|Collage by Lani, Where Do Our Strengths Come From?|
Read Seligman (2011 & 2002) He discusses the elements of Well-Being which of course if encouraged, will help you flourish, be happy and resilient! Elements: (In case you like acronyms, here's Seligman's for the elements of well being, PERMA)Positive Emotion (includes happiness and life satisfaction)
Seligman believes we go into a flow state when our highest strengths are being used to meet the highest challenges that come our way. In well-being theory, these twenty-four strengths underpin all five elements. Seligman believes using your highest strengths leads to more positive emotion, to more meaning, to more accomplishment, and to better relationships. Personal experience will prove this to be true. (just try it for a whiile)
Seligman's goal of positive psychology in his well being theory is to increase the amount of flourishing in our lives and on the entire planet.
Another good resource is Martin Bolt's book, Pursuing Human Strengths. He believes our values are at the core of personal development. He believes we have responsibility to ourselves, to others, to our environment, and to future generations. He says a productive, meaningful life requires the development of our unique talents and strengths, as well as a commitment to something greater than ourselves.
1. Flourish, Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D, Simon and Schuster Publishers, Inc, 2011
2. Authentic Happiness, Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D, Simon and Schuster Publishers, Inc, 2002
3. Pursuing Human Strengths, A Positive Psychology Guide, Martin Bolt, Worth Publishers, 2004
4. Appreciative Inquiry, A Positive Revolution in Change, David L. Cooperrider and Diana Whitney, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2005
Websites and articles:
www.authentichappiness.org University of Pennsylvania, lots of information, tests and opportunity to be part of their studies.
The Happiness Institute, an Australian Positive Psychology website, is a great resource, full of articles, blog, research and ideas.
Want some Positive Psychology Art Cards? Strengths in a Box is a beautiful set of 50 strengths with all sorts of possible applications, created by Australian Art Therapist, Megan Booth.
Gretchen Miller sent me this lovely Huffington Post article on how Art Can Be Good For Mental Health. It has a lot of nice flourishing links and ideas.