Oral Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Why We Should Make Less Effort To Be Happy: Mental Health, Letting Go And Redesigning PERMA (PERMA-Dual)   (#389)

Michaela Brohm-Badry 1
  1. Learning and Instruction, University of Trier, Trier, Germany

Usually, we intend to get more: more positive emotions, more engagement, more supportive relationships, more meaning in life and accomplishments. We intend to flourish by bringing additional aspects into our lives. This is plausible – but exhausting. So, in times of digital overkill, self-optimization, rising depression and anxiety disorder rates, we should start to rethink our restless endeavor, because PERMA itself challenges another perspective: the let go of wellbeing blockades.

In this presentation, we suggest to turn around the course of PERMA in a reductionist direction. We will investigate what and how we could let go to gain wellbeing: How to let go destructive emotions; how to let go engagement blockades; how to let go energy-depleting relationships; how to let go meaninglessness and how to let go accomplishment barriers.

This perspective may lead to a liberating view of wellbeing and to a relief of our pursuit of happiness. Thus, this presentation will suggest a theoretical framework for redesigning PERMA as a dualistic model (PERMA-DUAL) with a “more-of” and a “less-of”-perspective, because human beings flourish also by simply letting go.


  1. Brohm-Badry, Michaela (2019): Das Gute Glück. Wie wir es finden und behalten können. Salzburg. Ecowin/Red Bull Media.