New Beginnings

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” —Seneca

September is a month of endings and beginnings. The Jewish New Year often falls in September, offering an excellent opportunity for reflection and preparation for a new cycle. I love to use September to reflect on the summer holidays, rest and rejuvenation, and set intentions for the coming “school” year. How about you?

One thing I have chosen to focus on this coming year and something I have been studying lately is Positive psychology. It teaches us that happiness and its positive emotions not only improve our mood for the moment but can also improve our overall life satisfaction and mental strength. 

Happiness can be difficult to describe as it can look so different for many of us. Some of us may describe it as the moments when your heart fills with gratitude at even the most mundane moments. Others may describe happiness as contentment and fulfillment. And, yet, some others may have a completely different definition of their own. 

Overall, happiness tends to have a few defining characteristics: life satisfaction, resources that allow one to cope in difficult moments, and positive moods and emotions. So, what happens when we experience happiness? 

Our brains actually become more resilient to those difficult moments we have all experienced from time to time, ultimately allowing us to experience even more happiness! Research seems to suggest that the more happiness we experience, the more happy traits we enjoy. That’s not the only thing happiness allows us to experience. 

Positive psychology research has also suggested that happiness might even allow us to experience better overall health and wellness! Now, it is great to hear all of these amazing benefits that happiness offers us, but you’re probably staring at your computer screen waiting to hear some tips for actually feeling happy.

As I sit, reflecting on my own summer and preparing to enter this new season of life, I thought I would share some learnings and intentions you can bring into your own shifting cycle of life.

The first bit of knowledge I would like to share is the PERMA model. So, what is the “Good Life”? According to the PERMA model, coined by Dr. Martin Seligman, the “Good Life” can be defined by five key traits:

  • Positive emotions
  • Engagement, or being in “flow”
  • Relationships that are loving, nurturing, and rewarding
  • Meaning, or feeling as though your life serves a purpose
  • Accomplishments and Achievements

As you prepare to shift seasons within your own life, reflecting on the summer months and setting your intentions as the leaves get ready to fall, you may want to consider ways to incorporate more aspects of the PERMA model within your own life. For example, maybe you can decide to grow in your personal relationships. Or, perhaps you can set the intention to enjoy more moments in your life fully and mindfully.

I, for one, am feeling delighted to see what the next few months have to offer. Let’s prepare for a beautiful September together. What are some intentions you are setting to make the next season a season full of joy and happiness?

 

 

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3126102/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124958/

https://positivepsychology.com/perma-model/

 

 

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