Well-Being and the Five ‘Happy’ Lives

This article is part of the course THRIVE 103: Activating Strengths in Pursuit of Well-Being Jump to Course Well-Being and The PERMA Model Seligman (2011) argues that well-being is enhanced through thriving in one or more pillars of well-being. His model, often referred to as the PERMA Model, consists of Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning,…

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Meaning in Life and Drinking

Finding sources of meaning in life sounds like neither an easy task nor one that looks the same from one person to the next. But it is one that seems to be key to mental health. From increased resilience to sharper memory, a sense of purpose in life goes hand-in-hand with a range of cognitive…

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Developing a Sense of Purpose in High School

With a strong sense of purpose in life tend to come a range of cognitive, mental health, and possibly even physical health benefits, as I’ve written about before. A more complex question is how a strong sense of purpose arises. Although it’s reasonable to expect that a sense of purpose would be something that develops…

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Older Adults’ Perceptions of Volunteering Improve When They Try It

Volunteering is an activity that seems to have as many benefits for the person doing it as for the people it’s intended to help. This seems to be true starting relatively early in life, with young adults who volunteer more having a greater sense of purpose. However, volunteering has especially been considered as a way…

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A Tip to Find Meaning in Stressful Situations

When we encounter stressful situations in life, sometimes we’re able to turn them into something more than stressful situations. They can become stressful situations that add something to our life and that have meaning. How to actually do this is the challenge, of course. Generally, it requires finding a new perspective on the stressful situation…

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The Best Way to Hit Rock Bottom

Ask someone to tell you their life story and chances are you’ll get a narrative that, like any good story, has high points and low points. It turns out, though, that how people describe their lowest points can tell you about their current mental health. In a recent study, for example, researchers asked over 300…

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Why Meaning in Life Means Better Mental Health for Teens

As I’ve written about before, having a sense of purpose in life is consistently linked with better mental health. It’s hard to be happy when you’re also wondering what the point of it all is. Of course, people’s sense of meaning in life isn’t necessary a fixed quantity. Some studies have suggested a general tendency…

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