The mind is a powerful tool that, even in the midst of anxiety, actively seeks information that provides a sense of hope and encouragement. And a surprising source that can temporarily ease anxiety is online. bwater and makeup tutorials.
Watching the simple but systematic act of putting on makeup can help us relax and be free from worries, according to psychotherapist Lee Pycroft, who is also a seasoned makeup artist. A tutorial can also serve as a a mirror that builds confidence, helping us realize that we can transform our reality.
One of the ways it works is that watching a video helps us feel present in the present moment and prevents us from anxiously anticipating what might happen or thinking about what happened in the past. This is called the modeling effect, according to Jo lukins, an expert in performance psychology.
“Applying makeup is a deliberate task, often slow and careful. Therefore, watching someone do something in a conscious and careful manner can be beneficial, ”Lukins told HuffPost. “Mood is contagious, so the video will project a mood that may be the opposite of what the person is feeling.”
Two elements that are primarily responsible for increasing distress are unpredictability and clutter, and watching calm, controlled tutorials can counter these elements.
“Having a favorite activity that is predictable, under your control, and brings a sense of calm is helpful,” Lukins said.
“Makeup tutorials provide a powerful visual example of someone in control of their body and image. In a moment of anxiety, when I feel adrift, I am grounded by these makeup tutorials.
– Laken Brooks
Those with anxiety disorders too tend to focus on scenarios that seem extremely dangerous and out of their control. MAkeup’s tutorials can help mitigate these trends.
“They provide a logical and rational plan of action, ”said Crystal R. Currie, Certified Clinical Health Advisor and Founder of Compass Life Skills and Counseling, a trauma-focused practice in North Carolina. “You can see how it starts and ends, as well as seeing what goes in between. There is nothing to guess, which reduces the likelihood of [perceived] danger.”
For someone with chronic anxiety, inner work and self-care can be daunting. But because makeup tutorials are an external outlet – meaning you can watch someone other mix different makeup products perfectly to consistently create the perfect look – it relieves the viewer.
“Our mirror neurons are activated and we ‘experience’ what the other person is doing when applying makeup. It forces the individual to care more about themselves, and they may be able to connect or reconnect with an internal resource for calming and security, ”said Romy Kunitz, clinical and developmental psychologist, at HuffPost.
“The methodological approach to makeup, the process, the change of look gives me hope – I hope I can look better if I want to, I hope it is possible to change my look – and that calms me down. “
– Mayurii R.
It should be noted that watching beauty tutorials is not a real therapy tool, but a brief technique to help ease anxiety.
“The temporary answer is because once the video is over, so is virtual reality,” Kunitz said.
Also, these videos can help us for a moment and even make us feel more confident in our lives, but they are not a permanent solution, especially for people who have suffered severe trauma.
“It creates a short-term effect. But sometimes an act can act as a catalyst for change. Then we can take action and long-term change, ”said Lukins.
We spoke with several people who avidly watch makeup tutorials online to help allay their anxiety and give them a sense of hope and control.
“I have had anxiety since I started high school. I realized the makeup videos were calming once I started watching them with no intention of recreating the makeup. I look at it, but I don’t apply it. When I watch it, it’s both entertaining and relaxing. It’s like watching an artist paint. It’s calming and calming because you can relax while watching the videos knowing what’s going on. Plus, it’s satisfying to see that the makeup is always perfect. It’s like watching a movie that always has a happy ending – predictable, if you will. So, essentially, it’s familiar and predictable.
“I have been diagnosed with anxiety since I was 12 and have had a complex diagnosis of PTSD since 2018. I realized that watching makeup tutorials helped me calm down at work (I was working nights in an emergency room). During my breaks I was scrolling Instagram until I came across a makeup video and then excessively eyed from there. This was around the time when a lot of stress from a personal and professional point of view started to add up, but when I watch the videos I don’t feel anything and it’s calming. I don’t know how to describe it. I get hyperemotional and responsive when I’m anxious, and the videos seem to redirect my thoughts. There is something in the expected routine with no surprises or drastic consequences.
“I first learned about old-fashioned makeup tutorials – by watching my older sister. She was in cosmetology school so she was experimenting with different complex makeup looks, pigments, and nail art. We all have them. both grew up in a noisy and conflict-ridden family, and I was an anxious child. When I needed a break from the noise or a moment to decompress, I would go to my sister’s room and watched her face transform. She often tried to teach me looks I could use on my own face, but I was never interested in makeup. Instead, I found a moment of quiet when I watched her apply her own makeup, I was mesmerized as I watched each step, and the end product always made me feel gratified.
“When I moved to college, my life situation changed, but not my anxiety. Watching makeup tutorials has become a regular part of my mental wellness routine. One symptom of my anxiety is that I often feel like I’m out of control. When I have a panic attack, it can be difficult to control my breathing – which makes this feeling of helplessness even worse. Makeup tutorials provide a powerful visual example of someone in control of their body and image. In a moment of anguish, when I feel adrift, I am anchored by these makeup tutorials. I can see, step by step, how people make choices to change, alter and enhance their appearance. These makeup tutorials remind me that I too can take back control of some parts of my life.
“I have had anxiety since I was a teenager. In 2018, as I watched a lipstick sample video from a popular YouTuber, I realized it was oddly satisfying to see them change their look with just one swipe of lipstick. I later developed a fondness for contour videos. I continued to analyze my feelings and felt that these videos gave me some kind of hope. The methodological approach to makeup, the process, the change of look all give me hope – I hope I can look better if I want to, I hope it is possible to change my look. It calms me down. It started with taking steps to change my appearance, but eventually spread to other areas of my life. I had a bad image of myself, but slowly over time things improved dramatically. I’m more organized in general, and when I feel down, I remind myself that I can move on. I love watching makeup videos and over time I realized that they really help calm my anxiety. There is something about the transformation that gives you hope. It has a calming effect on my mind. Little by little, watching these videos inspired me to take better care of myself. My life has improved a lot in general.
McKenzie Lynn Tozan
“I was diagnosed with anxiety, bipolar disorder and manic depression for just under seven years, but the symptoms that led to my diagnosis have been with me for almost 18 years. A few years ago I started watching two comedians doing makeup videos – the videos were pretty short and made me laugh. What I realized after a while was that I wasn’t really watching them for their comedy. I was waiting for their physical transformations. I would even be frustrated if they ended up not showing the full process of applying makeup or moving quickly. I think what I love about it is the process and the completion, and the occasional perfection. I like to watch a person draw a long wing and then fill it in. I love the crazy, intricate designs on the lids (the more colors the better). I love watching someone go around (and people who go around to look like something else are extremely fascinating). There is incredible control in these processes, and when they look flawless it gives me this incredible satisfaction. I never applied the techniques, not once.
Answers have been edited for clarity and length.