What Color is Happiness?

Can you define happiness?

As I started the new year, I decided to participate in an artistic challenge, #happyyouin22. I followed word prompts for the month of January that were listed and posted on Instagram.

At the same time that I as creating, I was taking a course on positive psychology. (I am a positive psychology nerd having been introduced to the work of Dr. Martin Seligman a while back. His theory, research, actual work and results have given us a model to be happy, to become happy, to achieve happiness. (See end of message for an explanation of this model if you are interested.)

So what does this all have to do with watercoloring?

With only the intention to create without thinking during this Instagram challenge, I found my happy place. It doesn’t matter that any of these pieces are museum worthy or ready to become part of the notecard family. What matters is that I was engaged in an activity that I love for a purpose that I love for people whom I love.

I hope you find your #happyyouin22.

Seligman’s Positive Psychology Model: PERMA

  • P – Positive Emotions. Positive emotions include hope, interest, joy, love, compassion, pride, amusement, and gratitude. Increasing positive emotions helps individuals build physical, intellectual, psychological, and social resources that lead to resilience and overall wellbeing. Doing something you enjoy increases positive emotions.
  • E – Engagement. Happiness is a byproduct of engagement: when you are “in the zone,” “in flow,” By participating in activities that you really love and that use your strengths, well that leads to feeling happy.
  • R – Relationships. Relationships refer to feeling supported, loved, and valued by others.
  • M – Meaning. An intrinsic human quality is the search for meaning and the need to have a sense of value and worth.
  • A – Accomplishment. A sense of accomplishment is a result of working toward and reaching goals, mastering an endeavor, and having self-motivation to finish what you set out to do.

Published by Helena

After a diverse career in Corporate America, I am freeing myself of a ton of ego traps; chief among them is "perfectionism." Watercolor, when left to its own devices and imperfections seems to create something more beautiful than intended. I am still a student and love the learning journey. Sharing that with friends and family in the form of greeting cards, has been a surprise filled with joy.

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