Self-care is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and, yet, it’s often the one we put last on our list. We work, we work out. We clean, we cook, we take care of our kids, pets and plants … with such full days, it can seem like there isn’t enough time to truly relax and focus on our personal wellness.
There are little things, however, we can do each day to help. Research indicates that making the bed bright and early will help promote productivity and boost self-esteem. Or that eating a healthy breakfast can improve heart health and reduce brain fog. Our clothing selection, too, has a huge part in how successful our days are.
What we choose to put on each morning or as we crawl into bed at night can play a significant role not just in the way we look, but in how we feel. Turns out throwing on your comfiest v-neck might be one of the most important choices you make before leaving the house for the day. Here’s a list of the 5 ways dressing thoughtfully and comfortably can enhance your mood for the better.
The Power of Positive Clothing
What we surround ourselves with in life (like our clothes) deeply impacts our state of mind. There are strategic steps we can take to use clothing to our advantage and help stay uplifted simply by dressing thoughtfully.
- Clothing can enhance relaxation – We all deserve a break, especially after the chaos of the past year and a half. In fact, 160,000 people surveyed in 2020 and 2021 said they were more stressed than ever. This means we must adopt self-care whenever we can — and a simple, effective place to start is with clothing that soothes you.
There’s nothing better than getting out of a hot shower and putting on your softest, oversized sweatshirt or one of your comfiest crew neck tees. It’s true that the way certain fabrics feel on our skin can — almost instantaneously — help us relax. Certain fabric patterns, too, have been found to lift our moods or calm us down. So, the next time you get the chance, treat yourself to a night in with your favorite snacks and your coziest patterned pjs — you won’t regret it.
- Our favorite items can stimulate fond memories – The memories we have help shape us into the individuals we are. Triggered when certain neurons (known as synapses) are reactivated in our brains, memories slip into our psyches at unexpected times, bringing us right back to moments of significance and joy.
These connections are often triggered by vibrant sensations like certain smells, songs or particular pieces of clothing. The comfy sundress you wore on a memorable beach vacation with friends, the tennis shoes that helped you through your first half marathon or the navy long–sleeve crew neck you chose for a successful first date — the touch and feel of these meaningful items can stimulate good memories, taking you right back to a place of true happiness and comfort.
- The right fabrics will heal, not harm – There are countless fabric varieties: synthetic, natural, woven, wool, canvas, cotton … the list goes on. Each offers its own unique benefits and, depending on the project or person, its own downfalls. When it comes to clothing, the right material will lift you up.
If chosen right, your favorite items can keep you cool, temper skin agitation and let your body breathe. This means being comfortable — and happy — all day in the skin you’re in and the clothes that get you through. On the other hand, harsh fabrics or harmful dyes will agitate the body, causing discomfort, itchiness, skin irritation or even illness. The goal then? Avoid toxic fabrics and choose comfy clothing that brings out the best in you and your body.
- The right fabrics protect us – Our skin is the largest organ we have — and with great power comes great responsibility. Human skin has three significant layers, each designed to help protect the human body in incredible ways:
- Body hair filters out dirt and bacteria to help prevent infection.
- Nerve endings alert the brain when in pain or danger.
- Sweat glands keep the body cool and release heat.
- Keratin keeps skin tough, strong and hydrated.
And these are just a few of the incredible benefits our skin offers. This being said, we should surely do our part to ensure the skin stays strong and healthy so it can do its part to ensure we do the same. The best way to protect our skin? Cover up when necessary to protect from sun damage or harsh weather and wear soft, clean, dry fabrics that don’t irritate or harm the skin. Doing so is one simple step we can take to keep our bodies strong, healthy and happy. All of which feel great.
- Comfort comes with unique style – We should all strive to feel confident in who we are as human beings. Developing a unique sense of style can help spark a sense of individualism that shapes our confidence as we navigate life, which can often seem chaotic, stressful and, often, out of our control. What we put on our bodies, however, is something we can control — and our clothes have demonstrated power when it comes to the way we think and feel. The right outfit can stimulate feelings of confidence and happiness, which brings us comfort and peace.
Life gets hectic, but there are little things we can do each day to help. Choosing a comfortable outfit is a great place to start. No matter your style, feeling at peace in your clothes will take you one step closer to finding peace all day long.