Styled By Elizabeth Wellbeing

How We Dress Influences Our Wellbeing

Dress Well & Feel Great
Researchers have identified a series of psychological changes that occur when we wear certain clothes. How we dress influences our decision making, our confidence, our concentration as well as how others perceive us. But perhaps most importantly, how we dress impacts our wellbeing. Many studies have been carried out on this subject and many papers published. So much so ‘researchers have coined the phrase “enclothed cognition” (this describes the influence clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes’). Our sense of style does more than just send messages, to our mind or to others. New research shows it deeply impacts how we think. Another study found ‘Professional Dress’  increases abstract thinking and gives people a broader perspective. In an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald, psychologist, Sharon Draper says, if you want to perform better at work, improve your health, improve your frame of mind or have days when you’re really reluctant to brave the world, the clothes you wear will lift your spirits, give you the sense of confidence you need and provide the positive shift you require to step up – onward and upward.
A paper published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found that that the participants who wore a lab coat had significantly higher and improved attention span compared to those who didn’t. In another publication Carly Findlay a 37-year-old writer from Victoria who suffers a chronic illness spends much of her time at home, writing in bed. When she does have to go out, it takes a great deal of energy to muster the strength and confidence to leave the house. She says, the only way she can manage is to dress in bright, eye-catching clothes. This is the best way for her to boost her mood. Findlay’s fashion choices don’t just boost her mood, they also have a positive affect her social life.
“It uplifts me; I really like the confidence I feel through dressing up with colour,” says Findlay, who jokingly describes her wardrobe as being like a “rainbow unicorn had vomited all over it”.
‘All these benefits make sense to psychologist Sharon Draper. “Our clothing choices absolutely affect our wellbeing,” she says, adding that when we wear ill-fitting clothes, or feel over- or underdressed for an event, it’s natural to feel self-conscious or even stressed. Conversely, she says, opting for clothes that fit well and align with your sense of style can improve your confidence.’
The American Psychological Association reports isolation can have profound effects on the human body and brain. Studies carried out on researchers stationed in remote environments – report that loneliness can be the most difficult part of their job. Humans are social creatures, even some of us introverts occasionally crave a social setting. In this current climate, it is critical now more than ever to engage and participate in feel good undertakings for the sake of our productivity, our family relationships and our own wellbeing. Different people may be lonely for different reasons through this time. Some household may have a house full of people yet find themselves challenged by loneliness. Many of us are having to turn our business models into completely new strategies.
Psychologist Dr Draper says you can absolutely improve your health through your attire, it will improve your thinking. Maintain daily routines as if you are going to work. Dress nicely in something that makes you feel good, do your hair and makeup. Exercise either before work or after work hours, whatever is better suited to the new schedule. I have heard some people drive a couple of blocks to mimic their drive to work every day to create stimulation and vary their environment. Connecting with others regularly through webinars, skype calls and such will reduce symptoms of isolation and help maintain good mental and physical health.
Dr Draper says wear what makes you feel good and what makes you feel happy, wear the clothes you perceive as tying in with your goals’. We need to maintain positive mindsets so that we can perform at our best for our businesses to maintain their clarity. Find the things that make you feel great. Dr Draper says if you want to come across professional, select pieces you view as professional – this is the concept of behavioral activation, whereby engaging in a behavior (in this case, selecting clothes) that sets you on the path that aligns with achieving your goals. It is also important to select specific days off separate to your working days so that they don’t blend into each other.
I am here for your support however possible. We will get to the other side of this COVID 19 isolation together. Blessings to you all💗