Mindfulness is just coming of age over the last 5-10 years and when it comes to mental health wellness and general life wellbeing, there are a number of elements, which when combined help to develop a life of wellbeing. Dr. Martin Seligman is known as the founder of the positive psychology movement and he promotes the theory of wellbeing being built around the following five elements:
Positive emotion – This element includes emotions such as joy, hope, curiosity and love and they are essential to wellbeing. Although feeling happy all the time is an impossibility and trying to hold on to happiness all the time can be detrimental, mindfulness does help you become aware of these emotions when they arise without you getting attached to them.
Engagement – There is a state of mind called flow where your attention is fully focused on a task, person or piece of work. We’ve all experienced a time when we are so into what we are doing that we lose track of time and we are oblivious to the outside world. This is when you are fully in the present moment and the more often you find yourself in flow the more likely you are to experience wellbeing. Mindful awareness enables you to cultivate your ability to focus and enter into this state of mind more often.
Relationships – The centre of a life of wellbeing is built around positive relationships. These relationships include your partner, family, friends and colleagues. It’s important to give time and energy to cultivating good quality relationships since being human, we are social beings. Mindfulness helps you be less reactive and more empathic which leads to more positive relationships.
Meaning – Dedicating yourself to a cause much bigger than yourself is what this element is all about. Whether it be large or small, it could be something along the lines of improving the world we live in. Some contribution to a larger more worthy cause which can inspire a personal sense of meaning.
Accomplishment – Another element which contributes to your wellbeing is achieving a goal which is valuable to you. Mindfulness can help you clarify which goals are important to you and to focus on those that are achievable and fun to do. Most importantly, mindfulness enables you to appreciate the importance of the journey to achieving something rather than the outcome itself. The journey in the moment is where our life lies. Enjoy the ride!