're acting like this is all very ordinary. Yet it's not. And we shouldn't treat it that way.

 

Isn't it time to electrify our existence, if only just a little?

 

Too many people tell me their lives are okay. Functional. Comfortable. Predictable. Acceptable to the rest of the world. Yet just not very shiny on the inside.

 

And that's not okay.

 

We did not overcome the odds of one in 400 million to live a so-so existence.

 

So what makes an extraordinarily good existence? Or at least a great one?

 

Positive Psychologist Martin Seligman created the acronym PERMA. So a great life would have/ be:

 

P- Positive emotions

E- Engagement

R- Relationships

M- Meaningful

A- Achievement

 

Over the next week we will explore how each of these five may serve as a catalyst to a whole new electric you! Expect a surge of well-being and an explosion of euphoria!

 

So, let's create a spark! Positive emotions. Fleeting and slightly fickle by nature. Marvel at how joy, serenity and contentment tickle, tantalize and then tiptoe away. Yet we must accept they will never be here to stay. However, the very frequency of their visits is more important than their intensity (at least from the happiness point of view).

 

Whilst positive emotions themselves may be transient, they leave in their wake an invisible array of armoury to protect our well-being. Experiencing frequent positive emotions leads to greater optimism, self-confidence and self-efficacy. That's pretty powerful long-term.

 

Positive emotions also bring people together. Relationships with others are a huge source of well-being, and thus positive emotions could be seen as a magical social glue.

 

All well and good, you may say. But what can I do to experience more positive emotions in life?

 

You can start by becoming more mindful, which simply means being more aware of the present moment. Mind-wandering decreases well-being, regardless of the task at hand. Become aware of the positive emotion you're feeling. Label it. Savour it.

 

Speaking about savouring- so much of the joy and pleasure we experience comes either before or after the moment itself. So start anticipating. And reminiscing. There's joy to be found in the past, present and future. Squeeze every little drop out.

 

Choose variety. Something known as 'hedonic adaptation' means we very quickly get used to things in life- both the good and bad. Hence the good too will lose its novelty. Keep yourself on your toes in every aspect of life...

 

Yet...

 

And this is a very big yet..

 

Don't force positivity. Or deny the existence of negative emotions. Express them. Label them too. They have a very real place in life. By letting them in and then letting them out, you'll no longer be a slave to your emotions.

 

Interested in how Positive Psychology can benefit children and grown-ups alike? I'd love to hear from you :-)