Three ways to always look in control

24th Feb 16 | Xpose Magazine

XPOSÉ Magazine’s Deanna O’Connor on gliding through the obstacles of life, like a boss

Ever feel like you just have too many plates spinning and it’s all getting on top of you? Trying to keep in control when you’re juggling home, family, work, relationships, and so much more, is exhausting at the best of times. So what to do when you’re starting to feel like life is wearing you down and you wonder if you’re starting to come across like a bad black and white photocopy of your usual glorious Technicolor self. Here’s some food for thought…


You may be paddling frantically underneath the water, but look like you are gliding along like a swan. Smiling beatifically gives you an aura of calm and being in control. We're not saying it's good to suppress your feelings, but there are times when you just need to keep it together, for whatever reason, and in times like those you need to turn that frown upside down.

Research has shown that smiling, even fake smiling, triggers the release of feel good chemical dopamine in the brain. If you put on a happy face, your brain will release dopamine, and in a classic case of 'fake it 'til you make it', the dopamine release will make you feel happier.


Hello, this next tip is coming to you direct from the 1950s. And yer ma. Brush your hair and put on a bit of lipstick. Seriously. When we're tired, stressed, rushed and generally feeling wiped out, revelling in our femininity is not exactly front and centre on our priorities list. Martyrs that we are, taking care of ourselves can sometimes be the first thing we let slide. Access your inner vanity and nurture it. Always remember that you need to be your own best friend and look out for yourself. Be nice to yourself, and be your best self. A swipe of red lippie might seem like a very superficial manifestation of that, but the signal it gives is that here is a person who takes care of herself. Let it be a signal reminder to take care of yourself on every level – every time you pop the cap on that tube of lipstick or that expensive perfume, mentally scroll through your checklist of all the deeper self care points you should not be forgetting: mental health, sleep quality, energy-giving diet, exercise, free time to relax, quality time with friends and family.


One of supermodel Kate Moss's most-quoted sayings is 'Never complain, never explain.' In fact it is one of her only quoted sayings as she has rarely opened her mouth to the press over the years, preferring to be known for her work, rather than her soundbites or tabloid headline fodder. The attitude embodied by it is that if work is hard and doing your head in, just get on with it and get the job done. A whingey model will get a reputation as difficult to work with and won't get booked again. If you want to be perceived as someone who is competent and has a good attitude, keep your moans to yourself and one trusted confidante (and never over email or any written form that could come back to haunt you). The 'never explain' element refers to not making excuses for yourself. You did something wrong? Own it, apologise, focus on how you will rectify the problem. Don't go into an in-depth story about how your auntie's cat was sick and you had to bring it to the vet and that made you late for work and you missed the important meeting about the important project and then you had to pick the cat up and it puked on your skirt so you were late to meet the important client and... Nobody cares.

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