There are a thousand definitions of beauty. And there are many degrees of each. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is sadness in beauty. Beauty can be ugly. It is a concept that has haunted poets, artists and academics for centuries.

Males are visual creatures. In their minds’ eye, like the posters teenage boys hang on their bedroom walls, men have an inflated idea of beauty . But to see how he really finds beauty in his surroundings, look at the girl with whom he spends time and feels most comfortable. She is often the opposite of the bedroom poster, maybe a friends, sister, aunt or cousin. She is the one he enjoys being with most. To be able to laugh with someone, we must drop our guards. Beauty is to be free and to act naturally. Oddly, getting there can be difficult.

Today, messages and information are aimed at us in very new ways. It is happening faster than humans can adapt and evolve. Life is demanding more than we can give. In turn, you rely on text messages rather than physical conversation. The heart is missing in our lives and you must bring it back.

We judge the book by its cover. It’s usually untrue and unwise, but we place a great weight of importance on the first impression. In truth, a first impression offers fast, mostly visual cues, to make an assumption of another. Physical appearance is the first thing we see and it becomes our Achilles heel. The first impression is always the most expensive.

It is expensive because of what we lose. The priority one sets on appearances in the physical realm is to deny oneself the quality and beauty of the spirit. If you choose to focus on the beauty within, you will receive the value of true communication with another. To ignore the essence of another is to deny your own humanity.

Beauty has always been costly. By the time you have been plucked, pinched and enhanced, you can easily spend a fortune on the latest product or the most popular nip and tuck. The pursuit of beauty can also deny nature. In the fevered race to erase a wrinkle, we try to stop time and the slow and inevitable progress of nature. It is a fight no human can win. Beauty can also be a sport or a goal. Can you be more beautiful than you already are? No. Sure, every car needs a fresh coat of paint and a few new pin stripes but the real, true beauty comes from within your chassis.

There is boldness in choice and people can easily recognize it in you. To choose beauty, determines that you have pondered the question, objectified the issues and made a choice. You have asked, “What will I project today? What will I put out into the world?” Then you choose and follow it through. Embracing victim hood is a way to lick your past wounds but it never yields any positive future-oriented gains. You lead by example. Choose beauty.

Look at a flower as you would look upon a work of art. Appreciate it. Enjoy it. Relax and just let it all in. Then look at yourself the same way. You are a perfect and unique creation of nature, just like a flower. This may be hard to do and you must persist through all of the negativity and voices in your head. Remember those voices do not speak truth. They are merely the echoes of insecurity and comic relief. Appreciation for beauty isn’t forced. Beauty cannot be beaten into you. Beauty must be invited and it must flow. If you want to exhibit your true nature, all you can do is let go.

It is hard to let go. These days, with Life howling around us like a hurricane, we instinctively try to hang on for dear life. To be beautiful, to live in the flow, is a monumentally important task that requires only openness, desire and a few simple actions.

Silence is the key that unlocks the mystery. A quiet meditation. Say a prayer. Sit down and have a little chat with yourself. Open this door and you will be answered with your own beauty.

Do something that makes you happy. Let go and take the time for yourself. Something simple. Call a friend. Go to a movie. Get a massage. You do not need to spend a hundred dollars. Shop, but don’t buy anything, at a flower shop. Bake a cake. Take a hike. Do something that is purposed for you. When this happens, your beauty will begin to show. Others will recognize it and be drawn to it. You have allowed your beauty to flow.



By Everyday Health Editors Medically Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD

Up to 20 percent of new mothers may experience postpartum depression in the months after giving birth.

Postpartum depression is a serious mental health condition that can occur in the weeks and months following the birth of a child.

The condition usually occurs in mothers, but it’s also been documented in fathers of newborns.

The Baby Blues

It’s normal to feel sad or fatigued after the birth of a child, a condition that’s commonly referred to as “the baby blues.”

In fact, by some estimates, up to 85 percent of moms feel some degree of sadness after their baby is born.

Like postpartum depression, the baby blues may include bouts of crying, mood swings, anxiety, or feeling overwhelmed.

But while the baby blues rarely last beyond a week or two, postpartum depression symptoms can persist for months.

“If symptoms go beyond a two-week period, and the mother is still experiencing problems, that will usually lead to a diagnosis of postpartum depression,” says Diane Young, MD, staff physician in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Cleveland Clinic.


Estimates vary, but 7 to 20 percent of women are believed to have postpartum depression at some point in the year after giving birth.

The risk of postpartum depression is higher among people who have a history of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.

Postpartum depression is generally believed to affect more women than men, but new fathers are also at risk.

A 2011 study published in the journal Pediatrics put the number of new fathers with postpartum depression at 7 percent.

After looking at more than 1,700 dads with 1-year-olds, the researchers also found that depression had a negative effect on parenting — depressed dads were more likely to spank their children and less likely to read to them.

Risk Factors

Any parent can develop postpartum depression, but the following factors increase your risk:

  • Personal or family history of depression, anxiety, or another mental illness
  • Previous postpartum depression
  • History of severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Chronic pain
  • History of fertility treatments or miscarriage
  • Abrupt discontinuation of breastfeeding
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Traumatic or disappointing birthing experience
  • Poor support system
  • Stresses (such as marital or financial)
  • Substance abuse

Postpartum Depression Symptoms

Symptoms of postpartum depression vary from person to person, and between men and women.

Additionally, it’s unlikely that anyone will identify with all the symptoms, but they can include:

  • Irritability or anger
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep problems such as insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Appetite changes
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Lack of interest in the baby
  • Feeling disconnected from the baby
  • Thoughts of harming the baby
  • Sluggishness
  • Exhaustion
  • Memory loss
  • Sense of guilt or shame
  • Sense of doom
  • Scary or odd thoughts that repeat in your mind

Postpartum Depression Treatment

Your medical practitioner may detect signs that you are at risk for postpartum depression during your monthly prenatal visits or during the typical six-week appointment after your baby is born.

Your doctor may ask if you have a history of depression and questions such as, “Are you eating and sleeping well?” and “What is your daily routine?”

If you develop postpartum depression, your doctor may suggest one or more treatment options:

Antidepressants: You may be prescribed an antidepressant even before you have your baby, one that is safe to take during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

After your pregnancy and if you are not breastfeeding, you will have a wider array of antidepressant options, which you may need to take for six months or longer.

Thyroid medication: Sometimes your depression is just a matter of low thyroid hormone levels.

Your doctor can check these levels with a simple blood test and treat you with medication to bring your thyroid back into balance.

Talk therapy: It’s also possible you won’t need medication at all, only a referral to a psychologist who can provide a safe emotional outlet and who is trained to help you find ways to manage your emotions.

Coping with Postpartum Depression

In addition to psychotherapy and medications, the following strategies will help you during treatment:

Take some “me time.” It’s important for people who have postpartum depression to take time to do things like eating healthy meals, exercising, and — perhaps most important — getting enough sleep.

Consider alternative treatments. Complementary and alternative therapies may help, though more research confirming their benefits is needed. Sunlight, fish oil capsules, aromatherapy, and music therapy are among the approaches that have helped some people.

Find a support group. It helps to be around other people who have experienced postpartum depression, to share experiences and coping skills.

Say yes to caregiving help. Take people up on their offers: Your friends and family members can help around the house, watch the baby so you can sleep, run errands for you, or be there to listen when you need to talk.


Wean slowly. Discontinuing breastfeeding can bring on a hormonal change. Some doctors recommend that women wean slowly if they are going to stop breastfeeding.

Be patient. Treatment can help, but it may take some time before you feel like yourself again.

Postpartum Psychosis

In rare cases — up to 4 of 1,000 — a new mother will experience postpartum psychosis, with more severe symptoms than depression.

She may hallucinate and hear voices or see things that aren’t there, be extremely confused, and have recurring thoughts of harming herself or her baby.

In some of these situations, there’s a previous history of mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder.

It’s often a family member who notifies the new mother’s healthcare provider and who helps her get treatment.

Regardless of the extent of your symptoms, it’s important to be frank with your doctor so that you can get proper treatment during this important time in your life and the life of your baby.