What do you think of when you think of the word flourishing? How might you describe it to someone? More importantly, would YOU describe yourself as a flourishing individual?
Keyes (Keyes & Haidt, 2003) has defined a spectrum (languishing to flourishing) whereby languishing is “a state in which an individual is devoid of positive emotion toward life, is not functioning well psychologically or socially, and has not been depressed during the last year” (p. 294). By this definition, someone who is languishing is not mentally healthy, but also is not experiencing mental illness. The opposite of languishing is flourishing, defined as “a state in which an individual feels positive emotion toward life and is functioning well psychologically and socially” (Keyes, 2003, p. 294).
*As Keyes reports, only a small minority of individuals, less then 25 percent (Keyes, 2003), in the US meet the criteria for flourishing. That's less then 1 in 4 adults in the US who are flourishing. Do you find this number a little concerning?
So what do you think? Do you fall more into the category of languishing or flourishing? What can we do to become a more flourishing individual?
Keyes, C.L.M. & Haidt, J. (2003). Flourishing: Positive psychology