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Optimism and Beauty - Good News For Real

Think positive: A colloquial phrase we have adopted and use time and time again. It sounds really pretty, doesn’t it?  Positivity. Optimism. Looking at the glass half full.

But how many of us secretly want to reply, “Look at everything going on around me. How am I going to be positive?  Have you watched the news lately?  Do you know what’s going on with my kids?  Have you met my boss?  Would you like to take a look at my finances or talk to my doctor?” 

Maybe we feel that optimism is not authentic.  After all, people are starving, terrorists are attacking, and cancer is invading our lives.   What place does optimism have in a hard world?  Perhaps it is the way we deal with optimism that feels inauthentic, not the optimism itself.

See, many of us act optimistically.  We pretend that things are fine.  Think about the last time somebody asked you how you are.  Did you answer, “I’m fine thanks” with a smile? Probably.  Many of us, however, do not think optimistically; we are Chicken Little and the sky is falling. 

To correct this feeling of inauthenticity, we can start adding a little genuine feeling into our interactions with others and start adding a little positive hope to the interactions in our own heads.  If we choose to believe that there is good in this world, our positive reactions with others naturally become more and more authentic.

Optimism should start from within.  A hopeful confidence that things will be good.   Hopeful does not mean we hold a delusional belief that everything will be great and wonderful all the time.   It means, as the brilliant writer Oscar Wilde wrote: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

Putting a newfound focus on adding a little optimism to our lives benefits us tremendously in many areas. 

It can also make us beautiful.  Here’s how it works:

Optimism and Beauty 101:

  • Physically Beautiful

Study after study shows that there is a link between optimism and stress reduction.  We know that lowering your stress benefits all your organs, including your skin. Optimism can also help people strengthen their coping skills and can even lessen conditions like depression and anxiety.  Less stress = slower aging process.  You can actually look younger and more vibrant, and essentially be healthier, by choosing to look at the world more positively.

 Studies also show the more optimistic you are, the more like you will be to participate in a healthy lifestyle.  You will be more likely to take care of your body and skin, if you think your body and skin are good.  If you look at your flawed body (and they all are flawed) as the best thing that has ever happened to you, you are going to go the extra mile to take care of it.

  • Spiritually Beautiful

May our outlook always be sunny... 

…And by spiritually, we aren’t talking about any religious practice at all.  This is the part of you that seems to be beyond your flesh and blood.  Your soul, if you will, is greatly improved by optimism and has the greatest impact on your beauty.

 After all, if you look at your face in the mirror and have a feeling of awe – you will feel more beautiful the second you step outside.  If you walk with confidence because you choose to focus on the best parts of yourself, you will appear more beautiful.  If you own who you are, everything about you will radiate beauty.  It’s that little spark of magic that goes beyond anything a cream could ever offer.

 Optimism may not save your life (though optimists probably think it will!), but it can make you more beautiful.  Beyond beauty, it can give you a better life.  There are so many things we cannot control from the day we are conceived to the day we die.  If we choose to respond to the things we can’t control with that hopeful confidence that they will be used for good, our beautiful selves win.

Kindness To Yourself

Kindness is one of the most powerful sources on this planet, not to be confused with niceness.  Niceness is a slightly shallower pleasance that we bestow upon our fellow humans.  Kindness, however, goes much deeper than that. 

Showing people love, treating them with respect, offering genuine forgiveness, thinking about what it is like in their shoes, staying open-minded to differences, and always choosing words with care.  It’s great and wonderful, and yet time and time again, we forget to show kindness to one person in particular:

Ourselves. 

For so many of us, we become our own worst critics.  If we would talk to others the way we negatively talk to ourselves, we would be labeled the biggest jerks around.  If we undervalued and ignored other people’s health, bodies, and well-being in the same we undervalue and ignore our own care, we would be inconsiderate, at best, and downright terrible, more realistically. 

Why is it sometimes so hard to be kind to ourselves?  Why do you find it so difficult to treat yourself with kindness?

Maybe you have been handed shame and guilt by others so many times, all you see is shame and guilt when you look at yourself in the mirror.  Maybe because you so intimately know each flaw you have and each mistake you’ve made, you are reminded of them every day.  Or maybe you are so trapped by perfectionism and insurmountable expectations, you rarely feel like you will be able to amount to anything of worth.

But think about this:  If you had a relationship with somebody who constantly berated you, spoke down to you, told you that you weren’t good enough, kept bringing up your faults, refused to care for your needs, refused to give you rest, and heaped upon you one expectation after the other – you would (hopefully) end that relationship quickly.

Yet, we do this to ourselves everyday.  We think, “Sure, I can wrap my brain around showing kindness to others.”  And still, showing kindness to ourselves feels like the hardest thing to do. Like any other thing in this life, to get better, you have to practice.  Here are a few ways to show yourself kindness today.

Treat yourself 

  1. Think about one thing that brings you pleasure and do it without shame and guilt.

This could include, but is certainly not limited to:

  • Lighting a candle and sitting down with your favorite gossip magazine.
  • Getting dessert with a friend after work.
  • Splurging on a pedicure.
  • Leaving work 10 minutes early to beat traffic.
  • Go to bed earlier and love every minute.
  • Doing the cardio you love for as long as you like, that runner’s high.
  1. Replace a negative thought with a positive thought.

Sometimes in the pursuit of ridding our brains of negative self-talk, we end up adding even more negative self talk when we berate ourselves for every unkind thought that pops into our minds.  It is much more effective to replace the negative thought with a positive one than it is to beat yourself up about it.

You think:  “I can never do anything right.”

Then you replace it with:  “I do so many things right, yet I am allowed to make mistakes sometimes because I’m human.”

  1. Stop saying “no” when you want to say “yes” and vice versa.

We live in a confused society where people say “yes” to all sorts of things they really do not want to do, yet deprive themselves by saying “no” to what they actually want.

  • Say “no” to the baby shower you do not want to go to; say “yes” to the mimosa brunch with a girlfriend that you do want to go to.
  • Say “no” to being guilted into contributing to the office fundraiser you do not feel passionate about; say “yes” spending that extra money on your hobby.
  1. Speak your truth.

In deep fear of hurting someone else or being judged, we often silence ourselves.  By doing this, you tell yourself that your voice or opinion does not matter.  Find a way to speak your truth kindly, but as firmly as you need to.  Stand up for yourself the way you would stand up for somebody else. 

Show yourself some kindness today.  Then again tomorrow.  Make it a pattern.  Because at the end of the day, you are the only person you are guaranteed to have in your life.  You might as well make it a healthy relationship!

 

                     

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9 New Year’s Beauty Resolutions

2016 has just begun, sparkly and beautiful.  The symbolism of a fresh start is great for everyone desiring to make real change in life. In fact, nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s Resolutions each year.

But here’s the sad truth: only 8% of people admit to being successful in their resolutions. This is typically because they make a conceptual idea, but they are not sure how to break it down into feasible segments that can be sustainable all year. After all, it may sound great to lose 20 pounds, but what does that process look like every day of the year?

Here at Ko & Humble, we want to help you take manageable and concrete steps in your beauty regimens for this new year. We have nine fabulous New Year’s Beauty Resolutions, and we want you to pick a few that resonate with you. Make it your mission to consider these lifestyle changes.

  1. Take off makeup every night

This is a hard one especially when the night has been very good. To keep up on this resolution, purchase a few multiuse products nearby that make the process quick and easy (like Jojoba Oil). Quality makeup remover wipes can be a great option too.

  1. Pay attention to your skin

Make it your mission to let your skin do the talking. Notice when it needs more care or if reacting to something. Take time to really examine your skin frequently and even keep a diary of things that could be aggravating your issues.

  1. Try something new

You can have lots of fun with this one. Try new makeup, a new way to style your hair, a fun new skincare product. Have fun and don’t get stuck in the same beauty rut. Maybe add one new product a month, or try one new makeup trend or hairstyle each week. Bright blue eye shadow will be huge for spring; you could start there!

  1. Wear sunblock every single day

We only get one face; we need to protect it. Making an intentional goal to remember sunblock every time you leave the house can keep your skin beautiful, safe, and more youthful throughout your entire life. If you wear makeup everyday, it can be easier to buy a product with a safe SPF, like this “Just Skin” Tinted Moisturizer.

  1. Keep up on nails

When we are busy, one of the first things we can forget about is our nails. Yet, well-kept nails are one of the biggest confidence boosters and a simple way to feel feminine. If you don’t want to make a weekly trip to the salon, make it your goal to give yourself a manicure once a week and to remove your nail polish once it starts to chip.

  1. Perform weekly facial massages

Not only are there numerous health benefits with facial massage, but also the act itself is a tremendous method for self-care. Make this great me-time activity a weekly ritual with a great oil, like Jojoba oil. Find one day a week that you know you can perform these massages for a few minutes.

  1. Go heat-less once a week

The constant use of heat styling can cause real damage on your hair. Going heat-free even once a week can offer significant benefits. Let your hair air dry and sweep it into a cute bun, or twist your damp hair into a side braid.

  1. Switch out one toxic product a month

It’s safe to assume that most of us would prefer a great natural product to a chemical-laden one. Yet, many of us have hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars worth of these products on our counters. If you don’t want to go out and buy all new beauty products, replace one empty product each month with a more natural option.

  1. Find peace with your beauty

So many women look in the mirror and hate what they see. We have been conditioned to believe that beautiful women only look one certain way. Not true! The best thing we can do for our beauty this new year is learn to actually see it. In some Eastern philosophies this is called the Inner Smile.  Start by taking a good, long look at yourself in the mirror. Write down three things you like. When you see things that you do not necessarily like and begin with that destructive negative self-talk, catch yourself and replace that thought with a positive affirmation:

I am beautiful inside and out.

I am a gorgeous being.

I love that I get to exist on earth in this body.

My mind, my body, and my spirit are lovely.

 

                     

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