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Want to Feel Great? How Looking Great Can Boost Your Self-Esteem

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By Mikkie Mills

Think about the last time you felt truly great about yourself - sharp, confident, and motivated. Chances are that you weren't wearing rumpled sweat pants and rocking messy, unwashed hair at the time. When you look good, you tend to feel good - and the opposite is true as well.

Why is this? After all, we'd probably all like to think that we're above being shallow. Everybody knows it's wrong to judge people by their appearance, and that includes ourselves. But while it's true that appearance isn't everything, it's also true that the way our bodies look and feel have an enormous impact on our mindset and well-being. And if feeling better could be as simple as getting a good haircut and putting on a flattering outfit, why not give it a try? Here are five reasons why looking great can make you feel great, too.

  1. Looking good is strongly correlated with good health.
    Health and beauty are strongly linked. When someone is in good health, they're likely to have a lean figure, smooth skin, bright eyes, and thick hair. One of the surest ways to look great all the time is to live a healthy lifestyle that involves plenty of exercise, sleep, and nutritious food. And when you're living a healthy lifestyle, you'll probably have plenty of energy and optimism as a side effect.
  2. Putting time into your appearance is a statement of self-worth.
    When you take the time to take care of yourself, pick out clothes you like, and do your hair in a flattering style, you're essentially telling yourself that you matter. Presenting yourself well is a powerful way to remind yourself that you are worth the time and effort it takes to get ready in the morning. And when you start every day with a little basic self-care, it will give you a mood boost that lasts all day long.
  3. Putting on some makeup can help you feel more confident.
    Researchers aren't sure quite why yet, but wearing makeup can help women feel more confident. And that confidence boost can go way beyond just making you feel good - it can actually help you perform better on tasks. A recent study found that female undergraduates performed best on a series of cognitive tests when they put on some makeup first. You can test out this "lipstick effect" for yourself by finding a Lipsense distributor or by visiting the makeup section of your favorite drugstore.
  4. Other people think more highly of you when you look good.
    It's not right, but it's the truth: people tend to judge attractive people more kindly than unattractive people. It's a subconscious instinct that most people aren't even aware of. And when other people are judging you positively, you tend to feel better about yourself. There's nothing wrong with wanting to look good so you can get along with your co-workers and friends more easily.
  5. You'll get more done when you put effort into your appearance.
    How much do you tend to accomplish when you wear your comfiest sweatpants all day? Probably not a lot. It's much harder to stay unmotivated when you take the time to shower, put on a nice outfit, and apply a little makeup or cologne. When you look and feel fresh, you're more likely to want to get things done, and being productive is a great boost for your self-esteem.

The Takeaway
If you want to feel better, the solution could be as simple as putting on your favorite outfit, shaving, or slicking on a coat of lipstick. Even small acts of grooming can make a big difference in how you feel. And when you take care of yourself by making healthy lifestyle choices regularly, you'll most likely look great and feel great most of the time. Looks aren't everything, of course, but there's nothing wrong with boosting your confidence and mood by making the most of your appearance on a daily basis.

About Mikkie Mills: “I’m a Chicago native who loves to share her expertise about personal development and growth. When I’m not writing, I’m chasing the little ones around or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.” More articles by Mikkie
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