Measuring Happiness - PERMA Index

​​The Happiness index tool was developed by Dr Jayakaran and Dr VanValin to measure happiness. It is carried out using the Ten Seed Technique and assessing the 5 important aspects of Happiness, namely:

1.Positive emotion: Happiness and life satisfaction define this well-being component. Descriptions of positive emotions include words such as feeling good, happy, joyous, blessed, satisfied, excited, content, calm and peaceful, etc. These emotions are often contextually dependent.  One day things are going well and a person feels “happy”, but then a loss is experienced and the person feels “sad.” Some people need significant interventions such as medication and psychotherapy in order to have the biological capacity to experience positive emotions.
2.Engagement:  Engagement is the experience of being totally focused on one thing.  It is about “flow.” The more engaged we are, the less we attend to things around us, and the easier it is to lose ourselves in what we are doing. We are single minded, the opposite of multitasking where our attention is quickly moving from one thing to another.  Multitasking is quite stressful, while engagement is calming.
​3.Relationships:  Being with people you love is the greatest buffer against the negative effects of chronic or critical stress.  Also, helping other people is the fastest way to feel better in almost any situation. Simply being around people is insufficient.  One can feel very lonely in a crowded room.  This element requires reciprocal relationships. The more truly intimate relationships one has, the more secure one is in general, and happier overall.

​4.Meaning and purpose:  Meaning is defined by Dr. Seligman as “belonging to and serving something that you believe is bigger than the self.”  (Flourish, 2011, p. 17). Victor Frankl, in Man’s Search for Meaning, described how people in Nazi concentration camps would either lose their sense of identity and humanity in such horrific conditions, or sustain themselves by helping others.

5.Accomplishment:  Accomplishment refers to completing or making progress in something of value. This component is high for people who feel that they are achieving goals, making progress and expect future accomplishments.  Accomplishments may be recognized by others or be very private. People often struggle with achievement as they age, or lose capacity to do something they value.
​The final index is the total of the seeds in the inner intersect divided by 50 (which is the maximum total possible). This index can be tracked on a graph at periodic intervals.

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