Despite commonly held beliefs, plenty of studies have proven that attractiveness doesn't always come down to physical beauty. While we've all experienced moments when someone inexplicably catches our eye from across the room, attractiveness goes beyond having a "perfect" body, a stylish outfit, and other superficial attributes. On that note, Insider has outlined several science-backed habits that will increase your self-confidence, which can help you look and feel more attractive. Read on for five proven ways to do just that.
1. Smile when you look in the mirror. According to a 2009 study by the University of Cardiff in Wales, researchers discovered that people who smile more feel happier. On top of that, relationship therapist Shadeen Francis explains that our brains are programmed to interpret smiling as a sign of friendliness, approachability, and attractiveness, even when we see a reflection of our smiling selves in the mirror.
2. Talk to yourself—out loud. One 2014 study conducted by the University of Illinois found that people with higher confidence and career success often talked to themselves out loud before a big event. Just as if you were coaching a friend in need of empowerment, consider giving yourself a "can-do" pep talk whenever you're feeling a dip in morale.
3. Wear more red. No wonder rouge is fashion's biggest autumn colour—wearing red has been proven to make men more attractive to women, suggests one study from the University of Rochester. Known for signalling passion and sensuality, this power colour can help increase your own self-confidence in the form of a bold red lip, for example. Or take it a step further, and add red accents to your home as a way to visually boost your courage.
4. Stand tall. Turns out that straightening your spine isn't just a great yoga move: The Association of Psychological Science's 2010 study showed that subjects who sat up straight experienced a decrease in cortisol (a chemical that signals fear) and felt more powerful. Whether you're ordering coffee or heading into a meeting, try this power pose to get yourself into a more positive mindset.
5. Think about a time when you felt most confident. In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers discovered that "merely asking participants to remember a personal experience with power" had a dramatic effect on how someone perceived them. Prior to writing a job application letter or entering admission interviews for business schools, applicants were asked to think about a time they felt powerful. The result? Independent judges overwhelmingly preferred the "powerful" applicants, who tended to appear more persuasive.
Read the full list over at Insider, and then share your own tricks for boosting self-confidence in the comments.