Zest falls under the virtue category of Courage. Courage describes strengths that deal with overcoming fear. These strengths can manifest themselves inwardly or outwardly as they are composed of cognitions, emotions, motivations and decisions.
Zest is a dynamic strengths that is directly related to physical and psychological wellness. This strength has the strongest ties to overall life satisfaction and a life of engagement.
Smile and Dance with Matt
When in doubt, take action!
Exercises for Boosting Zest
Improve your sleep hygiene by establishing regular sleep time, eating 3-4 hours before sleeping, avoiding doing any work in the bed, not taking caffeine late in the evening, etc. Notice changes in your energy level.
Do a physically rigorous activity (bike riding, running, sports singing, playing) that you always wanted to do but have not done yet.
Call old friend and reminisce good old times.
Cool Hand Luke
Harold and Maude
Young @ Heart
Movies are an art-form highly suited for inspiring character strengths and helping in the discovery, understanding and exploration of these positive aspects in human beings. Ryan Niemiec (VIA's education director) and Danny Wedding explore 1,500 examples in their book Positive Psychology at the Movies, 2nd edition (2014). They explain that the best positive psychology movies meet the following criteria:
- Strong portrayal of a character's signature strengths which are critical to the character's identity;
- Depicts conflict/obstacles that challenge the character;
- The character uses strengths to overcome the adversity;
- The film's overall presentation is uplifting or speaks deeply to the human condition.
- The film holds great potential to generate cinematic elevation (i.e., it causes people to feel motivated to do good and increases their altruism) or cinematic admiration (i.e., it causes people to want to improve themselves and copy the model).
Elevation – U2
I Feel Good – James Brown
Don’t Let Me Fall – B.o.B.
Celebration – Kool & The Gang
Beautiful – Carole King
Every Little Thing She Does – Police
So Much to Say – Dave Matthews