I admit that I was planning to skip right over the A in PERMA – I’ve found that Davidson students tend to be experts at finding opportunities to pursue accomplishment and achievement! However, after hearing that many of you were looking forward to learning more about this last element of well-being, I wanted to make […]
Well-Being Interventions for Psychology Students
The events of the past few weeks, and the ways in which they have changed our daily lives, have been a source of great stress for many of us. This stress can have a range of effects on our well-being and mental health; many people respond to stress with increased anxiety, sadness, or irritability. You might notice this physically, as well – feeling more tense, or noticing changes in your sleeping or eating patterns.
The field of psychology has a lot to offer us at this time. In particular, over the past twenty years, the field of positive psychology has generated great insights into strategies and behaviors that we can use to cultivate well-being and manage stress – even in the face of challenging circumstances.
I will be writing to share information about positive psychology exercises that are supported by strong research evidence as activities that can promote various elements of well-being. Along with information about the exercises, I’ll share information about the research behind them.
I hope you find these resources useful as we navigate the challenges of these very unusual circumstances. I encourage you all to prioritize your well-being – both physical and emotional – and wish you and your loved ones the best of health.
Grateful Contemplation with Mr. Rogers
Today’s exercise enhances well-being through the fourth element of PERMA: Meaning. It does so through an important emotion – gratitude. Not all researchers agree on the definition of gratitude, but many definitions emphasize that gratitude is characterized by positive appreciation of the helpful actions of other people (for a more in-depth review of some of […]
Practice Acts of Kindness
If you’ve been following along, you won’t be surprised to learn that today’s positive psychology exercise targets the R in PERMA – improving well-being by strengthening your relationships. Chris Peterson, one of the key early researchers in the field of positive psychology, stated that the field could be summed up in three words: “Other people […]
Using Your Signature Strengths
Yesterday, I shared a positive psychology exercise that targets the first element of PERMA – increasing pleasure or positive emotion. Today’s exercise builds on the second element of well-being: Engagement. This exercise works by asking you to identify and use your personal strengths. Many people spend a lot of time thinking about their weaknesses. For […]
Early in the history of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman proposed that there are five elements that contribute to well-being. He termed this the PERMA theory of well-being, to highlight these five elements. This model also provides a way to think about increasing well-being – different behaviors or activities can enhance well-being by increasing any of […]
Three Good Things
Today’s Positive Psychology Exercise: Three Good Things Many people have a tendency to focus on negative experiences. In positive psychology, we often say “bad is stronger than good.” For example, the positive emotion that someone feels if they find an unexpected $20 is usually less intense than the negative emotion that someone feels if they […]