“Positive psychology is the scientific study of human strengths and virtues. The study of what constitutes the pleasant life, the engaged life, and the meaningful life.”
– Dr. Martin Seligman
According to an article by the American Psychological Association, children’s mental health is in crisis in the US, with rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide rising by 40% in the decade before the COVID-19 pandemic. And this crisis is manifesting in the autism community at even greater rates. The article states that while the pandemic certainly contributed to the crisis, it is not the only factor, with social media, mass violence, climate change, natural disasters, political polarization, and the regular ups and downs of childhood and adolescence all exacerbating the problem.
While psychologists are working to understand the issue and disseminate solutions, they are triaging when prevention is equally important. Our kids are in crisis, and our teachers and care providers are burned out, but there is hope for addressing their wellbeing.
Parents and care providers can foster wellbeing and practice evidence-informed skills to address negativity and possibly even prevent negativity from arising. Proof Positive wants to make these skills easier to access, understand, and, most importantly, put into practice in people’s lives. It provides easy-to-use resources and skills that can enhance wellbeing while offering tools like the PERMA+ Snapshot.
Wellbeing can be improved; you are never stuck where you are. Just as you might track your blood pressure or weight, Proof Positive’s PERMA+ Snapshot tool lets you quickly reflect and track which areas you excel in and which require some attention so you can take action.
The PERMA+ Snapshot tool was created based on Dr. Martin Seligman’s PERMA+ Framework Theory, representing five critical elements to human flourishing: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Mattering, and Accomplishment. We believe in the mind-body connection and have added +Health as the 6th element to make up PERMA+.
Tracking your wellbeing over time can lead to a positive habit of practicing the skills of wellbeing – skills with palpable benefits, such as more resilience in times of challenge and stress, higher levels of satisfaction with work, deeper and more meaningful relationships, better sleep quality, and less depression and anxiety, to name a few. More than ever, kids need this tool to reap positive benefits and as a preventative measure to protect their wellbeing.
When we concentrate on practicing the skills of happiness, behaviors can fall away, negative thoughts may subside, and happiness and human flourishing can persist.
Proof Positive encourages you to use and teach others about the PERMA+ Snapshot because checking in with yourself (and those around you) is a core part of leading a happier, healthier life.
PERMA+ Snapshot → Happiness → Wellbeing