Walking in beauty heightens the resonance between beauty in our surroundings and beauty in ourselves; and this resonance enhances vitality. Vitality is associated with energy, enthusiasm, zest, and vigor. As psychologists describe it, vitality involves the entire personality, embracing several kinds of value: biological, psychological, social, philosophical, and spiritual. Vitality expresses physical health and stamina as well as mental well-being; it includes being decisive and effective in getting things done; and it is an indicator of personal and social integration. Since it owes so much to genetic inheritance and upbringing, vitality is not a typical virtue. But personal growth and cultivation may be required to sustain and enhance natural and unconsciously acquired vitality, which seems to be a result of balanced energies; tension, stress, and conflict depress vitality. Researchers have noted another aspect of vitality with great implications for the value priorities of our culture. Vitality is linked with happiness in the classic sense of full functioning and self-actualization rather than pleasure (and happiness in the sense of momentary satisfaction). The pursuit of pleasure, self-gratification, can compromise vitality and interfere with true happiness.
When you are living at your best, you enjoy a higher quality of vitality. In your experience, what factors enhance vitality, and what difference does vitality make in your capacity for optimal functioning?
 This paragraph summarizes Jessey H. Bernstein and Richard M. Ryan, “Vitality,” in Peterson and Seligman, Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 273—80. The photo credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Aymanati.jpg