When life gets busy, it’s easy to forget to take care of your needs. Maybe you’re feeling down. Perhaps you caught a glimpse of yourself slumping or looking stern. If so, these might be signs it’s time to put yourself higher on your priority list. Read on to discover five simple ways you can look and feel better.
- Manage Stress
You probably know that keeping stress at bay will improve the way you feel. Surprisingly, stress can also affect appearance. It can cause the release of hormones that dull skin over time and create brittle hair and nails. Also, furrowed brows and clenched muscles can cause less-elastic skin to form wrinkles.
Fortunately, the effects of stress can be reversed. Meditation, a hot bath or a massage can help you unclench muscles and reduce the level of stress hormones. CBD oils have shown the ability to promote relaxation in some consumers. Deep breathing can reduce your heart rate and make you feel better in minutes.
- Practice Gratitude
If you are going through a rough patch, it’s easy to focus on immediate circumstances and temporarily lose sight of the big picture. Taking time for gratitude can put life back into perspective and remind you of the good things. A few minutes each day spent affirming the positives can help. Try keeping a gratitude journal or spend time alone thinking of the people, places and things that make your life better. Sharing your gratitude with others will make you feel better and strengthen your relationships.
Decades of research confirm that exercise improves health and helps you live longer. Even 30 minutes of moderate activity per day will ward off diabetes and heart disease. Exercise is known to help you sleep better, reduce stress, improve your mood, control weight and sharpen your mental abilities. When it comes to feeling better about yourself, it’s a powerful tool.
Exercise has four main components:
- Aerobic activity: Walking, jogging, swimming and cycling at a level that increases your breathing is safe for almost anyone.
- Strength training: This type of exercise slows the loss of calcium in bones and builds muscle.
- Balance exercises: These can help prevent falls and are easy to incorporate into a warmup, yoga or strength training routine.
- Stretching: Flexibility exercises lengthen muscle and help with back pain, injuries and stress.
- Enjoy Your Sense of Humor
It’s important to remember not to take yourself too seriously. No one is perfect, and if you can find the humor in situations that might otherwise cause you to criticize yourself, you will lighten your mood — and the mood of others around you, if you share your funny stories with them.
A sense of humor can make you more attractive to others, too. A University of Kansas study shows that couples who laugh together are more likely to be interested in dating each other. In addition, humor indicates to others that a person is agreeable and sociable. In other words, a good sense of humor will not only make you feel better but will also make you more attractive to others.
You have probably noticed that when someone smiles at you, it makes you feel warm and relaxed. When you smile at others, the same thing happens to them. However, you may not know that when you smile at yourself in the mirror, you can create the same cues in your brain that you get from seeing another person smile at you. People are programmed to look for body language in others that conveys safety and welcome, and seeing those cues, even in yourself, can make you feel better. Also, simply smiling has been shown to improve mood. It’s an instant, no-cost way to make you a little happier.
Feeling better about yourself can be simpler than you thought. Spending even a few minutes a day can boost your mood, help you feel good about yourself and put a smile on your face that you’ll be ready to share with others.