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Beauty: Feeling Great Inside, Out

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As a culture obsessed with youth and beauty, we often fail to recognize values, feelings, connection and heroism. Inner beauty has fallen by the wayside as we mock and make fun of sentimentality, Hallmark cards and deep emotions. While many of us look up to every day heroes and marvel at their higher ideals, we are not materially rewarded for emulating this so we traipse over to the salon instead of the library time and time again.

Of course this is a gross generalization. Yet it continues to be a source of anxiety for all of us, especially women, who are encouraged to be beautiful on the outside while our character traits are often left dangling in the breeze. How can we take back our ability to cultivate our inner beauty and take the baby steps needed to re-establish ties with ourselves?

-Reconnect with what you want:
For many of us, going through the motions of the daily routine cuts us off from what we really want in our lives. We forget about our daydreams, our sense of ourselves as dreamers and visionaries and we lose sight of what we want as we truck through life fulfilling obligations. Journal about your journey. What are you unsatisfied with? What do you really want that you're not pursuing? How are your daily routines interfering with or supporting your personal dreams and desires? How can you tweak things, just a little, to align your obligations with a sense of satisfaction?

- Take time to re-align some of your beauty rituals:
This means do something because it feels good or because it will bring you closer to an internal goal. For example, focus on reducing stress by getting a pedicure, your feet and toes will look wonderful which will pump up your self-esteem, hopefully. Furthermore, during the pedicure remember that you need a break, that this is a form of massage and that your lymph is flowing and your anxiety is being crushed.

- Do some form of exercise that is meditative not ab-toning:
Taking a long, quiet walk by yourself all bundled up in cozy clothes without pumping your free weights. Just walk, breathe, reflect and relax.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.