Pancakes are Positive Psychology

For the last 6 months I have been studying positive psychology, and I now feel confident to say that Pancakes are in deed positive psychology in action.

Just think about it. Actually – just think about pancakes! Are you smiling a little? Feeling good?

My point! And let me elaborate.

The father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, defines well-being as a construct with five measurable elements (PERMA) that count toward it:

Positive Emotion

Engagement

Relationships

Meaning and purpose

Accomplishment

You get ALL these elements, when you bake pancakes for someone.

Positive emotion

Just thinking about pancakes made you smile! Pancakes are comfort food, we make them because we feel good, and because it makes us feel good to eat them. The anticipation when we bake them is a positive emotion – and not only do we look forward to eating the pancakes, we enjoy the thought of sharing them, the thought of making someone else feel good, when we serve them these round cakes of happiness.

Engagement

Engagement is really about flow. It is a present moment, where we are challenged and our abilities are just enough to face that exact challenge. Flow is when we are deeply engaged in something, and loose track of time.

Baking pancakes is a state of flow – especially, when you bake the Danish or French crepes, that are thin, and where precision is needed to flip them without breaking them.

Making great pancakes require presence and focus. Flow.

Relationships

Pancakes are social food. We (almost?) always bake pancakes for another person or for a group. You bake pancakes for people you love, and you know, that someone baking you pancakes is an act of love.

Eating pancakes strengthen our sense of togetherness and makes us feel socially safe.

Pancakes are a part of every close relationship – or at least they should be. #lovetoshare

Meaning and purpose

What could be more meaningful than feeding yourself, and the people you love, great food? I suggest, that it is always meaningful to cook food, since we need food to survive – but in this case there is added meaning and purpose, because of the positive emotions, engagement and social benefit that comes with baking pancakes specifically.

Well-being is the purpose of pancakes.

Accomplishment

Just think of the huge stack of panckes you have baked – that sure feels like an accomplishment! I know, that it is not something that is going to change the world, but it sure feels like an accomplishment, when you put that last baked pancake on the plate. You feel content and proud in a good and non-selfish way.

2015-05-10 15.07.31

Need I say more?

Pancakes are positive psychology in action. Now go bake!

 

 

Author: Camilla Hilbrands

Camilla formed the company At Work A/S in 1992 at the age of 20 and has been active as a wellbeing expert ever since. She has followed and been involved in creating the development within health and wellbeing in the workplace from its modest beginnings at the start of the 1990s, and she has, among other things, been an expert at National Centre for Workplace Health Promotion (Nationalt Center for Sundhedsfremme på Arbejdspladsen). Camilla is an experienced leader, teacher and speaker and spends most of her time developing and arranging courses and concepts that aim at increased wellbeing for individuals and groups. Creativity, honesty and social intelligence are Camilla’s strong points, and in addition to this she is known for her passion for and book about pancakes. Her focus is basically resource-oriented and innovative and her tal and workshops are based on the most recent research in the fields of positive psychology, neuroscience and behavioural science. Camilla is an informal and humorous speaker, and with her solid professional background she always leaves her audience with aha moments and specific tools they can use straight away. Camilla is an active participant and networker at various conferences, including TED conferences, and in addition to this she has been enrolled as a member of Richard Branson’s “Change Makers and Rule Breakers”, and she is a strong supporter of the motto: Be the change you wish to see in the world.

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