While we’re all more than aware of the impacts of putting good stuff into our bodies, the numerous nutrition tips may not necessarily have an impact on how we look. The age-old adage “looking good makes us feel good” is not just about superficiality, but is something that we all know can feed into how we feel about ourselves.
People who have extreme bouts of depression tend to exude the symptom of not looking after themselves by doing the basics like washing and grooming, and when we look at ourselves in the mirror and like what we see, there’s just a natural spring in our step. So why does looking good make us feel good? Let’s show you some of the reasons and approaches that can help.
The Power of Perception
Perception and self-esteem are interlinked. When we perceive ourselves as looking good we experience a number of positive emotions. This is a sense of self-affirmation and the psychological phenomenon known as the Mirror Exposure Effect shows that people develop a preference for their own face after repeated exposure.
Seeing themselves in a positive light, not just literally, but figuratively, can foster a sense of familiarity which we then associate with comfort and can have a cascade of positive emotions on our self-image. This reinforces the idea that choosing flattering clothes or opting for timeless elegant fashion that we know makes us look good will have an amazing effect on our emotional state.
The Brain Chemistry Behind Beauty
Neurochemistry, particularly dopamine and endorphins, can have a profound impact on pleasure and reward. Endorphins are the feel-good hormones that can be released by physical activity, as well as dressing and grooming. When we engage in activities that enhance this positive neurochemical response, we will naturally feel an improved mood and an overall sense of well-being.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with reward and pleasure. When we receive compliments or any positive feedback, the brain releases dopamine, creating an association between looking good and experiencing a genuine sense of satisfaction. Scientifically, dressing well is good for you.
Triggering a Positive Feedback Loop Through Our Fashion
We have to remember that humans are designed to be social beings, and while we don’t want to feel bound by the opinions of others, it can exert a profound influence on our self-esteem. There is a theory known as the Social Comparison Theory that highlights that people can determine their own personal and social worth based on how they measure up against others.
If we align with societal standards or get positive feedback, this will trigger a positive feedback loop that reinforces the belief that looking good in the eyes of others makes you feel good about yourself.
There is a balance to be had here because personal style should be about cultivating your positive self-image and emotional well-being based on how you present yourself and how you feel within who you are. Clothing can provide symbolic meaning that can influence our cognitive functions.
Enclothed cognition is a phenomenon based on the symbolic meaning of clothing and the physical act of wearing it. Therefore, wearing clothing that’s perceived as stylish can enhance self-perception. This means that what you feel comfortable in and what you think looks great will enhance not just how you feel about yourself, but also your overall cognitive performance.
Personal style is also a form of expression, allowing someone to communicate their identity to the world. When you curate a look that aligns with your personality and values, you can create a positive narrative about yourself, resulting in authenticity and a greater sense of well-being.
How Can You Increase Positive Feelings?
Play understanding the positive effects of dressing goods; you can also incorporate this into your life with a number of other practices, including the following:
This can help reshape your self-perception and focus on personal strengths, uniqueness, and beauty inside and out. It will give you a psychological makeover.
This involves choosing clothes with intention, thinking about how each item of clothing makes you feel, and the image it projects. This can help you choose something that resonates with your values and self-perception.
Reinforcing a positive connection with your appearance can be done by choosing the right types of clothes, all with intention, which is a big part of our lives now, especially as we can all feel on autopilot due to the contemporary notion of hyper fatigue.
We should also think about incorporating daily rituals of self-care into our lives. We can benefit from cultivating a positive connection with our appearance. This can include grooming practices and skincare routines, but we can also go further and look at deeper self-care practices like mindfulness and meditation.
One incredibly beneficial practice that is not the same as meditation but yields a number of similar benefits is NSDR (Non-Sleep Deep Rest). This is something that has been studied greatly and involves set breathing techniques and concentrating on a part of the body, similar to a body scan meditation but without the traditional meditative practices.
Why We Should Look Good to Feel Good
We can all feel that, from time to time, we just don’t look right. Self-image is an incredibly complex sensation, and we must remember that, to cultivate a positive self-image, we need to remember that it’s as much about how we feel on the inside as how we look on the outside.
We need to cultivate a deeper sense of emotional well-being, and therefore, understanding the synergy between how we look and how we feel can inform our journey towards a more authentic sense of self.
What we have to remember is that how we dress can have a positive impact on how we feel. It’s such a small aspect of self-care but is absolutely critical. Therefore, if you feel like you need to buy something new because you know it will change how you feel about yourself, then you have the licence to do so!