Supporting Well-Being with PERMA: Engagement

Engagement is what you experience when an activity completely absorbs you. It’s a process, an action that puts you fully in the moment and can provide an emotional response in the form of joy, calm, or happiness. Engagement-inducing activities can also trigger a series of chemical releases in your body that create an actual physical feeling of well-being. That rush can cause you to lose track of time and transcend any sense of self-consciousness—what some refer to as Flow. 

Flow is defined as the “optimal experience” and happens when your skills are aligned with the challenge at hand. The activity is not easy, but it’s not overwhelmingly difficult either. 

It’s important to note that engagement and flow don’t have to be lengthy processes; although it is certainly possible to become so immersed in an activity that hours pass by, it is also possible to experience shorter moments as well.

Here are a few ideas and resources that we think might help you become more engaged and attain that feeling of flow.

Using our strengths is a great way to increase our engagement in daily activities. At Shipley, we celebrate one of the 24 character strengths each month. Here are the resources to celebrate Leadership & Teamwork in April, as well as all of the strengths we have celebrated so far this year.

NPR is frequently updating its Where to Stream Live Concerts with daily audio and video links to a diverse group of artists.

Looking at magnificent works of art is another way that many people find engagement. Here is a way to experience the best museums from London to Seoul in the comfort of your own home.

A recent study of people quarantined in Wuhan found that, “engaging in flow-inducing activities may be a particularly effective way to protect against the deleterious effects of a period of quarantine.”

Get more information about PERMA by visiting the Supporting Well-Being page on Shipley's website.

About the Author


The Shipley School is an independent, coeducational day school in Bryn Mawr for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world. Through a strong college-preparatory curriculum in the humanities and sciences, our school encourages curiosity, creativity, and respect for intellectual effort. Shipley upholds and promotes moral integrity, a sense of personal achievement and worth, and concern for others at school and in the larger community.