We are hearing more and more about beauty coming from within. However, the term often refers to how we sleep, live, move, eat and drink all which are incredibly important. But today I am going to speak about how the brain might be the most important factor in determining how beautiful we are.

Let me ask you a question — “if you have a stunning and physically beautiful woman in front of you, and an average looking woman standing next to her — who is the most beautiful in your eyes?”

Ok, let’s look at it this way. “If the stunningly beautiful woman is filled with bitterness and hatred, and the average woman is radiating happiness, shows that she loves life and has glowing eyes, which one of the two women do you think is the most beautiful?”

There is a difference between “Looking beautiful” and “Feeling beautiful.” They are not mutually exclusive, but both are part of the beauty Eco system.

In the McCann Groups research “Truth about beauty, 2012” they demonstrated that 70% of women equate beauty to happiness. Well if you look at it the other way around, then happiness equals beauty. Simply put, if we are happy, then we are beautiful.

And then there is the quote “happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events.” ― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

So, if a disciplined mind can help with happiness, how can we create that discipline?

I believe in many things, one of them being affirmations. Every day when I wake up, I look myself in the mirror and say “You look great today Anna!”. Some days, I actually agree, other days I start laughing as the statement might not be so true. Regardless, I discipline my mind to be happy about my appearance, no matter what I look like. Affirmations of my own beauty is truly important to me, as well as affirmations of other people’s beauty. When you start looking at other people’s beauty, you see so many beautiful features in each person’s face that truly helps us to see our own beauty.

I also believe in mindfulness. The Nobel Prize winner, Elisabeth Blackburn (who discovered telomeres) showed that meditation and yoga considerably lengthens the telomeres (the shorter the telomeres, the more exposed to aging, degeneration and disease you become). Thus, practicing yoga and meditation helps you discipline your mind, not only to reach a higher state of happiness but to actually be more beautiful — without having to do so much. The “I Am” space that we can be in, which is a place of alertness, with the heart and mind working in harmony is where we open up to awareness and creativity and a state of consciousness that connects us to life and beauty.

I am so excited to open our first Six Senses Holistic Anti-Aging Clinic in Mumbai, India in 2017 where we look at beauty in three layers — outer, inner and brain beauty. We will continue to launch this across our spas during the year and of course in our New York project due to open 2019. To help install confidence, compassion and celebration is going to be a great gift.

Beauty is to be celebrated, and we all look beautiful if we believe so. We women need to rise from our thinking that we have to be perfect, whatever that is for each one of us, and to see how beautiful we are just as we are. I am.

P.S. Women tend to look at what is negative about a person (woman) the first time — “big thighs”, “small eyes”, “big nose” etc. it is almost in our genes. So today, when you look at people in the street, try the exercise to only see what is beautiful in every person and just see how that changes you.

Originally published at medium.com