Focusing on Fashion Can Improve Your Anxiety
In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, it’s easy for our mental health to make a downturn. Our daily routines get the best of us sometimes — errands, job responsibilities, socializing with our friends… the list is endless. Obligations and places to be, bombard us.
5 ways fashion effectively helps our anxiety
Life can get pretty crazy, right? But as nuts as it all gets, self-care should be number one on our list of priorities — especially our mental welfare. While the societal norm often dismisses mental self-care, mental and emotional well-being is essential for everyone.
Anxiety is a psychological disorder manifested in excessive anxiety about several aspects of life, and it can affect people of all ages and genders. It is a silent enemy, stealthily creeping about the dark corners of our minds.
You can battle anxiety and stress by seeing a certified therapist. BetterHelp can help you find one near you.
Comfort in Creativity
Creativity has been proven to have therapeutic properties for the mind. It can be anything: painting, sewing, playing music, cooking, dancing, baking, gardening, crocheting… a creative outlet can significantly improve your mental well-being.
For example, some people like to draw and are interested in fashion. Hence, clothes have become the focal point of their artwork over the years. Drawing elaborate patterns and quirky design ideas help them release the intricate mess in their minds through meticulous pen strokes on paper. The beauty of creating things lies in the fact that it doesn’t have to be complicated or revolutionary.
You can also try out different things. Find your niche. Maybe make your own outfits! Don’t even try to listen to the voice saying, “You’re not good enough. What are you even trying to make?” Find something that interests you. Look through online fashion catalogs, plan your OOTD’s (outfit of the day), try out new recipes, and sketch your neighbor’s dog.
Creativity is about whatever you want. After all, it is about you and your well-being.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Take this, for example, today was supposed to be a casual lunch date with a guy whom a friend introduced you to last week. You were excited and curious. But, you were a bundle of nerves; an utter mess. Like the headphones-I-just-got-out-of-my-pocket messy.
Your anxiety kept whispering in your ear, “He probably owes her a favor for arranging a date for us. Why would you even think he’d spare you his time of day?” The tirade was incessant.
It might get to you. But do you need to back out? No way. You must get up and dress in something that makes you feel strong and confident, even if you are a puddle of anxiety inside. Try looking at yourself in front of the mirror with your chin held high. It will absolutely give you a boost of self-esteem.
According to research, people associate their feelings with clothes. People throw-away clothes that remind them of ex-boyfriends and failed job applications. It’s like physically cutting ties with the connection we have with them. And now it’s up to us to cut the invisible knot tying us up with Anxious Andy. One step at a time, right?
In professor Karen Pine of the University of Hertfordshire’s book, Fashion Psychology, she says that when we put on a piece of clothing, we can’t help but embody the characteristics that we usually associate with it. Whether we’re dressing for formal nights out or lazy Sundays in the local coffee place, we tend to change the way we project ourselves.
Dealing with mental health issues isn’t something to scoff at and take lightly. It’s a daily struggle between our minds and our bodies. It’s not something we can change by changing the way we dress, or even think, alone. But it can be a stepping stone toward a better mental state.
There’s a Pinterest quote that says, “No matter how you feel… Get up. Dress up. Show up. And never give up.” At first, you might dismiss the thought with a cynical, “That’s easy for you to say.” But you will eventually realize that when you adopt this way of thinking, you might just get things done.
So get up and get dressed. You may surprise yourself!
We all have personal clothing favorites. Let’s say you have this goldenrod knitted cardigan your grandmother gave you for your birthday years ago, which you’ve been in love with ever since. You’ve always taken the chance to show it off at Christmas dinner. You love it because it reminds you of the breezy autumn afternoons you spent with your granny, flipping through her big book of pressed flowers.
Clothes are like Polaroids. They bring back memories from moments in our life. Some people keep their childhood tees and many keep their wedding dresses. These clothes have had such a grand impact and significance in our lives that we can’t simply throw them away.
You can consider this fact and wear clothes that make you feel good. Wear clothes that bring back good memories. As the tagline says, “Look good, feel great.” When you feel good, you perform better.
Get Your Neurons On
Maybe you’ve gotten used to spending hours staring at yourself in front of the mirror, criticizing every piece of clothing you have on. Nothing seems to suit you. For people like us who suffer from anxiety, it affects us twice as hard. Our confidence dwindles, and a cloudy haze of self-doubt and negativity engulfs us.
This is what happens when we let our appearance dictate how we feel about ourselves.
It may sound contradictory to the previous statements, but our clothes shouldn’t tell us what to believe. We should be the ones telling our clothes to speak for us.
Dressing up isn’t vanity. It isn’t something you’re not supposed to be doing just because of the murmurs in your brain telling you otherwise. Looking fabulous and being confident in yourself doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Don’t dress for stress, dress for success.
Fashion has no rules. Want to go out for lunch in sweatpants? Own it. Did you put on mismatched socks on your way to the grocery store? So what? There are no rules. And even if there were, aren’t rules made to be broken?
Restlessness and worry cling to our daily lives much like a parasite. Each passing day is an internal battle of wits and wills. The world without stress or panic sounds like our ideal habitat, but in the end, we’re only human. And as humans, we inescapably worry about things, as major or as trivial as they get.
Anxiety isn’t something that we can just wish to go away, and it isn’t something we have under our control. But when the going gets rough, we can take corrective and wholesome steps to ease our minds and calm our thoughts. There are different outlets to channel our inner frustrations, and fashion happens to be one of them.
Just keep this in mind, “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up!”
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