What affects your zest for life?

zestDo you feel out of sorts, lacking in energy and motivation, stressed or depressed?   Have you lost your zest for life?   We often look for personal reasons such as our age, size, appearance, personality, intelligence etc.

Do these things make it difficult for us to love our life?

My gut instinct is to say no!  However, I would temper this by saying we all have a natural tendency to measure and compare.  However stereotypical thinking does not help.  There is no perfect size, age or look.  We may be persuaded by the media to believe there is but in reality we all know people who do not fit stereo types who are rich in experience, character and warmth that out-shine the glossy models a thousand times over. Perception is personal and what one person thinks is wonderful another does not.  The reality is that variety, imperfection and difference can actually add zest to life.  How banal would life be if we were all the same!

Do you recognise your perfect life state when you are experiencing it?

Often we are so absorbed in our lives that we are oblivious of it until we are not absorbed!  So I think absorption in life is an important factor! Mihaly Csikaentmihalyi describes an optimal experience state when we are in a state of ‘flow’.

How absorbed we are in living our lives to the full is not reliant of age, size, wealth etc.   A 90 year old who loves her life, be it actively or through memory and familiarity is equally alive as the 15 year old who is just developing his/her life.  It’s the experience of life that matters.

Zest for life is important.  I would say this is the fundamental thing that keeps us really alive and interested in the world!

What is zest?

Well I believe zest is the energy of life that gives excitement, vigour and a certain enjoyable drive.  It seems similar to motivation but somehow different.  Zest is more zappy!  So semantics come into it – and your own personal choice and meaning!  It may well be intrinsic motivation  – that inner driver as opposed to extrinsic motivation – the outer rewards.  It is certainly a spark that fires us up and may dry up at times.

How to rekindle your zest for life!

Accept that life and you change, sit with it for a while and then celebrate your past and look forward to your future.  Treat life as an adventure, a journey, or a book with chapters:  whatever metaphor works for you and try to make the negative experiences more positive by seeking out the elements in them that you can use or learn from.  Even death or illness can strengthen our characters, our recognition of what is really important, our experience of being alive and in touch with the great joy of being given a life.  An opportunity to be part of this world and connected to others.  Look for meaning in your life; change your habits if you feel jaded and uninspired.  Seek to understand other perspectives.

It is not set in stone that you are  ……..…. and you believe…………. and do ……..……     The only thing stopping you is you.  You have the power to chose who you are, what you do, what you believe and how you feel.

When your energy is low, rest and recuperate.  Allow your energy to grow gently and then your zest for life will flourish and you will soon be bursting into life again.


Some questions to have a think about:


What brings a smile to your face? or what used to bring a smile to your face?


What brings a glint to your eye? or what used to?


What brings a spring to your step? or what used to or could in the future?


How can you freshen up your life?  What new experience can you try?


What special place/person/experience feeds your energy?


Take one step and the journey will begin…..


I would love to help and support you on your journey.  If you feel this would be good for you give me a call on 01803 847674 or send me an enquiry via my website contact form or through mentaline.com.  I offer a free 20 minute consultation.

Ref: Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper and Row. ISBN 0-06-092043-2

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