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Tapping into Beauty
NATALIE CRAIG
Reveal your inner beauty to set a positive tone each and every day.

We often think about beauty as a physical thing. And rightfully so, because when we talk about beauty, it’s mostly concerning something tangible. Growing up, “beauty” was something I grappled with daily. I felt like the ugly duckling in all of my friend groups as I was chubby and short. I looked nothing like my Barbies, the girls in the magazine, or the women I saw on TV.

It wasn’t until much later in life that I discovered beauty wasn’t just a physical thing; it was an emotional and mental feeling. And get this: I could create that feeling within myself even if I didn’t represent society’s beauty standards. Once I started thinking of beauty as a feeling, I realized beauty is subjective; everyone has a different interpretation of it. Beauty is about feeling fulfilled and vibrant, and when I felt those two things, I knew I could take on the world.

Feeling good, unique, and gorgeous is an irresistible desire. But more importantly, we want to feel like we are enough. It’s difficult to feel like we are good enough with an abundance of unwanted feedback and the inundation of perfectly edited images.

And it’s not just me or you who feel this way—it’s everyone, even the people you think don’t have a problem feeling confident and beautiful in their own skin.

I recite these and other affirmations to myself every morning while looking in the mirror before I leave my apartment. These words set my intentions and the tone for my day. They make me feel vibrant, radiant, beautiful, and empowered. Intention setting is critical to taking charge of your narrative and the day ahead of you. If you tell yourself you are going to have a great day, you set the intention of surrounding yourself with things that make you feel great. It also helps you overcome obstacles that may derail your good day. They might just be words, but when you confront yourself with positive thoughts and moving sentiments, you change your own narrative and unleash your inner beauty.


How to do it:

Take control of the critical voices in your mind by acknowledging them. Make a list of the things that come to mind when you look in the mirror. These things can be about your physical appearance, emotions, or health. Here is my list, for example:

  1. I’m impatient.
  2. My stomach is too big.
  3. I hope today doesn’t suck.
  4. I’m nervous.
  5. I wonder if people are going to judge my outfit.
  6. I’m afraid of being hurt.

Once you identify these insecurities, you can own them, and once you own them, you can change them. I take my critical thoughts, and I spin them into mantras I carry with me all day. A mantra is a phrase one repeats to help concentrate or meditate. It could also be something you say to yourself in a time of doubt or fear to push through obstacles. Here, I’ve changed my negative feelings into positive mantras:

  1. I practice patience.
  2. I am strong in mind, body, and spirit.
  3. I love my curves.
  4. Everything is going to work out for my highest good.
  5. I don’t judge people, and I choose to love with an expanded heart.
  6. I now release all of the drama and pain of my past. I consciously create my future.

I recite these and other affirmations to myself every morning while looking in the mirror before I leave my apartment. These words set my intentions and the tone for my day. They make me feel vibrant, radiant, beautiful, and empowered. Intention setting is critical to taking charge of your narrative and the day ahead of you. If you tell yourself you are going to have a great day, you set the intention of surrounding yourself with things that make you feel great. It also helps you overcome obstacles that may derail your good day. They might just be words, but when you confront yourself with positive thoughts and moving sentiments, you change your own narrative and unleash your inner beauty.

It’s critical for a cancer patient to alter how and what they think so their mind, body, and spirit can aid in the fight against the disease and its side effects. In fact, optimism and self-affirmation promote adaptive coping, goal achievement, and better health in cancer patients, according to a 2016 study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, an organization advancing science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.

NATALIE CRAIG

Photo courtesy of Natalie Craig


Create Vibrancy

So how do we unlock this beauty within ourselves? We change the narrative.
Think about all of the things that run through your head when you look in the mirror. I’m too fat or too boney or too short or too tall. My hair is thinning out. I have bags under my eyes. Sound familiar? Now think about the last time you looked in the mirror and your first thought was something positive. It’s been a while, right? That’s common. We are more or less told to be critical of ourselves. A 2016 study from Weight Watchers U.K. found 40 percent of women criticize themselves at least eight times a day. According to the study, because we live in a visual world where social media use is more frequent than ever, the perfected, filtered images we see on these platforms increases the amount of criticism we place on ourselves through comparison of others. It is hard to avoid negative feelings and self-doubt, but we can change that right here and now.

Changing the story isn’t easy, and it may be an emotional process, but you will begin to notice small changes in the way you carry yourself. Most importantly, you’ll learn to love yourself the way you are in this moment.


How to do it:

Take control of the critical voices in your mind by acknowledging them. Make a list of the things that come to mind when you look in the mirror. These things can be about your physical appearance, emotions, or health. Here is my list, for example:

  1. I’m impatient.
  2. My stomach is too big.
  3. I hope today doesn’t suck.
  4. I’m nervous.
  5. I wonder if people are going to judge my outfit.
  6. I’m afraid of being hurt.

Once you identify these insecurities, you can own them, and once you own them, you can change them. I take my critical thoughts, and I spin them into mantras I carry with me all day. A mantra is a phrase one repeats to help concentrate or meditate. It could also be something you say to yourself in a time of doubt or fear to push through obstacles. Here, I’ve changed my negative feelings into positive mantras:

  1. I practice patience.
  2. I am strong in mind, body, and spirit.
  3. I love my curves.
  4. Everything is going to work out for my highest good.
  5. I don’t judge people, and I choose to love with an expanded heart.
  6. I now release all of the drama and pain of my past. I consciously create my future.

I recite these and other affirmations to myself every morning while looking in the mirror before I leave my apartment. These words set my intentions and the tone for my day. They make me feel vibrant, radiant, beautiful, and empowered. Intention setting is critical to taking charge of your narrative and the day ahead of you. If you tell yourself you are going to have a great day, you set the intention of surrounding yourself with things that make you feel great. It also helps you overcome obstacles that may derail your good day. They might just be words, but when you confront yourself with positive thoughts and moving sentiments, you change your own narrative and unleash your inner beauty.

It’s critical for a cancer patient to alter how and what they think so their mind, body, and spirit can aid in the fight against the disease and its side effects. In fact, optimism and self-affirmation promote adaptive coping, goal achievement, and better health in cancer patients, according to a 2016 study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, an organization advancing science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.

NATALIE CRAIG

Photo courtesy of Natalie Craig


Create Vibrancy

So how do we unlock this beauty within ourselves? We change the narrative.
Think about all of the things that run through your head when you look in the mirror. I’m too fat or too boney or too short or too tall. My hair is thinning out. I have bags under my eyes. Sound familiar? Now think about the last time you looked in the mirror and your first thought was something positive. It’s been a while, right? That’s common. We are more or less told to be critical of ourselves. A 2016 study from Weight Watchers U.K. found 40 percent of women criticize themselves at least eight times a day. According to the study, because we live in a visual world where social media use is more frequent than ever, the perfected, filtered images we see on these platforms increases the amount of criticism we place on ourselves through comparison of others. It is hard to avoid negative feelings and self-doubt, but we can change that right here and now.

Changing the story isn’t easy, and it may be an emotional process, but you will begin to notice small changes in the way you carry yourself. Most importantly, you’ll learn to love yourself the way you are in this moment.


How to do it:

Take control of the critical voices in your mind by acknowledging them. Make a list of the things that come to mind when you look in the mirror. These things can be about your physical appearance, emotions, or health. Here is my list, for example:

  1. I’m impatient.
  2. My stomach is too big.
  3. I hope today doesn’t suck.
  4. I’m nervous.
  5. I wonder if people are going to judge my outfit.
  6. I’m afraid of being hurt.

Once you identify these insecurities, you can own them, and once you own them, you can change them. I take my critical thoughts, and I spin them into mantras I carry with me all day. A mantra is a phrase one repeats to help concentrate or meditate. It could also be something you say to yourself in a time of doubt or fear to push through obstacles. Here, I’ve changed my negative feelings into positive mantras:

  1. I practice patience.
  2. I am strong in mind, body, and spirit.
  3. I love my curves.
  4. Everything is going to work out for my highest good.
  5. I don’t judge people, and I choose to love with an expanded heart.
  6. I now release all of the drama and pain of my past. I consciously create my future.

I recite these and other affirmations to myself every morning while looking in the mirror before I leave my apartment. These words set my intentions and the tone for my day. They make me feel vibrant, radiant, beautiful, and empowered. Intention setting is critical to taking charge of your narrative and the day ahead of you. If you tell yourself you are going to have a great day, you set the intention of surrounding yourself with things that make you feel great. It also helps you overcome obstacles that may derail your good day. They might just be words, but when you confront yourself with positive thoughts and moving sentiments, you change your own narrative and unleash your inner beauty.


If You Feel it, You Believe it

Creating a feeling of confidence, worthiness, and harmony within yourself should be scalable as you change and grow. And if you are undergoing treatments for cancer, you’ll notice your body and energy levels may change overnight.

Having cancer puts the weight of the world on an individual’s shoulders. Cancer patients may still struggle with insecurities around beauty and confidence while channeling all of their energy into battling their disease.

It’s critical for a cancer patient to alter how and what they think so their mind, body, and spirit can aid in the fight against the disease and its side effects. In fact, optimism and self-affirmation promote adaptive coping, goal achievement, and better health in cancer patients, according to a 2016 study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, an organization advancing science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.

NATALIE CRAIG

Photo courtesy of Natalie Craig


Create Vibrancy

So how do we unlock this beauty within ourselves? We change the narrative.
Think about all of the things that run through your head when you look in the mirror. I’m too fat or too boney or too short or too tall. My hair is thinning out. I have bags under my eyes. Sound familiar? Now think about the last time you looked in the mirror and your first thought was something positive. It’s been a while, right? That’s common. We are more or less told to be critical of ourselves. A 2016 study from Weight Watchers U.K. found 40 percent of women criticize themselves at least eight times a day. According to the study, because we live in a visual world where social media use is more frequent than ever, the perfected, filtered images we see on these platforms increases the amount of criticism we place on ourselves through comparison of others. It is hard to avoid negative feelings and self-doubt, but we can change that right here and now.

Changing the story isn’t easy, and it may be an emotional process, but you will begin to notice small changes in the way you carry yourself. Most importantly, you’ll learn to love yourself the way you are in this moment.


How to do it:

Take control of the critical voices in your mind by acknowledging them. Make a list of the things that come to mind when you look in the mirror. These things can be about your physical appearance, emotions, or health. Here is my list, for example:

  1. I’m impatient.
  2. My stomach is too big.
  3. I hope today doesn’t suck.
  4. I’m nervous.
  5. I wonder if people are going to judge my outfit.
  6. I’m afraid of being hurt.

Once you identify these insecurities, you can own them, and once you own them, you can change them. I take my critical thoughts, and I spin them into mantras I carry with me all day. A mantra is a phrase one repeats to help concentrate or meditate. It could also be something you say to yourself in a time of doubt or fear to push through obstacles. Here, I’ve changed my negative feelings into positive mantras:

  1. I practice patience.
  2. I am strong in mind, body, and spirit.
  3. I love my curves.
  4. Everything is going to work out for my highest good.
  5. I don’t judge people, and I choose to love with an expanded heart.
  6. I now release all of the drama and pain of my past. I consciously create my future.

I recite these and other affirmations to myself every morning while looking in the mirror before I leave my apartment. These words set my intentions and the tone for my day. They make me feel vibrant, radiant, beautiful, and empowered. Intention setting is critical to taking charge of your narrative and the day ahead of you. If you tell yourself you are going to have a great day, you set the intention of surrounding yourself with things that make you feel great. It also helps you overcome obstacles that may derail your good day. They might just be words, but when you confront yourself with positive thoughts and moving sentiments, you change your own narrative and unleash your inner beauty.

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