Learning how to feel beautiful in this day and age isn’t easy.
Women are constantly bombarded by unattainable beauty standards everywhere they turn — from movies and social media, to cosmetic products and clothing.
As if that weren’t bad enough, any single woman looking for love knows that her appearance is important when it comes to attracting men.
That can be a daunting realization — especially if you use online dating apps like Tinder — but that doesn’t mean that every woman should aspire to achieve the stereotypical standard of beauty portrayed by the media.
It sounds super cheesy, but it’s true what they say…
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Every woman is beautiful in her own way, and there are all sorts of men out there who genuinely think that a woman like you is the most beautiful woman in the world.
I know that this can be hard to believe if you’re really struggling to feel beautiful.
The key to learning how to feel beautiful doesn’t involve forking over hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars on expensive makeup, designer clothes, highlights for your hair, eyelash extensions, lip injections, or whatever else.
You can have all of that and still feel down about yourself.
And when you feel down about yourself, you subconsciously repel men.
Think about it that fact for a second, ask yourself this:
Who’s more beautiful: An Instagram model who’s super insecure about her looks and constantly looks for validation from others, or an average looking woman who loves herself and her life?
When you feel beautiful, people are automatically more attracted to your energy.
When you feel beautiful, you’re naturally more open to new experiences and connecting with people.
It’s a state of mind — not a physical representation.
To feel more beautiful, you have to practice putting yourself in that state of mind, over and over again until it penetrates deep enough that you actually believe you’re beautiful.
Here are some great ideas you can use for how to feel beautiful in small, healthy ways — without giving yourself an expensive makeover.
Smile more, just to feel happier.
Smiling doesn’t just make you look happier — it actually makes you happier on a deeper level — and that’s a small step toward feeling more beautiful.
Fix your posture for an instant mood booster.
There’s scientific proof that sitting or standing up straight is enough to improve your mood and body image satisfaction.
So whether you’re sitting in your desk chair at work, standing in line at the store, or lounging on the couch, it’s easy enough to take a moment to straighten up your posture and shift your mental state in a positive direction.
Take selfies — but don’t post them.
A lot of people take selfies to post on social media, but I want to challenge you to take selfies just for the sake of admiring and validating yourself (rather than looking toward your friends and followers to do it for you).
This can prove to be a challenge if you’re someone who rarely takes selfies, or if you take selfies and always post them online.
Dry brush your skin as a ritualistic way of removing old, stuck energy.
Dry brushing is great for removing dead skin and toxins, but what I find most unique about it is that it almost serves as a ritual for removing the old to make room for the new.
Rubbing moisturizer all over your body is also a very self-soothing, self-loving act in itself.
It’s hard not to acknowledge and appreciate your body when you do it.
Embrace your naked, natural face by pampering your skin with a facial.
Almost everyone has at least one thing they don’t like about their face — whether it’s their hairline, a gummy smile, or blemished skin.
A facial mask might not totally transform your face or your skin, but again, it’s the ritualistic aspect of it that counts the most.
The simple act of giving yourself a facial makes the brain say, “Hey, I’m taking care of myself,” which helps reinforce positive thoughts about yourself and your appearance.
Feel instantly prettier by treating yourself to a mani-pedi in your favourite colour.
Why stop at dry brushing, moisturizing, and facials?!
If you can afford it, I say go ahead and treat yourself to mani-pedi at your favourite nail salon.
If not, doing it at home is a more cost effective way to show yourself some love and feel very pretty.
Wear clothes that actually fit you.
A lot of women do this thing where we keep clothes that are too small or that bring attention to areas we’re insecure about.
This is a surefire way to feel bad about yourself!
Instead of trying to squeeze into that pair of jeans that are just too tight nowadays, invest in a new pair that are maybe a size bigger and/or a proper fit.
I know that going up a size can trigger some bad feelings, but if you can get past it, you’ll feel so much better wearing clothes that were actually made for your body.
There’s really no standard sizing system and every clothing brand is different, so the difference between a size 8 and a size 12 can really just be the fit and the brand.
Enjoy the process of getting ready for the day.
Do you dread getting ready in the morning, or do you take pride in it?
Change your perspective by finding at least one thing you like doing to help get yourself ready every day.
It could be as simple as brushing your hair or putting on mascara.
Be mindful as you do it and take in the fact that you’re not doing it for anyone else but yourself.
Do this for every part of your routine over time and eventually, you’ll enjoy the entire process.
Focus on enhancing your natural features.
Sometimes we don’t even realize that we’re trying to cover parts of ourselves up rather than enhance them.
It can feel very vulnerable to go without the heavy makeup or wear a more form-fitting top rather than a baggier one, but that’s only because you’ve probably been hiding for so long.
The truth is, people want to see the real you.
You can still be creative with fashion, hair, and makeup — you just have to use them as tools to enhance yourself rather than hide yourself.
Eat nutritious foods.
Eating nutritious foods doesn’t mean going on a diet, nor does it mean restricting what you love.
It means taking care of yourself by giving your body the nutrients it needs to be physically and mentally healthy.
I’ve always been a fan of the 80/20 rule.
80 percent of the time you try to eat healthy, and the other 20 percent of the time you can indulge in what you want.
Stick to a regular exercise routine.
The goal of an exercise routine shouldn’t be to lose weight or change your appearance.
The real goal should be to exercise because you value yourself as you are and want to improve yourself — not change yourself.
And yes, there’s a difference!
Changing yourself requires being motivated only by a future result you want to achieve, whereas improving yourself is all about being motivated by how you love and value yourself right now.
Physical activity is also a natural mood and confidence booster, plus it’s one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.
Weight loss and a toned body should just be a nice side effect of that.
Get enough sleep.
Sleep impacts your mood more than you might think.
Sleep deprivation causes your physical, mental, and emotional states to suffer.
Your body doesn’t get the rest it needs to sustain hormonal balance and help all the parts of your body — including your brain reset and recover for a new day, which is why you might feel cranky, irritable, and even depressed from a lack of sleep.
Your decision-making skills are also impacted, putting you at risk of making poor choices about everything from food and exercise, to work and leisure activities, so you end up feeling even worse about yourself.
Stop comparing yourself.
We all do it.
We look at other women and instantly compare themselves to them, finding our own faults and flaws through everything they have that we don’t.
It’s a natural part of the human condition, but it takes practice to catch it before it spirals out of control.
When you catch yourself comparing yourself to another woman, stop and try to look at her from a completely neutral perspective so you can admire her as a unique individual rather than a competitor.
In reality, she’s not your competitor, and anything she seems to have doesn’t automatically make you less attractive.
Cut off contact with people or sources that make you feel bad.
Sometimes we continue to hang around people or keep things in our lives that encourage us to bring attention to our flaws and shortcomings because it’s easier to do nothing and try to ignore or bargain with the way they affect us.
It takes true bravery to say enough is enough.
Whether it’s an old friend who jokingly pokes fun at you or a celebrity gossip site you keep checking, it’s important to stop discounting the negativity they’re forcing upon you and take control of your energy (and the kind of energy you want to be around).
It isn’t always possible to fully cut out people or sources that cause such negativity (like coworkers or relatives) but you can certainly work toward mitigating their effect on you by limiting contact, practicing emotional detachment when you’re around them, or even talking to them directly about how they make you feel.
Find someone to look up to as a role model.
Something that really helped me when I was learning how to feel beautiful all on my own was finding body positive influencers online who I could relate to and following them for their inspirational content.
Most of them are just regular people who’ve gone through their own struggles and eventually figured out to embrace and express themselves freely.
You can find all sorts of influencers on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and other places online offering inspiration just by being themselves and sharing their own tidbits of advice on how to feel beautiful.
Spend time doing things you love.
You know what really helps boost your confidence?
Especially taking action on things that you actually like doing.
Even if there’s no goal in mind and you’re just engaging in a fun hobby for sheer enjoyment, the simple act of engaging in that hobby can help you discover new levels of interest and skill that you never thought you had before.
You can develop talent this way, feel like a more well-rounded individual with relevant interests, and even have something to talk about on dates.
Spend time with people you love to be around and make you feel good.
Last but not least, make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who lift your spirits up as much as possible — not by validating you with praise and compliments, but by exuding confident, beautiful energy themselves.
There’s a popular quote that says, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” which really puts into perspective the way other people’s energy can affect you.
Energy is contagious.
If you want to be confident, happy, beautiful, and full of life, then you need to find people who give off those sorts of vibes and spend more time with them.
What’s something you do that helps you feel beautiful?
We all have our own ways of boosting our own confidence in the way we look and the way we feel about ourselves.
If there’s anything you can add from personal experience, be sure to share it below in the comments!