Whether life is going great or you've been in a funk that seems never-ending, presenting an attractive image is always a big plus. And it's much more than what's on the outside; that old saying, "Beauty is only skin deep," has been true since Sir Thomas Overbury first said it in 1613 (unfortunately he was referring to the shallowness of his wife!).
Projecting a positive image is a combination of good hygiene, good food and drink, and a good outlook. The physical regimens are easiest, making wise choices on what you put in your body are a bit harder, and, as usual, altering your psyche is the most challenging. But once all these aspects are in sync, you'll wonder what took you so long to see the light.
Becoming more attractive benefits everyone. When you know you look your best and project a positive image, you'll notice better posture, a spring in your step, a glow to your skin. People will smile at you when they feel your energy and absorb a little for themselves. And finally, you'll attract upbeat, optimistic men and women who'll enhance your personal and professional lives.
Developing these habits is easy. Some you can implement immediately and others take a little time and self-discipline. Take your time and soon you'll wake up to a new and improved version of yourself!
15 Change Bed Linens Often
Even if you shower or bathe every night before retiring, your sheets get dirty from perspiration, hair, exfoliating skin and assorted bodily fluids. You wouldn't think of putting on dirty clothes after showering but climbing into a bed with unwashed sheets and pillowcases is the same concept. Keep a fresh set of linens handy on a chair or dresser top as a handy reminder and assign a specific day every week to change them. You'll soon see an improvement in your skin from head to toe—and others will notice your new healthy glow as well. Sleep quality is also enhanced by fresh, dirt free linens. If possible, open the windows in your bedroom in the morning and let the room air out while you're at work for an extra dose of freshness. Extra bonus: you get the sensual thrill of sliding under clean, fresh-smelling sheets on a regular basis!
14 End Your Showers with a Cold Water Rinse
Many people rate the experience of a hot shower as one of life's most enjoyable and affordable perks. You can feel the steam opening your pores and imagine the toxins flowing forth and washing down the drain, gone forever. The surrounding warm mist is intoxicating and lets you escape into your own little world. But the best way to end this indulgent escape is with a bracing cold water rinse. Dousing your body in a spray of cold water closes those newly clean pores to prevent clogging and blemishes as well as rids your hair of any traces of soap or conditioner that may have inadvertently left behind. To make the entire shower experience more incredible from start to finish, invest in a waterfall showerhead that mimics a waterfall with water cascading over your whole body rather than just producing a 3 or 4 inch spray.
13 Floss At Least Once a Day
Ever since you've had your first set of teeth, your dentist has hounded you about the importance of flossing your teeth after every meal. And whether you do or not, 99% of dentists claim it's not enough. But if you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy, present the most attractive smile possible, and have the freshest breath possible, flossing is a must. If you absolutely abhor the exercise, combine it with an activity you enjoy such as watching TV or catching up on social media at the end of the day. Experiment with different brands and flavors of floss to make it less of a tedious chore. As you get used to the new hygiene regimen, increase the frequency until it becomes part of every meal. Remember one rule: never floss in public. No one will think you're being healthy, just gross.
12 Apply Moisturizer Immediately After Showering
After that final cool and refreshing cold water rinse in the shower, dry off with a thick, fluffy and clean terrycloth bath towel. Use a firm touch, rubbing your whole body for the final exfoliation before applying moisturizer to hands, legs and every inch of skin you can reach (except your face). Moist skin absorbs lotions and creams much more easily than dry skin, so apply it before you dress or climb into bed. Carefully read moisturizer labels and choose one that doesn't list water as the first (and most prevalent) ingredient to get the most for your money. If your skin is naturally dry, moisturize it as often as possible, paying special attention to common problem spots like hands, elbows and heels. Use a gentle moisturizer for your face as body moisturizers may contain fragrances and other ingredients that can irritate delicate facial tissue.
11 Cut Down Your Sugar Intake
Most people have a weakness for some type of sweet that's not particularly healthy. Instead of denying yourself sugar consumption across the board, be creative with naturally sweet fruits such as pineapple, peaches, plums, strawberries, blueberries, grapes and melons. Prepare fruit skewers ahead of time so they're as easy to grab as a cookie or candy bar when a sweet craving consumes you. Freeze grapes and berries for a refreshing sweet treat on a hot summer day. If you still crave sugary treats like Skittles or can't imagine living another minute without chocolate, keep the miniature sizes on hand. Not the 'snack size', the 'bite size.' One bite of your favorite sugary treat usually satisfies the craving and there are no leftovers to tempt you to overindulge. Instead of sweet soft drinks, pour pure fruit juices over ice and top with a splash of club soda to add effervescence.
10 Sleep Well and Often
Every day a new study sheds light on the benefits of sleep. In June, 2016, WebMD reported, "Skimping on sleep sets your brain up to make bad decisions. It dulls activity in the brain’s frontal lobe, the locus of decision-making and impulse control." That means you may be making yourself less attractive to friends, family and co-workers through making poor decisions that adversely affect them. Even more disturbing to many people, the site reported, "Being short on sleep can really affect your weight. While you weren't sleeping, your body cooked up a perfect recipe for weight gain.
When you’re short on sleep, it’s easy to lean on a large latte to get moving. You might be tempted to skip exercise (too tired), get takeout for dinner, and then turn in late because you’re uncomfortably full." So the next time you lose sleep to binge watch your favorite series or party late into the night during the week, ask yourself if it's worth the price you're paying.
9 Drink Lots of Liquids
People have apparently become thirstier in the past couple decades since so many walk around with a bottle of water like they're going to be dropped in the middle of a desert without warning. The fad is making tons of money for bottled water companies but you don't have to rely on actual water to stay fully hydrated. According to Livestrong.com, "Water accounts for more than 80 percent of most varieties [of whole fruits and vegetable], including starchy vegetables such as potatoes. Grapefruits, strawberries, watermelon, cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumbers all consist of more than 90 percent water." Celery is also 93 percent water and lettuce is made up of a whopping 96 percent water. If you want to stick with beverages to meet your water requirements, try smoothies, coconut milk, fat-free or skim milk, or sports drinks. Flavored water is also a great alternative if you like the lightness of water but just can't tolerate the taste (or lack thereof).
8 Include Down Time in Your Day
Scheduling everything from meals to business appointments is a crucial tool for many busy people. There are apps for lists, alarms, text alerts, etc. to keep everyone on track. But what about time dedicated solely to relaxation? You don't have to join a yoga or meditation group to chill; you can do it in any room of your home without a mat or special clothing. Just put on your most comfortable at-home clothes, have a glass of wine, a cold beer, or a cup of herbal tea, and kick back. Read, watch a light comedy on TV, call your best friend and actually talk (not text), or just do some sky gazing and daydream. According to the Huffington Post, "Relaxing lowers your risk of catching a cold… boosts your memory… keeps you safe from depression… helps you make better decisions… keeps you slim… eases acne…[and] will keep you in the mood." With perks like that, down time should be a top priority.
7 Forgive and Forget
Nothing makes you more unattractive than pent up negative feelings. Without even realizing it, lack of forgiveness imparts tense facial expressions and generally negative body language. But the most unattractive aspect of not forgiving people comes through in your attitude. When you use energy holding grudges and plotting revenge, the energy left to forgive and forget is dissipated and your demeanor is negative and unfriendly. Acknowledge personal affronts with grace and give friends and family second chances. As the anger subsides, you'll feel a weight lifted off your heart and soul and your general outlook on life will improve. According to the Mayo Clinic website, "Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for happiness, health and peace. Forgiveness can lead to: Healthier relationships, Greater spiritual and psychological well-being, less anxiety, stress and hostility, Lower blood pressure, fewer symptoms of depression, stronger immune system, improved heart health [and] higher self-esteem."
6 Be Nice to Strangers
Never forget that all your friends, from the time you were a child to present, were once strangers. In the early 20th century, people actually smiled and greeted one another – perfect strangers – as they walked down the street. Sadly, few people today even look up from their phones, much less make eye contact, smile or speak. Take opportunities to be kind and you'll be amazed how good it feels. In a supermarket line, instead of reading the tabloid headlines, say hi to the person behind you and ask how their day is going or comment positively on something in their cart or ask how they prepare a food they're buying. Hold a door open for someone. Simply smile at a passerby. Not only will you feel better, you may well be the brightest spot in that stranger's day. Philo, an Egyptian philosopher, summed it up nicely in 50 BC when he said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
5 Savor the Simple Things
Although technology makes most things happen faster than any time in history, most people's mantra is, "I'm just so busy and stressed." Really? You're obviously doing something wrong if your life is that complicated but aside from that, you have no time to enjoy the simple things in life, a trait that makes you more attractive to everyone, including yourself. Gaze at the clouds for a few minutes and marvel at how they move and change shapes and colors. Instead of gobbling down your food, eat slowly and savor all the textures and flavors on your plate and how they complement each other. Have a conversation with a loved one without any distractions like TV, music or cell phones and actually listen to what they say without interrupting. Take a shower and concentrate on how the water invigorates your nerve endings as you lather up and rinse.
4 Shampoo Every Second (or third) Day
Somewhere along the way in the last few decades we've become obsessed with cleanliness. We not only disinfect everything in our home and workplace (forgetting the myriad of benefits of bacteria) but we shower and shampoo incessantly. According to WebMD, "Shampoo traps oils, so if you do it too frequently, you may dry your hair out, leaving it prone to breakage, says Angela Lamb, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
“Hair produces natural oil called sebum, and shampoo is an emulsifier that captures and traps excess oil, dirt, and product residue, which you then rinse out to clean the hair,” Lamb says. For the most part, some dirt is OK and natural -- and you definitely want some oils to remain in your hair." Same goes for showering. Most dermatologists suggest bathing every other day at most to avoid over drying your skin, unless you have a job or exercise routine that makes you sweat excessively.
3 Eat fresh food.
Instead of sitting in a fast food drive-thru to buy breakfast or lunch, you can spend the same amount of time popping into your local market for fresh, healthy food that not only tastes better but is much healthier. You'll be slimmer and healthier when you choose fresh fruits and salads, as well as made-to-order deli sandwiches with fresh meats and cheeses on multi-grain bread. Eating newly picked produce also promotes good skin and gives you a healthy glow. For quick home meals, cut and store crisp produce in airtight containers for snacking, salad ingredients and stir fries. WebMD reports, "Many studies have found that a diet high in healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are associated with a reduced risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer [and] type 2 diabetes," so you'll stay healthy, which enhances your physical appearance.
2 Amuse Yourself
Self-amusement isn't as easy as it sounds but taking time to learn it is worth gold in making yourself more attractive. Instead of pondering what you'll say at your friend's party or what subject to broach on a first date, take a risk and just be yourself. That doesn't' mean making a spectacle of yourself or breaking into a stand-up comedy routine but just sharing thoughts and ideas you find interesting and amusing. Think about times you're alone and have a thought that makes you smile and say to yourself, "Damn, I'm really clever!" When you say or do something for your own entertainment, it demonstrates self-confidence and poise, two traits that make you more attractive and intriguing to everyone from kids to relatives to new acquaintances. Throw in a little self-deprecation here and there and you'll soon be at the top of everyone's guest list and have more dates than you can handle.
You may scoff at the old adage, "Laughter is the best medicine," but it's got scientific data to back it up. Laughter is the easiest way to stay attractive and improve your health. According to HealthGuide.org, "Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Laughter relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins and protects the heart." So go ahead and laugh…you've never looked or sounded better!