Dr Martin Seligman is a leading US psychologist and researcher famous for his work on improving life satisfaction and happiness. Rather than focusing on the emotion of happiness as an end goal, he advocates working on the three elements of happiness:
- Getting more pleasure out of life by savouring sensory experiences – walking by the sea, eating a delicious meal with friends or enjoying a beautiful garden.
- Becoming more involved in what we do – work, relationships, hobbies. Being fully present and engaged, giving our full effort and attention.
- Finding ways of making our lives more meaningful – perhaps by helping other people, or some form of community involvement.
You may want to reflect on your life currently – are each of these three experiences present for you? If not, what can you plan to develop or pay more attention to over the next few days, weeks or months?
If life is busy and making changes feels too challenging right now, you can focus on one – perhaps plan to enjoy one pleasurable experience each day, or each week, or give your full attention to one activity with your family this week.