By Center for Change

How we perceive our outward appearance is very closely linked to how we feel about ourselves on the inside. Self-esteem, positive thinking, and the way we treat ourselves and others can directly impact our self image and help us to start really feeling beautiful.

Beauty is, and always has been, a very subjective perception, but one way or another it’s tied to the things that are inside us as much as it is our physical appearance. So how do you change how you feel? Is it really possible?

In fact, there are a lot of very simple, everyday things that anyone can do to start feeling beautiful.

Do those things you’re good at  – Focus more on the things that make you you. Is it drawing? Singing? Helping others in difficult positions? Explore the things you can do and see how you feel when you share those abilities with others.

Find an energy release – Dancing, running, walking – we’re not talking about burning calories with these activities. We’re talking about doing activities that you enjoy and that help your body release tension and stress. It’s about releasing those wonderful endorphins into your system.

fSoak up some rays – Sunshine can be a really mood booster. Get outside and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. Just be sure that you take the steps to protect your skin at the same time.

Get some fresh air – Take a nice walk, breathe the morning air, open your lungs, and give your mind a chance to focus on the beauty that’s around you.

Brighten up – Studies have shown that the colors you wear can impact how you feel. Bright colors invite happiness, excitement, and energy to your day. It doesn’t have to be a lot of color. A couple accents may be enough.

Reinvent your look – You don’t have be engulfed in the most recent fashion trends, but you also don’t have to hold onto a look because that’s what you’ve always done. Be flexible. Find the things that are fun to you. Find a wardrobe that is stylish, elegant and comfortable. It will broaden your self-image a bit more, and you may find something new to like about yourself.

Smile – But not a fake smile. Find the things that make you grin or laugh. A smiling face lifts the muscles around the eyes and lips and tells your brain that it’s time to be happy.

Get your sleep – Proper amount of sleep makes it much easier to be positive. A good night’s rest has an impact on how you feel about yourself and, for that matter, the world around you.

Stand up straight – Your brain, body, and emotions are all tied to each other. Your brain reads the body to determine how you’re feeling, and when you stand up straight, you’re making a statement to your brain – and others – that you feel good about yourself.

Self affirmation – Find something you love about yourself and focus on that. We have a tendency to immediately let our eyes track to our least favorite places when we look in a mirror. We perceive them as flaws, and can’t seem to look away. Instead, make a conscious effort to dwell on the good.

Positive reinforcement – Surround yourself with people who will support you without criticism. At the same time, be sure you offer the same thing in return. It is easy to be positive when you surround yourself with people who are uplifting and who invite happiness.

Be grateful to others –When someone compliments you take the time to be grateful, and to give thanks to those around you. When someone says your artwork is inspiring or your eyes sparkle, just say thanks and be honestly grateful.

Comparisons are futile and competition is useless – There will always – always – be someone who has the characteristics you wish you had. It’s hard to imagine them looking at you and thinking the same thing, but the truth is they have their own “wish list.” Embrace and celebrate what makes you unique.

Meditate – Breathing deep helps you feel more relaxed, while quick shallow breaths make you feel more tense and bunched up. Get centered and clear your thoughts. This is also a chance to spend some alone time to gather your positive thoughts and reassuring attitude.

Try out a few of these simple activities at first, just to see how you start to feel. You might be pleasantly surprised at the positive, beautiful feelings that you have towards yourself and the world around you.