Wednesday, March 17, 2010


To flourish means to live within an optimal range of human functioning, one that connotes goodness, generativity, growth, and resilience.

This definition builds on path-breaking work that measures mental health in positive terms rather than by the absence of mental illness (Keyes, 2002).

Flourishing contrasts not just with pathology but also with languishing: a disorder intermediate along the mental health continuum experienced by people who describe their lives as “hollow” or “empty.”

Epidemiological work suggests that fewer than 20% of U.S. adults flourish and that the costs of languishing are high; relative to flourishing (and comparable to depression), languishing brings more emotional distress, psychosocial impairment, limitations in daily activities, and lost work days (Keyes, 2002).

Straight out of the article, Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing by
Barbara L. Fredrickson & Marcial F. Losada

Secretly, one of the main reasons I went back to school was to be able to access and read journal articles like this at my whim. Nerdy and proud! One more final and this quarter is over. woohoo.

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