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Excerpt from "Holistic Beauty from the Inside Out"

Be Happy to be Beautiful

by Julie Gabriel


There’s no way around it: these days, we judge the book by its cover—and people by their looks. Of course we know that beauty is only skin-deep, but we cannot ignore the simple fact: for better or worse, beauty matters. As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, beauty can be summed up as "the qualities that give pleasure to the senses or exalt the mind." And we, humans, are all in for pleasure.

Beauty knows no time limits. A relief in the tomb of the Egyptian nobleman Ptahhotep, dating back to 2400 B.C., shows the man getting a pedicure. Egyptians used milk and honey to cleanse their skin and made face masks of egg yolks and butter. Renaissance women plucked their hairline to achieve a desirable high forehead and lightened their hair with sulphur and onion hair dyes—they must have smelled as awful as our modern hair dyes do.

Beauty could be deadly. Renaissance women, who mastered the art of suffering in the name of beauty, rubbed their faces with whitening powders made of lead and mercury to achieve a fashionable ghostly white pallor. Victorian women cut off their ribs in quest for thinner waistline and swallowed worms to obtain translucent skin. These days, women happily sacrifice their comfort for beauty every time they struggle into a pair of spanx, or pluck unwanted hairs, one by one, from their eyebrows. How different is the ancient Chinese custom of foot binding from modern-day six-inch heels towering over three-inch platforms? Or Victorian rib-sawing from today’s unchallenged custom of filling the breasts with petrochemicals through the daily use of toxic products?

Beauty is money, and a lot of it. In the United States last year people spent six billion dollars on fragrance and another six billion on makeup. Hair- and skin-care products drew eight billion dollars each, while nail products accounted for a billion. 20 billion dollars are spent each year on diet and weight-loss products and club memberships, while 10 billion dollars go towards cosmetic surgery bills in the United States alone, despite record unemployment, mounting health care costs and plummeting home values.

Beauty discriminates. Studies suggest attractive people make more money, receive lighter court sentences, and are perceived as friendlier and more desirable as partners. Clear skin, glossy hair face and a slender body announce, “I'm healthy and fertile. I make a welcome addition to the gene pool.” Glowing skin, glossy hair, clear eyes increase the woman's pool of romantic partners and widen the range of opportunities in her work and day-to-day life.

“Beautiful people get all the breaks,” says psychologist Dr. Victoria Fleming Ph.D., author of You Complete Me and Other Myths that Destroy Happily Ever After, “Our society teaches us to be obsessed with looks. But on a more basic level, our looks are what draw that first impression someone has about us. First impressions are based on visual judgments. The brain does this automatically. And frankly, technology today puts the pressure up even higher, because there's not a lot of rebound time if your first impression isn't good! One click and you are literally off the radar.”

Smooth skin, big eyes, curvaceous bodies, and full lips serve as reliable signals of youth, good health, and fertility. Psychologists found that men have instinctive penchant for women with large eyes, full lips, and small nose and chin, while women prefer men who are taller than they are and with symmetrical features. Recent show that men have instinctive preference for the classic hourglass-shaped body with a waist-hip ratio of seven to ten. The state of the skin is an important signal, too. Millennia of evolution make us instinctively suspect infections, parasites, and general poor health in people whose skin is plagued by lesions and spots. On the contrary, clear, glowing skin equals health and wellbeing.

Would You Eat a Plastic Bag?

We have all got bits of ourselves we are not particularly thrilled with. Let’s be honest: I don't like my tummy, and for very good reason. It's flabby and bumpy and no amount of crunches seem to make any difference. But here's the question: do I despise my tummy or the way my tummy looks? Covered in cellulite or not, the inner works of my tummy, such as stomach, liver, bowels, kidneys, uterus, ovaries—they work just fine and I have no reason to dislike them. It's the skin texture and the profile in the mirror that I don't like.

Same with legs, hair, or ears. Many women dislike their legs and wish they were longer, thinner, with less cellulite. But what about the daily work our legs do for us? What about places they take us to, steps they march up or down, sometimes in shoes that are clearly not fit for walking? Still hate your hair and think it makes you look less pretty? Then think how you'd look like if you lost all of your hair after cancer treatment. You would be thankful to be alive, that is. Hair, or the lack thereof, would become a lesser concern.

Most of us hate our bodies for no good reason—until our bodies are being taken from us because of illness or other circumstances (other than death, of course). According to sad statistics, only 3 percent of women with an average age of 33 are happy with their body, while six out of ten women say their body makes them feel depressed. A total of 91 percent of women were unhappy with their hips and thighs, 77 percent with their waist, and 78 percent said they had cellulite. That's when we reach for a lip liner, a new cellulite serum, or make an appointment with a hair stylist or a dermatologist.

"There are at least two parts to a woman's self-concept—how she feels about herself on the inside, and how she feels about herself on the outside," says Dr. Fleming. "What's on the inside might be an uncontrollable mess. She feels insecure. She feels unloved. She feels unworthy. And these may be deep-seated feelings that she feels powerless to change! What's on the outside she has a little more control over. She can fix her make up to look just right. She can use the same perfume as Taylor Swift. Or she can just take on the latest trends as part of her identity, so that she fits in where otherwise she feels like an outsider. It distracts them from ‘ugly’ truths they want to avoid. It gives them a sense of control. Trying to help women understand that true beauty comes from within is a tough sell, because of all the reinforcement they get—and see others getting—for the physical beauty."

The celebrity-driven beauty industry plants unrealistic images into our minds, and, in order to achieve the looks from the magazine pages or a TV screen, we are prompted to dye, straighten, erase, elongate, straighten, lift, polish, blow-dry, buy, buy, buy, and then buy some more. Not all of these efforts are for pure vanity’s sake. In their quest for longer lashes or smoother skin, women are really seeking love, acceptance, and success. "Sometimes that fastest route to that goal is to align themselves with others who are clearly loved, accepted, and successful—a.k.a., the celebrity," notes Dr. Fleming, "There is a term called BIRGing—Basking in Reflected Glory. I may not get the glory myself, but if I stand close enough to you, some of that light will bounce over to me. When the celebrities are out of the spotlight, they have the same doubts and esteem issues as everyone else, but they put them best of themselves out there for public consumption, and women eat it up."

The gap between the cultural stereotypes of what we are expected to look like and the reality of what we actually look like is becoming wider than ever before. In one of its worst manifestations, discontent with one's body can evolve into an eating disorder or obsession with plastic surgery. In less extreme cases, some women feel obliged to spend up to half their monthly income on creams, gels, serums, and lotions.

Dr. Fleming explains that pampering can be quite healthy expression of self-care: I love myself; therefore, I take care of myself. “It's not necessarily a bad thing to indulge in caring for the self, particularly for women who are missing a sense of love and safety from a partner or from their family. If you grow up being told you are not worthy and don't deserve nice things, then indulging yourself with creams and lotions could be a healthy defiance of those negative messages. Some of the best cosmetic tag lines over the years reinforce healthy esteem—"Because I'm worth it," comes to mind immediately. But the issue is that it's gone too far. Women are using beauty products as a replacement for healthy esteem and self-love, rather than as an expression of it. I think that's where the trouble starts."

That's when the "hope in a jar" takes root. Fresh-faced teenage girls advertising wrinkle creams only add to the confusion. The only true hope that exists in a jar belongs to the CEO selling it. He hopes that you (and millions of others) will have enough hope to buy him a new jet, a new boat, and a new villa in France.

At any moment, in any cosmetic department of a shopping mall there are few more women who don't feel like being duped. They have a healthy, realistic relationship with beauty accepting it as the ticket to better relationships, increased career opportunities and generally more rewarding life. As they age, they simply take pride in their wrinkles and silver hair, trying to look like sensual, older women, not like 50 going on 20.

The healthy approach to beauty is neither pretending it's shallow or unnecessary, nor being preoccupied with it. Being honest about your personal value of beauty helps you make informed decisions on how much effort, time and money to spend on your appearance.

Top 10 Foods to Make You Happy


1. Oily fish

2. Brewer's yeast

3. Walnuts

4. Kiwi fruit

5. Spinach

6. Turmeric

7. Peanut butter

8. Beans

9. Whole grains

10. Cocoa


The Inner Sense of Beauty

“At the core of every human being is a profound need to have value,” says Dr. Fleming. “The more a person is convinced of their self-worth, the less they need validation from other sources. There is a difference in what women and men need for validation. With a man, his self-esteem is stronger when he is respected and appreciated. With a woman, her self-esteem is strengthened when she is given attention and valued. Parents that provide these to their children consistently from an early age have children who become rock-solid in their inner security.”

I am not here to lecture on parenting but for many of us, something went seriously wrong at one point in our childhood or teenage years. For how else can you explain that when it comes to body image, women are champions of self-depreciation and gurus of self-punishment? If you flick through the typical women's magazine, all the women must be tall and flat-stomached, shine perfectly white teeth, and laugh like mad while devouring a plateful of salad—do they eat some special, "funny" kind of salad on those photo shoots? And here you look in the mirror, making a mental note of your blemishes, wrinkles, and double chin, and realize you just aren’t beautiful and therefore you are not desirable or successful. How does that make you feel?

We all want to look good—and I know you do, too, otherwise you won't be reading this book. We could all throw up our arms and surrender completely to Mother Nature, go totally au naturel and say, “Hair colouring is for sissies!” But most of us want to look good, smell good, radiate health, and manage what we were born with in a way that makes the most of ourselves, without it turning into a battle of hatred. So, how do you find a balance between accepting yourself and still caring about how you look? Here are some ideas how to learn to feel good in the skin you are in.

Redefine "Beauty"

You eat a balanced diet, you fit activity into your daily routine, and you enjoy yourself when you’re out with friends rather than fret over how many calories you’re consuming. Isn’t that healthier than being at a certain weight or size? Beauty is about feeling great about yourself, and if you’re killing yourself trying to look "pretty"—for example, baking in a tanning salon, inhaling formaldehyde fumes during a weekly hair straightening session, or inject toxins to smooth out wrinkles—something is wrong with your approach.

“There was a saying a few years ago that went, ‘Love the skin you're in.’ I think the way out of the rut is to turn your attention from the external to the internal,” says psychologist Dr. Fleming. “You are a spiritual being having an earthly experience. That internal light, that spirit, is the most important part of who you are. There is research that has looked at ‘Quality of Life’ measures among people dying from cancer. They expected quality of life to decline, but they hadn't counted on people finding new value in spirit while their bodies declined. It revealed that very often it isn't until the body is in decline that people get that they are more than this physical form. Their spirit has little to do with the container!”

Focus on “now”

Too many people spend too much time regretting the past or fearing the future. Beauty-wise, regretting all the silly things we did to our skin and hair, having too much sun, too much smoking, or alcohol leads to fretting the future with all its wrinkles, sagging, liver spots and grey hair, not to mention other age-related health issues. This "mental diet" of regret and fear will age your skin and hair quicker than you think. Every minute you waste disliking a part of yourself is a minute less of your life. When you're 85 years old and look back, will you be glad that you spent so much time worrying about your skin and hair? If you get caught in the regret/fear circle too often, simply bring attention to this very moment and try to catch that moment of peace and serenity that feels like now.

Think “Pretty” Thoughts

Remember that we can make our own thoughts. No one thinks in the same way, and making other people think like us is a waste of precious mental energy. It’s your thoughts, not life's challenges that make you truly positive and happy about yourself. Only you, not the outside world, can dictate how you feel. Throw out all the “mental junk food” that overwhelms your brain. Negative thought patterns varying from “I am so fat, I will never meet someone,” to “I am so old and ugly,” should go down the drain so that you could fill your mental space with wholesome, positive thinking patterns that make you feel and look better. Healthy thoughts will make your skin glow and eyes sparkle.

A great example of this technique that is easy to incorporate into your life is the use of positive affirmations. Pick a few positive and validating phrases, and repeat them to yourself throughout the day. “I am beautiful,” is a wonderful and simple affirmation. Simply repeat the phrase to yourself, either aloud or in your head, and imagine yourself at your most beautiful. Do this while cooking dinner, driving to work, doing the laundry, brushing your teeth—whenever your mind is likely to roam. Eventually, you will notice that this positive, life-affirming phrase will start to pop up into your head all on its own, and replace some of the old negative self-talk. Filling your mind with positive affirmations has the power to change your whole attitude, and imbue you with a confidence and appreciation for life that is often accompanied by a gorgeous, energetic glow.

Stop Criticizing

A critical state of mind bites other people and eats you alive. Some people are get an instant “high” from waving their acrid tongues, but in fact criticizing others is a quick but dishonest way to praise yourself. In the long run, all this negativity spilled at others damages your own self-esteem. If we cannot achieve certain things that we have always wanted then we begin complaining and criticizing others. When you feel comfortable in your own skin, you are not threatened or offended by the imperfections you see in others. Being less critical and judgmental of other people makes you kinder and more accepting of your own flaws and imperfections that make you unique. When you encounter new acquaintances, make it a goal to look for something you like about them, and pay them a compliment. As you go through you day with your loved ones and co-workers, do the same for them. When you seek out the beauty and admirable features in those around you, you will find yourself in an ever-increasingly beautiful universe.

Being less critical can extend beyond those around you, to you general view on life. Keeping a gratefulness journal is an excellent daily practice that has transformative effects, and takes merely one or two minutes a day. Simply write down what you are most grateful for each night in a journal that you keep in your bedroom. It could be a gorgeous full moon, a particularly delicious piece of fruit, or your baby’s first word. Whatever you choose each night, the practice of searching for what you are most grateful for helps you to put on some rose-colored glasses that will help you to encounter, and therefore experience, the world less critically. After this becomes habit, you will find yourself looking for things to be grateful for throughout the day, and finding lots of beautiful possibilities you may never have noticed before.

Decide What’s Best for You

All of us make decisions on a daily basis. “Life is the sum of all your choices,” wrote Albert Camus. When it comes to your looks, your main goal is to be comfortable with your decisions. Heavy makeup and elaborate hair styles make you annoyingly aware of your body all day, stripping away your confidence and filling you up with negativity which can ruin all the efforts you make to prettify yourself. If no-makeup face and no-hairspray hair make you feel good in your skin, do so rather than try to squeeze yourself into the image you think is trendy and "fashionable" right now.

Praise Yourself

A common thought for many women is, “If I have blotchy skin, if I have dull hair, if my thighs are wobbly, if I’m not thin enough, no one will want me.” That’s a terrible mind-set that can lead to sheer obsession with our appearance. If you heard these statements from someone else, you would call them hurtful. Yet, we allow us hurt ourselves all the time. Next time when you take a critical look in the mirror, think about the amazing machine your body is. Your eyes can read and cry, no matter which size and colour they are. Your legs can run and bike, even if you forget to wax them. Your tummy can grow little people inside of you—yes, even when covered with cellulite. How amazing! Instead of criticizing what your body looks like, show it a little love by appreciating what it does. How often do you focus who you are as a person instead of how you look? Do you ever say, “Good job, my sweetheart!” or even pat yourself at the shoulder? Hug yourself and even dot a little kiss at your hand for being positive and kind to yourself. Self-compassion and self-acceptance are the cornerstones of healthy attitude towards beauty. Continual judgment and criticism of our looks keeps us locked in a continuous cycle of unhappiness with our looks, our faces and ultimately, our life.

Imagine Yourself Beautiful

You can take charge of your thoughts and guide your imagination toward a relaxed, focused state where you see yourself as an attractive, confident person with glowing skin and slender, healthy body. Guided imagery is a program of directed thoughts and suggestions that involve all of your senses.

Here’s a simple exercise that demonstrates the immense power of imagination over our wellbeing. Visualize a lemon in slightest detail: its yellow dotty skin, the shiny surface, the oval shape, the pungent smell. Continue to imagine the taste of the lemon and then imagine yourself taking a bite of the fruit. Feel the tangy juice squirting into your mouth. Do you salivate? I bet you do. Now you can see how eagerly our body responds to what you are imagining.

You can use guided imagery technique to achieve a relaxed state of mind and improve your self-acceptance, health, and sense of well-being. Imagine a safe, comfortable place, such as a beach or a garden, in a great detail. Lie comfortably on the floor or recline on a sofa.

Take a few slow even breaths. When you are feeling relaxed, gently close your eyes. Picture yourself lying on a beautiful secluded beach or a lovely garden full of flowers. Picture soft white sand around you, or maybe a soft grass caressing your body. Imagine a cloudless sky above and green leaves gently moving in the warm breeze. Feel the warm touch of mellow sun on your skin. Enjoy the sound of the waves gently rolling on to shore or birds chirping in the trees around you.

Breathe in and smell the scent of the ocean and the aroma of flowers. Picture yourself looking young, with glowing skin, wavy, glossy hair, dressed in a beautiful and comfortable outfit.

Stay in this scene for as long as you like. Notice how relaxed and calm you feel. Notice how the tension melts throughout your entire body, from your head to your toes. Notice how insignificant your worries and fears look when you have surrounded yourself with peace and quiet.

When the time is up (start with 15 minutes twice a day) slowly count backward from 10. Open your eyes.

During guided imagery, our body seems to respond as though what you are imagining is real. When you imagine yourself free from stresses and looking naturally gorgeous, our body follows the “command.”

Boost your Happiness Hormone

They say that life is like zebra: a black stripe will inevitably end, and the white stripe will begin. But sometimes it seems that we wander endlessly along the black stripe, not crossways. That’s when the nature’s most powerful antidepressant comes handy—and to try it, you don’t need a prescription and side effects are only positive.

This antidepressant is called endorphin. It's actually a group opioids created naturally in the body. The word “endorphin” itself is built from two words: "endogenous morphins," that is, narcotic substances produced naturally in the body. Like morphine, endorphins raise the pain threshold and produce sedation and euphoria. Endorphins are responsible for so-called "runner's high," which helps athletes push themselves beyond their physical and mental limits feeling no exhaustion or pain. Endorphins are released during pregnancy, which partially explains the post-partum depression as the mother is deprived of endorphins in her system and the nerve-soothing effect of breastfeeding when endorphins are released into mother's blood making her calmer and happier. What a timely gift of nature, considering all those sleepless nights and physical and emotional exhaustion during the day!

To achieve a true endorphin kick, you don't need to exhaust yourself with running spurts. In fact, moderate exercise followed by a relaxation technique, for example, a massage session or a meditation, also triggers the release of endorphins. Basically, all prolonged rhythmic exercises, such as tennis and aerobics, boost the production of body's own "happiness hormone". Meditation, acupuncture, deep diaphragm breathing, even eating spicy foodall these simple steps help maintain steady levels of this feel-good chemical in the blood. Certain foods also come in handy, especially stimulating foods such as chili peppers, horseradish and wasabi.

No wonder exercise is increasingly becoming a part of the treatment of depression and anxiety. Regular physical activity appears as effective as psychotherapy for treating mild to moderate depression. Chinese therapists also report that patients, who exercise regularly, especially practicing mind-body exercise such as Tai Chi, are less likely to experience cognitive decline at older age.

It appears that nearly any form of exercise can help boost your mood with endorphin release. Some examples of happiness-boosting exercise include:


· Biking or spinning class

· Nordic walking or uphill walking

· Dancing

· Golf (but only if you walk instead of using the cart)

· Jogging

· Aerobics

· Kickboxing or martial arts

· Tennis

· Swimming

· Yoga


Gardening, yard work, especially mowing or raking, and housework, such as sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming, also count as endorphin-boosting exercises. At least I know now what prompts me to grab a broom when I feel low and the sky is overcast!

Before you begin an exercise program for mood boost, you may ask yourself if there are any particular physical activities you enjoy or if they fit your lifestyle and work schedule. Some people enjoy working out in a club atmosphere while others opt for lonely runs in the wilderness. Choose an activity you enjoy. Exercising should be fun, otherwise you will not continue.

You also need to be clear about your goals. When you first start your exercise program, it should be easy for you to follow and maintain. For example, if you aim for mood enhancement, then weight loss and improved flexibility will inevitably follow after you begin your workouts in your spare time. But if you are after strong, voluptuous muscles, you will need to be prepared to spend at least an hour every day in the gym. Put your exercise routine into your schedule.

Variety is the key to enjoying life at its fullest. Choose at least three activities from the list above and try to incorporate them into your monthly exercise schedule. Most often, you don’t need to buy health club memberships or expensive equipment to enjoy endorphin-boosting activities. All you need to run is a pair of trainers and a flat surface. All you need to do crunches is the flat surface.

When you have made up your mind to fit some fitness into your life, keep the timer on. It takes about thirty minutes between the start of an exercise and a full release of endorphins, so make sure you time your fitness routine just right. Here are is a simple exercise sequence to boost your happiness naturally with endorphin:

1. Treadmill: Start with a five-minute warm-up at a comfortable speed. Then, every three minutes, increase both the speed and difficulty. Incline the treadmill one increment and increase speed. On a bike, increase the resistance and maintain the same cadence. Do this four times, so that you can exercise for twelve to fifteen minutes with ever-increasing intensity.

2. Crunches: The essential move to get your tummy into tip-top shape for bikini season, it's also one of the most reliable endorphin triggers—although I get a secondary happiness boost when I notice less flabbiness around the waist area! Crunches are tricky, so you better do them right. Here's the simplest way to do crunches without hurting your back:

· Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.

· Place your hands behind your head with your elbows out and arms horizontal. Do not bend your arms forward.

· Supporting your head with your hands, squeeze your abs until your upper torso is just off the floor. Pause for one second.

· Slowly release your abs and roll back your spine to the starting position. Do not pull your hands onto your neck.

· As your core muscles become stronger, you can start working your lower abs, completing a crunch with your body bent at a 90-degree angle at the hips, and your legs shooting straight up in the air.

· For optimum endorphin release (and a flatter tummy, too), complete three sets, 20 repetitions each. Start with 10 repetitions, and work your way to full 20.

3. Weight Lifting: You do not need to move a lot of iron to see endorphins in action and your muscles gaining firmness and definition. Spend 10-15 minutes waving some dumbbells around (10-15 repetitions for arms muscles). If you are not in the mood for spending lots of money on sports equipment, fill up two textured 1.5 l plastic bottles with water and use them as weights on a treadmill. You can add weight to your makeshift dumbbells by stuffing some sand or gravel into the bottles, along with water.

After your endorphin-boosting workout, you will feel a mild sense of euphoria and you will walk through your day with a greater spring in your step. You will likely sleep better that night, too.

Enhance Your Relationships

Keep up your connections with your loved ones and close friends, and make sure that you don’t deprioritize them in the face of ever-mounting deadlines and pressures at work and in life. Schedule automatic weekly or monthly lunch dates with friends who make you feel good and rejuvenate you. Plan skype or phone appointments with family and friends who are too far away to see regularly. Spend quality time with your family, without the television in the room! Make time everyday to play a board game, go outside for a walk, or dance around the house to your favourite music with your nearest and dearest. These are the moments of life that feed the soul.

Do What You Love

This one seems simple, but it seems to be the first thing that gets thrown off the to-do list in our busy lives. Do something creative that you enjoy every day. Have you always wanted to write a novel, or play the guitar? Do you enjoy knitting, or scrapbooking? Commit yourself to engaging in this activity for just ten minutes every day. Everyone can commit to ten minutes, even if you do it just before going to sleep, just after waking up, while waiting for the dryer to finish a load, or during a quick break at work. If you feel inspired, or find yourself with more time, go onward. But, make sure that you meet your ten minutes, even in the busy times. Life is meant to be lived passionately, and those ten minutes just might fill you with the vigour you’ve been missing!

Fur-riously Happy

If all else fails, and you are not happy and you know it, consider adopting a pet. Pets can provide a lot of positive psychological and physical benefits for their owners. First of all, pets themselves are a great social support, and they can help you to meet fellow humans who can provide social support as well. Dog owners socialize at canine playgrounds; lizard owners have their fun, too, undoubtedly.

Scientific studies have found that pet owners enjoy increased well-being, such as greater self-esteem, greater conscientiousness, less fearful attachment, and more exercise. Pets are unconditionally supportive, and their ability to improve their owner's self-esteem is beyond any comparison. But perhaps most importantly, pets are actually able to stave off negativity caused by social rejection.

Chapter 1 Quick Tips

1. Don't sacrifice your long-term health for a minute of a joy when you look at your newly puffy lips, newly smooth skin, or temporarily wrinkle-free forehead. A reflection in the mirror is gone within seconds, but the poison inside of you may take months to take its toll.

2. Be kind to yourself. Love your legs, arms, eyes, and ears, as well as the rest of your body. You do not criticize the way people’s children look (I hope!) Then why be critical about the way your own body looks? Our life throws tons of outside critics in our way; let's become our body's major supporter. Give your inner critic a hard boot. Remember: happy people live longer.

3. Be thankful. Women are champions of unhappiness and dissatisfaction with their looks. A bad day at work, problems within a relationship, or even a misdirected word can lead to grumpy feelings about your nose, thighs, or belly. Say "thank you" to your body for serving you so faithfully. No matter what your physical or mental condition, things almost certainly could be worse. Cultivate a sense of appreciation for any of the five senses that still operate effectively: taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell. The smell of a perfume, the sight of a flower, the crunch of freshly-baked bread, the touch of a snowflake, and the taste of an excellent cup of coffee can bring a smile to anyone's face, so enjoy these pleasures while you can. You don't need pouty lips or shimmery blonde hair to enjoy life at its fullest.

4. Get rid of mental junk food such as thoughts that were processed beyond recognition. Do not plaster yourself with truisms and negative thought patterns. They only clutter your mind and never give you anything good in return. Try eliminating all the junk and focusing on positive, wholesome thoughts, and kind acts towards self. Nourish your soul with positive "food" in forms of positive thinking, meditation and relaxation, and your skin and hair will follow the lead towards the prettier future.

5. Nurture your mind with positive experiences rather than rewarding buys. Every day devote at least ten minutes to something you love, be it reading, painting, jumping on a trampoline, cycling, or gardening. By ditching junk habits such as spending a night in front of a television, you will find more than enough time to spend with your loved ones—including one-on-one time with the person you should love, too—yourself. 

Julie Gabriel is a holistic nutritionist, founder of Petite Marie Organics, and an advocate of natural living, organic beauty, and holistic nutrition. As a beauty writer and editor, she has worked with Harper's Bazaar, Atmospheres, andWWD. She has been featured on AOL Health, and Martha Stewart's Living Radio, and inUSA Today, the Washington Post, the Toronto Star, Natural Health, Shape, and Better Homes & Gardens. She is the author of several books on beauty including The Green Beauty Guide and Green Beauty Recipes.

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