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The Ardell Real Wellness Self-Assessment Test for Exuberance

This self-assessment instrument is designed to reflect your knowledge, satisfaction level and general experience of Exuberance, one of four REAL wellness dimensions. Self-assessments for the Reason, Athleticism and Liberty dimensions are also available.

The self-assessment protocols are copyrighted; all rights are reserved. Visit donardell.com for licensing information regarding educational, corporate, non-profit or other uses of one or more of the four REAL wellness self-assessments, as well as a separate self-assessment test for stress management.

The purpose of all the self-assessments is to promote familiarity with and added commitment to REAL wellness mindsets and lifestyles. The overall goal is a philosophy guided by reason, inspired by exuberance, supported with athleticism and enriched by increased personal liberties.

EXUBERANCE

The English word exuberance has a certain ring to it, so much so that even non-English speaking people probably recognize that it connotes a joyful, celebrant quality, rich with excitement, almost lustful (in a polite way), living with the positive emotion of cheerful ebullience.

Exuberance is about human flourishing.

As a REAL wellness dimension, exuberance is the category wellness for happiness and joy, meaning and purpose, social and relationship connections, the quality of work, careers and more. It’s hard to go overboard seeking exuberance–synonyms for the term suggest its attractive qualities, including but not limited to jauntiness, high spirits, exultation, gaiety, effervescence, vivacity, zest and even chirpiness! Exuberance is expressed in the contagiousness of play, laughter, the giddiness of new (and old) love, the intoxicating effects of music and in varied forms of religious ecstasy. (Note: Mention of religious ecstasy in this context should not be seen as an endorsement of being slain in the spirit, dancing with poisonous reptiles, exorcisms or other forms of group squealing, shrieking, inability to stand or sit, loudly uttering apocalyptic prophecies, holy laughter or human barking.)

As with anything else taken to ad absurdum levels, exuberance can be and is in some cases experienced in unattractive, jejune ways. Three examples should suffice to make the point:

  • Artificial highs beyond the heights, with loss of one’s usual capabilities of sound judgment, as with overindulgence in chemical substances, such as drugs and alcohol.
  • Reckless decisions, as in irrational exuberance. (A phrase Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan coined to describe the dot-com bubble of the 1990s.)
  • Aberrant behaviors, as seen in mood disorders. For example, bipolar disorder, once known as manic depression, is an affective disorder defined by manic or hypomanic episodes. It’s a serious disease.

 

The last noted example of excesses are not poor choices, so much as medical conditions or cultural aberrations. They are cited only to recognize that exuberance, while a highly positive and desirable experience, can have a dark side, under curious and unusual circumstances.

For the most part, as a REAL wellness lifestyle experience and element of successful living, exuberance is a very good thing. It animates intellectual searching, risk-taking, creativity and survival itself. There is most likely a hereditary predisposition to exuberance; neuroscience researchers, among others, continue to explore the role brain chemicals, such as dopamine, play in positive moods and psychological resilience.

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