Histori Personale

I didn't look in the mirror for a week and here's what changed in me

I didn't look in the mirror for a week and here's what changed in me

Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the most beautiful of all?

In general, mirrors are good for tasks like putting on lipstick the right way without getting dirty or getting a piece of spinach off your teeth. But a mirror can also have a negative impact on your mental health and self-confidence. I champion this second one.

Sometimes, I can look at myself in the mirror and not freak out, other days it's a hard stop and I start obsessing over how I look.

That's why I started an experiment: no mirrors for a week. What would happen to my self-confidence if I stopped checking my face so much?

The idea was born in April, when the therapist advised me not to look in the mirror.

My therapist, Kelly Seekins, a licensed clinical social worker, echoed the notion that avoiding a mirror is a 'genius' way to understand how you feel outside of worrying about how you look, which can distort self-perception.

Mirror reflections can be deceiving...views of yourself can be distorted. How you appear to yourself is not how you appear to others.

Discovering the rules

The day before my week-long experiment began, I announced what I was doing on social media. The concept caught people's attention and they had a lot of questions.

Some rules were:

Avoid looking in mirrors whenever possible, even when washing your hands or applying makeup.

It's okay to look at the dress, but avoid the face.

Don't use your phone or laptop camera to see what you look like.

When it comes to hanging out with friends, it's okay to take photos, but you can't view photos immediately, or ask to redo them.

The purpose of this experiment was not only to see how I felt after not looking at myself in the mirror for a period of time, but also to establish long-term rules.

The first day was especially difficult. A few times I made the mistake of accidentally glancing at the mirror while brushing my teeth.

One night I was getting ready to go out to dinner with my best friend. To my delight, the process of choosing what to wear was suddenly simplified. I thought to myself: If I can't see what I look like, I can wear whatever I want.

I decided to paint on the train, without a mirror. It's not like I wear a lot of makeup actually.

There was something empowering about not knowing what the face looked like. I remember walking with my head held high and with a lot of confidence. Maybe it was the adrenaline rush, but I felt like the people around me noticed. By not having a preconceived notion of what other people saw, I was able to see and think of myself as I actually should, as the best.

I entered the bar and found my friend there. After an hour of conversation, I asked him if I looked different to him, but he answered no. We took a picture, which I only saw after I was getting back on the train. And find how I saw myself in it? Fixed how I felt: Happy.

As the week progressed, I found myself saying 'oops' a lot less and wasting fewer minutes worrying about how I looked.

The question I often ask my husband, 'do I look good?' I started doing it less and less.

The experiment wasn't meant to be perfect, but it was a way to remind myself that my reflection doesn't dictate my self-worth.

And when I looked at myself in the mirror after many days, I was happy to see the person in the reflection. Fixed like a friend I hadn't seen in a while.