The Power Of Gratitude For Glowing Skin (Why It Works + How To Do It)
This post is all about getting glowing skin (aka fewer fine lines, less breakouts and brighter skin tone). But - this post isn’t about a miracle ingredient, must-have product or trending facial tool. It’s about something deeper, something that starts from within and overflows to the skin - truly transforming it from the inside out. And no, it’s not a supplement or a superfood...
Surprised? It makes a lot more sense when you start connecting the dots between stress management, mental wellness, sleep quality, gut health, overall well-being and your skin’s appearance. When you begin to peel back the layers, a thought life infused with thankfulness can positively impact every single one of these areas. Intentionally choosing gratitude (even when it doesn’t come as easy) can become one of your biggest health and beauty hacks, on a cellular and soul level. And the best part: it’s completely free.
Don’t believe me? Keep reading.
Gratitude isn’t just in your head - study after study have proven that people who adopt a thankful outlook on life experience a number of positive physiological and psychological benefits - that all contribute to healthier-looking skin.
Here are a few ways to infuse more gratitude into your day (and up your skin’s glow factor) with these tiny, intentional tweaks:
Practicing gratitude keeps us grounded in the present. Taking note of the little details all around us and the silver linings we’re surrounded by even in the midst of a tough day can help minimize fear/worry about tomorrow, what’s already come or what’s left undone (along with worry lines and furrow wrinkles that can form as a result of these feelings).
To me, these emotions can be wrapped up in one word: stress.
Decreasing stress is one of the biggest benefits of adopting this attitude of gratitude and recognizing goodness in the present. Stress elevates cortisol and is one of the top contributors to premature aging and less than ideal skin conditions - from increasing inflammation, weakening the skin barrier, breaking down collagen and interfering with reparative functions of the skin. Not to mention all of the negative effects stress has on our overall health leading to sickness and dis-ease. No wonder we’re not supposed to worry about tomorrow!
The beauty of this practice is that no matter what you’re doing or where you find yourself, you can always access the power of the present moment and prioritize moments of mindfulness and gratitude.
Try it: Take a moment to pause here and drop into the present moment. Using your 5 senses, what can you find right now to be thankful for? What catches your attention? What aromas are you noticing? What can you hear? What can you feel? What flavors are you enjoying? It’s here in the present moment we remember all we’ve been given and let gratitude wash away feelings of lack or worry of what has been and what might be.
When we begin our morning with a grateful heart, it can truly change the course of our day. Before running out the door to tackle the day, take time every morning to reflect on the things you’re thankful for. Whether it’s writing a simple, heartfelt “Thank You” note, jotting down 3 things in a gratitude journal or spending time in prayer/thankfulness before even getting out of bed in the morning, this is one practice that’s proven to get your day started with more productivity, clarity and creativity - and create a ripple effect of glowing skin.
Also, seemingly mundane moments like making a cup of coffee, embarking on your morning commute or applying skincare products can become intentional moments of gratitude - noticing the comforting aroma infusing the air, the way the sunlight lands on the pavement or how your complexion radiates after a quick facial massage.
It’s here, in how we start our day and the daily moments we relive over and over again, that we can choose gratitude, choose a more vibrant way of living that not only impacts our skin’s appearance and overall health, but also becomes contagious to those we meet along the way.
Try it: Commit to doing one of the ideas above! Get a journal dedicated to writing down what you’re thankful for every morning, create cute/customized TY cards so you have a stack ready and waiting to be given away at any moment or change the name of your phone’s alarm in the morning to “give thanks” (or something along those lines!) as a reminder to start your day from this place of gratitude before your feet even hit the floor.
Implementing a practice of gratitude, especially before eating, means it becomes more of a regular rhythm in your day-to-day life. A girl’s gotta eat right? Just by starting with 30 seconds every time you sit down to eat, you’re already infusing your day with intentional moments of gratitude that will inevitably overflow to other moments in your day.
Pausing to pray or express gratitude before mindlessly digging into a meal helps you to slow down, engage your parasympathetic nervous system (rest/digest), breathe a bit deeper and prepare your body to properly digest and absorb nutrients to optimize gut health. And we all know, a healthy gut = glowing skin.
Plus, when you take a moment to appreciate the meal before you, you’ll not only begin to feel more connected to your body, but to the food that was planted by the farmers, picked from the earth, and prepared by loving hands. Our thankfulness for the food that refuels, nourishes and sustains us (and for every person/part involved for it to actually show up on our plate) begins to slowly, but surely, nourish our soul and skin all the same.
Try it: If you need a little nudge to remember this new gratitude practice, set a reminder on your phone for meal times (or much-needed snack breaks at work) or put a “give thanks” note on your fridge whenever you grab food.
By now, hopefully you’re beginning to see how the state of our mind directly affects the state of our skin. If you're struggling with negative thought patterns circling around in your mind (maybe it’s anxiety, insecurity, fear, unforgiveness), I want to encourage you to give gratitude a try. Regularly expressing gratitude has been shown to help minimize toxic emotions while releasing mood-enhancing dopamine and serotonin.
Not only does gratitude help to detoxify your mind and boost your mood, it begins to repattern your facial expressions resulting in fewer fine lines and a more radiant complexion. Rather than repeatedly thinking negative thoughts or focusing on fear (and revealing that all over your face), focusing on gratitude not only transforms the tone of your day, but the tone of your skin.
There’s a natural glow that radiates from a heart full of gratitude - trusting the process and the path before them, letting go of burdens they were never intended to bare and allowing unnecessary stresses roll of their shoulders - resulting in a smoother appearance, fewer fine lines + wrinkles, relaxed muscle tension and healthy lymphatic flow for a brighter, firmer appearance - along with a lighter, more loving mindset.
Try it: Keep a daily gratitude diary for 2 weeks - just jotting down a few things you’re thankful for before going to bed each night. At the end of 2 weeks reflect on how you feel, what may have improved or the extensive list of goodness you’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks. May this be the motivation you need to continue to focus on the goodness around you while creating less room for negative thoughts to take up residence in your mindset.
Okay guys, one final word on gratitude: this isn’t just a fake it til you make it sort of thing. Even if you tend to learn towards a more pessimistic approach to life (or as some may say: realistic), I believe there is at least one small thing every single day you can say, “thank you” for. Look for ways to give thanks in all circumstances and I guarantee you’ll start to find more and more each day - and begin to feel the life-changing, skin-glowing benefits, as well.
That’s the law of attraction, isn’t it? What we focus on becomes bigger. Choose to focus on gratitude and you’ll find you have even more to give thanks for.
This change of perspective to choose gratitude (even when it feels difficult) allows us to see the beauty that has been there all along - in your surroundings, in your skin, and in yourself.
Happy Thanks-giving! XO, Courtney
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