In positive psychology, we use a specific acronym to asses a persons’ overall state of wellbeing; it’s called P.E.R.M.A. and each letter stands for something different.

The “P” is for pleasure. Are you taking time in life to stop and smell the roses? When was the last time you did something fun just for yourself? Do you often reward yourself or take notice when you are engaged in a purely pleasurable activity? This is pleasure, and without it, life loses much of its sweetness.

The “E” is for experience. When was the last time you were so engrossed in an activity that you completely forgot about the world around you for a moment? Some people experience this when they play an instrument, or when they are doing something athletic, or maybe even when they’re playing a video game. This is a state of flow or what is sometimes called peak experience.

The “R” is for relationships. Be honest: what is the state of your relationships? Your family? Your Friends? Are you happy with the current condition of your relationships? Our relationships are what sustain us in the bad times and what make the good times worth celebrating. It is very hard to be happy without good relationships.

The “M” is for meaning. Do you feel as if your efforts in life are directed towards something greater than yourself? So often in life we feel like we are just treading water at work or at home. The feeling of meaning is the feeling that your life’s work has a higher purpose.

Finally, the “A” is for accomplishment or achievement. All of us want to be recognized and rewarded for our hard work. Without the feeling of having accomplished a large goal or having achieved a notable outcome, life can feel quite drab and without purpose. Everyone needs to be a winner sometimes, and the feeling of accomplishment is what comes along with winning.

In Nisar Health and Human Services’ outpatient practice, we work with our clients on achieving an improved overall state of wellbeing. P.E.R.M.A. is one interesting way of approaching the issues, but it is only one of many. We hope that if you are experiencing challenges in achieving your optimal state of wellbeing, you’ll consider giving us a call to set up your first appointment.