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Picasa / Elle 1 / 15

It's already been a busy year for Kristen Stewart. Her new Woody Allen film, "Cafe Society" hit theaters last month and she has three more movies in the works in 2016, including "Personal Shopper," a ghost story set in Paris' fashion underworld. She's also enjoying a happy relationship with her girlfriend, Alicia Cargile.

That's a marked change from the situation she endured during her "Twilight" days, when her romance with Robert Pattinson made daily headlines and a variety of triggers in her life set off bouts of crippling anxiety.

In the September issue of Elle UK, the 26-year-old star explains how and why things have started to change.

"I have a really strong sense of identity when I'm working. If I'm having a bad day or something personal, or existential, or hormonal -- if anything brings me down, I'm lucky if I have to go to work that day. And it could be anything, it could be a photoshoot for Chanel," says the actress, who is currently representing the fashion house for the third time since 2013.

As for her new outlook, she says she's come to an understanding that even the worst circumstances are temporary.

"I obviously hope everything going on right now will work out, but I am confident that life is good and I'll be OK whatever happens," she says. "So in moments when that is cloudy and I feel saturated and unable to engage in how good life can be, however consuming those feelings are, they are so momentary … I think I'm pretty good at being happy.'

That wasn't the case in the past.

"I went through so much stress and periods of strife," she says. "I would have panic attacks … I literally always had a stomach ache. And I was a control freak and I couldn't anticipate what was going to happen in a given situation, so I'd be like, 'Maybe I'm going to get sick,' ... It's kind of remarkable. I just grew out of it, but that's not to say I don't get worried."

It helps that she has Alicia by her side. The pair dated previously but split, after which Kirsten was reportedly involved with Stephanie Sokolinski for two months this past spring.

"I think also right now I'm just really in love with my girlfriend. We've broken up a couple of times and gotten back together, and this time I was like, 'Finally, I can feel again,'" she tells Elle.

"When I was dating a guy I was hiding everything that I did because everything personal felt like it was immediately trivialized, so I didn't like it. We were turned into these characters and placed into this ridiculous comic book, and I was like, 'That's mine. You're making my relationship something that it's not.' I didn't like that," she says.

"But then it changed when I started dating a girl. I was like, 'Actually, to hide this provides the implication that I'm not down with it or I'm ashamed of it, so I had to alter how I approached being in public. It opened my life up and I'm so much happier."