By Marissa Katrin Maldonado
Since the days of Cleopatra, people have been fixated on their physical appearance, perpetually annoyed at our perceived imperfections and on a never-ending quest to improve our features with this or that make-up trick. Human nature is what it is. We are prideful beings who do care about how we are seen by others, even if we try to deny that reality.
Much more powerful than what others think of us, however, is the desire to change some feature about our appearance that we don’t care for. Whether or not someone takes a dig at it on Instagram is beside the point—we personally disdain the imperfection and it drags us down on a daily basis. This could be an anatomical feature, like a prominent nose or an overly endowed bustline, or it could be scars left from teenage acne or a past surgical procedure. Maybe you simply want to erase a few years to boost confidence after a divorce or career change. When the driving force is internal, versus external, seeking a cosmetic procedure will often result in an enhanced state of well-being.
How Aesthetic Procedures Can Enhance Well-being
Many seeking cosmetic procedures are not necessarily bent on making dramatic changes to their physical features. On the contrary, these individuals just want to glance at their reflection in the mirror and smile.
Many times, the feature that they are unhappy with is something that has made them feel self-conscious or embarrassed for many years. For some, it may be an anatomical deformity or the residual scars of an accident that keeps them from fully engaging in life. By addressing this perceived flaw through a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure, or cosmetic surgery, the results could be life changing.
For example, some people are highly sensitive to how they are perceived by others. They are well aware of their physical flaw and feel self conscious about it, so for them, the thought of putting themselves into a position where others might focus on it keeps them from pursuing opportunities, such as career advancements or other dreams and ambitions that require being in the public eye. Imagine how their world opens up to possibilities once the flaw is taken care of via Reston VA aesthetic plastic surgery. Suddenly they attend conferences, mingle, give presentations, and promote themselves on their professional social media platforms. No longer hiding in the shadows, these individuals will experience enhanced well-being on multiple levels.
Avoid the Wrong Motivations for Cosmetic Surgery
Aside from those unfortunate individuals who are obsessed with looking like a Barbie doll, compulsively undergoing one plastic surgery procedure after another, most people simply want to look like the best version of themselves. But for those whose motivation for seeking plastic surgery is driven by the desire to mimic the selfies of trending Instagram influencers, or to replicate the perceived physical preferences of the opposite sex, they will only be left feeling empty and unfulfilled.
In fact, getting cosmetic surgery for the wrong reasons can actually be a detriment to well-being. An already fragile sense of self can be damaged further when the ultimate result a person is seeking continues to evade them. They may have thought that getting breast augmentation would improve their success in dating, for example, only to be disappointed that it didn’t have the desired effect. Using cosmetic surgery as a Band-Aid to cover up underlying emotional issues will never produce the results they are seeking. The procedure might change the outward appearance, but can never change the person inside.
How Improved Confidence Boosts General Well-being
Confidence is powerful. Even having a “good hair day” can make a radical difference in your attitude and feelings of well-being, as silly as that seems. When one feels good about themself they walk through life with a completely different demeanor than someone who is down on themselves. Confidence radiates positivity, which in turn impacts everyone and everything encountered during a given day.
By addressing some bothersome feature about your face or body, then checking what options are available to improve it—assessing the risks, the costs, the realistic expectations—can be a big step in ultimately boosting self-confidence. In turn, this increased confidence begets benefits, when people suddenly find you engaging and interesting. Of course, you have always been the same person, but with a boost in your confidence you exude an attractive energy that yields benefits in many areas of life. Whether one’s subjective self-perception of being more attractive after the procedure is accurate or not, the psychological effects of feeling better about oneself can translate to happiness.
Feeling Better About Yourself Improves Mental Health
If feeling better about one’s appearance can lead to a greater sense of confidence and happiness, it might follow that, by surgically correcting some aspect of appearance, overall mental health is also improved. In fact, a study published by the Association for Psychological Science addresses just that phenomenon. Using a sample of 800 study participants, dividing them into two groups, one group that elected to get cosmetic surgery with the goal of boosting their sense of well-being, and those who were interested in cosmetic surgery but did not obtain it.
The study results compared the self-assessments of both groups to compare their psychological status at the 3, 6, and 12-month points in the study timeline. What was found was the group who elected for surgery to improve some physical feature they were unhappy with had positive mental health outcomes. This included improvements in such mental health conditions as depression, anxiety, social phobia, body dysmorphia, and overall enhanced feelings of life satisfaction, self-esteem, and well-being.
About the Author
Marissa Katrin Maldonado has been working in the behavioral healthcare industry for over 13 years. She is the founder of The Treatment Specialist, a national online resource and helpline for those seeking treatment for addiction and mental health conditions. Dedicated to guiding individuals to the help they seek, Marissa believes that with the right support and guidance, those struggling will have the opportunity to turn their lives around and enjoy a healthy and happy life. She is a proud mother and wife and enjoys long distance running, traveling, and music.