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  • Photo du rédacteurFanny Baert

How appreciating beauty can nurture your wellbeing. 

Have you noticed beauty during your holidays? Have you been inspired by exceptional talent or passion? Or by people doing great things for others?

Last July, I was in awe by the beauty of the Calanques in France and the clear and fresh blue water I was swimming in. The many sailing boats made me dream about touring the seas, discovering new places, and realizing we are only just a small dot on this beautiful planet.

I also enjoyed some beautiful music, which has transported me into different worlds and allowed me to get in touch with some deeper emotions and feelings.

Appreciation of beauty is another one of Seligman and Peterson’s 24 character strengths that make up the best of our personality and thus have a positive impact on everything we do, think and are. On the website of the Via Institute, you can do a free survey which will rank your 24 character strengths. Our top strengths help us overcome challenges in our life, such as a career change and having to adjust to a new situation. They also keep us on track to reach our personal goals.

According to the Via Institute, Appreciation of Beauty is a strength within the virtue category of transcendence, one of six virtues that subcategorize the 24 strengths. Transcendence describes strengths that help you connect to the larger universe and provide meaning. Those who express an appreciation of beauty notice and appreciate beauty, excellence and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

Beauty can be defined as physical beauty, a skill or a talent or a virtue or moral goodness.

How can appreciating beauty nurture our wellbeing and happiness?

  • It promotes key positive emotions, such as awe, admiration and elevation, which will in turn develop positive thoughts which will in their turn result in positive actions.

  • Appreciation of beauty belongs to the virtue of transcendence. Transcendence refers to our ability to connect to the wider universe and meaning in our life.

  • Once you realize you belong to something bigger, you will be able to put your life and actions into perspective. It will help you to understand you are connected and part of something bigger, and support you to define your sense of purpose and personal mission in life.

  • Appreciating beauty in small things can be helpful to keep you motivated and in positive spirits when you are going through a rough time.

How can we develop this strength? How can we learn to notice, contemplate and appreciate beauty?

  • Every day, try to find something beautiful by zooming in on your environment and the people in it.

  • Keep a gratitude journal to write down two - three things you found beautiful and for which you are grateful. Don't forget to read your gratitude journal when you are going through a rough time.

  • At work, recognize the strengths and talents of your colleagues and do not forget to compliment them.

  • Acknowledge the beauty in young people, as in the enthusiasm, audacity and talent they can expose in projects they undertake, their hobbies and causes they defend.

  • Celebrate your success and that of others.

  • Observe how small children can stare in wonder at things we as adults have forgotten to appreciate.

  • Go for a hike in nature and take it all in.

  • Completely emerge yourself in a hobby or activity you enjoy in your free time.

What kind of beauty to do you appreciate?

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