Some people consider beauty to be only “skin deep,” but recently studies have shown that beauty may actually emanate from within. To cultivate a true beauty, you wouldn’t need to apply creams, potions and lotions, and makeup to your face, or be born with perfectly balanced facial structure.
When people are asked “what makes someone beautiful,” most answer with adjectives that describe the character of a person. Confidence, intellect, humor, passion, infectious enthusiasm, personality, poise and soul are often words used in conjunction with “beautiful.” Unless you’re discussing models or chatting with plastic surgeons, rarely do the words “bone structure,” “pounds” and “ideal BMI” come into the picture.
What makes a person beautiful, in a universal sense—and not in the “eye of the beholder” sense—is someone who is happy, confident and kind. That type of beauty shines through from within, illuminating the person’s visage and making them feel and appear much more attractive than if they were negative and self-conscious.
Part of beauty starting from within is ensuring that you have good health. Whether or not your body is getting the right nutrients, enough exercise and plenty of sleep can show up in your appearance. In fact, a woman in the UK who increased her water intake to ensure that she was finally properly hydrated completely overhauled her skin quality in four weeks.
Taking vitamins, probiotics and essential fatty acid supplements, combined with a healthy lifestyle, can give you a host of health benefits. And the healthier you are, the more attractive you appear to others. A grown nutraceutical market attests to the fact that more people are starting to understand that a pleasing outward appearance, starts from within.
However, there is more to the saying “beauty is from within” than merely ensuring that you are as healthy as you can be. The connection between your state of mind and your external attractiveness is as strong, if not stronger, than health and your appearance.
When we are confident and happy, we appear much more attractive to others. In fact, any improvement to your mood will boost your overall appearance.
Here are some ways to quickly improve how you feel about yourself and the world around you:
1. Improve your mood by focusing on what you have, instead of thinking about what you’re missing.
It’s easy to think about the party you’re missing out on, how you don’t have the perfect hair, or how your career hasn’t taken off yet, but your sister’s has. However, focusing on all the things you don’t have or are dissatisfied with will only drag down your self-confidence and prevent you from being happy.
Particularly when it comes to your physical appearance–rather than spending all your time nitpicking your perceived flaws, take a few moments to acknowledge the features you do like.
2. Better posture can improve your sense of confidence.
Confident people are perceived as more attractive; those who exude confidence also report feeling more attractive as well. When you stand or sit straight, with your shoulders back and chest open, your body sends the message that you feel good about yourself and are self-assured. Good posture also makes you appear taller and slimmer.
Published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, a study found that people who sat up straight in their chairs instead of slumping or slouching were more likely to be confident about the statements they wrote.
Poise and self-confidence is one of the most important qualities that leads a person to feeling and looking beautiful at any age.
3. Smile, even if you don’t feel like it.
This is a situation where “faking it until you make it” can be beneficial. There is of course a time and place for everything, but forcing the muscles of your face into a genuine smile–one that does more than just activate the lip muscles, but also lifts the eyes and checks–can create an instant mood boost.
People find smiling faces more attractive than non-smiling ones. Smiling broadly will not only make you look more attractive and make you feel more attractive, but it also provides positive feedback for the activity. Others tend to smile in response to a smiling face.
4. Practice meditation to reduce stress.
Stress will ravage even the most beautiful visage, ruining waistlines and skin alike. Whether it be something small–like the barista gave you decaf when you wanted an espresso–or large–such as moving across the country–it is impossible to avoid all stressors.
What you can do is help your mind and body better handle the conflict-inducing situations.
Meditation is a simple, healthy, and free way to reduce stress levels while equipping you to handle the next round of stressors. Helping your body handle anxiety, fears, and worries will improve your overall health and appearance. Some even believe that you can meditate yourself beautiful.
5. Be kind to yourself and to others.
In some fields of work, and in some cities, merely going to work may feel like a beauty pageant. You constantly compare yourself to others, belittling those who are less fortunate than you; envying those who are more fortunate.
Rather than succumb to these negative feelings, which can lead to stress, diminished self-confidence, and a lot less smiling, remember to focus on your positive attributes–and extend that kindness to others as well. Women who don’t turn beauty into a competition with others, and consider it an extension of their own health and mental state are more likely to feel and be perceived as more attractive.
Inner and Outer Beauty Go Hand in Hand
Beauty is much more than the ideal BMI, perfect hair and a brilliant white smile. How you feel about yourself and how you feel about others is reflected in your appearance and can make you seem more or less attractive.
In the words of Audrey Hepburn, who was beautiful within and without: “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”
So invest in your inner beauty while you’re polishing the surface to help you achieve your personal best.