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The Difference Between Looking Good and Feeling Good

The Difference Between Looking Good and Feeling Good

We all have very different standards when it comes to what we define as pretty and I never really knew how to define beauty. Of course I had plenty of time over the past twenty-something years of my existence to form my own opinions on what I believed to look nice and what I thought of as plain ugly. Yet, as years passed by, my what-is-pretty-or-not checklist kind of changed as I realized that looks can’t be limited to a few clothes put together in a way that society defines as ‘fashionable’.

I think it really hit me when I came across the #ChooseBeautiful ad campaign from Dove last year and how it kind of made me realize that despite our differences, we have at least one thing in common: insecurities. I know we all experience them in different ways and on different levels but as this world is full of a lot of very confident people, it is also filled with not-so-confident humans.

So then I started to wonder where confidence was coming from and so I began by looking for a definition. According to the Oxford Dictionaries, it is:

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A feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.’

So, who teaches us to appreciate the person we are and trust the idea that it is actually okay to just go out there and be totally ourselves without fearing judgment or potential harm?

Looking at someone who’s dressed nicely or simply matches all of our ‘pretty’ criteria is a pleasant thing to do. It’s not as if we were all granted with the closet of one of the Kardashians or gifted with the ability to shop all the right items needed to pull up a stylish look. Yet, it doesn’t mean that we too don’t want to be labeled as pretty.

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I always find it surprising how some people can breathe of absolute confidence. You can easily tell how good and comfortable they feel. Perhaps it’s something about the way they walk or the way their body moves when they speak. There are times when I find it so complicated to simply try to connect all the dots of my body just so the way I feel on the inside wouldn’t interfere too much with how I look on the outside. Yet, for the looking-confident people out there, it seems so easy to just navigate through the staring crowd.

Perhaps is it because they master their appearance and will only let it show what they want it to. We all have our days when getting out of bed already seems like an insuperable challenge so we just figured that since we’ve been brave enough to ditch our blanket, we’ve deserved the right to put a minimum amount of effort in getting dressed.

The truth is that the idea that ‘we are what we wear’ is often a misconception. I’ve seen people looking impeccable from head to toe when I knew very well about how miserable they felt on the inside. Because at the end of the day, no matter how confident you feel about yourself, it always has something to do with the outside world. I know a lot of people happily like to brag about how they couldn’t care less about what other people have to say about them but still, I can’t help but think that to a certain extent, it always has something to do with society, social media or even friends and family.

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If you think about it, it takes us years of trying out styles. We go from one to the other, trying to make it the best reflection of where we stand right now in our lives. It’s our best protection, like a shield made of cotton and at the same time our most vulnerable item. It remains the first thing we let the world see of us. So perhaps, instead of trying to cover it all up with piles of accessories and make-up, we should try to start from within so there wouldn’t be so many layers needed to disguise what we are on the outside.

Maybe the difference between looking good and actually feeling good lies in these tiny bits of thoughts and efforts we decide to bring together no to let the world see how great we are but to push ourselves a little higher. It’s about the way we decide to treat ourselves, our body and as they often rightly say, our temple.

As Precious movie star Gabourey Sidibe once said:

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‘People always ask me, ‘You have so much confidence. Where did that come from?’ It came from me. One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl … It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see. Your body is your temple, it’s your home, and you must decorate it.’

If home is where the heart is then I think it’s time we love ourselves so much that we feel like our heart will always be in the right place.

Featured photo credit: luigi morante via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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