In today’s modern day, medical advances and inventions in the clinic are commonplace. Many of our ancestors would not believe the lengths we have gone to ensure our health. However, a sizable percentage of the population struggles with illnesses and diseases of varying severity. Most of it was avoidable if people had adopted healthier lifestyles. The improper habits of many people cause health problems.
Intuitively, we all know that we feel better about ourselves when we’re taking care of our bodies. Self-care, such as taking even a few minutes to apply makeup, care for one’s skin, or get one’s hair done, has been found to affect one’s health positively.
More than two decades of my professional life as a psychologist have convinced me that our perception of our attractiveness is strongly influenced by how we seem to others. Athena Janke interviews with women across fields have taught me the importance of maintaining a positive self-image for one’s emotional and physical well-being. People who like how they look tend to feel good about themselves. And there’s mounting research to back up the partnership’s success.
When CVS/pharmacy reached out to me for help with their expanding health campaign, I jumped at the chance to collaborate with them. At CVS, I was responsible for research to back up the company’s new health and wellness campaign, which aims to persuade consumers to put their health first in the wake of the company’s decision to stop selling tobacco products.
The Value of a Person’s Optimism Assessments
“subjective well-being” (SWB) describes how a person feels about themselves. Several positive health consequences, immediate and afterward, have been associated with it. Patients with SWB are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors, such as maintaining a balanced diet, obtaining enough rest, scheduling regular doctor’s visits, and taking preventative measures to strengthen their immune systems. SWB has been demonstrated to extend life expectancy by 7.5 years in scientific studies.
SwB is boosted by caring for one’s physical appearance and emotional well-being, which motivates more excellent self-care. When maintained over time, this way of thinking and doing leads to a set of habits that may hurt health. Optimistic people are more likely to make eye contact, smile more frequently, and carry themselves with confidence. They seem calm and collected because they take care of themselves by exercising, baths, and getting manicures and pedicures—the positive feedback loop between an improved sense of self and increased confidence and calmness benefits SWB.
Feelings and emotions improve when one takes and thinks positively. An individual’s self-esteem and motivation to maintain a neat appearance may benefit from and be strengthened by positive feedback on their grooming habits and practices. As a result, there is a feedback loop between how you feel about your looks and how you treat your health: Self-care and relaxation lead to an optimistic view, which in turn improves health and beauty, which in turn reinforces the need for self-care and peace, and so on. A positive feedback loop improves physical and mental well-being.
Minimizing Stress and Its Repercussions
Reducing tension increases oxygen intake, slows respiration, lowers blood pressure, and generally benefits health, as medical professionals have long understood. Nevertheless, the reverse is true of stress. Scientists have only begun to understand the physiological processes at play here. Studies suggest that people who take time to relax create lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which adversely affects cardiovascular health and the way the body consumes fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Compared to individuals who had a heart attack after experiencing stress, those who experienced a positive trigger had a far faster recovery time.
In a separate study spanning the same period (15 years), individuals who reported greater levels of emotional vitality (energy, happiness, and life satisfaction) had a 26% decreased chance of developing coronary heart disease. The inability to control stress or integrate relaxation into everyday life has been linked to an increased risk of illness.