True beauty requires more than skin cream. It’s more than fashion, weight, age or facial features.
True beauty shows on the outside but radiates from within. True beauty doesn't age but intensifies over time. It’s the result of constant care of body, mind and spirit, and building loving connections with others.
Here are 10 practices to help you attain true beauty.
Note the word practice. When you’re practicing, you’re expected to be imperfect, even bad, and only gradually get better. Practice is a process of trying, making mistakes, learning from them, and gradually getting better and better. As you practice constructive behaviors, you build beautiful habits.
- Practice the basics of healthy lifestyle: Nutrition, exercise, balancing work, play and rest. Boring? Maybe. But highly effective.
- Notice the blessings and small miracles in your life. After awhile, blessing-spotting becomes habit, not effort.
- Help make life better for others. Helping someone else generates positive energy in both directions. Remember, though, that caring for others is sustainable only when you balance with caring for yourself.
- Practice making the most of where you are in this moment. How much of your energy do you invest in ”what if” worrying? Focousing on fear of what might happen tomorrow keeps you from making the most of the moment you’re in. Do what you reasonably can to avoid future problems, then do your best to enjoy the present.
- Know who your friends are. Nurture your connections with people who encourage you to express your best self. Limit connections with people who would bring you down or tempt you to be less than your best self.
- Change Your Thinking – Practice stopping thoughts that are negative, self-deprecating, angry, blaming…and practice increasing thoughts that are positive, optimistic, compassionate and constructive. Think of mistakes as opportunities to become wiser and better.
- Know your priorities. Marriage? Family? Work? Play? A cause? We all have priorities, though they’re not always conscious. Even when we haven’t consciously chosen our priorities, we make our choices based on them. Consciously set your priorities, and you’ll find it’s easier to choose the right behaviors.
- Healthy escapes — Use constructive coping mechanisms and healthy distractions that engage and revitalize you. Avoid negative addictions. While you’re at it, surround yourself with beauty, comfort and simple pleasures.
- Practice self-growth — There are so many ways to grow. Work on your relationships, use psychotherapy, self-help, spirituality, meditation, yoga, etc.
- Follow your passions, and you’ll almost certainly find purpose and meaning. Spend your energy on pursuits that give you purpose and meaning, and your self-esteem will blossom.
I said 10 practices, but here’s 1 more:
11. I firmly believe that beauty is 80% will. Dress and behave as if you know you are beautiful, and you will be. What you believe becomes your reality.
-Geraldine Merola Barton, Ph.D.
Copyright 2012, Geraldine Merola Barton, Ph.D.