Flourishing: Five Building Blocks for Happiness and Health

Flourishing: Five Building Blocks for Happiness and Health

How can we find happiness? What are the keys to success and satisfaction? And – most of all – what does it really mean to live well?

Humans have been grappling with these questions throughout history, but in recent years, researchers have been putting together an answer.

“Being in a state of mental health is not merely being disorder-free; rather it is the presence of flourishing,” writes Dr. Martin Seligman, who pioneered the field of positive psychology. “Being engaged with the people you care about and having meaning in life is entirely different from not being depressed, anxious or angry.”

Here at The Glenridge, we’ve always strived to create an environment where our members lead inspired and invigorated lives. To achieve that, we’ve focused on what Dr. Seligman identifies as the five key elements in well-being — also known as the “PERMA” theory:

  • Positive Emotions. Regardless of your disposition, you can increase your wellbeing by focusing more on the positive side of life. It’s not just about being peppy (although that helps). Forward-looking optimism, gratitude and forgiveness all correlate with overall well-being.


  • Engagement. When you’re wrapped up in a passion project – or, as Seligman puts it, “one with the music” – you’re experiencing something psychologists call flow. With abundant opportunities for engagement, The Glenridge is a perfect example: Whether you’re focused on a hobby, immersed in learning, or playing a favorite sport, the activity becomes its own reward.


  • Relationships. Asked to sum up positive psychology in a few words, researcher Christopher Peterson said, “Other people.” Humans are naturally social creatures, and many of our happiest moments are found in the company of friends and family. And that goes both ways: Research shows that helping others is one of the most reliable ways to boost your mood.


  • Meaning. “Human beings want meaning and purpose in life,” writes Seligman. When you feel connected to a cause that’s bigger than yourself – such as volunteering, philanthropy, activism, or faith groups – you’re likely to be happier and healthier as a result.


  • Accomplishment. Whether it’s the sense of pride after a job well done … or the “eureka” moment as you master a new skill, there’s something powerfully satisfying in doing what you do well. That’s why trying new things and embracing challenges can make you happier in the long term.

Flourishing and the principles of PERMA are at the heart of The Glenridge’s philosophy. From the very beginning, our community was designed to advance the senior-living industry by redefining aging – and challenging the status quo.

That’s the foundation for a life of profound fulfillment, says CEO Jim Cater: “We call it The Glenridge Effect, and we’ve seen it positively impact so many people who move in and just get a ‘second wind.’ They really do flourish here.”

Experience “The Glenridge Effect” for yourself! Learn more about our community and our upcoming Northside Neighborhood, now under construction. Send us a message or give our Life Planning Team a call at 888-999-GLEN (4536) to schedule your telephone appointment or personal tour.

To learn more about what life is like at The Glenridge in Sarasota, visit our other blog posts or find us on Facebook.