Anyone who’s taken a shower and put on a full face of makeup when they’re running a 101 fever knows, when you look good you feel good. It’s not always about vanity. It can simply be about feeling prepared, confident, and ready to take on what the world has in store for you.
When I wear formal clothes, I get nervous. It’s not that I’m afraid of falling ( I’ve actually played a game of football in a pair of high heels). It’s because dressing up comes with the expectation of acting the part – which I don’t think I’m capable of playing.
That’s because what we wear is more than just a method of fitting in with our environments. Clothing and makeup are more like the armor you wear to battle, or the costume you wear on stage. It’s what lets others know you’re prepared for anything.
Look Good, Feel Better is a charity that uses this very premise in an incredible way. They aim to raise the self-esteem of people undergoing treatment for cancer. The volunteers at Look Good, Feel Better know that the physical changes for those undergoing cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy can leave people feeling awkward. This forces them to become reclusive while undergoing treatment.
To combat those feelings of poor body image and negative self-worth, Look Good, Feel Better offers complimentary beauty sessions to help those who are in treatment and recovering from a cancer diagnosis. They cover it all, from helping a woman put on a wig, to helping a person liven up a complexion turned ghastly from the side effects of chemotherapy.
It’s a fact that increasing self-esteem does more than just increase your confidence – improving what psychologists have termed “emotional immunity.”
Have you ever stewed over a rejection or negative comment, and wondered how for others, it doesn’t affect them at all? The secret is a good emotional immune system.
Good emotional immunity also means that you can be more resilient to anxiety and stress, meaning that you can actually impact your physical immune system as well!
Further, taking the time to pick out an outfit that makes you feel confident, applying makeup, and contributing to your daily hygiene are all methods of self-care that are often understated. Self-care isn’t always a spa day or a fantastic bath bomb; it can be something as regular as taking the time to brush and style the hair the way you want or wearing a fragrance that you find calming.
Even animals understand why self-care is a needed practice.
Monkeys will participate in social grooming because the release of oxytocin makes the action calming and wonderful. In fact, when stressed, rats will start compulsively self-grooming to make themselves feel better.
Take a little time each morning to pump yourself up with the very hormone that makes people wonderful to be around. I’m sure you’ll notice a difference in how you feel.
So next time you want to wear a little extra makeup or dress extra nice for work – don’t feel embarrassed. Looking good doesn’t have to be about vanity.
It might just be about feeling good as well.