You might be wondering why I’m sharing my beauty tips….promoting beauty is slightly off-topic, right? After all, my whole message always focuses on health of body, mind, and spirit—not beauty. Maybe you doubt the validity of my tips if you do not consider me to be beautiful. But, the explanation is that I am using the word beauty differently than the common use, which describes attractiveness or a combination of qualities that are aesthetically pleasing to the senses, especially the sense of sight.
For me, a beautiful person is one who is loving, serene, giving, peaceful, joyful, patient, kind, open, and vibrant. These traits radiate from a powerful inner beauty that has no gender and is universally appealing. My tips describe the things I try to do as I strive for this kind of beauty. As you will see, there are multiple links between my beauty tips, positive psychology, health, and, ultimately, beauty.
Beauty Tip #1
Stand up tall and straight. Try it now: abdominal muscles tight, shoulders back, head erect. Take a breath and savor that erect posture. Now compare that position to how it feels to hang your head and slump your shoulders.
Good posture is good for the musculoskeletal system and in the long run will reduce the frequency of pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. We tend to look better when our bodies feel good. Even more important is the psychological impact of proper posture. Research clearly shows that good posture contributes to positive emotions such as confidence, happiness, and optimism. A happy, confident person radiates beauty.
Beauty Tip #2
Smile. I am thinking of a very nice lady that I know. She is attractive. But, when she smiles, she is transformed into a strikingly beautiful woman. We smile when we feel happy or amused. Did you know that when we smile (even if it is a forced, “fake” smile), the act of smiling makes us feel happier? A much-quoted research paper from 1988 showed that fake smiles cause the mind to register positive emotions such as happiness and peace. Attempts to replicate this study were not always successful. But I still believe it. And so does Buddhist author Thich Nhat Hanh, who said, "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." A smiling person looks and feels beautiful. Your smile may even hold superpowers.
Beauty Tip #3
Wash your hair (more often). This works for me and for many women—not so sure about you men. How many times I have said to a friend… “Oh, you look so nice…did you get a hair cut?” The sheepish reply is, “No, I just washed my hair.” And, folks have said the same thing to me after I have washed my hair. I never much enjoyed washing my hair and sometimes procrastinate. Dirty hair causes a “bad hair day” for me. And, I think we all know that a “bad hair day” can bring negative feelings and reduced self-confidence. Your body recognizes this and often shows it in your posture, your facial expressions, and your behaviors. You appear less beautiful because you feel less beautiful. At least that’s what happens with me—until I wash my hair.
I did not include healthy eating and exercise in my Beauty Tips, although they are both huge contributors to beauty. A discussion of these two pillars of a healthy lifestyle will be saved for another day.
Beauty is a good thing. Let us value it, celebrate it, and share it. Let us care for our bodies and make the best of what God gave us. Let us be wise and try to ascertain God’s will as we make decisions about self-care, style, cosmetics, cosmetic surgery, or our chosen accouterments. Like flowers in a garden, we are each beautiful in different ways, ranging from flamboyant to muted. Let’s enjoy it all.
Take a moment to reflect on your own beauty regimen. Do you ever think it may be too expensive or complicated? Do you do it for others or for yourself? Is it in line with God’s will for you? Does it make you feel good?
Have a beautiful day and God bless you.