With all the uncertainty present, we must ensure that our well-being is considered when it comes to our professional life and to working from home. Regardless of whether you are a professional, a leader or a business owner, Martin Seligman’s PERMA model can help you to bring some balance and happiness to your current professional situation. This is an evidence-based model for the active ingredients of well-being. PERMA is an acronym for Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment. Each pillar of this model contributes to your overall well-being and needs to be considered independently.
There is plenty of research that highlights all the benefits that you get when you prioritise your well-being such as performing better at work, better physical health and lower levels of burn-out. I believe the PERMA model is important to understand, so you will be able to implement whatever aspect resonates with you most so that it helps with your well-being. This in turn will help you cope better with all the demands that you are currently facing in your professional life.
Some ways the PERMA model can help you
You should feel good and get hope and inspiration from the things you do at work. Positive emotions is the first element of the PERMA model that brings happiness and well-being. Regardless of your current professional situation you can create some positive emotions about your professional future by identifying the best career path for you.
Other ways to help generate positive emotions on a daily basis include:
- Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with care and understanding rather than harshly critical and judgemental, this is particularly important if you are learning new skills or have made a mistake.
- Make a list of your Strengths: Identify what you are naturally good at and what you enjoy doing and try to utilise these skills in your professional life.
- Daily Gratitude: Become aware of the things that are going well for you in your job. Get into the habit of writing down at least 3 things at the end of the day. A simple question to answer: What went well today
Engagement is being completely absorbed in activities. When a person is fully engaged with an activity, they use their skills, strengths and attention to complete a challenging task. According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, this produces an experience called “flow” that is so gratifying that people are willing to do it for its own sake, rather than for what they will get out of it. The activity is its own reward. Flow can be experienced in a wide variety of activities.
In order to create well-being in your professional life, identify the activities that allow you to be in “flow”.
- What activities do you do in your job that allows you to be in “flow”?
- When was the last time you were fully absorbed in the moment?
- What activities do you enjoy doing that being paid is a bonus?
Relationships are fundamental to our well-being. Cultivating positive authentic relationships with our colleagues helps us to cope and deal with stressful situations. There is a correlation between having effective relationships in work and being happier in work. If you are working remotely at home, it is crucial that you continue to nurture and develop these important relationships.
Two simple ways to connect with your team:
- Arrange a weekly remote lunch or remote coffee break and the rule is not to discuss work matters.
- Reach out and check in with your colleagues to see how things are going for them and offer them a helping hand if they need it.
Meaning is the fourth pillar that benefits your well-being. The focus of this pillar is to get meaning and purpose from the work that you are doing. Creating meaning in your professional life will provide greater professional satisfaction than all the money and benefits you can ever be given.
There are many ways to create a purposeful existence but some ways to do it in your professional life include:
- Step outside your Comfort Zone: It really is about setting yourself a professional goal that you want to achieve and take the necessary steps outside of your comfort zone to achieve it.
- Identify your Work Values and ensure that the role and the company that you are working for are aligned with your values.
- Help others. Helping your colleagues in your team is a great way to gain meaning and purpose from the work that you are currently doing.
Having goals in your professional life, even small ones and making efforts to achieve them are important to your well-being and happiness. Achievement helps to build self-esteem and provides a sense of accomplishment and success. Setting professional goals for yourself will help with your productivity and overall happiness.
Some questions to reflect on:
- What small professional goals can you work towards on a daily basis?
- What direction do you want to take your career?
- What do you need to do to get there?
Each of these five pillars contribute to well-being in your professional life. Each of these pillars is pursued for its own sake and is measured independently. I hope you have gained something from this article that will contribute towards your own well-being.
Please share this article with anyone you feel might benefit from it. If you would like to discuss how my services might benefit you and your team, please get in touch.