The positivity project was started to look at the world from a glass-half-full when it comes to being autistic. My name is Tiffany Jameson and I am a mother of an 18-year-old with autism and I can’t imagine a world where he makes a ten worst list about himself (which was the motivation for this project, see my original post). I have had the honor of interacting with many individuals that identify with autism spectrum characteristics over the years, but since I started Grit & Flow to increase the employment of neurodiverse people, the individuals that I have encountered that are unemployed blows me away. There really isn’t a good reason for all these wonderful people not to have stable, competitive and fulfilling employment!
This project will introduce you to positive psychology and the Theory of Well-being by Martin Seligman. Today I will focus on one pillar of Seligman’s five dimensions of well-being, positive emotions. Is being happy all the time truly the state in which you live? We do not stay steady throughout the day with one emotion. It can be great when you get a call from your Mom, but nasty when you get a call from a creditor. It can be apprehensive when you try something new, and angry when you lose your keys. All these emotions are subjective. This means there is no wrong or right answer, it’s just how you feel. No one can tell you what you are feeling. As a subjective feeling, we can’t use happiness (positive emotion) as a delineator for being a happy person living a good life. If we used our emotions to determine how we measure our lives, it would not be accurate, and it would be a rollercoaster.
Does being happy fill your life with meaning? Does being happy provide you with strong relationships? No, being happy is a state you go through. The important thing about positive emotions is that it is good to have more positive emotions than negative in your life. Positive emotions are important and they allow you to try new things and get through tough times in your life. Positive emotions are good… but there is more to well-being than that.
Martin Seligman calls the dimensions within his Theory of Well-being the PERMA™ model. His model states that you need to have all five dimensions of PERMA™ to fulfilling well-being. Here they are:
P: Positive Emotions
E: Engagement (or Flow)
R: Positive Relationships
I invite you to take the PERMA ™ profiler on the Authentic Happiness website and see where you fall in these five dimensions. Remember that your overall well-being is a combination of individual dimensions. I hope you will add more positive emotions into your life while also trying to fill in the other dimensions. Next time we will talk about a dimension that greatly influences those that identify with ASC, engagement or flow.
As promised, I would like to introduce you to a wonderful woman who is autistic and spectacular. Skylar and I meet through LinkedIn. She is a brilliant communicator online and very passionate about the equality of the neurodiverse community. I invite you to read Skylar’s Ten things that are Awesome about Me List.
Till next time…Stay positive 😊#ThePositivityProject.
10 Autistic Strengths of Mine by Skye
1. Rapid learning
2. Heightened sensory (though this also creates sensory overload)
3. Seeing everything from a different perspective
5. Unique creator
6. Find more efficient ways to do things
7. Strong empathy (sometimes overwhelmingly)
8. Can do basically anything you put in front of me
9. Excellent pattern recognition, ability to see the whole picture and all the smaller moving parts
10. No one is like me (My personal favorite! ~Tiffany)