Mental Health

When was the last time you felt beautiful? I don’t mean when you’re all dolled up going out with friends. I mean no makeup, hair not done and wearing sweats. How often do you feel beautiful? Too many times we get caught up in the superficial beauty of makeup, hair and Instagram filters that we forget what true beauty feels like. True beauty is not measured in how many likes your photos get.

Having struggled with depression it’s easy to forget your worth when you’re at an emotional low. You forget you’re worthy to be loved, worthy to be a friend, worthy to be happy. You end up in negative relationships and situations that only push you further into your darkness. Sometimes you don’t even have the will to wake up in the morning or can’t stand to look at yourself in the mirror. Depression is a very serious condition that is often swept under the rug and is more likely to affect women than men. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association’s study in 1996 women experience depression at twice the rate of men. This 2:1 ratio exists regardless of racial or ethnic background or economic status. The lifetime prevalence of major depression is 20-26% for women and 8-12% for men.

Despite what some people may tell you, it can be beat without the use of prescription drugs and once you realize the only person that can truly make you happy is yourself everything changes! Before I started working out I was depressed and insecure, but now I have more confidence than I’ve ever had in my life. Why? Because I found something positive that I love to do and that makes me feel great about who I am as a person. We often get more caught up in making it look like we’re happy than actually being happy. You can’t really enjoy something if you’re taking and posting photos the entire time you’re there. Once you stop looking to peers and followers for self validation you begin to figure out how to validate yourself.

If you’re looking for ways to validate yourself or boost your self esteem here are 5 quick tips to help your inner beauty shine.

  1. Eat healthy. If you eat good you’ll feel good! Fast food not only makes you have energy spikes then horrible crashes it also does a number on your skin. Greasy and processed foods can lead to acne and premature aging. Swapping out junk for for fresh food will boost your energy levels and your mood.
  2. Stay off social media. Resisting the urge to SnapChat your bowl of cereal may seem like an impossible task but once you start living your life instead of trying to always document it you might actually enjoy it. Going cold turkey may be too much to ask for so cutting down an hour or two a day is a great start. You may even find the time to pick up a hobby you enjoy like art, crafting or reading. Next time you go for a pedicure just sit there, close your eyes and enjoy the massage; you might be surprised to find yourself more relaxed than usual.
  3. Work out. Get moving! Fitness is a natural anti-depressant and self esteem booster! Many doctors have started recommending patients with depression and anxiety issues to start a workout regime because the endorphins released during the activity are natural mood boosters! And if your body is something you’re insecure about working out will fix that. With the exception of breasts you can pretty much customize your body to look how you want. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone: improving your mood and your health at the same time! It’s a win win!
  4. Sleep! When you get enough sleep you wake up feeling fresh and ready to take on the day. The “can-do” attitude of a well rested woman is a forced to be reckoned with. You’re far more productive and have a more positive outlook on life.
  5. Stop comparing yourself to others. Trolling through the hashtags #Skinny, #Model and #Beautiful on InstaGram or standing knee deep in fashion magazines is not going to help you feel better about yourself. You may think looking through those photos may give you motivation but it actually may make you depressed or self conscious. Believe it or not most of the models you see don’t even look the same in person. With PhotoShop and all the other photo editing apps on the market allowing users to manipulate their appearances gives everyone a false sense of beauty. How can you expect to look like someone who was basically created on a program?

The journey to inner beauty isn’t as daunting as you might think.Just like anything else it will take time for you to start feeling better about yourself, but when you do it is one of the most rewarding feelings! Waking up everyday without avoiding a mirror or not wanting going out in public is possible. Don’t be afraid to love who you are! When you take away the power fear and low-self esteem can have on your life you’ll be surprised how things will turn around.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?…” -Marianne Williamson

15 Comments

  1. Thank you. I needed to hear this. This back and forth struggle is real and I can’t shake it consistently. I will try to work on it and apply all of the above best practices. This isn’t easy but at least I have a better understanding of where to begin. I’ve been asking for help for years.

    Thanks again.

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