Three Ways to Feel Better About Yourself – Part One

Facelift and browlift by Dr. Brian Machida, Inland Empire, California-Before & After photo

If life, your appearance or the unkind words of others have you feeling down, science has uncovered ways to feel better. Here’s one of the most effective:

Editor’s Note:  Dr. Brian Machida served for years as a clinical professor at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. He has an exceptional level of experience, having performed thousands of facial rejuvenation procedures in his career.

Research published in Clinical Psychological Science proves what my colleagues and I have observed for many years.  After comparing some 550 patients who had plastic surgery with 1,Before & After facelift by Dr. Brian Machida260 mentally and emotionally similar people who had not, the study concluded:

When comparing the results of the psychological tests of the surgical patients to those who had not had plastic surgery, people who went under the knife had higher self-esteem, experienced less anxiety and felt healthier overall.

Clearly, knowing that you look younger and more attractive can cause you to feel better about yourself.  However, it’s important to note that several other proven factors are involved in how happy, confident and satisfied you feel.  Since my goal is to genuinely improve my patients’ lives, I’d like to share one of them here.

Don’t let ANTs ruin your picnic

Automatic Negative Thoughts ruin picnicOne of the most important discoveries of psychology research is that what we think strongly affects how we feel.  Psychologists have discovered a group of common mistakes people make when thinking – automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) that can ruin the moment or your whole day.  According to Dr. David Burns’ classic, Feeling Good – The New Mood Therapy, these include:

  • All-or-nothing thinking: You see things as black or white. If your performance falls short of perfection, you see yourself as a total failure.  If you don’t look perfect, you’re ugly.
  • Jumping to conclusions: When someone reacts negatively to you, you assume that they don’t like you. But you don’t verify that or consider the circumstances.  Another example is assuming that things will turn out badly.
  • Overgeneralization: You see a single negative event as part of a never-ending pattern of losing.  A bad result at work might make you think “I’m a failure – I never get things right.”
  • Disqualifying the positive: You feel that positive experiences “don’t count” or, “I won, but I didn’t deserve it.” Or, you focus on the one thing you didn’t do so well instead of the many things you did.
  • Magnification or minimization: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your own mistakes or someone else’s achievements) or play down your own desirable qualities or the other person’s imperfections.  You make disasters out of everyday negative events.
  • Personalization:  When something bad happens, you automatically blame yourself when in fact you were not the primary cause.

Stepping on the ANTs

Years of research and practical results show that people can “step on the ANTs” and change their way of thinking.  If you find that these common, automatic (but incorrect) negative thoughts are regular visitors in your life, you’re not stuck with them forever.  Naturally, if you’re experiencing depression, you should seek the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist.  This article is no substitute for a doctor’s help if you need it.

Step on the ANTSFor the rest of us, eminent psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman recommended this procedure:

  • Recognize the negative thought that is causing you to feel badly
  • Identify what kind of ANT it is (jumping to a conclusion, all or nothing thinking, etc.)
  • Dispute it – is what you’re thinking really true?
    • What indisputable evidence leads inevitably to this conclusion?
    • Is there a valid alternative explanation?
    • If it is true, what is the likely result?
  • Reschedule it – Is there a better time to think about it that might produce more useful conclusions?

Doing this in writing can be particularly effective.  If you often find ANTs ruining your picnic, why not carry a small notebook where you can identify and dispute your ANTs in writing.  Research finds that writing things down can have a greater impact on your feelings.

There are several other strategies that can help you feel better.  This will put you in position to truly benefit if you decide to improve your appearance.

About Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS

Dr. Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. He has an exceptional level of experience, having performed ( read more )

Articles by Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS

How to Make a $16,000 Beverly Hills-Quality Facelift Cost Much Less

How much should an outstanding facelift cost? A highly experienced facial plastic surgeon, who performed 4,000 facelifts and taught at the University of Southern California, shows how the right surgeon using the right methods can make a great facelift much more affordable. [Read More]

Battling Lines and Wrinkles – From Microneedling to Laser to Renuvion – What’s Best for Your Skin?”

Wondering if microneedling, fractional laser or Renuvion can best treat your wrinkles? Inland Empire, California expert Dr. Brian Machida has some excellent advice on which treatments work best for different skin conditions. [Read More]

Facial Plastic Surgery Innovations Lead to the Best Facelift Results

If you’re considering facial plastic surgery, such as a facelift, you want the best results. Expert Dr. Brian Machida, who has practiced in Beverly Hills and Inland Empire, California shows how small innovations can make a big difference in getting you the best facelift. [Read More]

Safer Pain Management After Plastic Surgery – Avoid the Opioid Crisis with Exparel

Plastic surgery can improve your looks and your life. But it can expose you to the dangers of the opioid crisis, since opioids are often prescribed to control post-surgical pain. Could a new surgical pain medication, Exparel, help reduce that risk? Inland Empire, CA expert facial plastic surgeon tells how it could. [Read More]

Bellafill vs. Fat Grafting, Juvéderm, Voluma, Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra – Which Filler NOW Provides the Longest Lasting Great Results?

Bellafill is an FDA approved filler to improve nasolabial folds, marionette lines and wrinkles for up to 5 years. Inland Empire, CA expert facial plastic surgeon shows how it compares with fat transfer, Juvederm, Voluma, Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra. [Read More]

Better Fat Grafting to Restore Facial Volume and Improve Nasolabial Folds – Look Beautiful Again with BeautiFill

As we age many of us start to lose volume in our faces. Marionette lines and nasolabial folds start to appear. Inland Empire expert facial plastic surgeon describes a revolutionary fat grafting improvement, BeautiFill. Is it a better option than Juvederm and Restylane? [Read More]

Do I Really Need Facial Plastic Surgery?

Many who want to look younger wonder if they really need facial plastic surgery. Inland Empire, California facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Machida, who taught for years at USC’s Medical School provides some key factors in determining whether you need a surgical procedure. [Read More]

Rhinoplasty: Getting the Right Nose Job for You

Considering rhinoplasty? Before you choose a surgeon for your nose job, you’ll want to consider advice from an expert facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Machida, who taught facial plastic surgery for years at the University of Southern California’s medical school. [Read More]

Why experience makes such a difference in facial plastic surgery results

If you’re considering plastic surgery or facial plastic surgery, your surgeon’s level of experience in your procedure can make a big difference in your results. An expert facial plastic surgeon from Inland Empire in metro Los Angeles explains how. [Read More]

Improve or Eliminate Acne Scars with No Downtime – Look Better in Any Season with Bellafill

Many would like to get rid of acne scars, but want to avoid the discomfort, sunlight restrictions and downtime of laser resurfacing. A new, FDA-approved treatment, Bellafill, can get great results with no downtime in any season. [Read More]