Loading up on hot dogs, watermelon and fireworks in preparation for the Fourth of July? Here’s one more reason to salute the flag: Your patriotic plans might actually be a beauty treatment (and not just because you get a day off!).
A recent study published in Psychological Science showed that people who are more satisfied with their country tend to be happier and more satisfied with their lives (two proven beauty boosters).
The study looked at countries around the world, comparing Gallup poll ratings of national satisfaction to various aspects of wellbeing, including life satisfaction, happiness and job satisfaction.
National satisfaction mattered most in poor and non-Western countries, but the findings were the same across the board: The better you feel about your country, the better you feel about life in general—a boon for your body confidence, relationships and stress levels!
According to a 2011 Gallup poll, Americans are pretty pleased. Our average national satisfaction scores fall just above a 6 on a 10-point scale (Canada is beating us but we’re ahead of Hong Kong and Japan), meaning we feel mostly positive about the ol’ U. S. of A.
To keep our spirits up, multi-million-dollar fireworks displays might be worth the cost.
“Holidays that remind you what a great country you live in can make you feel better about your country and yourself,” says the study’s lead author Mike Morrison, a social psychology graduate student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
National satisfaction is even more important when you’re down on your luck (economic crisis ring a bell?). “When you don’t have as many good things going for you, you’ll gravitate toward something that’s easier to see in more positive terms,” says Morrison. Your country could be just the ticket. In fact, the link between national satisfaction and wellbeing gets stronger when people have less money or lack quality healthcare. “Thinking you live in a great country can give you a bit of a boost.”
You’ll see the effects inside and out.
Happiness and satisfaction are proven to improve your heart health (a known skin-saver), strengthen your immune system (no more red, runny noses!), lower your stress levels (your hair and skin will thank you) and even encourage you to spend a few more minutes primping. Whew! Who knew a little home-of-the-brave pride could turn you into an American beauty?
This holiday, show your true stars and stripes. Belt the “Star-Spangled Banner,” blast fireworks ‘til two in the morning and deck yourself out in shades of red, white and blue. You just might feel (and look) a little bit more beautiful.
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