The art of looking great naked
Unless you are the treasurer for some hippy nudist colony, a serial-streaker, or a skinny-dipping aficionado, there are only two people in the world that are going to see you naked: you, and the person you trust in the moment to see you naked. Chances are, if someone is willing to birthday suit-up with you, one of two things has already occurred: 1) They have already sized you up and like what they see 2) They care about you and really aren't focused on your Instagram-appeal. So then we are left with YOU. Psychologically speaking, happy people don't necessarily like everything about their bodies. In fact, I would argue that almost every single person has at least 2 things they would like to change about themselves. BUT, truly happy people are at peace with what they see when they go full-length and free-bird. So "looking great naked" really comes down to how you see yourself and how happy you are. If you find you are not happy with your reflection, you can't look yourself in the belly-button, and that your 'uglies' are actually ...ugly. Then make a change. The beauty of being human is that we are not slaves to our instincts and urges and that we have free will. And while some people's will is a few carbon molecules short of iron (#chemjoke), I truly believe that everyone has the ability to change themselves for the better, and for the healthier. To follow are 5 SIMPLE things you can do so that the next time you sachet on by a mirror, au naturale, you check out your own ass (and maybe even give it a slap). DRINK MORE WATER - I know, I know, EVERYONE and their mother says this, but that's because it really is a game-changer. Dehydration has been identified as a major culprit in maladies such as headaches, muscle-cramping, cholesterol, and strokes. Here's your strategy: Drink a glass of water as soon as you wakeup, drink a glass of water with every meal and every snack, drink a glass of water right before you go to bed. If you can make it warm water, so much the better for your digestion. PUT PEPPER ON ALL OF YOUR FOOD - Do you suffer from stress and hypertension (high blood pressure)? Scientific studies show that simply adding black pepper to each meal can lower your blood pressure. Couple the addition of pepper with consciously and purposefully lowering (or eliminating) the addition of salt to your food, and you will experience a significant decrease in your systolic and diastolic numbers. Add a little exercise to the mix and you just added 10 years to your life! Your call though... EAT HIGH COCOA DARK CHOCOLATE - Is your "sweet tooth" actually a mouthful of sweet teeth? If you had to choose between cutting out the sweets and cutting off your pinky finger, would you consider life as Franky Four-Fingers? Dark chocolate (lights out dark) could be the answer: 1) The amount of antioxidants a square of 90% cocoa contains can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke by 77% 2) You are extremely unlikely to binge on dark chocolate and it has been shown to help buck the habit. If there is a certain time of the day that you usually binge, substitute your milk chocolate with a 90%'er. You still get the chocolicious after-taste, but the bitterness will have you putting the bar down for other options. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE - If reading this heading made you upset or had you instantly rolling your eyes, then you do NOT take responsibility for the current state of affairs in your life. Playing a victim, in life, is dangerous. Not only do you feel that bad things 'happen to you', but you are far less likely to take credit for good things that 'happen to you' as well. Studies show that those who do not feel in control of their life are more likely to suffer from issues like stress, anxiety, depressive tendencies, and general pessimism. No matter who you are or what your position, you have the ability to make your own life better. Life Coaches frequently employ the use of the "Wheel of Life". The wheel of life divides your life in to 8 areas. In each area, you will rate your level of satisfaction. After rating each area, go through each one individually and write down the reasons why you are dissatisfied and satisfied with that area. Once you have identified the positives and negatives in each category, write down one way in which you can improve each (there is always room for improvement). Complete this wheel each month for the first 6 months, and then every other month for the next 6. Finally, you can graduate to doing it in each quarter of the year, and then twice per year. It is common for happy, successful people to continue this practice at the beginning of every year. PRACTICE POSITIVITY - So much of our lives are filled with can'ts, won'ts, and didn'ts. And most of that comes from ourselves. Practicing positivity is actually much harder than it sounds, and you may need to fake it and lie to yourself at first, but eventually, like the sucker you are, you will begin to believe your own lies and propaganda. Positive self-talk is a proven method that you don't even have to believe in for it to work (kind of like Valentines Day). Try this simple first step: Record your own voice on your phone saying, "Today is going to be a great day" (make sure you are smiling - even faking a smile - as you record this. Believe it or not, you can tell by someone's voice if they are smiling or not smiling when they speak). Set this as your alarm (on loop) so that you wake up to it every day. The last thing you do before you go to bed should be to look in the mirror (fake a) smile, and say "I am strong, I am smart, and I am happy." I know that it sounds hokey, but there is a scientific basis showing that this crap works. Before you know it, the 2 year old you that used to peel down and run around naked will show up. You'll be sleeping naked, eating naked, and yes, looking at your self in the mirror naked...and you won't even need to fake your smile.