Being pretty on the inside is the most important thing in the world, I do believe.
I used to believe that if I prettied my outside, I’d feel prettier on the inside. So I’d work hard day in and day out to do just that: look pretty so that I could feel pretty, too.
Over the years, however, I’ve discovered something peculiar. As it turns out, working in the opposite direction is actually much more effective. Starting from the inside makes you feel and appear pretty – which isn’t necessarily true in reverse. In all actuality, focusing too much on the way you look has a way of making you more insecure (and sometimes even obsessed) with the way you look.
As a blogger and fashion designer, I know this seems like a counterproductive piece of advice, but it isn’t and I stand by it firmly: to be truly pretty, take your focus off of your appearance and instead focus on how you feel.
Here’s how I take my focus off my appearance work on being pretty on the inside.
10 ways to be pretty on the inside:
1. Meditate every night before bed for at least 5 to 10 minutes
If you’re like me and you have trouble staying awake, put on a guided meditation. I love to use the app “Calm” for mine. If you’re unpracticed at allowing your mind to go blank for extended periods of time, allow yourself to drift away into your ideal world and use this time for visualizations instead.
2. Start each day with a list of 10 things you’re grateful for
I actually do this, I swear. And it actually makes a HUGE difference, I double swear! Try to think of ten different things every day that you’re grateful for and write them down in blue ink.
3. Go without makeup
I work from home so it’s easy for me to go without makeup. But what I’ve found in doing so is that I actually feel much more confident and comfortable in my own skin. Now I find myself often preferring to be makeup-free.
4. Or at least go with little makeup
If you can’t quite fathom being completely makeup free in public, try to put a little less on and see how you feel. You might even find the compliments rolling in more than usual.
5. Only shop when you’re happy
Retail therapy is not recommended. You’ll likely end up feeling more unfulfilled and perhaps plain empty. So make a vow to only shop when you’re happy.
6. Do yoga
I went through a difficult period last spring and I swear to you: I only made it through because of yoga! I ended up becoming a bit addicted (perhaps) and was practicing yoga up to 5 times per week. But, hey, only good came of it! I learned to be more patient and accepting of the circumstances around me, even though I may have cried a few times during savasana. I do cheat a little bit here, though, and always make sure I’m wearing yoga gear that makes me feel comfortable and confident. My fav local yoga wear company of choice is Karma Athletics – they’re yoga gear fits perfectly and is super chic and body-hugging.
7. Be present everywhere you are
Put away your phone and pay attention to the world around you! It’s hard to manage in today’s world, but the benefits are certainly worth the effort. You’ll instantly find your relationships with others (as well as your relationship with yourself) improving.
8. Focus on your breath
Throughout the day, wherever you are, bring your attention away from your thoughts and to you breath. This is a method I use often to battle unexpected or unexplainable feelings of anxiety.
9. Construct a mantra to heal your personal imbalance
I recently worked with my life coach, who also makes incredible Chakra-healing jewelry under her brand Humble (of which I’m wearing!), and together we discovered that my root chakra was feeling a bit imbalanced. This was causing me to feel a lack of direction and plenty of anxiety around money and security. After chatting with her for some time and doing some money exercises she recommended, I had developed my own money mantra – which I speak and write out each and every day – to help unblock and heal this imbalance. My root chakra bracelet is a constant reminder that I will always be okay financially.
10. Practice non-judgement
Whenever you find yourself labeling yourself, someone around you, or a particular situation, pause for a moment and acknowledge what you’re doing. My Accept Me bangle is a wonderful reminder to practice non-judgement of others and myself.