THIS QUALITY HAS EVEN BEEN PROVEN TO HAVE INCREDIBLE HEALTH BENEFITS!
How often do we just pass by the beautiful terrain without appreciating nature?
How often do we pass by street artists without even noticing their incredible performance?
How often do we take photos of delicious food to share over Instagram or Snapchat but forget to actually appreciate and enjoy eating it?
If you are one among those people who do stop on your route to just watch the performer doing his or her thing, or if you genuinely take a moment to appreciate the texture, taste and appearance of your food, then you might have the rare trait of ‘appreciation of beauty and excellence’
Every individual possesses certain character strengths and virtues in varying degrees that act as a buffer against mental illness, among such strengths, one is appreciation of beauty and excellence.
In his study, Ferrucci (2009) suggested that beauty is a basic need for holistic growth. When people attain this need, they enjoy positive psychological effects such as: regenerative and healing influence, self-transcending effects and revelatory power.
The self-transcending effect of beauty has the power to shift a person from a small bubble to a greater universe. And the revelatory power is about acknowledging the hidden beauty which brings about immense pleasure and develops a greater sense of appreciation of beauty and life.
Ferrucci’s study was mostly interview-based; an emotion repeatedly reported during the study was the feeling of joy. Respondents of the study stated that appreciation and experience of beauty makes life worth living and generates a feeling of joy. Appreciation of aesthetic beauty often creates impulse towards creativity.
Similarly, a great theorist Abraham Maslow whose need-hierarchy theory (1967) is applied almost in every field, proposed the concept of ‘aesthetic needs’. He suggested that it is a need for beauty that motivates people in the direction of aesthetic experiences. If one is deprived of this need, one could become physically and spiritually ill.
Appreciation of beauty is necessary, because beauty in any form, be it in nature, or mechanics, architecture or imagery can have therapeutic or healing effects on us.
In fact, the study of Ulrich (1984) suggests that the patients who had a natural view from their hospital ward window regained positive health and recovered faster as compared to patients with a simple wall view.
Also, the seekers of beauty and excellence often report finding meaning in everyday life and feeling happiness as well as have propensity to build deeper and warmer relations with people.
1. Pay attention to the environment, just see and appreciate what is beautiful in daily life.
2. Get involved with the emotion that arises as outcome of contemplating the object of beauty.
3. Express the appreciation of beauty through creativity
To boost your appreciation of beauty, make an effort to note down at least one expression of natural beauty around you. It may be the sunrise, rain, trees or birds.
Enjoy listening to a piece of music or watching a ﬁlm and then admire how it touches you. Or, take a mini-tour to the nearest museum and look out for a piece of art where you’re awestruck and evaluate how it aesthetically soothes you.
Remember, appreciation is the act of feeling the beauty around you!
When was the last time you stopped to appreciate nature around you?