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When Things Don't Go Your Way, Take the Focus off Yourself... Seriously!

05/01/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sometimes life just doesn't go our way. This can be emotionally devastating. Whether it's a romance that has gone awry or a dream job that was lost at the final interview, it can take us a while to put the pieces back together. There is nothing more difficult than faking a smile when you really want to cry inside or acting like all is well when things are actually far from optimum. I know you are thinking that I'm going to tell you to color your hair, get a great haircut, put on some makeup and all will be well. Guess what. You're wrong! My advice to you is to take the focus off yourself and to reach out to help someone else. This is a sure-fire way to put your problems in perspective and feel better about yourself.

The first step to helping someone is to keep quiet and listen. Even people who usually keep things close to the vest welcome safe environments to talk or even share their problems. Most of the time giving advice isn't even necessary. The release of sharing is priceless.

>You can go out for drinks, have dinner, or just go for a walk to listen and help keep the personal turmoil of your acquaintance at bay. I find that somehow being active helps us release our inner thoughts more easily. What I do is go running with my best friend and after a few miles, things just start to come to the surface.

We're not all runners but we all need to take care of ourselves and what better place to start than with our tips and toes. Getting a manicure and pedicure provides a great opportunity to have one-on-one time with your friend. Believe me, the manicurist isn't listening. She is only thinking of being ready in time for her next appointment or what she has to do after work. This might sound like a cliched scene from the movie The Women, but this precious alone time with a friend does help to temper the emotional pain of life that all of us have unfortunately experienced. Time does heal all, but the process gets a boost when you make an effort to be more present.

So why stop at a manicure and pedicure? Why not schedule a day of beauty, from facials to massages? This will create more bonding time that, at least temporarily, can relieve emotional discomfort. Give your friend a treat of a blow dry. Nothing makes a woman happier than having someone else do her hair, and then walking out of the salon feeling glamorous. Put on a touch of makeup and take her out to lunch, dinner, or drinks. You will instantly feel better about yourself. Even if you don't resolve her life issues, you will feel better knowing that you were present for your friend. It might not be the cure to your problem, but it is one of the first steps to emotional healing.