You have heard the cliche before, but it remains ever so true – real, timeless beauty is the beauty of the heart.
I have met enough girls to know that good looks are empty without kindness. And I have met enough girls to know that if you are kind, it will radiate outward to illuminate your physical beauty. Here are 38 ways I believe to be more beautiful on the inside – the beauty that counts. (Note: You are beautiful if you do those things. You are beautiful if you don’t. Always understand that your beauty does not diminish just because you have a bad day.)
1. Don’t tear each other down. It is toxic to your beauty and to other people’s lives. Your actions and words have the potential to scar, wound and hurt someone badly, so think about that next time you are about to say or do something mean to another girl.
2. Encourage and compliment people. There’s something so beautiful about a girl who breathes words of life into people’s hearts. You never know how much your simple compliment or encouragement can brighten someone’s day or make them feel like life is a little more worth living.
3. Explore barefoot. Unleash your inner hippie.
4. Take care of your body. Love and respect your body enough to take care of it. It is a temple for your soul and deserves your utmost tenderness. Eat good foods and be active in ways you enjoy not because you want to punish your body, but because you love it!
5. Practice gratitude everyday. “Gratitude turns what you have into enough.” – Melody Beattie. A content and happy heart comes from being grateful for what you have. I really believe that God honors a thankful heart and that if you appreciate all your blessings, even the little ones, you will see more of it.
6. Get lost in nature. Immerse yourself in trees, mountains, lakes and rivers. Nature is a place to find yourself, soul-search and fill your heart with more beauty.
7. Write love letters. Write handwritten love letters to your friends, family and loved ones and let them know how wonderful they are, how much they mean to you, and how much you love them. It is a treasure they can keep for a lifetime.
8. Listen. Really listen. When was the last time someone stayed with your face and listened to you without speaking for a full five minutes? Take the time to hear someone – whether it is your sister, your friend or the cashier at the supermarket.
9. Be present. Being present is a rare quality. A lot of us nowadays are running around moping about the past or stressing about the to-do lists of the future that we never really live in the moment. Practice being present in the here and now with people.
10. Smile & smile big. This quote sums it all up: “I’ve never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.” – Unknown.
11. Dance often, and crazily. Turn the music loud but more importantly, have fun!
12. Be kind, be kind, be kind. “Being kind isn’t always easy. Or convenient. But it has the potential to change everything.” – Cap Watkins.
13. Laugh constantly. I believe laughter is a form of healing, both to the soul and the body. And I believe when you laugh with no restraints, it brings joy to you and the people around you. Find every opportunity to laugh or make someone laugh, and your heart will become lighter.
14. Look people in the eye. When you say, ‘thank you.’ When you ask for something. When you talk to someone, and when you listen. Eye contact is powerful and meaningful. (It is also rare, with so many people’s eyes glued to their smartphones these days!)
15. Courtesy is a timeless virtue. It’s wonderful to hear ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘excuse me,’ and more wonderful still to have simple acts of courtesy done to you.
16. Be silly. There’s a sense of freedom you feel being around a girl who knows how to be silly and poke fun at herself. Embrace and love your inner weirdo and comedian.
17. Give little gifts from the heart. Even though it may be small, it can mean the world to someone.
18. Think positively. “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl.
19. Posture can make a big difference. Sitting with your back straight or walking with your head high and shoulders back can make a big difference to how you feel and portray yourself to the world. Show confidence, even though you may not feel like it, and your mind will follow.
20. Find joy in the little things. A vase of fresh flowers next to your bedside table, lighting candles, or taking pamper days for yourself are simple joys that are good for your inner peace and radiance.
21. Practise small, kind gestures. “I firmly believe in small gestures: pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid’s runaway ball down the sidewalk and throw it back to him, try to be larger than you are— particularly when it’s difficult. People do notice, people appreciate. I appreciate it when it’s done to me. Small gestures can be an effort, or actually go against our grain, but the irony is that almost every time you make them, you feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter, a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.” – Jonathan Carroll.
22. Surround yourself with people who only lift you higher. It is so important to surround yourself with people who love & accept you for all you are, encourage you and celebrate you. A surefire way to more inner beauty is surrounding yourself with friends who are just as inwardly beautiful themselves.
23. Take the time to be still, everyday. I love this quote by Iyanla Vanzant :“If you decide to take just a moment, just a moment to get still, to clear your mind, to open your heart, to listen to that sacred voice that guides you, that protects you, that knows and loves you, you are going to have a good day.”
24. Give back to the world. Volunteering, donating your time, money or energy for a good cause or signing a petition you really believe in are all great ideas to help make the world a better, happier place to live in.
25. Release the judgmental and critical person inside you. We all inside of us have an inner critic ready to quickly judge, but real courage comes from being accepting and understanding, even when it goes against our nature.
26. Be head over heels in love. “Life, I really believe, is about falling in love. With ideas, with stories, with experiences, mistakes, adventures, poetry, imaginations, old books, new books, movies, music, and, of course, people. Everything that is worthwhile in this world is worth falling in love with, and I can’t imagine a better way to live one’s life than to be always head over heels.” – Unknown.
27. Find the magic in everyday. There’s magic in the colors of the skies, in the different shades of blue, in the falling of leaves and in the sound of rain on your rooftop. There’s magic in laughter and friendship, in dance and in music. As cliche as it sounds, magic is really everywhere if we choose to see it.
28. Be authentic. Next time someone asks how you are, instead of an automatic ‘I’m fine,’ response, tell them how you really feel. Be authentically you. In the words of my counseling teacher, “You are human and let nothing human be alien to you.”
29. Follow your heart. I’ve seen women come alive when they start talking about their dreams. It’s as if their hearts suddenly came to life again or as if they were deeply in love. I think it’s both. Follow your dreams & your passion. Many wish they could have started.
30. Do whatever is good for your soul. Fill it with all things good and beautiful. This can be uplifting music, taking hikes with beautiful views, spending time with people who love you & watching a moving film. I promise that the more beauty you fill up your soul with, the more it will radiate on the outside.
31. Be spontaneous. What makes s spontaneous girl so fun to be around is her keen sense of adventure and her view that anything is possible.
32. Be warm. One of the most beautiful, inner qualities a girl can possess is warmth to everyone see meets. I love what Beyonce said: “I think a beautiful woman is someone who is confident but not competitive with other women – someone who is warm to everyone. Because my mother told me ever since I can remember that beauty is from within, that looks will fade. I have always been aware that you have to have something deeper to be really beautiful.”
33. Open your heart. Being vulnerable and wearing your heart on your sleeve have been misconstrued as something bad, when in fact, it takes more courage to be open than to hide. Like Brene Brown said once, it means having the courage to say, ‘I love you’ first. It means loving when there are no guarantees. It means investesting in a relationship that would or would not work out. What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful.
34. Hear what God has to say about you. What we sometimes forget is that beauty comes from God and is in his very essence. Saying that, I believe He has a lot to say about the beauty given to you at your creation. Look to God as your mirror, for His answer will always be that you are truly lovely.
35. Dedicate yourself to self-love. This means learning to accept your whole self – mind, body and soul – with the utmost love & care as you would for somebody else. Think of self-love as a fuel tank. The more you invest love into yourself, the more output you get to love others and life.
36. Be a light when darkness is all around you. To me, this doesn’t mean forcing yourself to be happy when things are hard, but to hold onto hope no matter how dark and long the valley you are in may be. When you hold into hope, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
37. Find courage to live your life the way you want to. Even if people disagree with you, be one those people who live to be old and grey and say, ‘I’m glad I followed my heart.’ It’s a cliche but it remains tried and true – life is too short to be anything but happy with who & where you are in life.
38. Know that you are beautiful. “People always ask me, ‘You have so much confidence. Where did that come from?’ It came from me. One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl… it doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see. Your body is your temple, it’s your home, and you must decorate it.” – Gabourey Sidibe.