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The beauty-brain loop – the way we feel influences the way we look

Dr. Eva Ritvo is the Vice Chairman of Psychiatry at the University of Miami and has been studying the effects of emotions and exercise on the skin. In her book The Beauty Prescription, she talks about the connections between the way we feel inside and the way we look on the outside.

She describes how women are 20 percent more beautiful than they think they are. However, if you are not feeling that way, within a few minutes, you can be. Attractiveness starts internally. If you have a positive mental attitude, you feel good about yourself, and you do things to take care of yourself—and that makes you more attractive. People are going to pick up on that. Even for the most beautiful women in the world, if they do not feel that they look good, they are going to be less attractive to others.

Dr. Ritvo has coined the phrase, the brain-beauty loop. The concept has four components: inner beauty, outer beauty, health, and environment. If women want to be their most beautiful, they have to attend to all aspects of the loop, says Dr, Ritvo. To achieve this, it is important that you have a good mental attitude, and you should do you best to look good, attend to your health including diet and exercise, and work to create beauty in your world and your environment.

Having a positive mental attitude sounds good, but some find it difficult to have a positive outlook. What can they do? They have to work hard to retrain themselves. It starts with an attitude of gratitude. We all have different aspects of our lives that really are pretty good. When you reflect on those and become thankful for them, you are in a better state of mind to appreciate the qualities of yourself that you value.

Just this little trick can create an optimism that anyone can build on. Dr. Ritvo does not claim that anyone can bestow on anyone else the ability to feel confident and happy about themselves. She asserts that it indeed has to come from within. But, as a trained professional, she offers tips and proven methods to form more building blocks that build self-confidence. This is what the beauty-brain loop is all about.

Her coauthor, dermatologist Dr. Debra Luftman, concurs that life does go better for people who look good. It is something innate about us that is attracted to beauty, harmony, and symmetry. That is not likely to change. The only thing we can change is what we determine is beautiful. There is no question that there are beautiful aspects about each one of us in all four categories of the beauty-brain loop. These places are where each of us should start to form a positive mental attitude.

When you see yourself as more beautiful, it transmits to those around you. Emotions are contagious after all, and they tend to flow from the most powerful person in the room. When you smile, certain parts of the brains in the people around you will light up. People catch those positive emotions, and it starts a chain reaction. The people on the other end of your smile are more likely to employ you, date you, and be friends with you, etcetera.

It is a two-way street, and it can also work the opposite way. Carry yourself in a self-defeating manner, and life may not tend to go so well. Dr. Ritvo calls that the ugly loop.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing