We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve been working late nights at the office, and your self-care has suffered. Maybe your clothes aren’t quite fitting the same these days. Maybe you’ve been spending too much time on Instagram and making too many mental comparisons to the countless models you spotted. Whatever the cause, you’re feeling less than sexy lately. And while it’s totally normal to feel like you’re in a self-image slump once in a while, there’s no reason why you have to stay there and suffer. Here are some foolproof ways to regain your self-confidence and put that sexy smirk right back on your face.
Don’t underestimate the power of flirting when it comes to your self-esteem. After all, the act of flirting requires you to feel confident, and when someone flirts in return, it gives you an even further boost. If you’re in a relationship, send a racy text to your SO while they’re at work, and watch as the sparks fly, and your self-image enhances. Or, if you’re single, take a risk and flirt with a complete stranger, whether that means a cute barista at your local coffee shop, or a person sitting at the other end of the bar. All it takes is some eye contact and a subtle smile across the room to get the flirty message across.
Snap a selfie
It may feel silly or self-indulgent, but go ahead and reverse your camera, because taking a selfie may offer just the lift you need. In fact, a study conducted at the University of California Irvine found that when college students took photos of themselves smiling, they reported an increase in self-confidence and comfort. Before you start snapping away, though, consider this: a selfie should be about reminding yourself how beautiful you really are, no filters needed. So, challenge yourself to take a pic without too much preparation in front of the mirror. When you see your stunning photo, you may be surprised that you don’t need as much makeup as you thought.
Sport some luxe lingerie
It doesn’t matter what you’ve got on top when you’re wearing luxury lingerie underneath, you’re bound to feel sexy. Think of it this way: your underpinnings are the garments that lay closest to your skin. They have the potential to make any outfit look more flattering. And besides, when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror while you’re getting dressed (or undressed), seeing a matching bra and panty set or a sultry little bodysuit is sure to give you an instant self-esteem boost. When you’re wearing high-quality lingerie, you’ll always feel polished and put-together, regardless of what outfit you have on over it.
Spritz on an alluring scent
Smell is a very powerful sense — it has the ability to trigger a memory or even completely transform your mood. And as it turns out, it can also have an impact on your self-esteem. One 2003 study determined that a whopping 90 percent of women reported feeling more confident when they wore a fragrance than when they did not. Finding your signature scent may take some time, so be patient and explore a number of different options before finding one that makes you feel undeniably sexy. And when in doubt, consider this: sensory psychologist Avery Gilbert, Ph.D., told Women’s Health Magazine that woody, smoky scents convey confidence and strength, as well as sophistication.
Red is a hue we often associate with love and seduction (just look to Valentine’s Day for proof), but it’s also a phenomenal color for increasing your confidence. A 2017 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology revealed that people feel more physically attractive when they’re rocking this color: study participants who wore red rated themselves higher in terms of both attractiveness and sexual appeal than participants wearing other colors. This is hardly surprising when you consider that other research has shown that the color red is mentally associated with both power and strength. So, don’t shy away from this fiery, attention-grabbing hue, whether you incorporate it into your ensemble via a sweater, a scarf or a skirt.
Break a sweat
Getting your sweat on may not exactly sound like your idea of sexy, but here’s the thing: exercise has been proven to have a pretty powerful impact on your self-image. In fact, one 2015 study conducted by the University of Turku revealed that when people worked out, they felt a major surge in their self-confidence. It makes sense, too, when you consider that physical activity triggers the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones). Plus, when you manage to run that extra mile or do that extra set of squats, it gives you a self-esteem boost because you’re reminded of what your body can do. So remember: the secret to feeling sexier may not lie in slipping on a cocktail dress, but rather donning a pair of sneakers and sweat-wicking leggings.
Adopt some power posture
It goes without saying that slumping in your seat or hanging your head makes you look — and feel — less than confident. But in order to feel sexier, you may want to go beyond standing up straight. A study by Harvard Business School researchers showed that when people take a more dominant stance with your arms out, head up and feet apart, they may feel more powerful and confident. So basically, walk into a room like you own it, and you just may believe it.
Haven’t been feeling like your sexy self as of late? Fret not: any of these tried-and-true seven strategies can help get you back on your A-game.