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    The #1 Biggest Secret to Real Beauty

    I’m not sure why, but happiness really makes a person look beautiful. Maybe it’s the beautiful smile, the enlivened complexion, or just the energy that you radiate when you’re happy, but whatever it is, people definitely take notice! Happiness is important because when you’re happy you attract more people to start friendships, working relationships and romantic relationships.

    Personally, it was especially hard for me to be happy while I was in high school. I had a lot of pressure on me to do well in school, pick a career, get into college and on top of that, my hormones were going crazy. There’s a strange process that your brain goes through during that time that prepares you for living on your own and being independent. This process causes you to be very irritable and makes ‘feeling happy’ very hard. So how do you maintain a steady level of happiness when your brain and the world around you are making it nearly impossible?

    Here are five steps that have been extremely effective for me (and everyone I know!) for maintaining happiness and attracting people.

    1. Self-actualization. Self-actualization is a term that psychologists use to describe the process of bettering yourself and working towards a goal. When a person is working towards a goal, that’s when they tend to feel most happy. This can be a personal goal, a career goal or a school-related goal. One project that inspired me and definitely qualifies as self-actualization is the story of the Christian teen group Pure Heart Girlz.

    My advice to you – find something you’re passionate about and strive towards your goals! Whether you’re starting a club, learning to play an instrument or working on an art project, find something you really care about and work a little bit on it every day. You never know what little projects can become big or open doors for new opportunities.

    2. Surround yourself with positive people. I’m most happy when my friends are supportive, especially when I’m successful. You can tell that a friend is worth keeping when they’re happy for you rather than jealous of you when something good happens. I had a friend who had something great happen to her and almost all her friends were ecstatic for her success, but one of her friends was very negative about it. Your real friends will be happy when you reach your goals. Also, stay away from people who are very negative. If you spend some time with a person and afterwards you feel sad or like they sucked all the energy from your body, stay away from that person. These people will only bring you down and keep you from reaching your goals.

    3.  Eat well and exercise regularly. It’s so important to fuel your body with the right things for optimal energy and performance. Make sure you’re eating foods that are rich in nutrients and balance the kind of foods you eat. Make sure to get all the food groups in a day. I make sure to eat vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat and carbohydrates every day. When my diet is balanced, I’m much more energetic and resistant to getting sick. In addition to the health benefits, eating well also makes you look better — your nails are stronger, your hair shinier, your cheeks rosier and your eyes are brighter! If you can’t get all your nutrients with your meals, you can try taking some vitamins in addition to a balanced diet.

    Exercise is also very important to keep your energy levels high. Be sure to exercise for 30 minutes at least four times a week. You don’t have to play sports or run. Find something you enjoy even if it’s just dancing around your room. If you’re enjoying your exercise, you’re more likely to stick with it. When I was in high school I ran cross country and it gave me so much energy in all aspects of my life.

    4.  Relax! In the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, this is called “Sharpen the Saw”. It’s just as important to rest as it is to work to your full potential. Make sure you take some time for yourself every day to slow down and enjoy life. Spend time with friends, watch a movie you really love, whatever makes you happy. Whenever I have a rough day, I go home and watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I guess you could say that this movie cures my “mean reds”.

    5.  Don’t worry!  Give your troubles to God. When you’re young, it feels like you have no control over your life. I still worry about things that I have no control over. When I get too stressed or feel hopeless I know I have to turn to God. He’s always helping me make decisions and helping me relax when I’m worried about something that I can’t change. God is the only one who is omnipotent and he’s the one who can help when you worry about things you can’t change. Every night I get so worried about the future. I pray to God and everything seems to work itself out. If there’s one thing that has helped me maintain happiness, it’s my trust in God. I know he has the power to make everything work out exactly the way it’s supposed to.

    I hope you can apply my five steps to happiness in your own life. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you will use the steps or if you have your own techniques for maintaining happiness and radiating your true beauty!

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    Jamie Dorman
    Jamie is a makeup artist based in Los Angeles, CA. She works in multiple mediums including print and film. Jamie also writes for a blog she curates that focuses on affordable cosmetics. In her spare time she likes to play guitar, write songs, paint and sculpt. Jamie is thrilled to combine her love for makeup artistry and God when she writes for Project Inspired.

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