We live in an appearance-driven culture where it can be hard to be at peace with how we look. And when you’re constantly bombarded with visual messages of what physical beauty is supposed to look like, it is easy to feel insecure and negative about your appearance. Here are five ways you can be happier about the way you look.
1. Develop self-acceptance
Instead of focusing on all the things you don’t like about your appearance, turn your attention to what you do like, such as your great smile, rosy cheeks, soft curls, or long and graceful fingers. Then focus on all the positive things you like about yourself that are not related to how you look—your personality traits, talents, accomplishments, etc. Write them down. By shifting your attention to everything you like about yourself, you’ll shift your mindset from a negative, critical one to a positive, grateful one.
2. Focus on being healthy
If you focus on being your healthiest self, you will be much happier with how you look.
When we’re at our healthiest, we look and feel our best. One of the benefits of taking care of yourself, staying fit, and eating nutritiously, is that you end up looking more radiant. Exercise and eating well gives you more energy, helps you lose weight, tones your muscles, nourishes your skin, and affects your entire sense of well-being. If you focus on being your healthiest self, you will be much happier with how you look.
3. Be grateful for aging
It happens to all of us—we get older, our bodies change, lines and wrinkles appear. But adjusting your view about aging can make a huge difference in your happiness as you go through life. Aging is actually a privilege, and every birthday that rolls around can be an opportunity to be grateful for another year to be alive, learn, and grow. Instead of stressing over every sign of aging, look at each new wrinkle as a sign of the life experience and wisdom you are called to celebrate and share with others.
“Be gentle with yourself. You are a marvelous creation, but you are a work in progress.”
Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly
4. Define yourself differently
One of the best ways to be happier with how you look is to define yourself by more important things, such as your character, your talents, and your relationships. If you feel like you still need to live up to your high school reputation of being “the pretty one,” you’ll miss out on what makes you truly beautiful now—those lasting qualities that draw us to each other and make a deep impact on others.
5. Spend time with affirming friends
All of us need friends who affirm us in who we are, who share our concerns and burdens while remaining hopeful and encouraging. Good friends lift each other up and point to what’s most important in life. If you’ve got a friend who loves your haircut but is even more interested in what you’re thinking about and reading, you’ve got a keeper. A great friend helps you feel great about all of who you are.
By employing these five strategies, you’ll be on your way to feeling much happier about the truly beautiful person you are, inside and out.