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6 Reasons You're More Badass Than You Think
Quick: When you woke up this morning and looked in the mirror, did you say something nice or start criticizing flaws? In that work meeting you led a few weeks ago, did you pat yourself on the back, or nitpick every little detail? When you're always trying to improve, it's easy to get caught up in a self-confidence spiral. But here's the thing: According to several studies, the stories we tell ourselves directly contribute to our happiness level and day-to-day satisfaction. So what kind of story do you want to read—and live? Our vote is for a badass adventure that stars your awesome self. Don't believe us? Here's more proof that you're way cooler than you think you are.
You Think: Ugh, I'm Still Single
The truth: You're not lonely, or alone.
In the peak of seasonal depression season (thanks, winter), your FOMO might be rising as you swap meeting friends at happy hour for solo nights in with Netflix. Turns out, though, a little alone time isn't really a big deal. In fact, not only is loneliness at an all-time low, as a society, we've also become happier and more independent over time, says a study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Plus, we're getting married later and later, according to the CDC, so you're really not alone.
Be More Badass: If you've never treated yourself to dinner at a restaurant (Seamless orders don't count!), then it's time to order a glass of vino and the ribeye, stat. Bring a book if you like, or just enjoy eating at your own pace, ordering what you want and not having to maintain conversation. If you're a little anxious about it, look for a place that has live music on a weeknight for a built-in distraction.
You Think: Why Can't I Seem to Remember Anything?
The truth: You're a quick learner.
Next time your bae gives you a hard time because you can't flawlessly name every football player on Monday night, reply with this (awesome) fact: Your brain digests information way faster than a man's. A new study analyzed the brains of 31,000 people to test their cognitive abilities with regard to numeracy, episodic memory (recalling moments), and naming objects, animals, and plants. The results? Women digested new information faster and had better memory recall than the men.
Be More Badass: Challenge your group of friends to join trivia night at a local bar. While you probably don't want to rub your faster brain in the guys' faces, you can strategically suggest a girls vs. guys showdown—and then enjoy the victory when they're buying your next round.
You Think: I Skipped My Workout for Happy Hour. #Fail
The truth: That glass of wine is really, really good for you.
Bottoms up, ladies! While we've known for a while that red wine is good for heart health, a recent European study says it's actually just as good for you as exercise. Okay, maybe it's not exactly the same—you need to lead an active lifestyle for the benefits to kick in—but if you're already active, drinking wine—white or red, whichever you prefer—will supply the same rewards as your regularly scheduled workout. Plus, research on rodents has found that the resveratrol in red wine might actually preserve your muscles during periods of inactivity.
Be More Badass: Plan a workout-and-wine night with your besties to get the best of both worlds. Boutique fitness centers like Uplift Studios regularly offer themed sessions for these situations—and thanks to the rise of fit bachelorette parties—so hitting one up is basically like banking three hours of circuit training (hey, glasses are heavy!).
You Think: I Stayed Up Late with My Partner
The truth: Your sex life can help you at work.
According to a recent German study, women who have sex more than four times a week earn 5 percent more in wages than those who don't hit the sack quite as often. The study attributed the correlation to stress levels, since doing the deed is an old trick to make you relax.
Be More Badass: Even if you're not in a relationship or having consistent sex, orgasms can lower your anxiety levels, so take time to explore on your own. Studies have even found that masturbation is almost as good as the high you get from running, so think about treating yourself to a relaxing night that, hopefully, will lead to a better attitude at work and a pay bump.
You Think: I Didn't Have Time to Put On Makeup Today
The truth: Your natural look is (even more) beautiful.
Ever cringe at the idea of running into someone you know when you're makeup-free? Relax—new research shows that both men and women think you're prettier without layers of cosmetics. Men specifically thought women could use 40 percent less makeup than what they're wearing, and that the natural beauty look was actually what caught their attention.
Be More Badass: If you're not quite ready to go au natural, steal these "I woke up like this" beauty tricks, or try this hack: Skip the foundation and use a matte powder to conceal oil instead. Since it's transparent, it won't look cakey and will still decrease fine lines or acne scars. Moisturize first and finish with a coat of clear mascara and tinted lip balm. Then get ready to turn heads.
You Think: I Ruined My Diet with Last Night's Binge-Fest
The truth: Cutting yourself some slack will keep you on track in the long run.
The holidays just ended and, hey, you had more than one helping of your mom's awesome apple pie. Perhaps you skipped that morning run a few times and slept in with the family dog, too. Don't feel guilty. Really, don't! Research from the National Institutes of Health shows that having a cheat day (or a few of 'em) isn't as bad as you think. Our bodies don't tally calories in and calories out as well as our iPhone apps, and a variation of plus or minus 600 calories every now and again won't affect your stable body weight. Plus, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that those who dieted on alternate days—then enjoyed whatever they wanted on others—lost an average of two pounds per week. That is, of course, as long as their normal routine involved exercise and healthy eating habits.
Be More Badass: If you're ready to come down from your sugar high, try these detox hacks. But if you want an extra day to let loose, go ahead. Invite your besties over, pop the champagne and indulge. Those 600 calories will be long forgotten, but the memories you make won't be.