Simple Activities to Enhance Flourishing

Simple Activities to Enhance Flourishing

via Psychology Today by Tyler J VanderWeele

The current research update from the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard describes our recent evidence-based survey of various activities that can enhance flourishing, our efforts at developing a “flourishing app,” and our engagement with the Lancet COVID-19 Commission Taskforce on Mental Health and Well-being.

Our last research update described how Americans’ flourishing has declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, not least because of the burdens placed this year on our collective physical and financial health. But flourishing is a matter of internal perspective as well as external circumstance: Even those who haven’t gotten sick or lost a job have been confronted with an extraordinary array of temptations to slip into regretful or anxious rumination about milestones missed or dangers looming on the horizon.

Because the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard is focused not only on assessing and measuring human well-being, but also on promoting individual and communal well-being in practice, we have recently published a summary of easy-to-complete do-it-yourself activities that can enhance flourishing. The review focuses on activities with well-documented positive effects on multiple aspects of human flourishing. While most prior literature reviews of flourishing activities have been oriented principally toward academics, this recent summary is meant to be accessible to those without a research background, while still relying on the strongest evidence.

Adobe Spark/Fotorech/Pixabay

FlourishingSource: Adobe Spark/Fotorech/Pixabay

Flourishing Activities and Seeking the Good

The paper is organized around four different approaches to enhancing one’s flourishing. These include learning to attend to the good in one’s own life, actively seeking and promoting the good, finding and experiencing the good in community, and addressing psychological distress that hinders one from experiencing what is good.

For each of these broad approaches, we discuss three activities that have been shown to promote them: three cognitive activities, three behavioral activities, three forms of community engagement, and three tools to address psychological distress. The various activities are also summarized on our website, and we have provided an implementation in the app described below…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE

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