When the topic of mental health arises, clothing is the last thing we would naturally associate with it. Surprisingly, in recent studies, it has been proven that taking pride in your appearance has a positive effect on your mental health. This includes your hygiene, and of course how you dress.
When you are in a bad mental space, dressing well and caring about how you look can often take a hiatus. If you are someone who is looking to take all the possible steps to improve your mental state, dressing in a way that shows confidence and personalisation can massively change how you feel about yourself, and also contribute towards the blockage of self-deprecating thoughts.
It is important to understand exactly what taking pride in your appearance can do, and how you can implement these steps. Here are our reasons why you should consider it:
Your physical appearance can affect your mental state for the better or worse. For example, if you have to enter your workplace and you are in a bad mental state, chances are you probably do not see the value in looking good that day. Your perception might lead you to think that on top of your bad mental state, others are looking at you negatively and as a result, you bring yourself down a rabbit hole.
Simply spending time in the morning to dress smartly even when you are feeling your worst, can trick your mind into a positive frame of thinking. Your behaviours can override any ruminating thoughts, therefore if you are in a bad state of mind, going to the gym, focusing on your hygiene, and stepping into the day looking attractive will boost your momentum and positivity for the day.
If you haven’t yet heard the phrase ‘dress for success’, you should understand that it rings true. Dressing up as the positive person you hope to be will gradually manifest itself as true, and you will find that your self-perception is much more positive. Feeling bad about the way you look is not sustainable, but making the conscious effort to love how your body looks in clothes can hugely improve your mental state even on the worst of days. You are essentially going against the grain of the poor mental state your brain wants to slip into, and this will seem easier to do than making a conscious effort to be better.
If you wish to dress in a way that makes you feel great about yourself, you should find clothes that fit your body the best. This is not to say that you have to wear clothes that show off your features, but simply wearing clothes that look great and complement you is a good place to start. Perhaps you feel your best in loungewear because it’s comfortable, but instead up your game to an oversized luxury hoodie to appear more put together.
The worst thing you can do when dressing to improve your mental state is to dress for the approval of others. If your environment of people dressing poorly because they are battling their problems, go against the norm and dress smartly in a men’s designer overshirt. Do not comfort what society wants, and instead stay true to the style that makes you feel confident.
If your poor mental health is not allowing you to take the time to find a great outfit when you are in a morning rush, always plan your outfit the night before. By laying out the clothes you will be wearing the day before you will encourage this new habit of dressing smart.
If you have been wanting to try a style that you are yet to experiment with, step out of your comfort zone. It will feel daunting at first, but the end goal is to find what colours and styles make you feel most powerful. Even this realisation will make you feel positive and empowered.