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Is happy the new sexy?

Aly Walansky is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She lives with her two Shorkie-Tzus, Scarlette and Max, and a display of pink polka-dot-themed home decor -- not to mention a selection of flavored vodka. Check out he...

Be happy

People who have a positive outlook have better lives, partly because a positive attitude is attractive and charming, and people are drawn to it. This includes better relationships and sex lives!
Confidently sexy
Happy couple smiling

"Yes, happiness is sexy," says Tina Tessina, a psychotherapist in California, author of 13 books in 16 languages, including Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage (Adams Media), The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again (Wiley) and The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You're Far Apart (Adams Media).

The energy we put out is the energy we receive back — and will send a message that will create attraction and interest. "When someone is looking for more than just a one night stand, they look at your life as much as they look at you. If you look like pleasant company, and your life is a happy one, that is very attractive," says Tessina. Real sexiness is about a lot more than physical beauty!

Confident people are simply more interesting!

Do you get a spider sense when someone attractive is nearby? Do you become more aware of your senses? Sure, that may be hormones — he's hot!!! — but it could be something else. "In my book, I talk about the switch, or the internal on/off button that makes you open and aware of romantic attraction or closed off and relatively unperceptive," says Jeffrey A. Hall, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert on flirting and relationships and the author of the upcoming book THE FIVE FLIRTING STYLES: Use the Science of Flirting to Attract the Love You Want (Harlequin Nonfiction, on sale Sept 2013).

"The switch is a mentality, but is also about communicating interest clearly," Hall says. While confidence is a hard thing to come by just by wishing/hoping, communicating your romantic interest a little more clearly is generally a good idea because people find interest… well, interesting! That is, one of the most attractive features of a potential partner is that they are interested in you. This is a key component of the Switch and a good way to use your natural style of flirting to your advantage.

"Everyone finds laughing and joking attractive," says Hall. "Men think that women who laugh and joke are more attractive and are being flirtatious, and women find men who are joking around to be friendlier and more interesting and intelligent too." It's all about emphasizing the positive!

Survival of the fittest

It goes back to the times of evolution. We have to create more of ourselves to survive! "Humans have evolved to be attracted to partners who are likely to improve our odds of survival," shares Dr. David Sack, CEO of Promises Treatment Centers. Much of the research has focused on our preference for traits that signal physical health, but we’re learning it also means finding a partner that is emotionally and mentally healthy.

Too much stress can lead to premature aging, heart disease and a number of health problems that could interfere with our biological directive to propagate the species. Happiness, by contrast, is an indicator of a healthy state of mind, which is every bit as important — and appealing — as good looks.

Projection of positive

"Receiving attention is validating and a common need for most of us even if we don’t want to admit it," says Dr. Gerald Grosso, Clinical Director at Morningside Recovery. This acknowledgment can come in many forms, but in relationships there is a predominant desire is to feel attractive. Emphasis on physical features is common but they rarely stand alone and with the introduction of other variables, attractiveness can change.

Consider happiness as sexy. Those that display happiness appear more open to engage in a connection by displaying a smile and body language that is playful and inviting. Confidence appears with laughter as one’s ability to express cheerfulness and makes others feel comfortable — think Miss Piggy. Together, happiness and confidence are charming and to guys, they make a woman irresistible.

By learning to be happy and show we are happy, we are actually learning to be sexy at the same time. This means finding the balance of having a strong sense of self, but never taking yourself too seriously.

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