Friday, March 4, 2011

Stressful times call for a 5 step process to a happier/more empowered you!

We all know that when you are glow. When it is genuine and when it comes from a satisfied and happy place from within your beauty can shine like never before! Who wants to see some grumpy woman walking around completely unhappy with herself and not having fun in her $5,000 Dolce and Gabbana dress?!?! She can be slim, trim and lookin' good, but unless she looks like she is somewhat enjoying herself, it takes away from the glamor. Please enter... perfect example... Anna Wintour! The woman walks around in immaculate clothing from just about every design house you can think of, and she somehow always manages to look terribly lonely and unhappy!

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When Anna smiles, she looks somehow lighter, it looks like someone took about 30 lbs. off each shoulder.

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Even the little smirk she displays in this Chanel Haute Couture gown that many deemed as a flop of a fashion moment, I still think she looks amazing because of her demeanor! She lights up with beauty!

And so...away from Ms. Wintour and back to my point...
We all have stressful times, stressful moments, particular things or people that trigger something deep within. And, these are stressful times for America. We all know this!
And so, to put my Masters degree to good use (as I am a counseling intern with a fashion addiction) here are 5 steps that might be helpful for you or someone that you care about that has been dressed without their smile lately....

Step 1: Identify troubling conditions or situations.
Think about the conditions or situations that you find troubling and that seem to deflate your self-esteem/confidence/general sense of well being.
Step 2: Become aware of beliefs and thoughts.
Once you've identified troubling conditions or situations, pay attention to your thoughts related to them. Especially the automatic thoughts that have become second nature or habit. (Shed some light where there has been darkness)
Step 3: Pinpoint negative or inaccurate thinking.
Notice when your thoughts turn toward the negative. Your beliefs and thoughts about a situation affect your reaction to it. Negative thoughts and beliefs about something or someone can trigger physical, emotional and behavioral responses. We all physically react to stress in different ways and the more this is perpetuated, the stronger those responses will become.
Step 4: Challenge negative or inaccuree thinking.
Test the accuracy of your thoughts. Ask yourself whether your view is consistent with facts and logic or whether there might be other explanations for the situation. (A good spot to maybe make lists and write things down if it provides more clarity).
Step 5: Change your thoughts and beliefs.
Once you've identified negative or inaccurate thinking you can replace it with accurate thoughts and beliefs. Keep what you want to keep, and whatever is left that is not serving you well...Throw it out! This can enable you to find constructive ways to cope, and give your self-esteem a boost, or the ability to cope through those situations or conditions. normalize....I know that all of this is much easier said than done!!! The most important thing is to allow yourself the feelings that you are having. Allow them to come and dont deny and stuff them, as they will only surface later with stregnth behind them. Be true to you every moment of every day!!! Just like Anna in her Chanel gown. She went to that ball lookin great, even if others thought it was a flop of a fashion moment...she was smiling inside (and a little on the outside too)! Happy Friday readers. I hope you get to make time in your busy day for a smile or two, or three, or seven...or thirty two..okay I sut up now : )

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