You go through your days feeling low, feeling bad about yourself, lacking self-confidence, and all these negative feelings discourage you from taking care of yourself. You gain weight, you dress sloppily, you leave your hair unkempt. Or maybe you’ve let yourself go a bit. You’ve put on some pounds, your clothes have grown ragged, and the image you see in the mirror leaves you feeling down and steals your self-confidence.
There's a reciprocal relationship between looking good and feeling good, or on the flipside, feeling bad and letting yourself go. It’s a negative cycle that, regardless of how it started for you, has the power to suck you farther and farther down until the prospect of ever again looking good and feeling good can seem a distant hope.
We understand what it’s like because we’ve been there, too. We also understand how, little by little, anyone can instill positive habits until feeling good and looking again become realities. Read our tips below and put them into practice. You’ll be amazed at how fast things start looking up.
To start feeling good, try out the following:
1. Commit to becoming a lifelong student. Read books on subjects that interest you, watch educational programing on TV, and stay up to date on global news. Improving your mind will lead to a greater belief in your own abilities and allow you to engage in the important matters of the day.
2. Help others. When we seek out opportunities to help those close to us or those in need in our communities, we stop thinking about ourselves and start using our innate gifts to be of service. Not only will you get bursts of feel-good when you experience what it means to make others’ lives better, but you begin to understand that meaning and life satisfaction do not come from outward appearances but from life lived in gracious community.
3. Exercise. No, this isn’t about getting ripped biceps or a flat tummy. This is about putting to use a body that was designed for hunting and gathering. Physical inactivity can quickly lead to depression, but extended physical exercise releases a powerful cocktail of mood-improving neuro-transmitters in your brain. And yes, it will improve your physique, and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t live or die by the appearance of your body.This doesn’t have to take place in a gym, either. Go for a run or a long, vigorous walk. Ride your bike, play tennis with a friend, go rollerblading, practice yoga. Whatever physical activity brings you the most joy, that’s what you should do.
To start looking good, try these out:
1. Use designer products. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to break the bank. However, occasionally spending a bit more for designer products, whether clothing or makeup or hair care products or various accessories, can lead to a more put together, polished self-presentation. This means taking the time to find clothing that fits your shape nicely, makeup that’s suited to your coloring and features, and going to a professional hairstylist who can help you determine the best look for you. This is not about competing with others, fitting in, or following trends. Rather, it’s about knowing you’ve taken the time to look your best and done so in a manner that feels comfortable.
2. Consider how you carry your body. We all know that our body language speaks to those around us. Often without even knowing, our sour facial expressions, slouched shoulders, crossed arms, and so on, communicate to others just how low, angry, and standoffish we might feel. What many don’t know, however, is that, due to our mind-body relationship, our body language speaks to our own hearts. Just as the body will follow the mind’s lead, the reverse is also true. If you’re feeling down, force yourself to smile and laugh, to stand tall, to make eye-contact, etc. Make these things habits and you will look only look better to yourself and to others, but you will feel better because you will train the posture of your heart to follow the posture of your body.
We all want to feel good. We all want to look good. What we don’t always realize is just how much those two things go hand in hand. Follow our suggestions above, and we think you’ll find that both aspects of your life start falling into a healthy, life-giving place.