Lately I have not been feeling sexy at all.
My size zero roommates like to bond aloud about how fat they are (I’m a size eight), my roots are growing in, my eyebrows are bushy, I’m too busy to think about dieting, and my confidence with men is at an all-time low.
I assume that everything I say is annoying, and when boys tell me they think I’m beautiful I genuinely think they’re crazy for not seeing what I see.
I’ve never had acne like I do now, and of course my roommates love taking pictures to put on Facebook. I wake up every morning and have to look at my ugliness in photograph after photograph.
You get my point. This has been how I’ve been feeling for some time and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. I need to get out of this!
I really am a sexy, wonderful, beautiful girl so I decided I needed to find out how I got to this point of feeling like absolute shit. When in doubt, Google!
What I came upon was not what I thought I’d find. I found scientific research on how we make ourselves feel a certain way.
What we think, if reinforced in our mind, ingrains itself in our brain. It becomes our reality.
Scientists at Brunel University in London said in an article titled “Learning by Reinforcement: A Psychobiological Model” that, “learning by reinforcement occurs when living organisms adopt new behavioral patterns due to the reinforcing consequences that these conducts gave in the past.”
A perfect example of this would be the following: I made a comment in class that everyone thought was stupid. I was embarrassed. The next day in class, and then the next day and so on, whenever I wanted to make a comment I reminded myself that I had made that stupid comment. I reminded myself over and over and felt the sensation of remorse every time, to the point that I actually believed that any comment I made in class would be stupid. The message to myself was, “I make stupid comments.”
So I’m thinking that the way to make yourself feel good is basically to train your mind to think a certain way and then tell yourself it is that way. Then you will feel that way. This seems to make sense.
I found more research at medicalnewstoday.com that talks about how human memory is formed by the repeated interchange of signals between neurons and synapses. Basically, if you have a thought, a neuron fires and — if reinforced — a connection between two synapses forms. Just like drawing a line over and over again, the more you have that thought, the more reinforced it becomes. If you draw a line once it is a dull single line. But if you keep drawing that line repeatedly, it becomes darker and more ingrained in the paper and difficult to erase.
Lesson to be learned: Because I don’t feel sexy I need to literally program my mind by sending the message I am sexy, and then I will begin to feel that way. External reinforcement is rare. Hearing, “Wow, you look hot,” once a week from a random guy at a party is not enough to validate you, and to constantly try to get that reaction from people is exhausting (Trust me I’ve tried it).
For the next week I will repeat the thought in my head and even out loud: “I am beautiful and I am engaging,” because I need to teach my mind that what I know to be true is really true.
I am beautiful and engaging! I am beautiful and engaging!