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A growing body of psychology research focuses on understanding, measuring, and building the happiness and wellbeing of individuals, groups, and communities. There are many different ways of thinking about wellbeing. One of the co-founders of the discipline of positive psychology, Dr Martin Seligman, suggests that there are five pillars that underpin a sense of flourishing in life – positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment – or PERMA.
PERMA provides one way to think about how you’re going in life. Do you generally have more Positive or negative emotions? Are you Engaged and interested in life, or bored and detached? Do you have positive social Relationships or do you feel lonely? Do you have a sense of Meaning and purpose to life, or does it seem rather meaningless? Do you feel competent in your daily life and able to Accomplish what you’d like?
The PERMA Profiler below, developed by Dr. Peggy Kern from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Positive Psychology, measures these five pillars, as well as negative emotions and physical health. It just takes a few minutes to complete, and when you’re done, you can get an overall sense of your wellbeing, how you’re going in different areas, and also gain some insights into some ways to support and improve your health, happiness and satisfaction with life. Please note that this is not a diagnostic tool. There is no right or wrong profile and the results most likely vary for different people depending where they are at in life. The general idea is that no one element defines wellbeing, but each of the PERMA elements contributes to it. There also might be other areas that are important to you, and this can also help you think about what wellbeing is to you.