The Science of Well-being course’s Week 1 Rewirements also recommended, but not required, other tests in the greater Authentic Happiness Inventory. The course especially recommended the PERMA™ (an acronym for Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment— the basic dimensions of psychological flourishing). Since they asked those who take it to keep score, I took it to get the most out of the course.
But first, I had to find out what psychological flourishing was. From Wikipedia, flourishing is described as “a state where people experience positive emotions, positive psychological functioning and positive social functioning, most of the time,” living “within an optimal range of human functioning.” If I were to describe it in plain language, it’s how positive someone is in a general lifestyle range (rather than in distress or euphoria moments or spans of time). Further from Wikipedia, flourising is a descriptor and measure of positive mental health and overall life well-being, and includes multiple components and concepts, such as cultivating strengths, subjective well-being, “goodness, generativity, growth, and resilience.” Flourishing is the opposite of both pathology and languishing, which are described as living a life that feels hollow and empty. It is a central concept in positive psychology, developed by Corey Keyes and Barabara Fredrickson.
If you want to know more about the dimensions, which I will cover with my PERMA results, I found a more comprehensive description on the Positive Psychology Program site.
After the optional pre-course survey that was more about reasons for taking the course, there was another optional pre-course survey to see how I perceive certain things that might be in my future, and how I feel about my life and myself in the past two weeks or today. Results were only going to be explained after the course were over, so I’ll wait till then to share since the survey has a lot of questions. It takes 15-20 minutes to go through, they say, but when you think about how you can rattle off probably 3 or more quick questions a minute, that’s a LOT of questions to document, try to explain and such.
Besides, if you are reading this and might be doing the course, I don’t want to bias how you might take this optional survey that has a few unexpected things in it which you would be prepared for if I told you about it in detail. This little spoiler shouldn’t skew things much, though. 🙂
Now came the first real meaty part of the course, the rewirements that are homework activities from the course to do each day. They are called “rewirements” because they’re practices aimed at rewiring your habits. Research suggests that if you do these rewirements as prescribed, you should get a boost in your mood and overall well-being.
Better start thinking of a good name, because you and many others might be wearing it in the future instead of cotton!
Aside from the great idea that has a lot of potential, I think it’s amusingly appropriate Yiqi Yang, the person behind this research into fabric from corn husks, is at the University of Nebraska, home of the Cornhuskers. 🙂