The Beauty-Brain Loop

Beauty is skin deep and deeper.

Posted Sep 28, 2009

In our society, the concept of beauty tends to be shallow and based on the physical. But most of us aren't blessed with the face and body of a supermodel, so what do we do? We realize that true beauty starts from within. The women you know who are genuinely magnetic, who draw every eye when they enter a room--they aren't just about good looks. They're confident, passionate, fulfilled and quick-witted. They're beautiful from all angles. That's the kind of complete beauty that optimizing the Beauty-Brain Loop can help any woman achieve.

There are four aspects to true beauty. When they're working in synergy to make a woman more radiant inside and out, she's making the most of what I call the Beauty-Brain Loop. The Loop is a holistic system with four parts:

1. Inner Beauty--Your self-esteem, attitude, sense of purpose, love for others and compassion.

2. Health--Fitness, diet, weight control, medical checkups, habits.

3. Outer Beauty--Your skin and skincare, hair, nails, cosmetics use, wardrobe and anything else that determines your external "packaging."

4. Environment--How people respond to you socially, how you create and see beauty around you, your relationships.

When you make changes in one stage of the Loop, you bring about changes in the other three as well. Let's say you begin an exercise and diet program and lose a great deal of weight. This positive change sparks others. You look more attractive, so you take better care of your skin and grooming and buy some stylish new clothes. You feel better when you look in the mirror, so your self-esteem gets a boost and you carry yourself with greater confidence. Your confidence becomes visible, making you even more attractive, and so on.

Activating the loop in a positive direction can be easy. Take any of the steps below and you will see changes in the other areas:

· Inner Beauty: Look in the mirror. Are you instantly critical of your face or body? Well, others don't see you the same way. They tend to view you in a much more positive light. They see your personality, smile, carriage, sense of humor and ability to nurture people. To others, you're the complete package. Remembering that can help you appreciate and bring out your finest inner qualities. Remind yourself "I am twenty percent more beautiful than I think." This positive mental attitude will make you smile and help you light up the room.

· Health: Think about how your ancestors ate and mix up your diet with a variety of fresh and non-preserved foods. Research shows that eating a variety of foods yields big health benefits. Even dark chocolate with high cacao content contains a powerful antioxidant and in small doses can give you a health boost. Turmeric, the spice that lends curry its color, is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Even if you think you're healthy because you eat the same five fruits or veggies daily, get healthier by getting more variety. Try exotic spices, greens, nuts and berries, and eat live, fresh food as often as you can. The more vital your food, the more vital your body.

· Outer Beauty: Exercise and diet are important but take time. There's nothing wrong with a little instant gratification. Get a chemical skin peel from a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist. Have your teeth whitened. Get a cosmetic makeover from a professional cosmetician. Blow dry your hair or get a manicure. Letting the world know you value yourself is important if you want others to value you, too.

· Environment: Train your mind to see beauty in whatever environment you're in. Even if you're driving through a blighted inner city, find pockets of beauty: colorful graffiti, a park, the faces of children. Teaching yourself to see beauty everywhere makes you more appreciative and optimistic-moods that are contagious. Make sure you are spreading the positive ones.

When you enhance any one stage of the Beauty-Brain Loop, you'll see positive changes in all the others. That's how the system works. Even if the improvements are small and incremental, you're going to feel more beautiful, and when you feel more beautiful, you ARE more beautiful. That's the most important lesson of all.

About the Author

Eva Ritvo, M.D., is an internationally-known speaker, best-selling author, vitality expert, and psychiatrist with a practice in Miami Beach.

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