Brenda shares the secret of how to ‘Be Fabulous’ and have it all

Group pictured at the  audio book launch of celebrity stylist, beauty expert and former student Brenda Shankey at St. Mary's College on Monday afternoon. The new audiobook launch 'Be Fabulous - Have It All' included the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion, local councillors, invited guests, students, teachers and local authors. DER0216MC011

Group pictured at the audio book launch of celebrity stylist, beauty expert and former student Brenda Shankey at St. Mary's College on Monday afternoon. The new audiobook launch 'Be Fabulous - Have It All' included the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion, local councillors, invited guests, students, teachers and local authors. DER0216MC011

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She had the million pound house and the Porsche - but for Derry woman Brenda Shankey something was missing.

Running the hugely successful Jason Shankey grooming company with her husband, Brenda was overworked, stressed and not sleeping.

Celebrity stylist, beauty expert and former student Brenda Shankey, pictured at St. Mary's College on Monday afternoon for the launch of her new audiobook 'Be Fabulous - Have It All'. Included are Mrs. Marie Lindsay, Principal, St. Mary's College, Kennedy Keeney-Robinson, Head Girl and Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion. DER0216MC010

Celebrity stylist, beauty expert and former student Brenda Shankey, pictured at St. Mary's College on Monday afternoon for the launch of her new audiobook 'Be Fabulous - Have It All'. Included are Mrs. Marie Lindsay, Principal, St. Mary's College, Kennedy Keeney-Robinson, Head Girl and Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion. DER0216MC010

It was around this time Brenda found out about mindfulness - a technique encouraging people to make time for themselves and believe in themselves.

Mindfulness has changed Brenda’s life so dramatically that she now runs regular classes in Belfast and this week launched her first ever book - Be Fabulous.

And Brenda returned to home to Derry this week to the school where she was once head girl - St Mary’s College - for the official launch.

“Mental health is something people are afraid to talk about,” said Brenda, “but 80% of all illnesses are caused by stress. To look at me you would have thought that I had it all.

Celebrity stylist and beauty expert Brenda Shankey

Celebrity stylist and beauty expert Brenda Shankey

“I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety in my life, When I crashed from the burn out I realised there was something wrong with my life. I said to myself that there had to be more than running on this hamster wheel.

“When I burned out I tried to overwork to escape.”

Brenda went to her GP who recommended that she attend meditation.

“Initially I thought it was a load of rubbish,” said Brenda. “I didn’t want to sit cross legged meditating, but I stuck at it, because when I start something I always see it through.

“I learned that to achieve success in life you have to love and accept the person that you are. You have to believe in yourself and follow your gut.

“You are the person who is 100% in control of your life. If you sit still for a few moments every day, all of the answers are there. If you stay away from bad energy only good things will happen to you.”

Brenda says that she has now learned that her worst times were her best thing.

“My husband couldn’t fix me,” she said. “My children couldn’t fix me. My dad couldn’t fix me. I was the only person who could. I had to learn who I was. Derry women are always looking after everyone else. You have to look after yourself first. You are the only person who can make your life amazing, so remove the chaos.”

Brenda decided to write a book that could be downloaded on to phones.

“We are all so busy today aren’t we,” she said. “But we all have time for our phones.”

The book has 14 chapters covering morning meditation, evening meditation, and talking to yourself positively, coping with hardships and busting stress. The book can be downloaded from CDbaby.com and mindcool.com