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saved our relationship

FIND NEW WAYS TO THRIVE Follow your passion now

Stop dithering! How to make a good decision 18-PAGE DOSSIER



+ Ethical

escapes Soothe your soul, save the world

BE SUCCESSFUL AND HAPPY Achieve your dreams on your own terms

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Contents OCTOBER 2016










36 E VENTS Cover: Jeff Vespa/Contour by Getty Images

1 16 BOOKS 123




Kate Mara

“The more comfortable we can be calling ourselves ‘feminist’, the more changes we can make”



The heart of ambition


Chris Baréz-Brown says put down the satnav and up the pleasure 24




Take a day off from your life – and save your sanity, writes Heidi Scrimgeour 27

* *


NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT Ali Roff goes behind closed doors with business guru, Shaa Wasmund, and other inspiring women



SHIFT IN FOCUS Three people explain

how their ambitions evolved over time


Oliver Burkeman helps us thrive in an open-plan office


Anita Chaudhuri tries out Psychologies’ Achieve Your Goals online course


Lizzie Enfield on choosing wisely between intuition and logic See page 46 for this month’s print and digital subscriptions offers



Ella Deane avoids the D-word with a Psychologies online course 32

SECRETS OF SUCCESS The five experts featured in Psychologies’ new book, Real Ambition, share their vision, and versions, of actual achievement


Martha Roberts on tuning in to unexpected sources of joy 28



BE TRUE TO YOURSELF Discover your real passion with our illuminating test

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 3



Contents OCTOBER 2016




A hobby isn’t just a skill or passion, it can teach you more about who you are 44


Our award-winning coach Kim Morgan helps a woman realise not everything is her fault 48




Our wise agony aunt advises three readers Clare Hieatt and her family made it their business to escape to the country 54


With psychologist Dr Philip Zimbardo


Create your ideal space by surrounding yourself with the things you love 1 1 8 TE A FOR T WO. . . OR 10

Bake Off’s Martha Collison puts a special Twist on this quaint British tradition

#360ME 77


Eminé Ali Rushton meditates on ‘gold’ moments 78


Expert advice in four holistic sections – Mind, Body, Spirit and Gut – for an autumn of wellness 85


Our new columnist Ali Roff disovers her healthy truth – and stops yo-yo dieting 87


Xochi Balfour exposes the joy of barefoot walking If you can’t always find a copy of this magazine, help is at hand. Complete this form and give it to your local shop. They’ll arrange for a copy of each issue to be reserved for you. They may even be able to deliver to your home – just ask!




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4 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6

Beverley D’Silva seeks to cure the root cause of her ulcerative colitis – deep inside her brain 93


We meet Natalie Viklund and Marie Hansen, founders of beauty and wellness brand Aevi RE AL NUTRITION

Nutritionist Eve Kalinik on the root that’s hard to beet 97


At home with foodie sisters, Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley, ethical is the name of the game 99


Integrative health expert, Dr Andrew Weil, gives his advice on finding balance for optimum health 100 WELL TR AVELLED

Daisy Finer brings us the world’s best eco escapes, from authentic adventures to spiritual spas


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TATE MO D E R N 6 JU LY – 30 OC T 2016


Media partner

Supported by With additional support from the Georgia O’Keeffe Exhibition Supporters Group and Tate Patrons

Georgia O’Keeffe Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1, 1932 Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas © 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London Photography by Edward C. Robison III

OUR TEAM Editor Suzy Greaves Managing Editor Danielle Woodward Art Director Heather Heward Art Editor Lynne Lanning Health + Wellness Director Eminé Ali Rushton Picture Editor Laura Doherty Dossier and Books Editor Ali Roff Chief Sub/Production Editor Vee Sey Editorial Assistant Ellen Tout Associate Editors Anita Chaudhuri, Elizabeth Heathcote Thanks to Rachel Woollett, Terry Barber, Gemma Doyle, Olivia Leigh Reynolds Contributing Editors Wellness Suzanne Duckett, Catherine Turner Health Dr Andrew Weil Living Well Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley Fitness Hollie Grant Spirit Akcelina Cvijetic Mind Suzy Reading Nutrition Eve Kalinik Yoga Kat Farrants Travel Daisy Finer Home Xochi Balfour ADVERTISING & PRODUCTION Commercial Manager Nikki Peterson (01959 543734) Advertising Sales Patricia Hubbard (01959 543514) Advertising Sales Anne Fleming (01959 543716) Production Manager Jackie Aubrey (01733 363485) Production Supervisor Amy Rutter (01733 362317) Publishing Operations Manager Charlotte Whittaker MANAGEMENT Managing Director Phil Weeden Chief Executive Steve Wright Chairman Steve Annetts Finance Director Joyce Parker-Sarioglu Publishing Director Vicky Ophield Retail Distribution Manager Eleanor Brown Audience Development Manager Andy Cotton Subscriptions Marketing Manager Daniel Webb Brand Marketing Manager Rebecca Gibson Events Manager Kat Chappell


Meet three of the people who have taken part in the creation of this issue of Psychologies

Harriet Minter

Journalist and speaker Harriet is a regular speaker on women’s rights and work. After experiencing an early-life crisis aged 30, she has spent the past three years ‘finally learning how to be a grown-up’ – a journey covered in her new column, on page 17. ‘You think you’re a grown-up because you’ve hit a certain age, but true adulthood only really happens when we learn how to take care of ourselves,’ she says. ‘It’s harder than you’d think!’

Beverley D’Silva Writer and journalist This month, Beverley explores the benefits of neurofeedback, and tells us how it helped her to find her focus. ‘At first, I hoped it might help with my gastro problems,’ she says. ‘It did, but retraining my brain also improved my thinking and even my dance moves. I can see a future when this exciting therapy is as accepted by the public and the medical profession as acupuncture is today.’ Learn more on page 88.

Daisy Finer

SUBSCRIPTIONS 12 issues of Psychologies are published per annum ● UK annual subscription price: £47.88 ● Europe annual subscription price: £62.99 ● USA annual subscription price: £62.99 ● Rest of World annual subscription price: £68.99 ● UK subscription and back issue orderline: 0333 043 9848 ● Overseas subscription orderline: 0044 (0) 1959 543747 ● Toll-free USA subscription orderline: 1 888 777 0275 ● UK customer service team: 01959 543747; Find subscription offers on our website: Manage your subscription online

Contributing Travel Editor This month, Daisy seeks out the world’s best ethical holidays. Dream about eight of our favourites on page 100. ‘I believe there is a desire to seek out those special places where we can rest assured that the planet is being looked after as much as ourselves,’ she says. ‘Our eco special sheds light on some true gems.’ Daisy also runs SPA.Kitchen – a website showcasing recipes and expert wellbeing advice.

DISTRIBUTION & PRINTING William Gibbons, 28 Planetary Road, Willenhall, Wolverhampton WV13 3XT; 01902 730011; Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9PT; 020 7429 4000; Psychologies is published under licence from Psychologies magazine France. Psychologies Magazine is a registered trademark. Copyright ©2002 Psychologies Magazine is a registered trademark and is published monthly by Kelsey Media 2016 © all rights reserved. Kelsey Media is a trading name of Kelsey Publishing Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden except with permission in writing from the publishers. Note to contributors: articles submitted for consideration by the editor must be the original work of the author and not previously published. Where photographs are included, which are not the property of the contributor, permission to reproduce them must have been obtained from the owner of the copyright. The Editor cannot guarantee a personal response to all letters and emails received. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Publisher. Kelsey Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties. PRIVACY NOTICE Kelsey Publishing Ltd uses a multi-layered privacy notice, giving you brief details about how we would like to use your personal information. For full details, visit, or call 01959 543524. If you have any questions, please ask, as submitting your details indicates your consent, until you choose otherwise, that we and our partners may contact you about products and services that will be of relevance to you via direct mail, phone, email or SMS. You can opt out at ANY time via email: or 01959 543524.

6 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6

GLOBAL EDITIONS Groupe Psychologies, 2-8 rue Gaston-Rébuffat, 75019 Paris, France. Tel: 01 44 65 58 00 President & CEO, Editorial Director: Arnaud de Saint Simon International Editor-in-Chief: Philippe Romon ( PSYCHOLOGIES FRANCE Editor-in-Chief: Laurence Folléa PSYCHOLOGIES ROMANIA Ringier Magazines, 6 Dimitri Pompeiu Street, Bucharest. Tel: +40 212 03 08 00. Managing Director: Mihnea Vasiliu ( Editor-in-Chief: Iuliana Alexa (iuliana. Advertising Manager: Monica Pop (

PSYCHOLOGIES BELGIUM Edition Ventures, Chaussée de Louvain 431D, 1830 Lasne. Tel: + 32 2 379 29 90 Editorial Director: Marie-Christine De Wasseige (mc.dewasseige@ventures. be) Chief editor (French): Christiane Thiry ( Chief editor (Flemish): Barbara Van den Abeele ( Advertising Manager: Manoëlle Sepulchre (

PSYCHOLOGIES RUSSIA Hearst Shkulev Media, Psychologies Russia, 31 b Shabolovkaya Street, Moscow 115162. Tel: +7 495 981 39 10 President: Viktor Shkulev ( Editor-in-Chief: Xsenia Kiseleva ( Publisher and Advertising Manager: Ekatarina Kerova (


Kelsey Media, Cudham Tithe Barn, Berry’s Hill, Cudham, Kent TN16 3AG (01959 541444, email

editor’s letter

How to succeed in your life – and be happy There has been a kerfuffle in the press recently about us having to choose happiness or success, should we wish to climb the career ladder. In this issue, we don’t ask you to choose – instead, we look at how you can create holistic success in your life, not just in your career, and be happy. How? In celebration of our new Psychologies book, Real Ambition, by the wonderful Lorna V, we examine how you can achieve your dreams, on your own terms, by revealing what is really important, and building your life around that – whether it’s starting your own business (page 62) or unearthing your passions (page 70). If you feel as if your va-va-voom has flatlined, read ‘Run, Cook, Write’ on page 38 to find out how three women turned to their hobbies to ‘super-boost’ their joy, relationships and skills, and learned some big life lessons along the way. However, if you don’t know which direction to go in next, don’t panic! Turn to page 32 where Lizzie Enfield discovers the art of good decision-making. If all this talk of passion and determination just makes you want to lie down, find comfort and inspiration in our eco-holiday special on page 100 – and book an uplifting experience that doesn’t cost the earth, in more ways than one. And, if you’re feeling lucky, don’t miss the chance to design and win your own bespoke holiday of a lifetime for two with Rickshaw Travel, worth £4,000. Enter our great competition on page 107 today!


Join our tribe! Connect with us on our website at and on social media. Share your comments, photos and inspiration on Twitter ( PsychologiesMag), Facebook ( Psychologiesmagazine), and Instagram (

Suzy Greaves Editor, with Oscar the office dog

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 7


Let us know what you think of the magazine and each month we’ll publish the best letters Dossier



There is something liberating about summer – longer days gift us the illusion of time, warm weather lifts our spirits, and there is a chance to escape our everyday lives. It is a time to reboot before that ‘back to school’ feeling; a respite; an opportunity to reconnect with ourselves. We have a proposition for you: what if you could find a way to enhance this glorious time of year by giving your mind and imagination a holiday, too? Get out your watercolours, calligraphy ink and clay, open your mind, be inspired (we’ll help you find your muse), and embark on a four-week journey of creativity with us, to help you truly switch off and slow down...

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer” F. Scott Fitzgerald, ‘The Great Gatsby’ A U G U S T 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 57


THE WRITE STUFF Thank you for the August Dossier, which helped me realise I was ready to get in touch with my neglected creative spirit. I have developed a bit of a phobia about writing and decided to work on establishing a daily habit for a minimum of 10 minutes. To focus my mind, I took a photo to inspire my writing. My first week of keeping a journal is a signal of my progress in conquering my inner critic. I now enjoy the musings that my photo conjures up. I am sharing this with you to celebrate the difference your articles have made. Just 10 minutes a day to change my life. Jo

PHOTO COMPETITION Would you like to showcase your talents in Psychologies? Each month, we ask you to submit a photo on a theme. We’ll print our winner in the next issue of the magazine and on, and the winner gets a prize. The next theme is ‘Discovery’. Send your photo attached in an email, with your address, to pictures@psychologies. by midnight on 30 September.*



Yes To products worth £87;**



THE WINNER THIS MONTH I took this photo, on the theme of ‘Colour’, during a trip to Seattle last year. We had the opportunity to visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition, a colourful feast for the eyes! A flair for creativity and oneness with glass as a medium of art, irrefutably shines colourfully through the lens. All you need is a little magic sometimes! Laura Deakin



FEELING GROOVY I really connected with Martha Roberts’ ‘Dance your way to happiness’ experiment in the August issue. From early on, I had identified how music plays a major role in influencing my moods and have learned to manage them through a variety of music. I can use it to soften the pain of a break-up, to psych myself up for an important meeting, to ease anxieties, to brighten days and just to relax. Allowing music into my soul gives way to movements in the form of dance. And, when the dance comes, I feel alive, happy and invincible. Nicola


the life lab


Dance your way to happiness

Every month, Martha Roberts invites you to road-test research around feeling good



1 2 3


Dance isn’t just good for your body, it does wonders for your mind, too.


Incorporate dance into your life to experience greater happiness.


Dance as a way of finding happiness has been talked about for centuries. Plato said that dance, ‘of all the arts, is the one that most influences the soul’. Other learned people like Albert Einstein and Friedrich Nietzsche have put their empirical views aside to expound dancing as a fundamental part of life. Nietzsche said: ‘We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.’ But, is there any real evidence that dancing brings happiness and is good for mental health? A University of London study* found that patients with anxiety disorders experienced significant improvement when they did a regular modern dance class; and an Italian study** found patients recovering from heart surgery who took waltz classes were happier than those who cycled or ran on a treadmill. In 2012, researchers at the University of New England in Australia discovered that people who learned to tango had lower levels of anxiety, stress and depression, and that dancing was more effective in lowering anxiety than meditation. The emotional high dancers experience is a result of the brain’s pleasure circuits being activated by movement and music. Another plus was revealed in a Swedish study,*** which found that teenage girls who danced had higher self-esteem than other girls.

NOW TRY IT OUT l Just improvise. It doesn’t have to be a set routine. A study at the Dance Psychology Lab at the University of Hertfordshire found that when dancers improvise, they are more willing to see many solutions to one obstacle, which showed increased problem-solving powers. l Be happy to get it wrong. Head of the Lab, Dr Peter Lovatt, says people laugh more during dances in which there is a high degree of tolerance for mistakes, such as country dancing or at a ceilidh. l Watch dance. A University of Guildford study† found that when people watched dance performances, some muscles behaved as if they were moving themselves due to activity in the motor cortex. l Dance at home. If a formal class fills you with horror, dancing at home, even alone, could be the way to reap the rewards without the cringe factor. Try an app like Just Dance Now (, which enables you to dance with people all over the world.

MARTHA ROBERTS is an award-winning UK health writer and mental-health blogger at


SPREAD THE LOVE I buy Psychologies every month. It’s a refreshing change from celebrityand diet-obsessed magazines, and has thought-provoking articles. However, it would be good to see a bit more of the UK reflected. There are amazing things going on, and inspiring women all over Britain with great careers who are interested in the arts, politics and therapy – and don’t live in London. Name supplied We hear you! While we are based near the capital, we are passionate about championing women from all over the UK. – Suzy Greaves, Editor

This month’s winner

I’d like to thank… To my two gorgeous girls, Finding out after a routine mammogram that I had breast cancer and needed a lumpectomy was difficult for me – but it was just as tough on the two of you. Having lost your father a few years ago, I know how precious I have become to you. Your love and support continues to be undaunted by the chemotherapy that I am receiving. You have made me rhubarb and ginger ice lollies to soothe my sore mouth and ease my nausea. You have accompanied me to a scarf-tying session and helped me make the difficult and emotional transition from lovely auburn hair to stylish wigs and hats. You drank prosecco with me while my head was being shaved by your lovely stylist friend, and arranged for him to trim my wigs to suit me. When I need a hug, you are there smiling. You have both laughed and cried with me and supported each other, too, on this unknown journey. When I have praised you, you have reassured me that you are just giving back some of the love. I want you to know how much I love you both, and how proud I am of the women that you have become.

Mum THIS MONTH’S LETTER OF GRATITUDE WINS… A year’s digital subscription to Psychologies, worth £28.99


The Fix

News i Reviews

i Books

i Film





EDITED BY ellen Tout

the imagination

Photograph: Jamen Percy/ from ‘Matthew Williamson: Fashion, Print And Colouring BOOK’ (Laurence King Publishing, £15.95)

Henry David Thoreau

world is “butThea canvas to

The Hindu Holi festival is a celebration of colour, emotion and happiness – with each shade symbolising a moment in life. Friends, foes and strangers come together to form a connection. Embrace this spirit with the new Matthew Williamson: Fashion, Print And Colouring Book. The beautiful prints and uplifting photographs inspire energy and creativity in us all.

o c t o b e r 2 0 1 6 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 11

the fix Book of the month

ALL WE SHALL KNOW From the devastating opening lines: ‘Martin Toppy is the son of a famous traveller and the father of my unborn child. He’s seventeen, I’m thirty-three. I was his teacher. I’d have killed myself by now if I was brave enough…’ to the unexpected, moving conclusion, Ryan’s third novel is an elegant, unflinching, entirely brilliant look at the waywardness of desire. Narrator, Melody Shee, is married, treacherously unhappy and full to the brim with toxic guilt about the past – and a teenage friendship that went bad – and the present, with all its complications. Caught in a spiral of self-loathing, she chronicles her careening emotions with a heart-searing honesty that is raw, but utterly riveting. EF

Bookends, £19.95 each, notonthehigh

Comfort reading There’s nothing better than settling down with a good book. As well as helping us to relax, researchers* have found that reading helps to boost our empathy. By delving into the lives of the characters on a page, our compassion is heightened – growing our appreciation of others’ emotions, intentions and experiences off the page. While non-fiction books didn’t have the same effect, romances and thrillers were found to spur the most reflection in both adults and children.



Papilio cushion, £13.99, Vallila

ITSY BITSY SPIDER Spiders are tiny creatures, so why are so many of us terrified when one creeps across the floor? A study† has found that people who fear spiders unknowingly perceive them as larger than they really are. Researchers asked people to list spiders and animals by size, with arachnophobes consistently seeing spiders larger than life. Strangely, wasps, butterflies and beetles don’t bring about this amplified vision.



by Donal Ryan (Doubleday, £12.99)

Skin deeper In 1966, Pat Cleveland (pictured) began her career in the fashion industry after being noticed on a subway platform by a magazine editor. She was one of the first African-American models to gain recognition, was photographed by Andy Warhol, and even caught the eye of Salvador Dali. She made her first appearance in American Vogue in 1970. Her story is one of many featured in Diverse Beauty by fashion photographer, Alexi Lubomirski (Damiani Editore, £38.32), a project that Alexi describes as ‘a gloriously colourful and textured tapestry of beauty’. The photographer hopes that his refreshing work inspires us all, regardless of race, size, colour or sexual orientation. ‘I want to celebrate beauty, with no boundaries or limitations – to put every type of beauty on a pedestal,’ he says. ‘I want to celebrate uniqueness.’


‘Everyone has moments when they feel out of their depth and Imposter Syndrome kicks in. Acknowledging that your success is never about “right time, right place” – it’s about talent, ability and hard work, is the way to conquer it.’ TAZEEN AHMAD Coach Tazeen Ahmad works with leaders who are introverts. She is holding the workshop, ‘Overcoming Imposter Syndrome’, at The School of Life in London in October. For information, visit


the fix


Feeling lucky?

After a long day, who can resist the temptation of a treat? A study** found that, when we’re tired, the area of the brain that controls willpower is depleted. Researchers observed people during a working day, occasionally enticing them with rewards. As the day progressed, people were more likely to act on impulse and accept the treats. It seems that, after a long day, we’re not just tired, our brains are unable to make on-the-spot decisions.

Research* shows that crossing our fingers, sharing a ‘good luck’ wish or carrying a lucky charm can improve our chance of success. When people took part in memory tests and games, those with lucky traditions achieved better results than those without. It turns out that simply believing in a lucky superstition boosts our confidence and self-belief – prompting us to feel secure and set higher goals. Victorian-style coin bracelet, £145, notonthe

Custard cream bag, £50, Yoshi


WE LOVE: Shrinking Violets (Profile Books, £14.99)

Our friends at Radio 4 tell us why ‘Shrinking Violets’ will make you think about shyness in new ways... Shyness, so hard to define, seems to serve no evolutionary purpose, yet is common throughout human societies and the animal kingdom. According to Joe Moran, author of Shrinking Violets: ‘It has none of the pathos of afflictions such as madness or melancholia, and none of the drama of major experiences like love, loss and grief.’ For producer, Hannah Marshall, that’s what makes it fascinating. Moran, shy all his life, explores shyness with anthropological curiosity – and listeners will discover that it isn’t a thing to be defeated, but part of the variety of human life. ‘Shrinking Violets’ is Radio 4’s Book of the Week from 29 August. Sign up for the BBC Books newsletter at





Captain Fantastic

Film of the month

Directed and written by Matt Ross

Imagine leaving the concrete jungle behind and going back to the land, living the good life by your own means, at one with nature... This is the life that Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) has given his six children, raising and educating them in the wilderness of Washington state, isolated from society and without the influence of technology or consumerism. But, when tragedy strikes and Ben’s wife Leslie dies suddenly, her parents blame him and shut him out, forcing Ben to take his sheltered children into the modern world for the first time. It’s a beautiful film, full of good and bad decisions that will have you questioning what is right and wrong, and what you feel is important; asking if it is possible to create true balance in our own lives and, if so, what that actually looks like. AR




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“But I want it now!”

Learning to wait is a life skill that might just change your life, writes Harriet Minter



s a child of the 1980s, there are some clear images that I associate with growing up: Thatcher and her handbag, obviously; the horror that is anyone in tight neon Lycra; the stock-market boys, with their jackets off and their sleeves rolled up, staring at the ticker tape numbers... As a kid, I didn’t understand what they were doing, but I could feel the excitement – the rush of gambling. I grew up in a household that mirrored the stock market. It was either boom – shopping, holidays, ponies – or bust, hiding under beds to stop the bailiffs seeing us. This upbringing taught me a lesson: you had to make the most of everything you had when you had it because you never knew when it was going to be taken away. This boom-or-bust mentality ran through all parts of my life. It’s taken me 15 years of full-time work to understand how to make my pay cheque last until the end of the month: I assumed everyone had to survive on Marmite on toast for the two weeks before pay day. And it wasn’t just money. I’m still the person most likely to suggest ‘just one more’, even when I know my hangover now lasts two days. And it’s only paying a personal trainer, whether I turn up or not, that makes me go to the gym. Also, like all journalists, I’m deadline driven, submitting copy at the last of last minutes. There are advantages to living like this – it’s exciting when you’re winning – but then, one day, I woke up, bank account empty, hangover kicking in, and I knew that something had to change. Someone must know the trick to getting through life without these extremes? Like all of life’s great secrets, it’s simple: know that everything comes around again. For me, childhood memories of being broke had turned into an adult fear that, if I didn’t have what I wanted, that minute, I’d never have the opportunity again. This is rubbish. The ‘last

chance’ was dreamed up by ad execs desperate to sell you something. In the same way that the ex you don’t want to see pops up at every party, or your boss won’t let that one piece of bad work go, so good things come back, too: the dress you wanted goes on sale; the job you didn’t get allows you to find a better one elsewhere... Letting go of my need to have things the second I want them has been hard, and I’m not sure I’ve completely got it but, in the long-term, we do find the things that we’re meant to have – and they’re always worth the wait. For weekly wisdom from Harriet, sign up for her newsletter at tinyletter. com/harrietminter. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @harrietminter

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 17

the great wake-up!

Time to get lost Chris Baréz-Brown urges us to use a lunch break to switch off the phone and explore a new location


ith our technologically ‘connected’ lives, it is almost impossible to get properly lost when we travel somewhere new – but that means we miss out on one of life’s little pleasures. Author and adventurer, Jon Evans, laments: ‘Never being lost may sound good on paper, but it strikes one as akin to settling into a comfortable wheelchair, rather than learning how to run.’ Our lives can be spent in the same places, day in and day out, and we become desensitised to our surroundings. We encourage autopilot to take over. But, when we walk down unfamiliar streets, our consciousness is heightened, as our brains have to be more active to understand our new environment. We see things we wouldn’t ordinarily notice, and find ourselves more engaged. It’s the experience that we enjoy when we step off the plane in an exotic location: new smells, sounds and sights. This stimulation is something we can recreate on our doorstep, simply by following an untrodden path. Next lunchtime, put down your phone and set yourself free. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat – it kept the cat energised, inspired and alive.

Wake up now!



Author, speaker and Upping Your Elvis founder, Chris Baréz-Brown, has teamed up with Psychologies for a 12-month experiment to help us break our routines. We will introduce a new experiment each week and, at the end of the month, review the results.


Join the biggest female cycling event in the UK

women cancer RIDE THE NIGHT SATURDAY 27 MAY 2017 Cycle 100km through London at night and raise funds to fight women’s cancers.

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TO TA K E PA RT YO U N EED TO PAY A R EG I S T R AT I O N FEE O F £45 A N D R A I S E M I N I M U M S P O N S O R S H I P O F £19 9. Registered Charity Nos: Breast Cancer Care: 1017658/ SC038104, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust: 1133542/SC041236, Ovarian Cancer Action: 1109743/SC043478. Women V Cancer is established under the Charities Aid Foundation Charity No. 268369

ction for charity




“Now I’m older, I crave working with more women” Confident, determined, and brimming with natural talent, Kate Mara is fast becoming one of Hollywood’s hottest properties. From embracing feminism to cherishing her family roots, here’s why we adore the House Of Cards star



nyone who’s watched Netflix’s wonderful series House Of Cards will be familiar with actress Kate Mara’s incredible ability to flash from childlike vulnerability to impenetrable steeliness in a matter of frames. Playing feisty young journalist, Zoe Barnes, who ends up embroiled in a dangerous love affair with a duplicitous US Congressman, played by Kevin Spacey, Mara captures perfectly the vigour and naivety that made Zoe so disarming, but ultimately led to her character’s tragic demise. While the 33-year-old has very little in common with her ruthless and blindly ambitious House Of Cards alter-ego, that contradiction remains and is evident in almost every interview she does. She’s open and kind, but also fiercely straight-talking; in other words, Mara doesn’t put up with any nonsense. For example, while promoting the recent

Fantastic Four reboot, in which she played Marvel’s superheroine, Sue Storm, Mara grew uneasy when a DJ on Atlanta’s Rock 100.5 Morning Show began making odd remarks about her toes and, in reference to her pixie crop, asked why she’d cut off her ‘beautiful hair’. ‘This is a great interview,’ quipped Mara, with a sigh. Having been a professional actor for more than half her life, it is understandable that Mara grows frustrated with insinuations that she is simply eye candy, and admits to an ever-growing desire to embrace feminism. ‘Now that I’m older, I crave working with more women. For so long, “feminist” was a scary word, but the more comfortable we can be calling ourselves that, the more changes we can make,’ she said recently.* She also dismisses the notion that embracing women’s rights means relinquishing the right to play the bombshell >>>

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>>> occasionally. ‘I don’t understand why you can’t dress sexy

and be looked at as a smart, sophisticated person. That’s ridiculous,’ she says.*

Early determination

Raised in New York, Mara was born into not one, but two NFL sporting dynasties. Her great-grandfather on her mother’s side founded the Pittsburgh Steelers, while the one on her father’s side established the New York Giants. Her decision to pursue a career in the arts, therefore, took her family by surprise and they encouraged her to attend college first until it became clear that this was no fanciful whim. ‘I was nine years old when I started “the campaign”, and 14 when I got an agent. That’s five years of a lot of conversations,’ Mara has said.** ‘I did a lot of really bad community theatre, so I think I proved I was very serious about it.’ Her first TV role came as a teenager in the US drama series Law & Order and, since then, she has worked consistently on both the big and small screens. Her resumé includes playing the late Heath Ledger’s daughter in Brokeback Mountain, a NASA technician in The Martian and a scorned ex-mistress (then terrifying ghost) in American Horror Story: Murder House. Her ability to play such a diverse range of characters has afforded her financial security and the freedom to pick and choose her roles based on instinct rather than necessity. ‘I’ve become more aware of [the people with] whom I’m going to spend three months of my life,’ she said recently. ‘Why do I want to have that experience with that person? What will it give me? Will it help me grow? I’ve started making a list of directors I’m excited about – and now I’m not just waiting for them to make a movie, but maybe creating one myself.’

“It’s rare to have a sibling going through the same, or similar, experiences as you: similar stresses, joys and uncertainties”

higher-profile roles, including those in The Social Network and David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, leading some to assume there is rivalry between them. But the elder Mara insists her only emotion was one of joy that there was someone ‘in the club’ with her. ‘There was a long period of time when I didn’t have that. It’s rare to have a sibling going through the same, or similar, experiences as you: similar stresses, joys and uncertainties. Those things are easy for a lot of people [to relate to], no matter what your profession, but there’s something about having the girl closest to me in my life also experiencing the exact same job – I know how unique that is. I don’t take it for granted.’ Hailing from a family who are essentially American football royalty, and rising to be one half of Hollywood’s best sister act since the Olsen twins, you could forgive Mara for having her feet less than firmly on the ground. thrilling role But she is unswayed by the trappings of fame. She shows true gratitude and l Morgan amazement at both herself and Kate Mara stars as Lee Weathers Rooney finding success and has never in Ridley Scott’s new sci-fi thriller been embroiled in any kind Morgan, directed by his son, Luke. of celebrity scandal. She amicably Reminiscent of films like Ex Machina, the film revolves around a highly separated from her former long-term intelligent artificial being gone partner, Max Minghella, in 2014, rogue. Mara plays a corporate before embarking on a committed, troubleshooter sent to assess the but low-profile relationship with experiment, after concerns that the Billy Elliot actor Jamie Bell after they synthetic girl could be endangering met on the set of 2015’s Fantastic Four. the scientists who made her. Created The affectionate couple are often and kept in a laboratory (in a suitably spotted by the paparazzi’s long lenses remote location), the rapidly enjoying quality time together, but the developing being, Morgan, does pair otherwise avoid placing their inevitably turn violent against her relationship in the media spotlight; creator-captors and Weathers has to resolve the life-threatening situation. Mara wore a ring on the fourth finger ††

Family pride

Mara has lived in LA for over a decade, but her heart is still in New York, and realising her dreams as an actor has perhaps strengthened her bond with her family. She credits her grandfather, Wellington Mara, with instilling in her a sense of passion and pride; she admits to feeling so bereft if she can’t be with her family for the annual Super Bowl that she has it written into her contracts that the day must be kept free. And, most importantly, she is visibly thrilled that her younger sibling, Patricia (known professionally as Rooney Mara), decided to follow in her thespian footsteps. While Kate is arguably the more experienced sister, Rooney has landed

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words: karen anne overton/interview hub. photographs: GETTY IMAGES; rex; planet photos; CAPITAL PICTURES. *INSTYLE.CO.UK **THE INDEPENDENT †ESQUIRE MAGAZINE ††MODERN LUXURY.COM/MANHATTAN



Kate and Rooney Mara share the limelight at the Screen Actors Guild Awards this year

Mara as Zoe Barnes in political drama House Of Cards. She was nominated for an Emmy for the role

of her left hand to Paris Fashion Week in March, but when quizzed as to whether Bell had proposed, she replied with a straightforward ‘no’. Living in health-conscious Los Angeles, the actress also eschews alcohol and animal products, although the latter was a result of her childhood experience of seeing a battery hen farm. ‘Just miles and miles of these awful coops, chickens living in cages and that’s their life. I was so disturbed by it, I decided I didn’t want to eat meat ever again. I’m a massive animal lover, too. Being vegan has been so good for me. I’ve never felt better,’ she says.** She now promotes the animal welfare organisation Humane Society of the United States, appearing in its

Mara with her co-stars, Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, in last year’s highly acclaimed The Martian

Mara’s character, Lee Weathers, confronts Anya Taylor-Joy’s Morgan in the film of the same name

videos to advocate ‘Meatless Mondays’ and using her significant social media presence to campaign on a wide range of animal rights issues. She even paired up with sister Rooney to publicly appeal for funding from a New York research laboratory that has abandoned 60 of its former test chimpanzees in Liberia. Both sisters travelled to the country to visit the animals and their new caretakers, bringing attention to the injustice. The bottom line? Mara knows her own mind, and always has done. Whether she goes on to become a blockbuster queen or an indie princess, you can rest assured it was all part of her great plan. Kate Mara’s latest film,‘Morgan’, is in UK cinemas from 2 September

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Take a day off from your life Feeling overwhelmed and fit to drop? Maybe you need to ‘pull a sickie’ to save your sanity, says Heidi Scrimgeour

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I can still picture my husband’s face when I told him I was going AWOL for the day, leaving him, literally, holding the baby and her brothers. He didn’t question the logistics, but his demeanour – quiet concern mixed with a stoical ‘manning up’ – seemed proof that I was right to declare myself unfit for the task of just being me. If I didn’t run away for a day, we both feared I might eventually disappear forever, even if only fading away figuratively beneath the detritus of my daily life.

Making myself happy

I want to tell you that I spent that day watching soulful films and drinking wine until darkness fell, or that I shopped until I dropped and returned home broke but utterly replenished. In truth, I wandered dazedly around a shopping centre, feeling lost. I sat catatonic in a coffee shop for hours, clueless as to how to use my freedom.

I ended up grocery shopping before driving home dejected and ashamed that, even when divested of all domestic duty, I still couldn’t work out how to make myself happy. But, two years on, I have perfected the art of the ‘life duvet day’, and it comes in several parts. Every few months, I treat myself to a full-scale spa day at my favourite hotel. Booking and paying for it well in advance means I’m unlikely to wriggle out of it when other commitments compete for the same space in my diary. However, I have learned that such rare treats are not enough to keep the wheels on my wellbeing, so I also book an afternoon off work once a month to go for lunch at my favourite beachside café – regardless of whether I can spare the time. I’ll have a glass of wine and arrange for someone else to collect the children from school. Once a week, I spare myself making dinner and putting the children to >>> PHOTOGRAPH: gALLERY STOCK


uvet day, personal day, mental health day… call it what you like, we all need one from time to time. But, while the value of taking the occasional sickie from work is well-documented, what about when you feel like taking the day off from your whole life? If you have ever had that ‘stop the world, I want to get off’ feeling, you’ll recognise where I was just a couple of years ago. Looking after young children and managing my own business was a juggling act that left me feeling I was running at a standstill. Elbow-deep in dirty dishes and battered by the noise of squabbling siblings, I wanted to walk out and leave everything that clamoured for my attention to someone else. So I did. But, what began as a desperate, oneoff measure has since evolved into a ritual; I take a regular day off from life and that keeps me sane.


friend, or take a bracing walk on the beach before drinking a flask of hot chocolate in the car and listening to the waves. Unlike that first ill-fated duvet day, I wind my way home brimming with a sense of having had my cup refilled, eager to resume normal life. I have never revisited the brink of overwhelm like I did on that dark day beside the sink.

Nurturing every day

That’s what taking a duvet day from life does for me but, in a culture that encourages us to compete on the basis of how busy we are, taking any time off seems counter-intuitive. Yet, psychotherapist, Hilda Burke, thinks I’ve got my priorities right. ‘It’s very strange, but our culture views looking after ourselves as overly indulgent. I see this with clients who feel selfish coming to therapy, especially to talk about themselves, whereas activities which are potentially very harmful – such as overspending and binge-drinking – are much more socially acceptable,’ Burke says. ‘In fact, looking after one’s self isn’t selfish. It strengthens your capacity to be caring and attentive to others. Taking a break from your responsibilities is the responsible thing to do.’ But, for Burke, this needs to be about more than the occasional day off. ‘Prevention is always better than cure,’ she says, and recommends self-nurturing on a daily basis. ‘Aim to spend at least 20 minutes every day doing one thing that helps replenish you; think of it as taking a little bit of your duvet day into daily life.’ While daily nurturing might hold less appeal or be trickier to arrange than an occasional duvet day, it could have a more profound and lasting

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Looking after one’s self isn’t selfish. It strengthens your capacity to be caring and attentive to others. Taking a break from your responsibilities is the responsible thing to do

>>> bed, and instead see a film with a

effect, says Bridget Grenville-Cleave, a founder member of the International Positive Psychology Association and director of Workmad Ltd. ‘A new view is emerging which recognises that sustainability is an important factor in happiness, and yet cultivating ways of sustaining our wellbeing can, in fact, be quite unexciting,’ she explains. Curl up somewhere comfortable with a book for pure pleasure; turn off your phone and take a nap or a long bath; or sit by a window and simply allow your mind the rare luxury of

wandering aimlessly. In the end, what you do for your daily duvet moment matters less than simply getting into the habit of being more attentive to your needs. I make excuses for why I can’t spare even a few moments to take care of myself. But a pressing work deadline, a mountain of laundry and children demanding help with their homework aren’t good enough reasons to put off making our own needs a priority. There’s probably never a tougher period in your life to eke out time for duvet days or daily acts of self-care than when you’re parenting young children. But, there will always be commitments that seem more important, so we simply must put ourselves first from time to time. That kitchen-sink decision to seize a duvet day saved my marriage, if not my soul. Learning to be more attentive to my own needs, and incorporating a nurturing ritual into every day, is also helping turn my duvet days from desperate measures into rejuvenating experiences. A duvet day should never be all that gets you through – but one well spent can truly top you up.;

stop, relax, replenish

Take time out of daily life to rid yourself of stress l SCHEDULE



It’s become the cultural ‘norm’ to be unmanageably busy. But, if that’s driven by your difficulty in saying ‘no’, or fear of having a blank diary, examine why you feel like this.

‘You need to practise nurturing yourself daily to feel its benefits,’ says Burke. Schedule it into your calendar as you would other work or health commitments.


‘Psychosomatic illnesses are your body’s way of forcing you to pay attention to your health,’ says Burke. If you’re unwell the moment you take a break, slow down.


Learning from the unexpected


the life lab

Every month, Martha Roberts invites you to road-test research around feeling good

1 2 3


We know that time spent with loved ones and a fulfilling job boost our happiness, but some surprising things help, too.



Finding happiness in ways you hadn’t thought of before, by learning lessons from unexpected things.


When I was 18, I was in India and a man struck up a conversation, asking, ‘What religion are you?’. I must have looked pensive, and he suggested, ‘A bit of everything?’. His philosophical view has stayed with me, and I often reflect on this wisdom that came from an unexpected place. The UK Little Things Index* discovered that it’s not the big gestures that make us happy, but things like finding money you didn’t know you had, or clean bed sheets. Psychologist, Dr Glenn Williams, of Leeds Beckett University, says: ‘It’s the small, unexpected, pleasures that make us smile, helping us build meaningful lives.’ Unexpected people make us happy, too. A Chicago study** found those of us who spoke to strangers had a more positive experience than those who remained quiet. And, in his book, Happiness: 25 Ways To Live Joyfully Through Art (Rider Books, £16.99), psychiatrist, Christophe André, says children can teach us lessons about joy. ‘Children live in the present: they avoid the anticipation and rumination that gnaw at adult minds,’ he explains. In The Soul Of All Living Creatures (Penguin Random House, £11.99), vet, Dr Vint Virga, writes we can also learn a lot from animals. From keeping focused on what’s important, to remembering to rest and play, pets get it right.

NOW TRY IT OUT ● Be receptive. Christophe André says it’s important to be still and

silent to ‘make room for happiness to emerge’. We are so busy trying to find happiness, we don’t realise the potential for happiness all around. ● Revel in little things. Whether it’s spending time with your pet or laughing out loud at a funny memory (both are on the Little Things Index), remember it’s the small events that can bring us joy. ● Seek wisdom from unexpected role models. Most of us have mentors who are older, more influential, or more learned than we are. But it is possible to admire the philosophy of someone you might arguably be teaching yourself. Just because your role model is 10 years old, doesn’t mean they are not talking sense. ● Watch your pet. When your cat chases a feather, or your dog paws you for a rub, ask: is it their unconditional love or ability to savour the moment that keeps them so happy? What can you learn from this? MARTHA ROBERTS is an award-winning UK health writer and mental-health blogger at



Can you save your relationship – by yourself ? Is it possible to bring your relationship back from the brink of break-up by doing an online course without your partner? Ella Deane decided to find out


he first utterance of the D-word wasn’t by me. I was standing at the side of the motorway in the pouring rain with Katie, my eight-year-old daughter, and my sons Jake, 11, and Charlie, 13, and had just left a rant on voicemail for Pete, my husband of 17 years. He had been promising to get the car fixed for weeks. ‘Are you going to divorce Daddy?’ asked Katie. It was the catalyst moment. By the end of the week, I had signed up to the Psychologies Save Your Relationship e-course, created by expert Sarah Abell. It promised that it only takes one person to change the dynamic of a relationship… and I didn’t tell Pete that I was doing it because I was afraid it would just cause more arguments.

photograph trunk archive

WEEK ONE All by myself

In the first video, Abell talks about the need to heed the warning lights in our relationships if we are to stop them from breaking down – just like a car. I hope it isn’t an omen: that night on the motorway ended in our car being towed away, and the garage said they might not be able to fix it. Pete and I are running on empty. I am working full-time, as well as cooking, cleaning and organising the children. Pete is working crazy hours, plus doing long commutes. It feels as if the only time we speak is to argue about which of us is the most tired. ‘If you are in a difficult place, emotionally low, hormonal, bored, lonely, struggling in your career, overstretched, unfit or exhausted, then you are going to find it harder

to invest in your relationship,’ says Abell. I can tick all those boxes. Stress has left me binge-eating, drinking far too much wine in the evenings and not sleeping very well. I realise that I am lonely. I feel totally disconnected from Pete. I miss him. I miss us. Abell encourages us to write in a journal, answering the questions: What are your happiest memories of being together? What are the qualities that you admire in your partner? Pete is a big Northern bear of a man. When we met, he was full of good humour; a grafter. He was loyal and great fun. No one could make me laugh like Pete. It is a long time since I’ve focused on Pete’s good qualities. Another exercise is to create a timeline of our relationship. Abell >>> say that couples who put a positive

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more likely to have a happier future. I plot out our history. The early years were lovely – Pete was around more and we shared the childcare. Then, two years ago, he got an amazing job, but it was a 90-minute commute each way. My father had moved abroad at the same time. Up until that point, they had both been around more to help out, to talk to. This exercise helps me realise that I feel I have lost both of them from my life – and I feel completely unsupported.

WEEK TWO Will you dance with me?   In the second week, the course looks at the dynamic or ‘dance’, as Abell calls it, of your relationship. Are you a withholder; you withdraw because you feel rejected and inadequate? Or a pursuer; you demand attention because you feel alone, unappreciated and invisible? Oh dear! I am definitely a pursuer. And Pete is a withholder. Our dynamic is not being helped by our communication style. I learn that there are four ways that you can doom your relationship, in terms of communication: criticism; contempt (if you could have heard that roadside voicemail!); defensiveness; and stonewalling (even the children talk about Pete’s man cave in the garage). I start to see what a destructive tango we have been doing. The answer? Try a new dance: appreciation; respect; being vulnerable, rather than accusing; apologising; forgiving; getting physical with a hug; using humour to disarm... Abell also recommends the 5:1 technique. She teaches that, for every criticism or negative comment, you need to offer five positive ones. My ratio has probably been the reverse of that. At the weekend, I thank Pete for taking the dog out so that I can have

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suggests “thatAbell we prioritise

our partners above all other people this week. I constantly put everyone before Pete – the children, my friends, family, even the dog

>>> spin on their relationship history are

a lie-in. When he picks up the car from the garage (they managed to fix it), I hug him and don’t nag about sorting out breakdown cover. (I hear him later on the phone, sorting it out.) On Saturday evening, I suggest that we take the dog out for a walk together, without the children, I ask his advice over a dilemma at work. He talks sense and I feel supported. On the way home, he starts telling a funny story about one of his clients and it makes me howl with laughter. The children fall silent as we walk through the door. Katie says, ‘You’re laughing... Why are you laughing?’  

WEEK THREE Learning to speak a different language

In the third week, I learn about the five languages of love, namely, words of affirmation; quality time; receiving gifts; acts of service; and physical touch. The idea is that we all show our love in ‘languages’ and, if you and your partner are speaking different languages, you can feel disconnected. I had realised in the first couple of weeks of the course that I felt loved and supported when Pete spent time with me and helped me with the children – so my love languages are acts of service and quality time.

I guess that Pete’s language is touch because his default approach to most things is a bear hug. Lately, I had avoided his approaches, but Abell says you need to change the dance by speaking your partner’s language. In the middle of the week, Pete gets home late. I pour him a glass of wine and give him a hug. We slump next to each other on the sofa, watching the news, and I reach over and hold his hand. After five minutes, he clicks the TV off and asks me about my day and the big project I’ve just pitched for.

WEEK FOUR New priorities

Abell suggests that we prioritise our partners above all other people this week. I constantly put everyone before Pete – the children, my friends, family, even the dog. I book a babysitter and a table at a local restaurant. Then I confess to Pete that I have been doing the course, and tell him what Katie said about us getting divorced – and what I’ve subsequently learned about relationships. I say how sorry I am that I’ve been so negative and explain that I need support. I tell him how much I love him and how I want us to work. Pete doesn’t say a word, he listens to me until I finish speaking, then he gets up and, in the middle of the restaurant, he pulls me in for a bear hug.

ONE MONTH LATER Onwards and upwards

That night after dinner, Pete asked if he could do the course, too. Now, he says he loves that he has a manual to follow. Life hasn’t become any less busy – but we are making more time for us. We know we lost each other for a while, but the course is helping us practise specific techniques to find a way to return to each other. Our car is definitely back on the road.


“I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure” Every decision you make is a battle between intuition and logic and, whether you make snap judgements or dither about for ages, weighing up the pros and cons depends on your personality type. But we can learn from both, decides Lizzie Enfield


inishing this article, my computer prompts me: ‘Do you want to save this document?’. I do, which is why I press ‘save’, but now that it’s questioning my decisions, so am I. Do I really want to save it? Is it even good enough? Or should I just start again? Oh dear… I’m notoriously indecisive. Ask me if I want a cup of tea or coffee and I won’t give you an immediate answer, even though I don’t actually drink coffee. To plump for one beverage option without giving the other due thought seems ill-advised. Deciding what to wear, or what to have for breakfast often makes me late for work. The next decision on my list is where to have a family holiday next year. Will we go abroad or stay in the UK? There are advantages and disadvantages to both choices. I am torn between the two. My husband, however, is decisive.

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photograph trunk aRchive

He walked into our current house, took one look around and decided to offer the asking price, while I was wondering whether the reasonably sized garden compensated for the tiny bathroom. Once he’s made a decision, he won’t agonise over whether it was right or not – he’ll just get on with it.

Intuition versus logic

Sometimes our different approaches help us to reach ‘good’ decisions, while at other times they lead to arguments that go around in circles. The good thing is, I am not alone. People are as different in the way they make their decisions as they are in their preferences for drinking tea or coffee, and both our make-up and our psyches affect the way we go about it. According to psychologists, every decision we take, every judgement we make, is a battle between intuition and logic: a struggle between the part of our mind that analyses a problem

then comes up with a rational solution, and the part that is responsible for ‘gut feelings’ and more intuitive. Interestingly, no matter how rational we think we are, most of our decisions are made by our intuitive mind, which is faster, more easily accessed, and tends to override our slower, logical mind. On top of which, our thinking is riddled with systematic mistakes, known to psychologists as ‘cognitive biases’. There’s the present bias, which makes us focus on what’s happening now; the confirmation bias, which makes us look for information that validates what we already know; and others like the hindsight bias; the negativity bias; the loss-aversion bias; and so on. To use the present bias as an example, if I ask you if you would like half a box of chocolates now, or a whole box tomorrow, more people are likely to go for half now. Despite the fact that >>>


>>> our rational brains tell us that waiting

and getting more chocolate makes sense, our intuitive brains are set to say: ‘Yum, chocolate, I want it now!’

Personality types

Dr Laurie Santos, a psychologist at Yale University, has investigated these biases, and concludes that they are deeply rooted in our evolutionary past, leaving our decision-making processes better suited to short-term, fight-or-flight survival problems, than those that relate to the modern world. ‘If we’ve had this strategy for the past 35 million years, we need other ways to avoid the pitfalls,’ she says. ‘We may not be able to change but, by being aware of our cognitive limitations, we may be able to design the environment around us to allow for our mistakes.’ Take the business environment. In the last series of The Apprentice, Lord Sugar blasted one candidate for being slow to make up his mind. He saw this as a sign of weakness and a failure to display leadership. But was he right? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality inventory, designed to make Jung’s theory of psychological types understandable and useful in everyday lives. It identifies 16 distinctive personality types, that result from the interactions among four sets of preferences: thinking or feeling; sensing and intuition; extraversion and introversion; and judging (J) or perceiving (P). Penny Moyle is a Myers-Briggs consultant and the CEO of OPP, a business-training consultancy. She says that the dimension between judging and perceiving is the one that is most closely linked to ‘decisiveness’. For instance, do you prefer to pin down a decision (J), or leave your options open to allow for new information (P)? ‘People with a preference for judging enjoy creating structure and making decisions, and tend to come across as

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how to make good decisions


Don’t sweat the small stuff

Remember that while some decisions – like whether to end a relationship or leave your job – need careful consideration, what you have for lunch or what brand of shampoo you buy doesn’t really matter.


Decide when to decide

If you’re prone to snap decisions, try to consider more options first. But, if you tend to go through all the available information before reaching any decision, decide how much of it is really important.

organised,’ she explains. ‘People with a preference for perceiving prefer keeping their options open. They like to continue seeking information, rather than closing things down by making decisions too soon.’ She could be talking about my husband and me. He’s a judger, while I’m a perceiver. Both types, according to Moyle, have their relative strengths and weaknesses.

The ‘jury’ effect

‘Neither kind of person necessarily makes good decisions,’ Moyle says. ‘Although judging types like making lots of decisions, these will not be good ones, unless they have considered enough information. Perceiving types are likely to fall into the opposite trap – leaving things so open-ended that decisions don’t get made.’ One of my favourite plays is 12 Angry Men, by Reginald Rose. A man is on trial for murder and, initially, 11 members of the jury are convinced of his guilt. These, according to Moyle,


Good decisions vs optimal decisions

Decide your priorities, then focus on them. If you’re choosing a new car, and the colour and fuel consumption are top priorities, then settle on one that fits those criteria, rather than just looking for the ‘best’ car on the market.


Seek advice

We don’t always make rational decisions. The best way to override the intuitive part of our brain is to ask someone you trust who’s been in a similar position to give their opinion, and learn from their experience.

are judgers. During the play, it takes one perceiver to persuade the rest of the jurors to think about all the evidence. In the end, the initial snap decision of the 11 jurors is reversed – and an innocent man is acquitted. It’s this ‘jury effect’ that Moyle tries to bring into play in business situations. ‘We recommend that people make sure they systematically and consciously consider all ways of taking in information,’ she says. ‘By deliberately having a more rounded perspective, there is a greater likelihood you will make better decisions – and also persuade others to come along with you.’ I’ve still not sorted next year’s family holiday. Cornwall or Croatia? My husband’s immediate preference was for Cornwall, but he’s agreed to look at what’s on offer in Croatia before making up his mind. I’ve come to realise we’ll probably have a good time wherever we go and, at some point, I’m simply going to have to plump for one, or the other.


How to thrive in an open-plan office


Every month, Oliver Burkeman invites you to improve your work life


Psychologists’ verdict on the open-plan model, designed to enhance collaboration between workers, is clear: they mean more stress, lowered motivation and job satisfaction* and, even worse, less sleep (we are further away from windows**). But there are ways, both sneaky and straightforward, to lessen the pain.





The answer isn’t to become the office misanthrope, permanently wearing headphones and scowling at anyone who approaches. Rather, to the extent your job allows, divide your time between private and public. Wear headphones – prominent ones – or work in a secluded corner each morning, then rejoin the fray in the afternoon. Book meeting rooms for three-hour meetings with yourself, if you can get away with it. Or let calls go to voicemail all morning, then return them in a batch, somewhere free of eavesdroppers. If you’re senior, tell colleagues, so that they respect your rules. But, even if you’re not, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to ‘train’ others, as long as you follow predictable patterns. Help cultivate the right culture by not interrupting others when they’re obviously trying to focus.

NOW TRY IT OUT Break the silence. Ironically, almost-silent open-plan offices are worse for privacy and focus than those with background noise: when you can hear a pin drop, every sound makes an impact, and everyone can hear your conversations. If possible, use a white noise machine, open a window, or move to a more bustling part of the building. ● Turn the tables. If you’re bothered by other people’s noisy phone calls, and don’t mind being a little wily, make it clear that you are listening in: nod in agreement with something that they say, or chuckle at one of their jokes. They’ll soon pipe down. ● Restore yourself. If you just can’t find solitude at work, do all you can to get a little alone time outside of the office – free of parenting and relationship responsibilities. Even half an hour a day, at lunchtime if necessary, will pay dividends at work and at home. ●

OLIVER BURKEMAN is the author of ‘The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking’ (Canongate, £8.99)




Collaboration and solitude are two sides of one coin: everyone, even extroverts, needs time alone in order to collaborate well. According to a 2013 study***, what people hate most about open-plan offices is a lack of ‘acoustical privacy’: hearing others’ chat and phone calls, and wondering if they’re eavesdropping on yours. If you’re the boss, introduce more private spaces. If not, here’s how to reinforce your ‘private bubble’.

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 35



In partnership with NOW Live Events, we’re offering two workshops: Psychologies’ agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, helps us to develop a public voice, while business innovator, David Pearl, tells us how to find the answers to big questions – on the street

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What stops you from changing the world? with Mary Fenwick DATE: 7 September TIME: 7pm-8.30pm VENUE: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 4RL COST: £18 ‘I’m on a mission to see more women in public life being human and real; judged on more than just their shoes,’ says Psychologies’ agony aunt, Mary Fenwick. ‘I want to see women in power, making decisions; talking about ideas, and finding ways to put big dreams into action. You don’t have to be amazing – let’s start by being as mediocre as some of those in public life right now.’ Fenwick is a coach who works with women in politics, business and the media around the world. Her clients include a Westminster MP; a member of the Tibetan parliament in exile; the CEO of an international charity; and the founders of political parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo and

Libya. Fenwick is director of a not-forprofit organisation that works in countries in transition to democracy. She speaks about her experiences in a TEDx talk called ‘What works – when you need to recreate your own future’. YOU WILL LEARN: the barriers women face ● What you can do to develop your own public voice ● How to be part of the change that you want to see in the world ● How to be a cheerleader for yourself and other women ● Tips for instant confidence boosts ● To develop your leadership potential ● About

Join us! Buy tickets at


Street Wisdom, with David Pearl DATE: 5 October TIME: 7pm-9pm VENUE: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 4RL COST: £18


Fast becoming known (25 countries and counting) as a way to urban mindfulness, Street Wisdom is an immersive, guided walk that uses city streets to help you find fresh answers to big questions. Business innovator, David Pearl, has distilled decades of work into this powerful, deceptively simple technique, which has helped people all over the world find inspiration and new directions, right on their own doorsteps. For a taster, see Pearl’s ‘Street Wisdom’ TEDx talk. WHAT TO EXPECT AT THIS EVENT: ● Clarity about what makes us so distracted and unfocused ● Learn how Street Wisdom works

● A hands-on outside session, learning how to ‘read the street’ ● To hone in on, and answer, a burning personal life question ● Sharing with others to find clarity, focus and, most of all, to have fun! ● Ticket-holders get a free copy of Wandercast, the Street Wisdom smartphone download

SPECIAL OFFER Psychologies readers not attending can download Street Wisdom’s Wandercast app for a discounted donation of £3.99 (usually £5.99) until the end of October. Get the app at Join us! Buy tickets at

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 37


Run, cook, write


on’t trip over a cat’s eye,’ were my husband’s final words to me at the start of South Africa’s 56-mile Comrades Marathon. Minutes later, after barely a mile, my foot came into contact with one of these little reflective road markers and I crashed to the ground, landing on my knees and left elbow. The pain was agonising: blood dripped off my arm, which had been twisted in my shoulder socket. Telling myself, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine’ until I believed it, I used my sports bra as a sling and pressed on, knowing that I wouldn’t make the 12-hour cut-off. You may be forgiven for asking why I bothered to continue at all, knowing full well that no matter how far I ran (49 miles in the event), I’d be going home without a finishing time or a medal. The answer lies in one of the greatest gifts running has bestowed on me, and that is the certain knowledge that I’m not a quitter. Every single one of the marathons I’ve run so far has put this to the test

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because I still find running incredibly difficult, and I’m still unbelievably slow. When I tripped in 2011 I had yet to come last – something I, like most tortoise-types, feared more than anything. But, a year later, inevitably it happened. I entered the South Downs Marathon, spent most of it in the company of the race sweeper who took down the mile markers the second I passed them, and finished last. So how did it feel, this thing I’d dreaded and dodged for so long? Honestly? Simply amazing. And not just because the organisers gave me the longest and loudest cheer I’d ever received; because I knew that I’d not

myself, “‘I’mTelling fine’ until

I believed it, I used my sports bra as a sling and pressed on, knowing I wouldn’t make the cut-off

What running taught me about failure Lisa Jackson

only conquered the courage-sapping course, but had conquered myself. Many people would say that I failed that day – but not me. CS Lewis once wrote that, ‘One fails forward toward success’. After that scorching day on the South Downs, I’d go on to come last a further 22 times. And being able to cope with ‘failure’ meant that, on 16 April this year, I achieved an ambition I’d dreamed of for almost a decade: joining the 100 Marathon Club. The legendary running writer, John ‘The Penguin’ Bingham, is famous for saying, ‘The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start’. But what running has given me is the courage to fail: to tackle projects where success isn’t guaranteed. It’s this kind of resilience that stood me in good stead when I decided to retrain as a clinical hypnotherapist, aged 38. Losing my fear of failure means I’m no longer afflicted by analysis paralysis – I’ve become the have-a-go-heroine of my own life, and I can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead. Lisa Jackson is the author of ‘Your Pace Or Mine? What Running Taught Me About Life, Laughter And Coming Last’ (Summersdale, £9.99) >>>


A hobby can teach you much more than a new skill. Three women talk about what different activities taught them about themselves


Martha Roberts


hen I told friends I was doing a cookery course, the standard response was: ‘You’re doing what? Best get the Rennies ready!’ I’m known for having an oven that’s been broken since December 2014, and I can’t remember the last time I had a dinner party. In my defence, cooking meals for one since my divorce, and catering for my fussy son, means food has taken on a functional quality. But I was anxious about cooking before that. I feel guilty that my son doesn’t see me cook much, and it’s impacted me in other ways, too. Not so long ago, I was in a relationship where my partner did all the cooking. At first this was fine, but eventually he began to resent it. So I decided to attend a Kitchen Confidence course at London’s Food at 52 cookery school. I turned up at the first session worrying that people might laugh at my inability to chop an onion properly. But it soon became clear that others were there because they were nervous chefs, too, and we were in it together. The first thing I saw was the menu, written on a gold-framed mirror, telling us we’d be cooking cod with fennel broth, followed by braised shoulder of lamb with mint pistou and potato dauphinoise, and a dessert of tarte tatin. As everyone chatted about how delicious it sounded, my thoughts were dominated by rising panic. But, as the hours passed, I started to feel less anxious about what I’d seen as a mammoth task. I was learning new things, from why certain cuts of meat are good for slow-cooking to what

I have discovered that the best way to deal with fear isn’t to ignore it, but to arm yourself with the knowledge to tackle it

What cooking taught me about overcoming fear

umami (the ‘fifth taste’) is. I was comfortable asking questions, and after we’d eaten the fruits of our labour, I felt a buzz of excitement that I’d been part of this. I understood the meaning of the phrase, ‘knowledge is power’. During the following week, I didn’t try any of the recipes. But, by the time I’d finished the second lesson, where we cooked pork Wellington and Normandy

pear tart, I grew in confidence and tried two of the recipes at home. One of the unexpected things I found was that shopping with a list that has ingredients to make ‘real’ food – fish stock and fennel bulbs, instead of fish fingers, bread and baked beans – was a phobia-fighting joy. It felt like I was going to be engaging in a nourishing act to create something meaningful. I now know how to make braised shoulder of lamb, and tarte tatin. I’ve learned that there’s nothing like eating food you’ve cooked from scratch. But, most of all, I have discovered that the best way to deal with fear isn’t to ignore it, but to arm yourself with the knowledge to tackle it, whether it’s fear of flying, spiders or, in my case, the kitchen. For more information about the Kitchen Confidence course (£115 per session) and other cookery courses at Food at 52 cookery school, visit >>>

Start a new hobby Hobbies can be a great way to inject variety into your life and reconnect you with your passions l Time travel. What did you love doing as a child? Was it putting on plays, writing stories, taking apart go-karts, climbing trees? l Notice what grabs your attention. If no one was watching, what would you spend your spare time doing? Do you find yourself stroking notebooks in stationery shops – what is it that you love about those notebooks? Do you love writing in them, or designing them? Focus on what gives you pleasure. How could you include more of that in your life?

l Experiment. For a month, try out different activities – take photos, write a poem, hike with the local walking group, join a knitting circle. Note which activity you want to do more of. l Say yes, when you might usually say no. If someone suggests a trip to a concert or gallery that might not be to your taste, say yes anyway. l Try something new. Visit, a new website that encourages you to try out new experiences.

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 41



What imagination taught me about anxiety Lucy Lawrie


ne day, my three-year-old came to me crying, having discovered a tear under her toy bunny’s arm. I suggested we phone Granny (who can actually sew), but Charlotte fi xed me with urgent wide eyes and told me that we would need Invisible Fred. A creeping sensation went through me. Who was Invisible Fred? I suddenly recalled my own, slightly alarming, imaginary friends, Ux and Timothy, who appeared at the dinner table one day when I was four years old. Lacking in any moral code, they threw vegetables on the floor at mealtimes and scribbled in my Ladybird books.

42 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6

After a year or so, they disappeared as suddenly as they’d arrived. Children often have a very fluid sense of what is real. As a child, I made sprawling Lego towns inhabited by families of tiny animals, enacting their lives, soap opera-style, over weeks and months. I remember crying for days after leaving my anorak at the beach, worried that it would be cold and lonely. We know that play is crucial. It helps children to see things from other perspectives – the foundations of empathy. They use it to make sense of themselves and the world around them. Interestingly, at around the same time I began to grow out of playing, I started to experience anxiety as a problem, as something that slowed

me down and made life feel difficult. I suppressed it enough to do some of the things I wanted to – I did well in my exams, went to university, qualified as a lawyer… attended to the serious business of ‘real life’. Motherhood stopped that life in its tracks. It was the scariest thing that had ever happened to me. I lived on a knife-edge of fear that something might happen to my baby, or to me; nightmare scenarios that always spiralled towards the worst possible unhappy ending. Anxiety had me well and truly in its grip. It was my six-year-old self that saved me. While still on maternity leave, I stumbled upon a primary school homework book in which I’d written, ‘I want to be an author when I grow up’. I felt for this small person who had reached through the years to speak to me. I started to write because I didn’t want to let her down, with her certainty that she had a voice and stories to tell. Now I see that I was the wobbly one, and she was the one who knew what she was talking about. In creating stories, I found my missing link – the ability to play. I did exactly what I’d used to do with my Lego towns – happily sitting down at the end of the day and making my characters act out my stories. I let out the Ux and Timothy spirit that I’d learned to suppress, and allowed mischievousness into my writing. My characters became as real as my erstwhile imaginary friends. And I discovered that, when I was in creative flow, my anxieties didn’t bother me. My old childhood self, the one who knows how to play, also knows how to let me fly above my fears. ‘The Last Day I Saw Her’ by Lucy Lawrie (Black & White Publishing, £7.99) is out now

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“I feel guilty about everything” Our columnist, award-winning coach Kim Morgan, advises a woman whose feelings of guilt are dominating her life


Living with guilt

Charlotte wanted to have some coaching to help her manage her stress levels. I asked her to tell me more about her life and what she thought was causing her to feel stressed. I learned that she was happily married with two young children and worked two days a week as a florist, which she loved. Her parents lived in the same village as Charlotte and looked after the children when she was working. She had no health or money worries, and lots of friends. As she said all this aloud, she laughed. ‘It sounds like the perfect life, doesn’t it?’ she said. I asked Charlotte what aspect of her life was causing her to feel stressed. ‘Me, I guess. I feel guilty all the time – about everything.’ I was surprised. ‘Everything?’ I asked. ‘Well, when I’m at work, I feel guilty for leaving the *

44 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6

children. Then, when I’m with the children, I feel guilty if I get cross with them. I feel guilty for asking my parents to look after the children and guilty if I don’t make time for my husband. At work, I worry that I could ruin someone’s whole wedding if I mess up the bridal bouquet. I feel guilty that I don’t do enough for my friends, and guilty for not exercising or for eating ready meals instead of cooking from scratch. Someone gave me a voucher for a spa day over a year ago, and I feel guilty about not having used it, but I would also feel guilty if I spent a day at a spa. So basically, yes, everything! Oh, and I still feel guilty that I didn’t breastfeed my first child.’ At the end of the session, I asked Charlotte to write down every night all the good things she had done that day.

•name has been changed

Coaching session


Coaching session


Whose voice is it? Searching for causes

Living with constant guilt is draining. Prolonged feelings of self-condemnation are very damaging to self-esteem. ‘Healthy’ guilt serves a purpose: if we mess up, it can help us learn lessons for the future. But Charlotte’s guilt wasn’t useful. I spoke to her about the possible causes of her guilt: l Wanting people to like you; being a people-pleaser. l ‘Shoulds’ – the things you tell yourself you should be doing. Comparing your life unfavourably with the lives you imagine other people are leading. l Perfectionism and not allowing yourself to make a mistake. Fear of ‘letting people down’. l Early conditioning or childhood messages to put others first and to feel responsible for other people’s happiness. l Being susceptible to manipulation by people who know how to push your guilt button. Charlotte realised her key factor was the childhood message to put others first. I shared a Jack Kornfield quote with her which she decided to adopt as her mantra: ‘If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.’

She re-examined a childhood “incident and realised it wasn’t

Coaching session


actually her fault

Confronting the past

Charlotte arrived at our third session in a much more positive frame of mind. She told me she’d been doing a lot of thinking and had remembered a childhood incident she believed contributed to her feelings of guilt. When she was at primary school, she tripped over in a three-legged race on sports day and her running partner suffered a broken arm in the fall. Charlotte’s teacher blamed her for causing the other little girl to be hurt. Charlotte admitted that this emotionally charged moment had led her to feel guilty throughout her life, and to worry generally that she would hurt people by her actions. She had spent some time re-examining this incident and realising it wasn’t her fault. As an adult, she was learning that she wasn’t responsible for other people’s feelings. For more from Kim, go to


the life lab

Sometimes, you may be failing to live up to the expectations of someone else. When you hear a voice in your head telling you that you should or should not be doing something, stop for a moment and ask yourself: l Whose voice is that? l Whose standards am I failing to live up to? Then ask yourself: l What do I really believe about this? l What would I say to someone else in my situation? This will help you to live by your own standards. Identify your guilt-trippers Nice people who want to please others can easily be made to feel guilty by expert manipulators. They know exactly what to say to make you feel guilty – as they know that’s how they can get you to do what they want! l Draw up two columns on a page. In the first column, write the names of all the people in your life to whom you can say ‘no’ without feeling guilty, and who give you lots of support and never give you a bad time. l In the second column, write the names of people who put pressure on you or who use threats, sarcasm, silences, sulks or other emotionally manipulative behaviours. Now you have identified your guilt-trippers, decide what you want to do about them. You have a few choices: l Change your behaviour to be more assertive with them. l Challenge them about their behaviour. l Limit the amount of contact you have with them – or don’t have any contact at all. Responsibility pie chart l Draw a large circle on a piece of paper to represent something you feel is your responsibility and that you feel guilty about. l Try to think about the situation objectively – divide the circle into a ‘responsibility’ pie chart, apportioning responsibility for the situation between you, other people and external factors. l This powerful exercise will enable you to develop a more balanced perspective on situations in which you feel guilty, and will help you to see that it’s not all down to you!

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 45


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Our agony aunt Mary Fenwick offers a new perspective on whatever is troubling you


‘‘My husband

is such a f lirt


My husband is very good-looking and he can be a bit of a flirt. When we go to parties, he sometimes spends all night chatting to other women and I find it really difficult. He hates it when I get jealous or say anything and just says I should trust him, but it’s horrible. Any tips on how to cope with it? Name supplied


I’m dealing with your short question at some length, because I suspect it’s an acorn: small, but with everything it needs to grow. Essentially, I agree that having a husband who is a bit of a flirt is something you can learn to live with, but I react badly to the word ‘cope’. It sounds like martyrdom, which is no way to live a long and happy life. I prefer the idea of making a choice to accept this difference, with humour and affection. When it comes to relationships, John Gottman is the bee’s knees, the cat’s pyjamas and the ant’s pants. He

48 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6

Mary Fenwick is a business coach, journalist, fundraiser, mother, divorcée and widow

made his name with the accuracy of his predictions about couples’ chances of divorce, and his book The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work is one I often give away, and buy again (see ‘More Inspiration’, opposite). The specific question for you, though, is whether this problem can be solved. Perhaps it’s simply a fundamental difference in your personalities: he likes to flirt, you don’t. Wait, though, don’t panic. This is not as big a deal as it might sound. Gottman says most – 69 per cent – of marital arguments are about what he calls ‘perpetual problems’. It’s the opposite of a romantic idea – you probably don’t remember a wedding vow to cherish your husband’s fundamental difference, but maybe it’s one we should write. Research says instead of solving perpetual problems, it is more important whether a couple can talk about them constructively. Otherwise there is a danger of gridlock – that feeling when your wheels are spinning but you’re getting nowhere, and you

GOT A QUESTION FOR MARY? Email, with ‘MARY’ in the subject line Follow Mary on Twitter @MJFenwick

are alternating between saying mean things, or sitting in silence. If you search ‘solvable perpetual’ on the website, you will find six techniques for managing this kind of conflict. You won’t be surprised to find the word ‘compromise’ in there. The skills most of us don’t learn at school are the best way to start an argument (gently!), the capacity to listen to what’s going on underneath the words, and being graceful in accepting your partner’s influence. One idea – if your husband agrees he will also flirt openly with his gorgeous wife in front of other people, you might both enjoy it. At parties with my husband, we used to play a game called ‘Who would you sleep with if you had to?’ and compare notes at the end!


the life lab

“The gifts from my mother are suffocating me”


My husband and I are both naturally minimalist in how we live. He loves living in a clutter-free ‘tidy’ home, and I am an environmentalist and love seeing the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra in practice. However, my mother is the complete opposite to us – a serial consumer and hoarder. I own three dressing gowns, a wardrobe full of unworn clothes, cosmetics and ornaments galore that she has bought for me. On the odd occasion that she has caught me donating these unwanted gifts to the charity shop, I have been struck with a verbal attack on how ungrateful I am. I know my mother loves us and wants the best for us. We are a close family and have an otherwise great

relationship. I honestly believe she thinks she is helping us in some way and not being intentionally awkward, but how can I convince her that she is actually causing problems, and making me depressed, without sounding ungrateful and nasty? Nita


It sounds as though your mother wants to shower you with love; for you to have a little piece of her with you when you get dressed, put on make-up or look around your home. I assume she buys you these gifts with the desire to share something with you, and perhaps even the desire for you to accept her. I think there is a potential win-win situation here if you can nudge her in the direction of research showing that experiences make us happier

than possessions. I can’t put it better than Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University (see the link in ‘More Inspiration’, below). He says whether we like or dislike material stuff doesn’t define us: ‘You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.’ How about exploring some things you could do together, which she can nonetheless give you as a gift? Perhaps you could go for a walk with a lovely picnic. Or maybe theatre tickets, a train journey to see some remarkable architecture, membership of an art gallery or museum, or a chef who comes to your home. I’m having fun just thinking about the options myself.

“I’m so anxious about my new job”

photograph: victoria birkinshaw


After redundancy and three months of menial work on a low wage, I’ve found a great new job in a new area. This is my third move in three years. It’s a long way away and a big step up from my last proper job. I’m two weeks from moving and am so anxious that I have trouble eating and getting through the day. This may be temporary, but I’m desperate for relief. Please help. Janine


Congratulations! What a lot you have achieved. It’s not surprising all this effort has left you running to catch up inside.

Perhaps try to create some distance between yourself and the feeling – anxiety is not part of you, it’s a cloud you’re passing through. Give the anxiety a shape. Is it a straitjacket, a swamp, a tornado? What colour is it? What does it smell like? This might feel like going closer to it, but you’ll also be externalising it. It’s not possible to feel curiosity and fear at the same time. The Anxiety UK website (see right) talks of stress building up like water in a bucket. Often, what we need is a leaky bucket, where each hole is something positive, like being with friends, exercising or listening to music. There is an app available with other ideas.

My favourite anxiety guru is writer Caitlin Moran. She says experiences divide themselves into things that are amazing at the time, and things that are awful at the time, but turn into amazing anecdotes. Your story so far is impressive. Keep up the good work. More inSPIRATION Read: The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work by John Gottman (Orion, £9.99) Read: Thomas Gilovich research: 2014/10/buy-experiences/381132 Browse:

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Clare in the old cow barn, the rustic hub of the annual Do Lectures. In this creative, rural space, Clare and David have also launched an ethical denim business, providing jobs for local people

my home ‘We moved here after starting the clothing company Howies. Like the T-shirts said, we really did canoe home from work’

‘Once a year, speakers and attendees gather here. It ’s not a conference; it ’s not a festival... things do evolve’

“Space to think”

Clare and David Hieatt’s home in rural Wales is a place where creative ideas flourish, for both their family and the visitors who come to soak up its spirit



he west Wales farmhouse where Clare Hieatt and her family live is a place where ideas come to life. Clare and her husband David moved here with the aim of creating a space to think, find purpose – and live a simpler life with their daughters Stella and Tessa, now 16 and 13. It was here, around their kitchen table, that they dreamed up their ethical label Hiut Denim – and also where they saw a one-off ‘let’s see how this pans out’ camping weekend turn into the annual Do Lectures series, which now has spinoffs in Australia and the United States. Switching off, leaving the city and giving themselves space to think worked so well for the Hieatts that, each summer, more than 80 like-minded people pitch up, in the same remote corner of Wales, to tap in to that life-changing alchemy at

the Do Lectures. The event happens in and around Clare and David’s old cow barn, a few steps from their front door: ‘People come for the talks, but the magic really happens once everyone starts to share ideas afterwards,’ Clare says. ‘Our guests often arrive here when they are at a turning-point in their lives, but it’s the connections they make that spark ideas. This place gives them breathing space to make change happen.’ Clare and David yearned for that kind of headspace when they left London 14 years ago, after setting up their first company, Howies, the über-cool ethical clothing brand that made us all yearn to get on a bike and head for the hills. ‘I wanted the real deal, not a sanitised version of country living, with a swish 4x4 on the drive,’ recalls Clare. This was a 19th-century former farmhouse, with

outbuildings, and needed plenty of work – and has no central heating. ‘In the depths of winter it can be hard up here,’ says Clare. ‘The girls layer up in sweaters, dressing gowns, hats and scarves, and still feel cold. That’s when they’ll moan, “Why can’t we live in a normal house, with radiators and fitted carpets?” – but, eventually, when summer arrives, the doors can be left open, and this place is just beautiful.’ The décor is simple and homespun, without a hint of twee. A handcrafted timber and Welsh slate table by local designers runs the length of the flagstoned dining room. The kitchen feels as cool, yet hard-working, as its surfaces, with pitch pine salvaged from Liverpool docks, stainless steel, granite and clay tiles. Vivid artworks and modern photographs keep things >>>

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ABOVE The kitchen cabinets are made of reclaimed pine from Liverpool docks, mixed with granite worktops for a look that reflects the historic mood of the home LEFT Clare’s collection of both handmade and studio ceramics sit well together on the open shelves

‘We knocked two smaller northfacing rooms into one brighter living room. The woodburner is simple but not too contemporary. The painting is by Eloise Govier and the image is from the Photographers’ Gallery’

my home ‘I love how the huge flagstones are worn into dips. It makes me think of how many people the house has made an impression on’

LEFT AND BELOW The family dining room table is by Freshwater Design, with a central section of Welsh

contemporary, and every space is comfortable, and relaxed. ‘There are always people coming and going,’ says Clare. Their daughters, too, have soaked up the Do Lectures magic and earlier this year launched Teen Do, covering topics such as ‘How to “be” as well as “do’’’ and ‘How to survive the internet’. Alongside the Do Lectures, Clare and David run Hiut Denim: ‘Utility jeans were always at the heart of what we did at Howies, but the Eureka moment was when we discovered that making jeans

slate. In the corner of the room, the Shaker rocking chair was put together from a kit by Clare’s father

had once been an important industry in Cardigan,’ she says. An idea that started at their kitchen table has ended up giving local people jobs. ‘When an idea is meant to be and you’re in the right place, things tend to come together,’ Clare believes. As for the farmhouse, this is a for-ever home in every sense. ‘I’m sure Stella and Tessa will head for the buzz of big cities when they are older,’ says Clare. ‘But, when they need to refuel or take time out, we’ll be here.’ See for future events

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shared values

shared values

Philip Zimbardo

In 1971, young psychologist, Philip Zimbardo, brought together a group of student volunteers, splitting them into prisoners and guards in the notorious Stanford Prison Experiment. Its results still shock the world INTERVIEW ALI ROFF photograph LEA SUZUKI/eyevine

Just two days into the Stanford Prison Experiment, designed by Dr Zimbardo to observe the psychological effects of authority and submission in the prison system, one volunteer prisoner had to be released from the study after a breakdown. The findings were incredible. Intelligent young men assigned to be guards became sadistic and merciless towards the ‘prisoners’ – their fellow students. Volunteer prisoners lost their identity and all sense of freedom in hours. Zimbardo, too, became consumed by the study. The experiment has helped give clarity to the workings of prisons, and theories about why torture occurs in security centres such as Abu Ghraib. I should have ended the study much earlier. I made a practical mistake in that, in addition to being the principal research investigator, who would be objective and would have ended the study, I took on the role of prison superintendent. When the first prisoner broke down, we thought he was faking. When the second broke down, it was clear that we had proved our point that situations dominate individual personality. But we continued. Christina, my girlfriend, saw what was happening. She said: ‘If this is the real you, I don’t want to continue my relationship with you.’ It was my wake-up call. She added: ‘I’m willing to give up a lifetime with you if you don’t rethink what you’re doing.’ That’s heroic. We got married a year later and have lived happily together for 44 years. It’s important that students, teachers and the public step back from the study and ask, ‘What is the deeper significance of this?’. They should question, ‘Would I have been a good or cruel guard? Would I have been a guard who tried to change the behaviour of bad guards? If I was a prisoner, what kind of prisoner would I have been? And, if I was Zimbardo, would I have ended it earlier?’.

The experiment demonstrates, in a dramatic way, how an individual’s personality can be changed and corrupted by powerful social situations. It’s a message that people haven’t wanted to hear, and still don’t want to hear, because we all want to believe in the integrity of the individual: that individuals make decisions on their own and that they’re not influenced by things around them. The study proved that this is a naive way of thinking. Shyness is a self-imposed psychological prison. Nobody says, ‘I am shy’; you say, ‘I am shy and therefore I can’t take a chance; a risk, I won’t raise my hand to answer a question’. You limit your freedom of association and your freedom of speech, and that’s what prisons do. I went on to study shyness, wrote a book and set up classes for sufferers. I grew up in poverty. Any time we think of ourselves as a victim, we feel helpless and hopeless – we give up any sense of self-efficacy and our behaviour is controlled by the situation or other people. Poverty is one way that people get made into victims, but it’s always in your mind. When I was a kid, I stepped back and said, ‘No, I am not a victim of the situation’. I changed my situation by becoming educated. Anyone should be able to analyse social situations and become a ‘social change agent’ – to stand up, speak out and take action against injustice. In my programme, Heroic Imagination Project, we train teachers to present lessons and psychological insights; to transform passive bystanders into active heroes; static mindsets into growth dynamic mindsets; and prejudice into acceptance. This, for me, is the real legacy of the Stanford Prison Experiment: to convert the negative of a situation into the positive of saying that anyone can be an everyday hero. ‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’, a film based on Dr Zimbardo’s famous study, is available now on DVD (Universal, £7.99).

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Real ambition Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most successful of them all? Ambition often conjures up ideas of competition and greed, but we don’t believe it’s a dirty word. In fact, we ask: where would we be without it? Ambition propels us forward, helps us to realise our dreams, find fulfilment – and even help others. So, this month, we ask, ‘What does your own version of success look like? And will it unquestioningly give you a sense of fulfilment?’ We discover what makes successful people successful, hear how ambition can evolve, look at what holds us back from our goals (and how to get over it) and find out where our true passions lie, in this month’s test. Dreams, notebooks and pens at the ready… go! >>>

“It’s delightful to have ambitions. And there never seems to be any end to them – that’s the best of it. As soon as you attain one ambition, you see another glittering higher still. It does make life so interesting” LM Montgomery, ‘Anne Of Green Gables’

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what’s the secret of success? Lorna V interviews the panel of five experts featured in the latest Psychologies’ book, Real Ambition, and discovers more about their own visions and versions of success, and what ambition means to them…


mbition. It’s a tricky word. It’s long been associated with people trampling over others for power and being driven in terms of money and status. But the true, pure meaning of ambition is simply the desire to achieve. Achieve what, though? Now, that’s where it gets complicated. While researching the book, a question developed in my mind: why do I want what I want? Is it truly ‘me’ deciding, or is it only what I think I should want? I was excited to discover all my research and interviews confirmed that ambition is, in fact, healthy, because it drives us to create better lives – and that success is not ‘one size fits all’. One of the brightest of our lightbulb moments came when one expert, Kele Baker, pointed out that after ‘the desire to achieve’ bit of the definition, it’s up to us to complete that sentence. What truly makes you feel fulfilled and happy as an individual? Here, our experts share their journeys and explain what ambition means to them.

listen to my heart, even if that meant letting go of my previous acting dreams,’ she says. ‘What was the point of following my ambitions if that was making me unhappy?’ When Baker returned to New York, she had an epiphany – and went on to train in, compete and teach ballroom dancing, while working part-time in an office. At the next crossroads, when her boss wanted her to go full-time, she chose instead to develop further, by returning to London to study the A lexa nder Technique. ‘Every time I have stopped to think about my true self, synchronicities occurred, and my life unfolded.’ Baker explored opportunities, however random. She was teaching Argentine tango to ballroom champions, Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace – who later introduced her to Strictly Come Dancing, where she coached choreographers. Baker’s recent turning-point was after a car accident, when she was forced to give up teaching dance. By chance, she heard of qigong (a practice related to tai chi), that merged her love of teaching, movement and exploring “chi”, the life force in Chinese philosophy and medicine. ‘I knew this was what I would do next. From then on, everything fell into place.’ Baker admits she still has fleeting visions of herself on Broadway, but ‘I’m not pining for a life not lived. Being a mind-body-movement coach is my true self right now, because of the pleasure I feel using my unique skills and insights to help others.’ THE LESSON: Don’t confuse perseverance with being stuck. Whether it’s your relationship or career, if it is making you unhappy, it’s OK – change your goal.

“I looked back on each year. When I had contributed something, or done something new, that was a useful year”

Does your ambition truly make you happy? photographs: daniel kim/stocksy

Kele Baker, mind-body-movement coach

Born and raised in the city of ambition, New York, Baker’s goal was to be a Broadway actress. After training, she got work immediately. Yet, instead of feeling happy, Baker was miserable and confused. She might have persevered, were it not for a nervous breakdown. In the two years it took to recover, Baker immersed herself in complementary therapies, Chinese medicine and philosophy, and spent a year with a spiritual teacher in Australia. ‘I started to find my true self by learning to

‘Strictly Come Dancing: Step-By Step Dance Class’ by Kele Baker (BBC Books, £9.99).


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Dossier >>> Is your ambition keeping you in a rut?

Chris Baréz-Brown, creative and business beatnik

It was reassuring to hear from Psychologies columnist and founder of consultancy, Upping Your Elvis, that he, too, has screwed up, made mistakes, questioned what he’s doing and changed his mind umpteen times. He considers this healthy and believes, ‘Ambitious people aren’t very good at doing the same thing for very long. It’s not negative boredom, but a craving for newness, energy, fun.’ Baréz-Brown joined the Army at the age of 16, studied management science, then became a graduate trainee with a brewery. ‘When I was younger, the definition of success was about a need for money and seniority, a reputation in a job so that you knew you can go somewhere else.’ The more ‘successful’ he became, the more Baréz-Brown fine-tuned his definition of success. ‘I’ve always been deeply aware that I don’t want to waste my life.’ As the jobs got better and bigger, his view of ambition became one of progress. ‘I would look back on each year and see it as a good year if it moved something forward. When I felt as if I had contributed something, done something new, then that was a useful year.’ But he had a growing feeling of disconnection with his life. ‘I asked myself: is my legacy about sweating it in the office?’ His ambition now is to live each day well and, at the moment, that means finishing work early every afternoon to go to the gym and then be with his children. ‘We don’t need more of anything. We just need now.’ THE LESSON: Work is a central part of success – but it’s not the only thing. Finding a way to make your job work with the rest of your life, so that you feel good inside, is a healthy, balanced ambition.

training. ‘A voice inside kept telling me not to run away.’ Her love of acting was reignited, but in a different way. She trained to teach the Meisner acting technique and discovered that she not only enjoyed training actors, she loved writing and directing, too. Carr is refreshingly honest that her decision to become a consultant-coach was, initially, financially driven. ‘I needed to earn more money, so I reflected on how I could use and develop my skills. I dug into “me” and asked: what else would I enjoy doing? I became excited about coaching and consulting – and I didn’t have to stop doing what I loved. I found something else I loved that I could do alongside everything else.’ THE LESSON: You don’t need to get stuck on one format or path to your ambition, if it’s not working out. Go back to your central passion and consider where and how else you can channel it. Try to be open-minded.

“Ambitious people are not very good at doing the same thing for long... it’s a craving for newness, energy, and fun”

‘How To Have Kick-Ass Ideas’ (HarperCollins, ebook £3.99); ‘Shine: How To Survive And Thrive At Work’ (Penguin, £9.99); ‘Free! Love Your Work, Love Your Life’ (Penguin, £9.99); ‘Wake Up!’ (Penguin Life, out in December) all by Chris Baréz-Brown.

Can your passion lead to another ambition? Dannie-Lu Carr, communications consultant, creative practitioner and creativity specialist

Carr could easily have abandoned her passion, when she became disenchanted with her life as an actor. ‘As a young woman in the industry, I felt pushed back, because of physical criticisms – you’re not tall enough, pretty enough,’ Carr says. ‘I stopped enjoying it.’ Instead of leaving showbusiness, Carr took further

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‘Brilliant Assertiveness’ by Dannie-Lu Carr (Pearson, £10.99).

Can inner health and peace be an ambition? John Purkiss, headhunter and coach

As the co-founder of a company recruiting chief executives and board members, as well as coaching people in ‘personal branding’, one might expect Purkiss to advocate the classic traits of ambition and success: working super-hard, being super-driven, all the while exuding super-confidence. Yet, Purkiss has been on a remarkable personal journey, during which he overcame periods of depression and suicidal feelings. As a result, he has developed an entirely different manifesto for ambition and success – one based on inner peace, being present and serving others. ‘I felt trapped. I kept waking early, my limbs felt heavy and I had suicidal thoughts. Doctors prescribed drugs and therapy, but couldn’t solve the underlying problem. So I had to find answers myself.’ It began to dawn on Purkiss that thinking too much was the problem. He developed his intuition, learned to meditate, and consciously live a more balanced life. The results included a promotion, then setting up a business and writing a book. ‘My ambitions were now being achieved by being present and letting go. I was still working steadily, but nowhere as hard as before. I was enjoying the balanced life I had always wanted.’ THE LESSON: Don���t feel ashamed of depression and mental health problems caused by overworking, stress, striving for success or a poor work-life balance. Healing yourself is one of the healthiest ambitions you can have. ‘Brand You: Turn Your Unique Talents Into A Winning Formula’ by David Royston-Lee and John Purkiss (Pearson, £12.99).

Listen to your heart

Our experts pose questions to ask yourself to find your true ambition



You might think you want that top promotion, perfect relationship, dream home, more money… ask yourself to go beyond a generic view of success, to identify what you really desire. Check if it’s just your ego saying ‘no’ to all the material things you feel you ought to have.

Sometimes, you can avoid something that you think isn’t for you, for the wrong reasons. Kele Baker says: ‘When you focus on wanting prestige, you can miss out because you’re not looking at all the options available to you.’




Does your personality affect your ambition? Lisa Fortlouis Wood, psychotherapist and professor of psychology

This formidable academic knew from an early age what she wanted to do. But she realised she enjoyed the process of figuring out ‘why’, because it’s part of her personality. ‘I am the sort who likes to put together appliances without the benefit of instructions – stereos, speakers, computers, you name it. I enjoy seeing how they fit together,’ she says. ‘In the same vein, I like to make up recipes when I cook and only glance at a cookbook to get general ideas about how foods might operate together – looking for general principles, not a step-by-step guide.’ We tend to forget that how we approach ordinary life is a part of who we are. Translating everyday things like cooking; what and how we like to enjoy ourselves, is a way of looking at the processes our personalities need to thrive. For Wood, it’s the process of discovery rather than the outcomes. ‘So, my ambition is to have truly fascinating experiences,’ she says. THE LESSON: Ask yourself how you cook, or rest, or travel, or even throw a party. Find the central theme in your attitudes, then translate that into a process for the big things you want to achieve.

DO YOU WANT WHAT YOU WANT JUST BECAUSE YOUR FRIENDS WANT IT? We know from behavioural scientists that the pressure to conform is natural in human beings. Research shows we’re programmed to go along with the ‘norm’. Once you’re aware of this, you can find ways to break out.



Ask yourself which area of your life is unsuccessful no matter how hard you try – then take the radical step of letting go. ‘Effort is a good thing, but it’s not the only ingredient,’ says John Purkiss.


FORGET WHAT YOU THINK YOU WANT… WHAT DO YOU NEED? Getting to the bottom of your unmet needs will truly liberate you. The key questions here are: How do you want to feel through achieving an ambition? And, is there anything else you can do to feel this and still fulfill that need?


WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATIONAL INSPIRATION? Lisa Fortlouis Wood recommends identifying what you loved before you were even at school, to identify what makes you lose track of time now. Then you can set goals as you’re innately motivated.

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the time is now

When Ali Roff took her seed of an idea to business guru Shaa Wasmund’s The One Retreat, she expected to learn what it takes to start her own business, meet some likeminded people, and perhaps devise a plan. She did not anticipate bonding with the most inspiring people she had ever met, finding real motivation and feeling a true shift in her mindset, and her life


itting on an enormous cushion on the floor of the comfortable living room in my home for the weekend – a gorgeous converted barn in the middle of the silent Kent countryside – I s­ ettled in to make the acquaintance of the people with whom I would spend the following two days. Looking at these 20 or so women, in ­loungewear with steaming mugs of herbal tea, I felt weirdly relaxed; it was as if I already knew them. We were there for The One Retreat, run by entrepreneur, speaker, author and business guru, Shaa Wasmund. It was a business workshop with a big difference: it wasn’t a ‘workshop’ at all. There was no ­conference centre, no boring lectures, no bad coffee, and not a corporate suit to be seen. There was, however, a group of women with a business, a plan, an idea, or the notion of wanting something more in their lives. There was also a handful of incredible coaches and Shaa herself, a force, I was to find, who has the power to shift outlooks on business – and life. And that’s what The One Retreat is about; business and life, because they are intrinsically linked, explains Shaa. She doesn’t believe in work-life balance. People who own, or want to own, their own businesses should strive for work-life harmony. This was my first revelation. We strive at the things that we are passionate about – and, to create a business from the ground up, ­passion must be involved. If you are

passionate about something, it must have a place in your life that is larger than the nine-to-five; it must live in harmony with the rest of your life, because it is your life; it is you. I listened to these amazing women talk about the businesses that they had built, the incredible plans that they were about to put into action or, like me, the seeds of ideas they hoped would turn a dream into a reality. As each person shared her story, I felt something in the atmosphere change. Shaa does an amazing job creating a safe, honest, open space in which clients feel safe enough to push past the guards and poker faces that they wear in everyday life, and lay themselves bare in front of each other. It soon became apparent that, although some of the women were extremely successful and happy in other areas of their lives, each one was facing an obstacle of some sort. The interesting connection? They could all be pinpointed, mapped back to, you guessed it, the women’s mindsets. Sometimes, it was procrastination as a result of fear, cripplingly limiting beliefs, feeling uninspired or as if success wasn’t deserved... It was not a lack of k ­ nowledge, skill, credibility or business sense. Shaa asked us to identify what we needed help with, and I realised that, for me, it was an enormous lack of belief; that ‘it would never happen to me’. I was not the type of person to find success of this sort on my own terms; who could create something by myself that people would be interested in using. I found it unbelievable that each of

“If you are passionate about something, it must have a place in your life that is larger than the nine-to-five; it is your life; it is you”

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You do deserve it

One theme that popped up regularly was the belief: ‘I’m not good enough’. As the weekend went on, the same message was heard but with perspective from the coaches. Each ‘but I don’t deserve it’ thought and ‘I’m not good enough’ excuse began to feel more and more ridiculous. By day two, we were all laughing, encouraging each other and giving specific reasons why each ‘I’m not good enough’ was untrue. Remind yourself of your excuses.

we can help each other

I found myself in a space where contest was eliminated. There were no rivals, no cliques, and no competitive atmosphere. The things we achieved as individuals by supporting each other were incredible, and enduring bonds and networks were formed. Women can achieve great things if we help each other step up the ladder.

It can, does and will happen

The One Retreat is held three times a year in January, June and October. To find out more, visit

When I heard from real people about the things they had made happen, I realised good ideas and commitment to a goal can bring success. Each person had their own version of success, but hearing real stories, obstacles and all, made me realise that, if they could do it, so could I! Keeping it a secret had kept my dream in limbo. Things only started to happen once I said them out loud. these women had actually made a career out of their ideas – brilliant as they were! My obstacle was not a bad idea, poor business plan or a lack of anything – except belief. By the time I left, I had an energy and excitement that felt like every Christmas, holiday and promotion rolled into one. It was the motivation and belief from every woman in that beautiful old barn that I took away with me, and that I’m still drawing strength from today. The best thing about it? That same energy was buzzing around the place like a million fireflies as I left. We had all inspired, shared, pushed and invested in each other, and we all went away with a new perspective on business and life. Today, I’m in the process of setting up my own business, WillPower, a revolutionary online health and fitness coaching programme and, although it still feels scary and slightly strange to actually write down those words on paper for the world to see, it’s true – and I’m no longer hiding it nor playing it down. In just a few steps (setting up my website, for example), I’ve made what had before seemed like a huge leap from a dream to a reality – and it was a few simple, yet powerful, shifts in mindset that got me here. These are the five mind-altering lessons I took away from that life-changing weekend:

There is someone worse off

From family to financial issues, from crippling beliefs to all-consuming commitments, there will always be someone with greater obstacles than me. Some of these people are overcoming them, or managing them in order to move forward with their dreams and goals. I realised that it was pointless to focus on my obstacles, but empowering to focus on my strengths and assets – these are the things that move us forward.

Let go of fear

I admitted that the main reason I had not pursued my dream was the fear of what other people would think of me. I had been worried that friends would see me as ­conceited, or a failure waiting to happen. After looking at the women around me and the dynamic lives that they lead, I realised that, if I didn’t get rid of this unfounded belief system, I would be stuck for ever, always wishing for an ­alternate life. If I didn’t put myself out there and try, the only ­person who would suffer would be me. Want a hit of this every month? Don’t miss Shaa’s new kick-ass series, ‘How to start a business’, in our November issue. Shaa and Ali will be blogging about starting your own business on the new Life Labs channel on lifelabs., plus, Ali’s new column ‘WillPower’ starts on page 85

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supercharge your goal-setting Do you set goals but constantly sabotage yourself? You are not alone, says Anita Chaudhuri. Here, she tries out Psychologies’ Achieve Your Goals online course to discover if she can stop procrastinating and just get on with it


elcome to t he most intensive, produc t ive a nd daring four weeks you may ever have encountered,’ says c o a c h M a g d a l e n a B a k-M a i e r, introducing the Psychologies Achieve Your Goals online course. I quake inwardly. Am I really up for this? Ordinarily, I am the first to volunteer for the latest personal development adventures but, over the past few months, have been dogged by health challenges and my energy levels are more damp squib than sparkling skyrocket. I also can’t decide what goals to focus on for the 30 days. Presently, I’m planning a major home renovation, there’s a photography project I’m desperate to start, and I want to speak better Italian before my holiday. No wonder I never finish anything.

Week One: Adding colour

I needn’t have worried, because not long after logging on to the video for Day One, Magdalena addresses my concern. ‘To thrive is to grow in existing conditions,’ she announces. In other words, there’s no point waiting until circumstances are ideal – you have to create the life you want in the here and now. One of the big problems with goal-setting, according to Magdalena, is that we often pour all

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our energy into one area of focus, at the expense of everything else. ‘Life is a combination of action and rest, and an enjoyment of both,’ she says. ‘Whatever you paint on your canvas will be the experience of life that you get.’ At the heart of the course is The Grid, an ingenious goal-tracking system with a strong visual element. The best way to

“Life is a combination of action and rest, and an enjoyment of both... what you paint on your canvas will be the experience of life that you get” describe it is a sort of advent calendar for all your goals and projects. Ordinarily the very word ‘system’ makes me need a nap and I have an allergy to diaries and calendars. Did I mention I hate to-do lists? When Magdalena mentions we’re going to use lots of coloured highlighter pens, my mood brightens. When she says we have to pick one main goal, but can also have two or three smaller ones, I’m even happier. The basic idea is that we mark on The Grid all the ‘to-dos’ in our life to keep things running, then we

also display the to-dos involved with working towards our precious dreams and personal goals. I decide to make health my main goal, then add sub-goals for home revamp, photography and Italian. Magdalena’s aim is to try and achieve balance between home and work, and between activities that use up energy, and those that restore it. Coloured markers at the ready, I fill out my grid with plenty of mini-goals as suggested by Magdalena. Start photography project; Make a plan to feel better; Practise Italian; read three windows on my grid. Excited, I sail off into the next seven days, checking in with Magdalena’s daily lessons as I go.

Week Two: Making it finite and doable

The idea with The Grid is that you colou r in t he w indows w it h a highlighter pen when you’ve completed a task. But as we approach Week Two, I must face an uncomfortable truth. There’s no hiding place with this system. Yes, I have coloured in all my work to-dos, my life admin, social life and family to-dos. But what about my dreams for the future? I’ve bought a copy of an interiors magazine, downloaded a language app and tried not to eat crisps. Hardly productive. What’s gone wrong? The key detail I overlooked was that

each mini-goal needs to be finite and doable in one session, be that a 10-minute or four-hour one. Practise Italian and Start photography project are too vague. ‘By making tasks smaller, we increase the feeling of being productive,’ says Magdalena, that is, breaking each goal into mini-goals that are complete actions. ‘Doing this means you’ll get through tasks faster and have variety – the mind needs this to refuel, so you avoid feeling overwhelmed by trying to do something that takes longer than expected.’ I give it a go and start again. For health, I mark on seven squares for a daily 30-minute walk, a square for an online shopping delivery of fruit and veg, another designated for visiting a local health shop to ask advice on supplements. For my photography project, which involves shooting an A-Z of London songs, I decide the first task should be creating a master list of locations, a big job but doable on a rainy Sunday. For Italian, my week’s tasks are to do the Duolingo app’s test to find your

level, then to do one lesson each morning. I also mark on numerous items to do with my home revamp.

colouring in the little box for my daily walk and my Italian lessons, and this motivates me to stick to the plan.

Week Three: Pumping up the inspiration

Week Four: Beating procrastination

By the end of Week Two, I’ve made a lot of progress. But Magdalena also advises us to pay attention to which areas are blocked. Oh dear. I have achieved nothing in my home revamp section. ‘Many of us underestimate the time any given task takes by a whopping 60 to 70 per cent,’ says Magdalena. ‘That means six or seven tasks on an average to-do list won’t get done.’ I’ve fallen into this trap. Something’s got to give and it will have to be the home revamp. One of Magdalena’s exercises is to analyse your energy levels. I remember how much music motivates me. I turn off the gloomy news, and listen to playlists and podcasts instead. I am delighted to discover that breaking tasks right down is having an impact. I start looking forward to

By the end, I’m impressed by how productive I’ve been. Committing to small, seemingly insignificant, tasks and keeping track of my progress, has motivated me to get more done. I am now 20 per cent fluent in Italian. I’ve taken photographs at three London locations and going for a walk is now a habit. Best of all, I have more energy. Procrastination is a thing of the past. How? Faced with a visual reminder of the things I want to do in a week, it’s harder to lie to myself and say, ‘I’ll do it later’. But, perhaps the biggest lesson of all for me, has been to understand that committing to a plan, and sticking to it, is the only way to ensure that creative dreams will ever get off the ground. Now, where did I put those highlighters? Try Psychologies’ ‘How to Achieve Your Goals’ online course at

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Changing ambitions

Three people explain through their own experiences how ambition can change, evolve and, ultimately, surprise us INTERVIEWS RIN HAMBURGH PHOTOGRAPHS LOUISE HAYWOOD-ScHIEFER

“I imagined motherhood would quell ambition, but for me it has had the opposite effect”


aving children has made me more ambitious – a fact that has surprised me. Before my eldest was born, I worked as a journalist and, although I always did a good job, my life wasn’t at work – I wanted to have a great social life as well. I wasn’t really that concerned about how much I earned either. I knew I wanted kids so I decided to go freelance in order to have more flexibility, and ended up starting my own press agency in 2008. It launched the very week I found out I was pregnant. By the time I went on maternity leave, I had two employees and I really wanted the business to succeed, so I was a bit worried. My fear was that as soon as you have a baby, your ambition goes out of the window. Two things happened when I became a mum. First, I discovered that having a baby doesn’t necessarily change who you are as a person. I was expecting this inability to do anything outside of mothering, and to be engulfed by ‘baby brain’, but that just wasn’t what happened. I had the baby, and I felt completely the same. I went into labour on the Friday

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night, and by Monday morning I was emailing my team and getting them ready for the week. Second, over the next few months I had this sudden, immense clarity that earning money wasn’t a bad thing. If I could be successful, I could provide more for my family. I spent five years saving for my first flat, and I don’t want my kids to do that; I would like to be able to pay the deposit for them. I don’t want them to come out of university with debt. Being able to earn money is a powerful thing for the benefit of my children. It’s not about flashing the cash, it’s about freedom and opportunities. I’ve since sold the agency and set up a new business, renovated a series of properties and written a book, The Million Dollar Blog. My son is now seven and my daughter is three, and we have an au pair who helps out after school. I always imagined motherhood would quell ambition but, for me, it has had the opposite effect. I’m unrecognisable from the person I was in my 20s – but I think that’s a good thing! ‘The Million Dollar Blog’ (Piatkus, £13.99) is out at the end of September;


Natasha Courtenay-Smith, 39, entrepreneur and author

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“The day-to-day stuff is what it’s all about”


efore becoming a dad, I did a variety of different jobs, from working for charities to running a recruitment company in Australia. Although I was never driven by the money, I was always ambitious in that I liked to win and succeed, to get as high up the food chain as I could. When I was 37, I started writing a novel and, again, I was very ambitious for success. I wrote 24/7; it consumed my whole life. I really felt I had something to say. The novel was good and people liked it, but unfortunately no one wanted to publish it because it wasn’t commercial enough. Eventually, the money ran out. By that time I had a wife and two sons, so I had to find some way of earning again. I hit on the idea of living for a year without lying, and sourcing funding to write a book about it, which I did through a private equity company. The project got me my 15 minutes of fame, but something was different – I just didn’t care as much 68 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6

about succeeding as I had before. When you have kids, things change. When I was writing the novel it was all of me; doing the year without lying just didn’t consume me in the same way; there was more to my life by then. Today I run my own PR company, but my priority is my sons, who are 12 and 10. I’m a single dad and every morning I get them off to school before I start work, then afterwards I make tea and do homework with them. And I really enjoy it. My mum came to stay recently and she took the boys to school for a couple of days and I really missed it! That day-to-day stuff is what it’s all about. Before I had my kids, my ambition was really all about me. I had these things I wanted to say in my writing, and I wanted to make a name for myself, to have an obituary in The Guardian when I died. Now I don’t really care either way. Obviously I work hard, but it’s for my kids; I want the best for them. It’s different from personal ambition. That’s a big change for me, and a good one.

HAIR AND MAKE-UP: louise lunn

Cathal Morrow, 50, writer

“I measure how successful I am in life by how many fun things I’ve managed to do” MELISSA TALAGO, 43, COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT


used to think that to be successful meant you had to have a big title and a big salary to match. But having been self-employed for 12 years, I’ve realised that what’s important to me is having the time and money to have adventures. It was in 2009 that I realised I needed an escape. My children were young (they’re now 12 and 10), I was running my own business, and I just needed something more than the cycle of looking after kids and working, looking after kids and working. That’s when I decided to take part in a trans-Atlantic clipper race. It was lifechanging. Although it took a gargantuan amount of effort, I realised that because I was a mum and running a business, that didn’t mean I couldn’t also take time out. Since then I’ve walked the Coast to Coast route and the circumference of the Isle of Wight, and I’ll be climbing Kilimanjaro next year. My ambition is to take on a grand adventure and then write a book about it; the current plan is to spend eight months walking the entire length of the English and Welsh coast when the England Coast Path is finally completed in 2020. I’ve also sold my business and started a new one, Campfire Communications, which I’ve structured so that I can have time off for adventures. The whole process has really changed the way I view success. I’ve swapped wanting to be a high-flying career person for wanting to prove that you can take on crazy things and still be a mum and work. I measure how successful I am in life by how many fun things I’ve managed to do.

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Find your passion

Paradoxical as it sounds, it’s quite common to feel ambitious for success, without having a clue about what you want to do. Are you convinced that, if only you could find the right path, there would be no stopping you? Take this quiz to identify what matters to you most and find your core values Imagine spending a morning at each of these tasks. Which would make you feel most satisfied? ◆ Brainstorming new ideas with a group of creative thinkers ▲ Attending a talk by an inspirational leader in your field ■ Helping a vulnerable client find a solution to a long-term problem ● Taking part in boundary-breaking, team-building exercises



If you overheard colleagues gossiping about you, which comment would upset you most? ◆ ’She has no imagination’ ● ‘She’s not as popular as she thinks’ ▲ ‘She’s a dinosaur stuck in the past’ ■ ‘She’s only out for number one’


What traits do you find the most difficult in other people?

● Self-centredness and narcissism ▲ A closed mind and unwillingness

If you went back to learning, which course would you be most attracted to? ▲ An MBA, MSc or PhD – an

to embrace new ideas ◆ Rigidity and an unquestioning following of rules ■ Unkindness and lack of empathy

intellectual challenge and an upgrade for your current qualifications ● Personal growth – NLP, the Hoffman Process, or anything aimed at communication and relationships ◆ Creative – writing, art, design, performance, photography or acting ■ Caring – social work, counselling, nursing or teaching



When looking back on your life, what will you hope to see?

● Lasting and meaningful relationships with friends, colleagues and family ◆ That you fully explored and developed your creative talents ■ That you went the extra mile to make a difference for others ▲ That you never stopped learning and growing as a person

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What do you find the most rewarding about your work?

▲ I’m learning and growing as a person all the time ◆ It’s an outlet for my creativity ● It’s been a source of some of my closest friendships ■ I feel as if I’m making a difference to people who need help


What would make you take a political candidate seriously?


If a child asked you what’s important in life, you’d reply…

■ Be useful and kind ● Never take loved ones for granted ▲ Keep an open mind; keep learning ◆ Enjoy the beauty of our world


You’ve inherited a large amount of money. Where are you most likely to donate it? ■ To setting up a local charity to

provide low-cost counselling ▲ To helping develop an innovative technique to introduce education to repeat offenders ◆ To a local theatre, gallery or cinema, to prevent it from closing down ● To a charity that tackles a health issue affecting close friends or family


Which of the following phrases most closely matches your personal mission statement? ● Build meaningful relationships

with others ▲ Reach your full potential ◆ Celebrate the beauty of life ■ Spread kindness and compassion

◆ Support for the arts, increasing participation locally or nationally

■ Resources for housing, education and healthcare for the disadvantaged ▲ Lower university tuition fees and investment in research ● Tax breaks and benefits to support family life and flexible working


words: sally brown.



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Dossier If you mainly chose ◆

If you mainly chose ■

You have an innate drive to celebrate the beauty in life, and to find authentic ways to explore ideas or express feelings through images, movement, performance, or the written word. You may never have labelled it as such, but your motivation to spend time on creative projects is a form of ambition. It’s important to find a way of nurturing this, which may mean joining a course or group outside of work. You can also be ‘creative’ in business, by coming up with new approaches to tackling problems. If you feel there is no creativity in your job, your goal may be to move your career in a direction that’s more in line with your values. But, in the meantime, you’ll feel happier if you bring even a tiny bit of creativity to work, whether it’s starting an office choir, changing your screensaver to a photo of something you’ve created, or nurturing a beautiful plant at your desk.

You believe in going the extra mile – or even 26.2 miles for a charity marathon – to make the world a better place. It may be something that has always been important to you, or something that has grown in recent years, but you’re convinced that the power of kindness can improve relationships and life in general, both locally and globally. You may already have found yourself drawn to working in a caring profession, such as social services, nursing or counselling. But your values can also be expressed in other professions. Living compassionately often goes hand-in-hand with a well-developed sense of empathy, and you may find it easy to step into another person’s shoes. This can be expressed in many aspects of the corporate world, in jobs that rely on building trust and good relationships with clients. If your job is at odds with this core value, seek to nurture it outside the office, perhaps in voluntary work.

If you mainly chose ▲

If you mainly chose ●

You’re extremely motivated to get more knowledge under your belt, whether that’s academic learning, or through personal growth and self-development. You feel the most like ‘you’ when you’re acquiring new skills. You have a ‘growth mindset’ approach to life – you keep an open mind, and you never assume that you’re an expert at anything, because you know there is always more that can be learned. Therefore, it’s understandable that you may struggle more than most if you’ve been in the same job for a while, or feel as if your career isn’t offering any new challenges. The upside to this is that you become more motivated than most to embark on further education. You have the dedication to put in the time and effort to get professional qualifications that will support your ambition, either by advancing your career, or opening the door to a new one.

You’re the sort of person who networks without even realising it. You find other people endlessly fascinating and, when you meet a new person, your mind immediately starts ‘joining the dots’ – figuring out who else would benefit from knowing them. You’re often at the centre of a social group, and the ‘go-to’ person for organising social events at work. Needless to say, with core values like this, you don’t thrive when you’re isolated. You can be an asset to any working team environment, because you can bring a cohesive element to a group that has seemed disconnected. A question to ask yourself is whether your current ambition – in employment or elsewhere – makes the most of your innate sociability. You’ll stay motivated and feel at your best if you regularly put yourself into contact with new people.

Your core values centre on imagination and creativity

Your core values centre on lifelong learning

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Your core values centre on kindness and compassion

Your core values centre on building relationships

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GOOD Have aMOODday! HRI Good Mood tablets – St. John’s Wort – for slightly low mood and mild anxiety. HRI Good Mood is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of slightly low mood and mild anxiety, based on traditional use only. Available from leading Boots stores and Holland & Barrett. Highest daily dose of St John’s Wort available. Always read the label.

Certification mark

#360me p77 Holistic Grail Meditation / p78 The Plan / p85 WillPower Ali Roff / p87 One Good Thing Morning pause / p88 Wellness Brain training / p93 Real Beauty Aevi / p95 Real Nutrition Beneficial beetroot / p97 Living Well The Hemsleys / p99 Ask the Dr Balance / p100 Well Travelled Dream eco escapes EDITED BY EMINÉ ALI RUSHTON


deeply “thatRealise the present moment is all you have ECKHART TOLLE

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holistic grail

5 best beauty boosts

Sit, breathe, and repeat Simple meditation can bring about pure gold moments



veryone’s meditating these days. ‘They want to get off their lotus flowers and get some work done,’ said my cab driver on the way home. It’s a statement that would not be lost on Will Williams – in fact, before he discovered Vedic (or transcendental) meditation, it may well have been the sort of sentiment to cross his lips. Williams is a pleasing contradiction – once a fun-loving city boy, he now dedicates his life to being a master of this ancient art. The first time I meet him, he steps into the room with a look of such beatific calm on his face, I feel as if I’m in the presence of something holy. He listens, contemplates, and responds richly; he understands the science behind meditation with rare acumen – and relays it with passion. His midweek Vedic meditation courses take place over three days, during which he leads the small group (I was one of five) in 20-minute sessions. We learn how to use our own special sound – a mantra that he selects for each person and whispers in your ear – to access the body’s most profound rest state (33 per cent deeper than deepest sleep), turf up the

old rubbish, and mend the weakest links. You sit, breathe, close your eyes, and repeat the mantra (which you are not to share with anyone else) in your mind, until it takes over, the body fades away, and the mind lets go. Thoughts come up, and that’s fine – it’s not about nothingness, but rather the simple repetition of this mystical sound, come what may. I’ve been doing it for a month, so it’s early days. I’ve had some shallow, prickly sessions in which I never fully let go, and a couple of purest gold meditations – where I’ve opened my eyes after 20 minutes, my head lolloping to one side, having lost time, and felt utterly calm, clear, focused, happy. I’m more patient. Less tired. How something so simple – 20 minutes of closed eyes, twice a day, repeating the mantra within – can be so effective is the real wonder. Yet it can be, as dozens of in-depth studies on meditation have proven. And you needn’t sit on a lotus flower to feel it. @psydirector

Klorane Mango Butter Leave-In Cream, £12 Oh, the smell! If you can resist sticking your tongue into it, this dreamy, silky lotion leaves hair wonderfully soft. Madara SOS Hydra Serum, £37 A dream for dry and sensitised skin, using peony root and linseed to strengthen the skin’s barrier function and restore calm. Amly Silver Rich Face Mist, £42 Beneath the founders’ East Sussex meadow, runs pure, silver-rich spring water. Blended and bottled with neroli, jasmine, camomile and probiotics, the smell is heavenly. Beatitude Patience Bath Oil, £25 A powerful natural blend. I accidentally poured five times the recommended amount into my bath, and was truly knocked out. Flow Yoga DVD with Nadia Narain, £10.99 Wonderful guided sequences that really help you pay attention to your everyday posture and alignment. Ideal after a day at the desk, too.

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The plan Every month for the next year, the #360me team will be sharing our baby-steps approach to leading a healthier, happier life – expert-endorsed and real-life approved.


bo d



m in

Enjoy our suggestions to help you maintain a healthy body

WillP ower wi th Ali Roff pg 85

Real brain training pg 88




The eco travel edi t pg 100


Ask the doc tor abou t balance pg 99



To feel your best, you have to consider the health of not just your BODY and GUT, but your MIND and SPIRIT too – this is holistic health in action. To help you, we’ve split all the advice in the plan into these four sections and, by spending a similar amount of time on each, you’ll be looking after your ‘self’ in a truly holistic way. Dip in and try one thing from each section. Or dive in and do it all. It’s here for you – to inspire, support and motivate. Share your journey with us @psydirector and we’ll share ours too.

SHARE YOUR #360ME JOURNEY @psydirector


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GREEN BOTTLES Want to drink more water, but prefer to eschew plastic? Glass and stainlesssteel canisters are the eco ideal. Try Reeho, £12.99 – made from borosilicate, a Pyrex-like shatter-resistant glass – or bright stainless-steel bottles from 24Bottles, £17.95, with their BPA-free plastic caps (below). Reusable and economical, fill at home, work or while dining in venues that offer free filtered water – and help save the planet, too.


the plan

“I love Shanti Sundays’ printed yoga bolsters, £65. I’ve had mine for years and use it every day. Filled with organic buckwheat hull, their latest star design is simply lovely” Wellness Editor, Catherine Turner @catherineyogi


LIQUID ENERGY WITH A NOURISHING BOOST “After more incidental sun exposure over summer and the frenetic holidays, I’ve come to rely on Ila Body Oil for Vital Energy, £48. It’s the ideal lightweight, yet moisturising, blend of juniper, rose geranium and rosehip, and never fails to uplift my spirits. I feel stronger for using it daily, and reach for it out of a sense of optimism, not duty. It’s costly, so I skip it over weekends, and top up my energy levels with time outdoors, plus lots of familial TLC” Eminé Ali Rushton @psydirector

BREATHE EASY ‘Breath is a window into our state of mind,’ says Dr Neema Moraveji, co-founder of the Spire tracker. This little sensor, £119.95, (including charging pad and iOS app), clips on to your belt or bra and analyses your breathing. A discreet buzz brings you into the moment, when you’ve gone too

long without a deep breath, and reminds you to stand up, stroll, or just take a break. It tracks activity, location and mood – and paints a detailed picture of why we feel any number of ways in a day. There are lovely guided activities, too, such as meditation.

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spirit Lift your spirit with these great finds and useful insights


Books to bring you closer to nature

THE FARMETTE COOKBOOK by Imen McDonnell (Roost Books, £22) American girl meets Irish boy, moves to his family farm – and teaches herself how to make the good stuff from scratch. Charming.

THE NEW HOMESTEADER by Nick and Bella Ivins (Ryland, Peters & Small, £19.99) Ideal for anyone who wants to farm, grow, rear and harvest – a practical guide, beautifully written by Nick and Bella from Walnut’s Farm.

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SKIN FOOD Rose, lime and cucumber are at the heart of Ella Mills’ two new products, developed in collaboration with Neal’s Yard Remedies. Their uplifting scent, and gentle, organic formulas tick all the boxes. They make no big claims, and no lofty anti-ageing promises. The ideology is simple, natural and holistic – if you like peace of mind from your products, and for your skincare to mirror the purity of what goes into your body, this is a lovely place to start. Facial wash, £16; moisturiser, £25. @psydirector


Five cups of green tea a day reduces stress levels by 20%, according to a study* in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. We rate Pukka Supreme Matcha Green, £2.79, and Positivitea Love Heart Chakra Blend, with green tea, rose and jasmine, £5.50.

“I love the trend for living walls. I enjoy growing my own produce, and think there is nothing better than bringing that passion home, and making parts of your house beautiful, living, breathing – and edible – gardens” Yoga Editor, Kat Farrants @MFML_

mind October’s food for thought... Tell us how you get on by using #360me


the plan

BRAVE HEART ‘Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig (Canongate, £7.99) is next on my reading list. I have heard only incredible things about this book and, as someone who has previously struggled with depression, I admire his honesty and courage in writing about this still-taboo subject.’ Fitness Editor, Hollie Grant @thePilatesPT

MIND YOUR STEP Mindful London by Tessa Watt (Virgin Books, £12.99) ‘It’s not often that we see an opportunity for mindfulness in a bustling city – but this guide reveals London’s unknown spaces and peaceful places, and is my handbook on days when I have a little bit of time to spare between meetings.” Eminé



In tests on adults with diabetes and hypertension, Harvard experts found that, while drinking two cups of cocoa for 30 days, 89% saw an improvement in blood flow to the brain. So, cocoa may reverse some cognitive changes that come with ageing and disease.**

“Studies dating back to the 1960s have found that it is easier to form a bad opinion about an unfamiliar person than a good one. Intuition and gut instinct can be powerful, insightful tools – but don’t mistake your cynicism for perception” Eminé Ali Rushton

HAPPY HOUR Ilan Azouri turned to flower essences whenever the going got tough – and he’s turned his experience into a pioneering new product for Conscious Water. Dissolved in pure vegetable glycerine and housed in a handy blister pack, you simply dispense into your water for a pleasing, delicate taste, alongside the benefits of highest-grade natural flower essences. We’ve been adding ‘Happiness’ (which contains nootka rose and purple magnolia essences) to our water for a pleasurable pause amid the working frenzy. £13.50 for nine; £45 for 30.

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gut gut

“I love the Damiano Nut Butters* – they’re all organic and absolutely divine” Nutritionist, Eve Kalinik

Nurture your gut health for an all-over feeling of wellbeing



A recent study** found that when subjects in two groups ate identical cholesterol-lowering diets, those who were also given almonds (42g) as a daily snack lowered their bad cholesterol by 5 points more in just six weeks.




Any type of hydrogenated oil – these oils, also called trans fats, have no nutritional benefit, and consumption has been linked to many different health conditions.

Eve Kalinik

Artificial sweeteners – these additives that people use for weight loss can actually have the reverse effect, particularly aspartame, which stimulates sugar cravings.

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Nutritionist Eve Kalinik spells out her four things to avoid Preservatives – food should be alive and, in its natural state, it will go off. Preservatives extend shelf life so, if food is lasting months, you really have to question its content.

High fructose syrup (often listed as the ingredient corn syrup) – this spells disaster for blood sugar levels and metabolism, as well as your gut health.



“Look after your gut health by adding more resistant starch to your diet. Cooled cooked rice, potatoes and lentils are great at feeding your gut’s good bacteria”

‘There’s a lot to be said for investing in a piece of kitchen equipment that will really last, and encourage you to make more of your favourite foods from scratch. This month, the iconic KitchenAid Stand Mixer, £485, comes in raspberry pink, in aid of breast cancer patients – with £50 from each purchase going to the charity, Breast Cancer Haven.’ @Eve Kalinik


the plan

Pumpkin, chickpea and brown rice balls with labne and roasted carrots ‘Life In balance’ by Donna Hay (Fourth Estate, £18.99) is out on 22 September† SERVES 4 l4  00g butternut pumpkin (butternut squash), peeled, seeded and chopped l 24 heirloom baby carrots l2  tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing lS  ea salt and cracked black pepper l1  x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained l2  cups (400g) cooked brown rice†† l 1 tsp dried chilli flakes

l1  tbsp finely grated

lemon rind l 1 clove garlic, crushed l2  tsp ground sumac, plus extra for sprinkling l1  cup coriander leaves, finely chopped l¼  cup (40g) sesame seeds lL  abne (yogurt cheese or Greek yogurt), to serve lM  int leaves and watercress (optional), to serve

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) gas mark 6. Place the butternut and carrots on a large baking tray. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes or until golden and tender. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and roughly mash with a fork. Add the butternut, rice, chilli, lemon rind, garlic, sumac and coriander, plus salt and pepper, and mix well

to combine. Divide and shape the mixture into tablespoon-size balls and flatten slightly. Press into the sesame seeds to coat and brush with extra oil. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and roast, turning halfway, for 20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with extra sumac and serve with the carrots, labne, mint and watercress.

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What’s stopping


Out now!

Do you want to be successful but feel frustrated because you don’t know what you want and how to change things? Don’t panic. Real Ambition can help you: ✔

Work out what really inspires and fulfils you

Identify and overcome the obstacles that are holding you back

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the kind mind

After years of self-imposed restriction and extreme dieting, our Dossier editor, Ali Roff, has at last discovered her healthy truth

Finding willpower



’ve been yo-yo dieting since I was 14. From starving myself on the 5:2 diet, to the unappetising Atkins; I’ve forced down gritty kale juice and wanted to cry through fitness bootcamps; all in an attempt to shrink myself. Yet, I never once felt well inside. Did life have to be like this – dreading the gym, depriving myself, obsessing over calories? For my own sanity and health, I knew things had to change. The irony is that we all know what we need to do to be fit and healthy. Moving more while eating whole, nourishing foods is a simple equation. But few of us consider what we need to think. I’d dedicated years to rigid fitness and diet plans – but, the one thing I never factored into my health goals? Mindset. Think of all the obstacles our minds throw at us – temptation, emotional eating, excuses… It never ends.

Change your thinking

So, what if we could truly change what our minds want? Imagine how much more enjoyable life would be if we could appreciate a biscuit (without wanting another five) and innately look forward to that great feeling after a sweaty workout.

I began to question my beliefs while qualifying to become a life coach. Working with clients on their own health and body confidence, I know first-hand how changing thoughts can powerfully impact how we feel and act in situations. I started to implement my own mindset changes, and began to see results. It was during this ‘Aha!’ period that I came up with WillPower – my revolutionary approach to helping others get holistically healthy, inside and out, designed to change your mindset to create an easy, enjoyable, healthy lifestyle. No pain, all gain. Without the deafening guilt, I am beginning to hear the positive impact of my decisions on my body – I view morning workouts as indulgent ‘me-time’. And if I miss one, it’s a restful gain, it’s no longer a missed opportunity. I am learning what it feels like to trust and listen to my body. Thoughts of deprivation hit notes of purest discordance that I no longer want to listen to. Instead, I’ve started to focus on enjoyment. Read Ali’s insights every month, as part of our #360me journey. For more information on WillPower, including a free taster online coaching worksheet and quiz, visit @AliRoff

What’s your goal? Take five minutes to make your first small, exciting step towards a new lifestyle. Start by answering these goal-setting questions: l What changes do you want to make to your health? l How do you want to feel in your body? These are your goals – not figures on a scale. l What obstacles are going to stand in your way, and how will you get over them? l What steps will you need to take to achieve your goal? l How can you inject more enjoyment into these first steps towards your goal?

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one good thing

Morning stillness

The Naturalista, Xochi Balfour’s One Good Thing for October

photograph: stocksy


s autumn takes root and summer holidays fade into the background, it always feels like an opportune time to embrace new routines and rituals; to help bolster and balance, while the new-season bustle begins to unfold. Daily practices that keep us connected, aware, grounded and calm are so important – and, while the thought of structured meditation sessions can send many of us running for the hills, there are little habits we can invest in each day that return exponential growth to the spirit. One of my favourites is a moment of morning stillness, to remember what we are grateful for upon waking. It doesn’t have to take more than a couple of minutes, but allowing ourselves the space to emerge from our dream world and cultivate a positive outlook, before we step into our roles as mother, wife, friend or boss (and all the ‘I shoulds’ that come with them), is a wonderful gift to self. My favourite practice is to say out loud one thing I am grateful for and one thing I set as an intention for the day. It can be as simple as gratitude for the roof over my head, and the intention to be present with my partner or colleagues… Just distilling our thoughts and focusing our minds brings us into a space of positivity, and reminds us of all that is, in fact, well in our ever-shifting world. @xochibalfour

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The real brain training game Determined to find a permanent solution to her ulcerative colitis, Beverley D’Silva seeks to cure the root cause – deep inside her brain

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EFT, or tapping. Most hadn’t harmed me (except allopathic drugs; steroids are no walk in the park), but they hadn’t restored me to optimal health either. Despite the positive emerging research, NF is not new: it was discovered by doctors in the US in the 1960s and adopted by NASA, which used it to stop astronauts having fits from exposure to rocket fuel (the space agency still uses it). In the US, it is an approved diagnostic tool and treatment for ADHD, and used for traumatic brain injury and PTSD, as well as for any brain-based functional conditions (strokes and autism) and

is not new: it “wasNFdiscovered by

doctors in the US in the 1960s and adopted by NASA, which used it to stop astronauts having fits from exposure to rocket fuel


magine there was a technique that could help you sleep better, that sharpened your concentration, calmed you down and lifted your mood? That relieved anxiety, depression and addiction, helped ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder, and eased dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and the risk of strokes and seizures? And, not only that, it was holistic, non-invasive, safe and drug-free? I believe that there is. It’s called neurofeedback, and it works by training that vital – yet often overlooked – organ: your brain. I first stumbled upon neurofeedback (NF) in a web post* by Psychologies health columnist, Dr Andrew Weil. Writing about ulcerative colitis (UC), he advocated biofeedback, a method of controlling inner functions that are normally outside of our control. Biofeedback’s offspring, I discovered after some further digging, was NF. I got excited reading about the overwhelmingly positive results, reported by people who had tried it. Having battled with UC for years, I’d tried many remedies – allopathic drugs, dietary changes, acupuncture, homeopathy, Vedic meditation and

emotional conditions (depression, anxiety, and childhood trauma). In parts of Europe, such as Germany and Scandinavia, one can have it on state healthcare. Here, awareness of NF is slowly growing, pioneered by forward-thinking companies such as Brainworks, whose co-founder, James Roy, describes it as ‘yoga for the brain’, because it can increase mental flexibility. At the firm’s London clinic, I meet neurotherapist, Christina Lavelle. After taking my medical history, she hands me a cap wired to a computer and lined with sensors. Once I’m wearing the cap, the sensors detect electrical impulses (my brain activity), displayed on a screen. ‘Once we can see what the brain is doing,’ says Roy, ‘we can set goals for it to meet.’ Asked what I would like to change, I say I would like to heal my UC. I had heard that the Royal College of Music and Chelsea Football Club use NF on students and players to enhance physical co-ordination, performance and focus, so I add hopefully, ‘Could I have concentration superpowers, too?’ It’s a bit of an ask – but who knows? First, Lavelle does a ‘Q’,


real wellness

‘So, if your brain is endlessly doing something not very efficient, or uncomfortable, this is how we show you the route out of it,’ says Roy. As NF operates on ‘classical conditioning’ – unconscious behaviour can be learned by rewarding it – it works well for very young children, as well as adults.

photographs: mosuno/Stocksy. * ART00466/Biofeedback-Dr-Weil-Wellness-Therapies.html

Calming the chaos

a computerised map of my brain, which reflects my emotional and cognitive states. A perfect Q would be white. Mine has messy splats of colour, indicating inflammation (core UC territory), anxiety and negative internal ‘chatter’, or scripts. I wish I had started those positive affirmations by Louise Hay… I also have an overactive limbic system (which governs instinct and mood); this would have a big effect on the gut, I’m told. My goals will include calming down my fight-or-flight response, and reducing stress and busy beta brainwaves (‘fast’ activity,

present when we are alert, attentive, engaged in problem-solving, judgment, decision-making and focused mental activity). The training itself is a doddle. You simply sit back and watch a film – but not a regular film. It plays for a bit and keeps pausing. Good brain activity is rewarded with its continuation, and inefficient brain activity makes it stop. As my brain learns how to keep the movie playing, the targets are made more difficult. In this way, I learn how to quiet activity associated with low performance and increase activity associated with optimal brain function.

Nicole Fruth, 26, wishes that she had found NF when she was much younger. She grew up in Arizona, in a chaotic home, with parents who were often fighting. ‘I developed OCD issues, I would be hand-washing and tidying up, doing actions over and over again. It was like my brain got stuck in a gear and couldn’t get out. Everything had to be perfect and, if it wasn’t, I suffered terrible guilt.’ Medics prescribed Ritalin, normally used for ADD, and a medication that, she feels, made her worse. ‘Outwardly, I seemed OK, but inside I was scared.’ Having struggled through her teens, in her early 20s Nicole moved to England to study at the London School of Economics. It was around that time that she realised she wasn’t enjoying the quality of life she wanted. ‘I was good as ever at appearing to be successful, but my emotional world was in tatters. I had no confidence, I couldn’t focus, and socially I was a nervous wreck.’ Nicole was struggling with her studies, and a long-term eating disorder got worse. ‘I stopped eating. I was far too thin. I was punishing myself.’ She was also being damaged emotionally by the man that she was dating. ‘I was intimidated by him and afraid of him, but I didn’t have the courage to leave,’ she says. Nicole began psychotherapy and her therapist suggested that she try NF with a practitioner. ‘After just three or four sessions, I felt >>>

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calmer. It was as if my brain was working so much better. I was solving maths problems and saying to myself, “Is this really me?”’ She had 25 sessions. ‘The difference after those was amazing. I went from struggling in accounting to getting a very high merit. I joined a support group for people with eating disorders, and my weight went back to normal,’ she says. She also found the courage to leave the man who’d made her unhappy. ‘I feel the training gave me the courage to walk away.’ She’s since started seeing someone else and says, ‘He hasn’t seen that old OCD part of me, because it isn’t there any more. Neurofeedback changed my attitude, which changed everything for the better.’ One negative was that her sleeping patterns were disturbed during training. ‘Normally, I sleep like a log – but if I suffered a little, it was worth it for the payoff, and my sleep normalised once training stopped. I don’t regret it at all.’

Restful slumber

Conversely, insomnia had plagued Anne Watts for so long that it had become her ‘normal’. Anne, 47, had strict rituals associated with sleep: her bedroom had to be very dark, and she only felt comfortable sleeping in a familiar bed. ‘It made going on holiday hell – it was always a week or two with virtually no sleep,’ she says. Even at home, she rarely slept through the night. Anne suffered frequent bouts of anxiety that she had assumed were ‘genetic’, as her mother had been an anxious type. She’d tried many remedies for her issues, from country walks to taking fish oils and magnesium, but none made a real difference. She was advised to try meditation. ‘I found that impossible,’ she says. ‘I’d sit and my mind would be racing. No matter how hard the

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teachers tried with me, I couldn’t switch off.’ Anne’s son, who she describes as ‘on the autistic spectrum’, was having NF and had responded very well. She asked his trainer, neurotherapist and psychiatrist, Dr Freddy Starr, if it could help her, too. Dr Starr asked Anne whether she’d had a traumatic brain injury (TBI). ‘I’d been in a car crash at 17, while on holiday in the Bahamas. My head hit the windscreen and I was unconscious for six hours,’ she says. She’d never had a brain scan, however; when she did, it showed the TBI. Anne started NF, while also following an anti-inflammatory diet, and avoiding allergens, ‘Many of which were the foods I craved – so it was no longer wine o’clock for me,’ she jokes. After two sessions of NF, Anne says her sleep improved so much that she was sleeping deeply and waking

refreshed. After 12 sessions, her TBI had gone right down on the scale. ‘I can now meditate too,’ she says. While Anne certainly benefited from NF, she stresses the role that other therapies – such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy and healthier living – played in her recovery, as well as her own diligence. ‘My sleeping is great now, providing I don’t drink too much wine and I go to bed at a sensible time.’ One of Starr’s main goals is to reduce people’s reliance on conventional drugs and he maintains a holistic approach in his practice; he advocates Anapanasati meditation (focus on the breath), yoga, nutritional balance and traditional medicines, alongside NF brain training. As to the reported side effects of NF, these have been minimal, and the US Food and Drug Administration has approved it as safe. There have been no major, double-blind, placebo-

**Washington Post, 2015


real wellness

My dancing and “co-ordination have improved, and I feel like I have a new superpower of concentration and focus

controlled studies of NF, as is the way with many alternative and holistic approaches (companies financing medical research would find it hard to recoup their investment in relation to NF in the way they could with conventional drugs). The latter fact has been the main sticking point for detractors, such as US psychologist Robb Mapou, who remains sceptical about NF, and says, ‘I haven’t seen enough rigorous studies in most conditions for which it is recommended to show, definitively, that neurofeedback is effective. I think there are other therapeutic factors that can contribute to an individual’s outcome, such as discussing their problems with a therapist.’** Michelle Harris-Love, a US neuroscience researcher at the MedStar National Rehabilitation Network in Washington, agrees. ‘I believe it is applied in some situations where we do not have enough information

on the cause of a disorder or how recovery happens.’**

Striking the balance

For me, the main drawback with NF is the cost – between £100-£140 per hour-long session. ‘Around two thirds, or 67 per cent, of people will experience vast improvement after 10 hours’ training; 95 per cent will experience that after 20 hours,’ says Starr. In cases of autism or where learning is impaired, 40 or 50 hours may be appropriate. While changes are lasting, it may be desirable to ‘top up’ later. As for me, after 12 sessions, the inflammation on my earliest Q had reduced to a third of what it had been. Accordingly, as my UC symptoms had calmed down, so had my mind. Situations that would once have been irritating or upsetting to me didn’t have the same edge. But, like Anne, I continued to work on myself in other ways: reducing my stress, cutting out alcohol, going on a serious residential cleansing retreat and eating a wholesome diet. There have been unexpected, positive ripple effects, too – my dancing and co-ordination have improved and, most recently, after 12 Skype sessions – which I highly recommend – I feel like I do literally have a new superpower of concentration and focus. Now, that is a happy ending.


● BrainTrainUK has

in London, and also offers home training using remote units. It runs NF retreats in the UK and France, as well as in Costa Rica. Visit or call 020 7193 4373.

several brain training treatment clinics located in London, Surrey, Kent, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Visit or call 020 7978 0186.

Kim Morgan KimAsking Morgan questions

Asking questions can help inspire can help inspire positive family positive family communication communication How many times do your children give times a one-word How many do yourresponse children to ‘How was school today?’ to or,‘How ‘What did give a one-word response you do today?’ was school today?’ or, ‘What did you do today?’ How often do they open up to you moredoonthey a car journey, bath time How often open up toatyou tuck them in to bed? more onoraascaryou journey, at bath time or as you tuck them in to bed? Learning to ask coaching questions in to your is a fun way to inspire Learning askfamily coaching questions whole to to getinspire to know one in your the family is a family fun way the whole family to get to know one talk and help youyour make the most of anothertobetter, encourage children all your moments together. to talk and helpregular you make the most of all your regular moments together.

Coaching questions do Coaching questions do the following:

Encourage usthink all (young and old) to for ourselves old) to think for ourselves Inspire creative thinking and Inspirebetter creative thinking and problem-solving better problem-solving Provide opportunities for Provide opportunities for meaningful conversations meaningful conversations

Ask your FAMILY AskATyour FAMILY table the dinner AT the dinner table

What is the most precious What is thething mostin precious your life? thing in your life?

Kim Morgan’s Coaching Cards Kim Morgan’s Coaching Cards for Children are available for Children available noware on now on

“Alison helps me to cope with my back problem” Helen, West Sussex Alison is a complementary therapist. Alongside standard medical care, she provides ongoing comfort and support to Helen, to help her live life to the full.

To find a professional therapist like Alison, visit the FHT’ss Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register, which has been independ dently accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.

s d n an h e f af sa n i e re r ’ u ou y e re r u su g n i k ak M

Alexander technique > aromatherapy > body massage > Bowen technique > cranio-sacral therapy > healin ng > homeopathy > hypnotherapy > kinesiology > microsystems acupuncture > naturopathy > nutritional therapy > reflexology > reiki > shiatsu > sports ma assage > sports therapy > yoga therapy



We meet Natalie Viklund and Marie Hansen, friends and founders of Aevi – a beauty and wellness brand that champions self-care

Soul & skin food

Gift to self



tress has an immense effect. It’s not always possible to be on top of everything and, even if you are, you’re likely to be overworked or tired. We believe in a nurturing relationship between mind and body, and accepting situations with a gentle heart. This is the central premise of our lives, and our brand. When it comes to nourishing the body, it matters what you put on your skin as much as what you put in your body. We eat lots of healthy fats – avocado, olive oil, coconut and hemp seeds – and use products with turmeric for a beautiful glow, prickly pear as a brightener, honey to soothe and rejuvenate, and aloe vera to hydrate. We believe in the power of nature to heal our skin. We take lots of walks to discuss work – it opens up our creative minds and, if personal things come up, we need to get them out to either halve our trouble



or double our joy. We also like yoga poses: child’s pose for calm, or downward-facing dog to reconnect with our inner selves. We only use natural products, and favourites include Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel, which helps to reset the skin, and Tata Harper Tinted Lip Treatment in Be Adored, which has a sophisticated red tint. We adore Captain Blankenship Golden Waves Sea Salt Shimmer Spray – just apply to your hair and and tousle for shine and texture. When we travel, we always take Kahina Toning Mist, and love de Mamiel Salvation Body Oil. After a shower, it will recover tired muscles and restore lustre to world-weary skin. At night, phones go. We both have alarm clocks; and we try to never go to bed sad, unhappy or angry. Sleep is so important and there should be space for healing and dreaming without life getting in the way. For a 10% discount on the Aevi Summer Wellness Box, £120, quote ‘Psychologies10’ when ordering online at Valid until 29 September. @aevibox




1 Kahina Toning Mist, £38, Being Content

2 Captain Blankenship Golden Waves Sea Salt Shimmer Spray, £25, Aevi 3 de Mamiel Salvation Body Oil, £75, de Mamiel 4 Tata Harper Tinted Lip Treatment, £23, Being Content 5 Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel, £56, Cult Beauty

FOLLOW US #360me @psydirector @psychologiesmagazine

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Ever so slightly

Shot Top cupcake kits. A party game-changer. Fill with your favourite tipple. And top with prosecco flavour frosting. Please eat responsibly.

69 stores nationwide


real nutrition

Feeling the beet

This month, nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik is rooting for the health benefits of beetroot


here’s no mistaking the distinct, deep purple, finger-staining juice of the hearty beetroot, which makes this vibrant vegetable one of the most beneficial plant foods you can eat. Beets boast that characteristic earthy-rich and sumptuous flavour, and are often referred to as ‘bloodbuilding’ foods – and for very good reasons. Brimming with heart-friendly nutrients, such as folate and potassium, it is the unique natural source of nitrates (which converts into nitric oxide in the body) that makes beetroot so supportive to our systems. It is this compound that helps to dilate blood vessels, which in turn improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. The juice has, in fact, been used in trials with athletes to improve performance, and it makes a great pre-workout boost – beets are also a decent source of iron and magnesium, both of which are important minerals to keep our energy levels well-balanced. Most often talked about are the phytonutrients present in beets, in the form of their antioxidant betalain pigments. These powerful phytonutrients have been linked with helping to support anti-inflammatory and antioxidant processes, which means they help to negate environmental and internal stressors on the body, warding off free-radical damage.


drink Plenish Pump, £4.95, contains beets, carrot, cherry and lime – great for a boost throughout the day or pre-workout (

read Donna Hay’s ‘Life In Balance’ (HarperCollins, £18.99) is a great read about embracing the best of nature. See p83 for one of her veg recipes.

It is these same betalains that also help to support natural detoxification processes in the body, speeding up the rate at which we can shift toxins. What’s more, beets are deliciously versatile. Whether you eat this beautiful root veg thinly sliced in a salad, simply roasted, pickled, made into a dip, juiced, or even as part of a dessert (try my Beet Brownies on, it’s easy to up your beets and have fun doing it. And don’t throw away the green tops, as these are full of nutritional benefits, too – simply cook the leaves and eat them like spinach.

eat The Synergy Company Organic Beet Juice Powder, £39.98. A little goes a long way – add it to smoothies, yogurt or porridge (

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Running on empty?

We all need certain key vitamins and good sleep to function well during the colder seasons. Formulated by practicing nutritional therapist, Henrietta Norton BSc Dip NT, these FOOD-GROWN® supplements help to support† ‘general living’ for the whole family. Try them now at – with 20% OFF* – using code WPM2

*Offer valid only through by applying the promotional code WPM2 at checkout. Offer applies to Food-Grown ® Vitamin D, Food-Grown ® B Complex Plus and Food-Grown ® Magnesium products only. Offer ends 31.10.16. †Vitamin D and zinc contribute to the normal function of the immune system. Magnesium contributes to normal psychological function and the normal functioning of the nervous system. Vitamin B12 contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.


living well

The little green home



‘I use eco balls for washing laundry, which are really good, or a dash of Dr Bronner, £5.99. It’s better for the environment and our skin! I find the smell of commercial washing powders off-putting – a reminder that you are breathing in artificial scents from chemicals, creating the idea that your clothes are fresh and clean. It’s great to see more and more eco household brands in the supermarket, and prices becoming more affordable (try the new Waitrose ECOlogical, from £1.31 for Washing Up Liquid, 500ml). Our mother’s tip is to dilute all of your household liquids with water to make them go further!’ Jasmine



Spot clean

‘You’ll always find apple cider vinegar in my house. I use it in dressings and pesto and I take a small sip before a meal, which helps digestion. I also use diluted apple cider vinegar if I get a spot on my face (dab it on with cotton wool) as it helps clear it, without drying the skin.’ Melissa


White magic

‘I’ve just started using Mangle & Wringer cleaning products. They have a lovely pot of natural biodegradable cream – the Kitchen Cleanser, £5.80 – which is great on every surface. White vinegar is also really good for wiping

Eco and ethical rule the roost, at home with the Hemsleys

down surfaces and to use as a disinfectant. It’s ideal for sparkling windows, too, and the smell totally evaporates. And, to freshen and purify the air naturally, I love 1001 Remedies PurAir, £24.’ Jasmine


Top shelf


Home and away

‘At home, we store all of our food in stainless steel or glass containers. Having your regular items, like nuts, seeds, spices and flours, in clear glass is brilliant, because seeing them reminds you to use them and get creative – and you can also see when things need to be restocked. We eat with our eyes first of all so, when you make something delicious for yourself, like a toasted homemade granola, or some spicy roasted chickpeas, it’s lovely to have it in a glass jar on the shelf, looking beautiful… It makes you feel happy to know you made it, too!’ Melissa

‘Our insulated stainless steel Klean Kanteen, £29.99, is our every single day staple. It’s so quick to wash and keeps the food we make at home warm all day – great now that the weather is getting cooler.’ Jasmine Find recipes and foodie inspiration online at the #360me channel at

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We believe you deserve the time to re-discover yourself and just BE! Join us in our 5* all-inclusive oceanside retreat with the practice of daily yoga, meditation, massages, hikes, spa & healthy nutrition on a beautiful Spanish Island of Lanzarote.

Upcoming Retreats: 1 Oct - 8 Oct 5 Nov - 12 Nov 12 Nov - 19 Nov

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ask the dr


Is being too healthy unhealthy? Each month, leading integrative health expert, Dr Andrew Weil, gives his definitive answer



ood health can be defined as a positive state of dynamic balance and wholeness – one that supports optimal functioning in our environment. As anyone who practises tai chi or yoga can tell you, balance requires focus and effort. By extension, the same is true regarding optimal health. Extremes of effort, whether too little attention to health, or overdoing it, can tip us out of balance and negatively impact resilience – our ability to bounce back from challenge. Moderation may not be exciting, but it is the most reasonable way to successfully participate in healthy habits to enhance balance and resilience, helping to prevent disease and optimise health. Identify the rational blend of healthy diet and lifestyle practices that works for you. Toxic activities – smoking and excessive alcohol intake – should be avoided but, outside of the clearly harmful, there is room for moderation. Make sure meals are satisfying and good for you – you need not sacrifice taste to eat healthy fare. Incorporate aspects of Mediterranean, Asian, and anti-inflammatory diets for good health. Steer clear of fads – diets of disallowance rarely work, whereas healthy eating plans that allow for occasional splurges can be both enjoyable and effective. Intermittent splurges are fine, even important (mine is high-quality dark chocolate – yum!), provided they are occasional and portions are small. Don’t be swayed by marketing hype, especially for vitamins and supplements that promise everything under the sun. Let common sense be your guide. Extremes of exercise can also be harmful. Too

little and you don’t get the benefits to your cardiovascular system, metabolism, and mood; too much and you may impair normal immune system function as well as incur injury. Some people develop an unhealthy relationship with exercise that borders on compulsion – a situation that’s incompatible with balance. Stick to a regular routine and trust your body: some discomfort after exercise is normal, but persistent or significant discomfort is not, and signals the need for rest. Most people know that inadequate sleep over time – less than five to six hours per night – is bad for your health, contributing to weight gain, diabetes, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease; yet few know that too much sleep (more than nine hours) can also be harmful. Aim for seven hours, and create time for rest and engagement with healthy stress-management practices. Explore techniques you may not have tried, perhaps yoga or meditation. Don’t overdo classes – once you have the hang of things, you can get as much benefit from practising at home. There’s more than enough to worry about without adding concern over whether we are doing enough to promote health and wellbeing. Start slowly, set reasonable goals, proceed gently. This approach supports resilience and dynamic balance – the core components of optimal health. @drweil

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well travelled

Discover your dream

eco escape Our Contributing Travel Editor, green girl and SPA.Kitchen founder, Daisy Finer, rounds up the world’s best ethical holidays

Authentic Adventure Inkaterra, Peru

I am ever on the hunt for a breath of fresh air. What could be more enticing than the lungs of the earth? True adventure in happy cahoots with conservation and carbon neutrality? I am in a boat, traversing the gaping, majestic Rio Madre de Dios in the Tambopata region of the Peruvian Amazon, approaching this very experience. My hosts are Inkaterra, a Peruvian company dedicated to sustainable tourism, ecological learning and responsible local employment. I enter the secondary forest at Hacienda Concepcion. The re-emerging jungle drips with beauty and bounty. My

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eminently comfortable Machiguenga cabana (thatched-roof hut) is open to a lagoon patrolled by caiman and the giant river otter I spot from a canoe. It is satisfyingly furnished in sparse hefts of wood. Through the night, the power is saved. These are the delicate luxuries eco-travel provides. Daylight gives way to a flickering candle and a kerosene lantern against the absolute dark. A leaf clatters to the forest floor, for lack of background noise, and I wake to the raucous call of howler monkeys. A twilight river outing brings my first sighting of caiman and a three-toed sloth. I hike to Lake Sandoval in the early morning, lurid macaws overhead. My canoe winds through backwaters to the lake. Ibis stalk and vultures circle the most serene of panoramas; the vast water fenced by 40m palms. The excursions provide activity and exertion, if you like; plenty of alternatives if you don’t, and always immersion in the flora and fauna through the gracious guides, whose wavelengths are tuned to the faintest toucan call or whiff of a simian in the highest canopy. Further along the Madre de Dios, and a second lodge, Inkaterra Amazónica, deeper into the primary rainforest. My cabana is open to the river. I have my lanterns, a hammock and a comfortable bed and I wonder how I could ever have wished for anything more, so elevating is that subtle shift into natural breath and rhythms. Here, the forest intensifies in scale and density. The incredible canopy walkway, towers and >>> travel Details and prices correct at the time of going to press


any of us are trying to live in a conscious way; we have never been more aware of how we shop (mindfully) and what we eat (healthily, preferably organically). But what about our holidays? Here, we offer an overview of some of the most exciting eco hideaways in the world – but don’t panic, this isn’t about grungy camping or communal showers, this is about immersive pleasure, knowing the planet isn’t suffering as a consequence. Fresh air, delicious food, a naturally splendid setting and an authentic heart were our top priorities when we went exploring, eco-style.

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well travelled

unmissable exploration of its dappled heights, where red howler monkeys pick the vivid flowers from the tallest treetops and the green quiet is punctuated by birdsong and sprays of colour. Each river excursion, canoe, jungle or swamp walk yields new marvels. From capybara and dark tarantula to marauding throngs of parakeets, blazing heliconias, and Amazonian nuts and raw cacao for the tasting. In the lodge, a happy introduction to Amazonian cuisine; local, humble ingredients with a zing of freshness. It is simultaneously harmonious and luxurious. Throughout, it is this symbiosis that makes this Amazon experience so vivid and authentic. It is the win-win; the mutual exchange of wealth and the uncluttered conscience. My guide speaks of his pride in being able to maintain employment that does not exploit the people or natural resources. This is the joy shared. It brings us closer to the forest, which gifts us our food and the roofs of our cabanas. Inkaterra’s sustainable model provides security for these swatches of rainforest. It provides an exquisite, natural experience for visitors, full of immediacy and without a heavy tread from our tourists’ jungle boots; where we might drop our excess baggage and enjoy true adventure and illumination, neither adulterated nor adulterating. Paul Rushton

For more information on Inkaterra, visit or call +51 1 610 0400. British Airways flights from Gatwick to Lima start from £653 return. Audley Travel (, 01993 838620) can arrange an 11-day itinerary to Peru including the Amazon, Cuzco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu from £3,890 per person, including direct and internal flights, private transfers, excursions, accommodation and all meals

getting on track Andean Explorer, Peru ‘Make do and mend’ is an eco sensibility to admire, and can apply to trains. Belmond restored the old Venice-Simplon Orient Express, discovered rotting in a siding in the 1970s, and will do the same with a luxury sleeper train service in South America. The Great South Pacific Express (found gathering dust in Australia) gets upcycled into the Andean Explorer in May 2017. It will travel from Cuzco, the ancient Incan capital, across the Andes to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One- or two-night journeys cost from £350. For more information, visit or call 0845 0772 222

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT A cabana at Inkaterra’s Hacienda Concepcion; the canopy walkway through the forest; boating down the Rio Madre de Dios in the Amazon; the sun sets over Arequipa as you board the Andean Explorer; produce at the Pondicherry market; the town boasts traditional architecture; Dune’s Ayurvedic Paradise Spa and Yoga Centre; the grand backdrop of the Peruvian Andes; the Explorer’s plush interior Previous page The main house at Inkaterra

spiritual spa

Dune Eco Village and Spa, India A French-run beach hotel set in 35 acres of landscaped wilderness, a short drive from the town of Pondicherry, on the Bay of Bengal, the emphasis here is on organic living. There are 55 individually designed bungalows, many made using materials reclaimed from colonial houses, and each has a solar water system, low-consumption lightbulbs and organic bed linen. Not all have air conditioning; instead, they rely on the gentle sea breeze that blows through the private gardens and terraces to cool the rooms naturally. Even the landscaping has been done with the environment in mind, and, since 2002, the hotel has planted more than 50,000 trees. The vibe here is hippy chic, which is carried through to the Ayurvedic Paradise Spa and Yoga Centre. Book a pampering massage or meditation, or benefit from a three-day detox, a focus on rejuvenation or anti-stress, or Ayurveda disease management. The partly covered pool overlooks the sands of the Bay of Bengal, is chlorine-free, solar heated and set in a large garden. Not just for swimming, it’s also used for hydrotherapy and Watsu sessions, where the therapeutic properties of water benefit psychological wellbeing. The healthy-living ethos continues at the two restaurants, which use local products wherever possible. At the seafood café, the catch of the day is sourced from local fishermen, and at the Fun restaurant, recipes feature vegetables picked from the organic garden, rice grown using a non-water submerged technique, and dairy and poultry from the hotel’s own farm. Explore the quaint colonial buildings in the French quarter of Pondicherry, or visit Auroville, a township founded in 1968 with a community that follows the teachings of The Mother, Mirra Alfassa. The highlight is Matrimandir, a huge golden globe used as a meditation centre that seems a fitting spiritual link to a place so connected to the earth. Daisy Finer Bungalows from £62 per night. For more information, visit

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>>> suspension bridges 29m above the forest floor allow an


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FROM LEFT Elephants happily graze and bathe within a few feet of the accommodation at the Ruckomechi Camp in Zimbabwe; the large canvas tents situated along the river give panoramic views of the African landscape and local wildlife; the woodland eco-houses in the newly refurbished Pedras Salgadas Park in northern Portugal let you get back to nature in a rural setting


Safari Magic

restorative Hideaway

At the riverside Ruckomechi Camp in Zimbabwe, you live so close to nature you can find yourself hardly daring to breathe at the open-air dining table, as an elephant nonchalantly munches acacia leaves a few feet away. Set on the bank of a remote tributary of the great Zambezi river, in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, Ruckomechi ticks every box. Run by African-based Wilderness Safaris, its location couldn’t be lovelier or more remote, just feet from the riverbank, with a view across the opaque water to the hills of the Rift Valley escarpment. The camp is small: mahogany and acacia trees shade just 10 large canvas tents. A single old-fashioned enamel bathtub, surrounded on three sides by a thatched fence, lets you bathe while looking out over the river, but that’s just a quirky addition. Each tent has its own bathroom – openroofed, so you bathe under the stars – with a flushing loo, basin, and hot shower powered by solar energy. Ruckomechi has just been refurbished, but in an unshowy, sustainable way. Sofas are now covered in denim linen, African artefacts decorate rustic side tables and, while the draped mosquito nets around four-poster beds look wildly romantic, they’re actually very practical, and let you sleep with the tent flaps open, safely unbitten. Lying there listening to hippos croaking in the river and the grunts and shrieks of the bush, there’s nothing like it. Total heaven. Adrianne Pielou

Staying in a woodland eco-treehouse in the Pedras Salgadas Park, 90 minutes from Oporto in rural northern Portugal, guarantees a restorative, back-to-nature experience. You wake up to birdsong, and at the end of outdoorsy days spent hiking, biking, or exploring the treetop adventure course, can retreat into the magnificent 19th-century Pedras Salgadas spa at the heart of the park for a wonderful massage, peaceful swim or restorative Turkish bath. Built in 1879 following the discovery of hot springs in the area, royalty visited, and for decades it flourished. An impeccable restoration job in 2009 returned the spa to its former splendour, and since the unveiling in 2012 of seven woodland eco-houses and three treehouses, Pedras Salgadas has become the site of some of the best-value, four-star healthy holidays around. A few minutes’ walk along a woodland path from the spa building, Casa de Chá restaurant and lounge, and outdoor pool and playground, the eco-houses are slightly larger, with a bedroom, sofa-bed in the lounge, kitchenette, shower room and shady deck. But the slate-and-wood treehouses beat them for romance. Approached via long walkways, they are more secluded and it feels thrilling to lie in bed, looking up at the stars, listening to the wind rustling the leaves. You almost pray for the extra cosiness of rain. AP

Doubles from £532 per person per night, based on two sharing a tent. For more information, visit

A two-night break in a treehouse for two with breakfast, a lunch and spa treatment costs from £520. Visit, +351 259 437 140

Ruckomechi Camp, Zimbabwe

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Pedras Salgadas, Portugal

FROM LEFT Surrounded by gentle hills and natural terraces rich in olive trees and lemon groves, Lefay Resort overlooks the spectacular Lake Garda; Kasbah Du Toubkal nestles beneath northern Africa’s highest mountain; the Kasbah not only offers traditional Moroccan comfort in stunning surroundings, but is part of a charity initiative to help the local population

Lush Lakeside Spa

Mountain Retreat

It’s all pretty much perfect at this heavenly retreat nestled in the hills above Lake Garda in Italy. Inspired by the tiered lemon houses of the lake, with rows of stone pillars and wooden beams, this is a resort that looks the business and it delivers, too, with a seriously eco backbone. Local materials are the name of the game here, and they’ve gone all out with the 90 spacious suites boasting olive-wood parquet floors, walnut furniture, Verona red marble and textiles made of natural cotton fibres. The heating is provided by a whizzy biomass plant fed by woodchips, and rainwater is recycled. Food ticks all the boxes, too: packed with seasonal ingredients from nearby farms, tuck in to lobster Catalanstyle with mango sauce, lettuce and bergamot emulsion. The spa is equally impressive. Feel free to descend totally starkers into the magical salt-water lake, relax with a spot of reflexology, or get active with qigong (balancing the body, mind and spirit). Otherwise sweat it out in the saunas, splash about in the umpteen pools, or walk around the surrounding vineyards, lemon gardens and olive groves (the hotel produces its own olive oil). This is the sort of place where you can just let go and not worry about a thing. A few days in, you feel transformed; go for a 10-day programme and you’ll skip home a new person. Harriet Compston

Staff exude a genuine commitment to the vision of the modest Englishman who bought a ruined castle in the shadow of Jbel Toubkal, the highest peak in northern Africa, and turned it into this delightful, quirky, ethically sound hotel. But what Mike McHugo and his team have achieved goes way beyond converting a crumbling ruin into another tourist hotel. Not only is the Kasbah a major employer of local staff, and uses local produce, materials and craftsmen, but the real deal is a charity set up to help the impoverished local population. This inspirational organisation has seen numerous projects materialise – from refuse collection throughout the valley, to the purchase of a 4x4 ambulance, and setting up hostels so local girls can attend secondary school. But it is the hotel that will be the focus for the visitor. There is a room to suit all budgets, from backpackers’ shared bunkrooms to the Garden Suite, a charming apartment with huge windows overlooking the villages and valleys. Breakfast is perfect; homemade yogurt, pancakes, local eggs; while lunch and dinner are traditional Moroccan fare. Tea and coffee are available without charge all day, as is the hammam (steam room). Djellabas (long robes) are available in your room for the chilly evenings, and some rooms have log fires. Days are spent enjoying numerous mountain treks. When you return to your room after dinner, there will be a hot-water bottle in your bed. DF

From £242 per suite per night, including breakfast. For more information, visit

From £109 per room per night, including breakfast. For more information, visit >>>; or call their UK reservation office on 01883 744667

Lefay Resort, Italy

Kasbah Du Toubkal, Morocco

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FROM LEFT Alladale Wilderness Reserve’s eco-restoration project aims to reintroduce native wildlife to 23,000 acres of the Scottish hills; The Park in Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, is a stone’s throw from a sandy beach, where the coastline yields sea beets and greens; full days of family fun and seaside invigoration are balanced by a choice of relaxing eco accommodation


the great outdoors

Family Comfort

Discover 23,000 acres – part of the ancient Great Forest of Caledon – being transformed with an ambitious new rewilding project. The estate’s owner, Paul Lister, offers the opportunity to see an ecological restoration project in action, with the aim of restoring natural flora and fauna and reintroducing native wildlife. Paul has planted 800,000 trees and signed up to a breeding programme for the almost-extinct Scottish wild cat, in cooperation with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. Sadly, it’s too late for other native species, such as wild boar, lynx, wolves and elks, all now extinct. But Mother Nature still rules the roost – soak up the views, go for walks, or simply breathe and meditate. This place guarantees to reboot you mentally, physically and spiritually. Warm baths and roaring fires are the ideal antidote to Scotland’s infamous cold weather and there’s something wholly life-affirming and deserved about taking a hot bath after being in the wet and rugged outdoors. You can also throw yourself into mountain biking, 4x4 safaris, clay-pigeon shooting, trout fishing and deer stalking. Alladale is also host to wonderful Wildfitness retreats, where you are whipped into shape by top fitness experts with a love for the outdoors – you know the sort: all sparkly eyed and full of zip – Bear Grylls-types who will unearth your own inner wild child no matter how deeply domesticated he or she has become. Suzanne Duckett

The Park in Mawgan Porth has a lot going for it. Here you can hire a retrofit Airstream trailer, a yurt, a cosy cottage or, as we did, one of the newer eco lodges. Six and a half hours in a car (with a two- and five-year-old) takes it out of a person, but within 10 minutes of parking outside our beautiful woodclad lodge, the kids were bouncing on the beds while the other half inspected the outdoor barbecue and woodburner (having already ordered complimentary logs from reception). We stayed in Karrek, which sleeps up to six people – the allnatural and sustainable materials, light and sea air tempering all tension. Solar panels tick the big eco box – and the heating and thermal recovery system provides hot water and cosiness. The staff are fantastic and patient with the kids; in school holidays, free activities are offered every day – from nature walks with the on-site conservation expert, to old-school fireside myths and shadow-making. We foraged sea beets and greens for breakfast, then walked to the beach (10 minutes away) and, when tired legs and empty tummies took over, the on-site café, The Kitchen, served wholesome food, made with locally sourced ingredients. Then to the pools – one indoor, one outdoor, both heated by solar energy – followed by a session in the play yurt: great to get kids to wind down after a day’s stimulation. The Park provides a lovely way to dip one’s toes into coastal life, then get toasty sitting around the fire. Singsong essential. Eminé Ali Rushton

From £1,200 per night, based on exclusive use for 12-14 guests, minimum threenight stay. For more information, visit

Prices range from £65 a night for a summer house, to £103 a night for a luxury lodge (both sleep four; off-peak). For more details, visit

Alladale Wilderness Reserve, Scotland

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The Park, Cornwall

well travelled #360me

in partnership with Rickshaw Travel

Find meaning in the East W

‘Real deal’, uplifting holidays among the locals for travellers with a conscience e love the ethos of Rickshaw Travel. It was founded by former backpacker, Haydn Wrath, who wanted to create the kind of company that he would want to book a trip with. ‘My challenge was to provide meaningful experiences that would bring travellers “closer” to their destination.’ How? By offering trips about as far removed from bland resort holidays that you could hope to find! Rickshaw brings you up close and personal with the ‘real deal’ – from homestays and houseboats in India, to tiny tropical island escapes in Borneo… Places where you get to know remote rural communities. Rickshaw also supports many local projects, so it’s truly sustainable, responsible tourism in action. India is one of Rickshaw’s most popular destinations. There is something for everyone, from learning how to cook traditional dishes with the hosts of your guest house in Chittorgarh, to spotting Bengal tigers in the Bandhavgarh National Park. Or, book a scenic toy train ride through the hills and tea plantations of Ooty; and you can extend your stay to visit Nagarhole National Park to hang out with elephants, leopards and crocodiles, bedding down in a traditional rice barge drifting through Kerala’s tranquil backwaters. Magical, meaningful fun!

Prices start from £968 per person (land only), for a 12-day/11-night experience. For more information, visit, email or call 01273 934822



Win! A holiday worth up to £4,000 with Rickshaw Travel ● Win a Rickshaw Travel holiday for two people for up to two weeks ● Choose your destination – Myanmar, Vietnam, India or Borneo ● Win one of the itineraries listed below at your chosen destination ● Total value of the prize is up to £4,000 ● Prize includes all land arrangements – accommodation, excursions, transfers and breakfast

MYANMAR undiscovered: Tea, Temples & Trails

16 days/15 nights taking in Yangon; Northern Shan State; Pyin Oo Lwin; Mandalay; Bagan; Kalaw; Inle Lake

VIETNAM in a nutshell

14 days/13 nights taking in Hanoi; Halong Bay; Hoi An; Ho Chi Minh City; Mekong Delta

INDIA: Wildlife and waterways of Kerala 15 days/14 nights taking

in Bangalore; Mysore; Wayanad; Tholpetty National Park; Ooty; Coonoor; Cochin; Periyar National Park; Kerala Backwaters; Kovalam

BORNEO: Great apes and beach escapes

10 days/9 nights taking in Kota Kinabalu; Mount Kinabalu National Park; Sandakan; Sepilok; Kinabatangan; Sukau; Lankayan


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SKYROS Adventure





CITY BREAKS: Copenhagen, Havana, Marrakech, Venice BEACH HOLIDAYS: Thailand and Trinidad WEEKEND BREAKS: Isle of Wight










T: 01983 865566

The Retreat p110 Feasting Let them eat cake! / p116 Books Autumn page-turners / p118 Living Your creative space

laugh “Aandgood a long sleep

Harvest duvet set, £20, knit throw, £25, ochre cushion, £14, lampshade, £10, candle, £6, jug, £12, all Sainsbury’s. For stockist’s details, see page 123

irish proverb

are the best cures in the doctor’s book

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Why hide your treasures when beloved collections can be displayed to inspire you every day? Layer your favourite things on shelves and bookcases – and enjoy the memories they invoke

EMBRACE YOUR CREATIVITY Believe in what you love, trust your taste and put your heart into your home EDITED BY LUCYINA MOODIE PHOTOGRAPHS CICO BOOKS

Your workspace should be comfortable and motivating, too. A simple pin board is a place to gather ideas and inspiration


urn your home into an original ‘work of art’, using your individual flair to create a haven just for you. ‘I’ve concluded that style is a completely personal thing,’ says Geraldine James, author of The Creative Home (CICO Books, £19.99). ‘You just have to be confident in letting it shine in your home.’ Trust your instincts, she encourages, and allow modern and traditional elements to harmonise, making home an inspiring place. ‘Whether you are a “magpie” with cherished collections to display, or prefer minimalism, the important thing is to believe in your choices.’

This homely kitchen, with centre stage given to a charming, rustic farmhouse table, is a room in which the family will linger... 112 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E o c t o b e r 2 0 1 6


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Qui te nis expliti aute Vintage collections ne rerspiet are lovinglymi, con evenis antmounted latur displayed sanimpo on a wall remodissunti around nus dolupta qui corro a central mirror; invende quam fugia while this neutral consequhas ideliam palette a doluptatur a volliquae soothing effect poreptatum fugit,

A busy kitchen can be a decorative space – and don’t save your best china for special occasions. Enjoy your feast, present it well... and there’s something about a cake stand!

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‘Look Left’ painting by Ben Lowe, £345, Loaf

Bethany chandelier, £80, Next

Olivia mirror, £125, Laura Ashley

Decorative letter, £5, John Lewis

‘Old School’ light fitting, £98, The French House

You don’t have to follow every trend – just have the confidence to surround yourself with the things that you love. By displaying only objects that bring you joy, you will make your home a completely individual space, in which you can feel truly happy. An eclectic mix of furniture and accessories makes for a nostalgic feel. Stick to a simple colour palette: here, pale and interesting chalky whites and stormy greys pull together a stylish collection. A bit retro, a bit classic, a bit elegant. Trust yourself and create your perfect space.


Dualit Vario stainless steel toaster, £149, Argos


Joyful things

Cake stand, £8, George Home

READER OFFER Psychologies readers can buy The Creative Home by Geraldine James for the special price of £14.99* including p&p (RRP £19.99), by calling 01256 302699 and quoting the reference HY4.

Classic silver candelabra, £19.99, HomeSense

Potted maidenhair silk fern, £69, Bloom

Daisy china teapot, £15, and daisy china, £40 for 12-piece set, all Sainsbury’s

Camargue oak chair, £174, Oka O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 115


every day

Kick that ‘back to school’ feeling and avoid the autumn blues with this month’s gripping reads

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Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (Picador, £14.99)

It’s been 11 years since the author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close has published a novel, and this sprawling epic sets family breakdowns against what it means to be Jewish in modern America. Jacob Bloch’s marriage is in crisis, his eldest child is in trouble, his grandfather is lonely, the pet dog is old and frail and, everywhere Jacob turns, is a problem to be solved.

The author of the brilliant Room heads back to her homeland of Ireland, the setting for a compelling historical tale that explores love and loss, belief and superstition, and illuminates the way that rationality can become undermined in the face of religious belief. At the heart of the story is ‘a magical girl who lives on air’: 11-year-old Anna has stopped eating but, miraculously, remains alive and well. Tender, lyrical and completely absorbing.

Leave Me

The Woman Next Door

(Hamish Hamilton, £20)

by Gayle Forman (Simon & Schuster, £16.99) Maribeth Klein is at the end of her tether. Stressed at work and overwhelmed at home, she is harried into a heart attack. What should be a salient reminder to her husband and twins to step up and help is blithely ignored, and so Maribeth packs her bags and goes. Forman’s wise and warm exploration shows the complicated repercussions of running away from home as a grown woman. It’s a provocative, emotive read.

by Cass Green

(HarperCollins KillerReads, £7.99)

In this creepy psychological exploration of the power of secrets to destroy your life, we are introduced to Melissa, living a seemingly enviable middle-class life in north London. As that life slowly begins to unravel, her husband’s betrayal is revealed and an unwelcome blast from the past comes calling. Hester, the lonely, overly helpful neighbour is only too willing to assist – with catastrophic results.


‘We went to the spa to save what was left of our damned marriage’ From Divorce Is In The Air by Gonzalo Torné (Harvill Secker, £13.99)

The book that made me


Author Ann Patchett on Charlotte’s Web

The first time I read the EB White classic, Charlotte’s Web, I was eight and living on a farm in Tennessee. As soon as I finished it, I read it again. I longed to be Fern, the brave girl who saved the runted pig Wilbur from the axe, or Charlotte, the spider who saved the grown pig Wilbur from slaughter with her clever writing… but the character I identified with was Wilbur. He was friendly and vulnerable and in love with his life. I could see the world through Wilbur’s eyes and feel his fear, so I stopped eating pigs. Later, when my compassion spread to the other animals on our farm, I became a vegetarian. I can’t think of a book having a greater influence than that. Ann Patchett is the author of ‘Commonwealth’ (Bloomsbury, £18.99)

Charlotte’s Web, Puffin Books, £6.99

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Everything stops for tea Even if you question your baking ability, Martha Collison’s accessible book, Twist, will inspire you to get into the kitchen and create showstoppers. Gather loved ones together and share the relaxing, sociable ritual of afternoon tea Photographs Tara Fisher Edited by Danielle Woodward

Farro, capers, herb-baked tomatoes, roast carrots and parmesan


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ppearing on The Great British Bake Off two years ago, Martha Collison has been the youngest contestant to date – making it to the quarter-finals while studying for her AS-levels! Her career has since taken off and she writes a blog on her website,, plus a column for Waitrose Weekend, while demonstrating her skills at events and festivals. Her new book, Twist, will give you the inspiration and confidence to bake delicious creations that will delight and surprise friends and family. With its slant on ‘modern bakes’, the book features Martha’s favourite recipes with unique variations, explaining how, once you’ve mastered the basics, the possibilities are endless.

Blackberry and honeycomb ombrÉ cake Ombré cakes are so elegant, and much simpler than people think. My buttercream gets its pinky hue from blackberry syrup, rather than food colouring, so you get their delicate flavour in each bite. The honeycomb should be put on top just before serving. I make this cake in 18cm tins for added height, but it only needs two quantities of My Favourite Chocolate Cake*. Serves 10-12

* For the recipe for martha’s my favourite chocolate cake, see the Food channel on **Offer subject to availability. Please allow seven days for delivery

For the cake l

Butter, for greasing


2 x My Favourite Chocolate Cake*

For the jam l

150g blackberries


100g caster sugar

For the honeycomb l

100g caster sugar


4 tbsp golden syrup


1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the buttercream l

250g unsalted butter, softened


600g icing sugar


1 tsp milk

to decorate l

12 blackberries, plus mint

leaves (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C

(160°C fan) gas mark 4, then grease three 18cm tins and line with baking parchment. 2 Make two batches of My Favourite Chocolate Cake* recipe and divide it between the three tins. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave them to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack. 3 To make the blackberry jam filling, put the blackberries, the sugar and 50ml of water into a small saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir the mixture often, gently crushing the blackberries so that they release their intense colour. Drain the purple syrup through a sieve into a small, heatproof jug, and reserve the pulp, or jam, to fill the cakes. 4 To make the honeycomb, put the sugar and golden syrup into a medium saucepan. Boil until it turns a dark golden colour, then remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. The mixture will froth up while it is extremely hot, so be careful. 5 Pour the honeycomb on to a piece of baking parchment and leave to harden before breaking into shards. 6 To make the buttercream icing, beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth and light. This will take

around 10 minutes with an electric, hand-held whisk. Put a third of the icing into a small bowl and add five teaspoons of the blackberry syrup. Repeat with another third of the icing in a separate bowl, only using one teaspoon of syrup this time. If the icing splits, add a few more tablespoons of icing sugar and it should come back together. Add the milk to the remaining white icing to loosen it slightly. You should now have three different shades of icing, all the same consistency. 7 Take the cooled sponges and sandwich them together with a little of the white icing and the pulp left over from making the syrup. Cover the top and sides of the top layer of the cake with the white icing, applying it thickly, as a lot will be scraped off later. 8 Cover the bottom third of the cake with a thick layer of the darkest icing, then fill in the gap between the two colours with the pale purple icing. Use a large palette knife, set at a 45° angle to the cake, to scrape off the excess icing and create a smooth finish. The colours should blend together slightly, creating the ombré effect. 9 Transfer the leftover icing into a piping bag fitted with a closed star nozzle. You can gently mix all the colours together to get a rippled effect. Pipe a wiggly border around the top of the cake, then decorate with honeycomb, blackberries and a few mint leaves, if you like. reader offer Psychologies readers can buy Twist: Creative Ideas To Reinvent Your Baking by Martha Collison (HarperCollins, £16.99) for the special price of £12.99** including p&p. Call 0870 787 1724 and quote reference 900N.


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Lemon cheesecake cupcakes To make these cakes, I use the reverse creaming method, during which the butter is rubbed in to the dry ingredients, followed by milk and eggs. As well as being simpler, I think this method produces a better textured, more even sponge. MAKES 12 For the cupcakes l

175g plain flour


200g caster sugar


75g butter


1½ tsp baking powder


2 eggs, at room temperature


90ml whole milk,

at room temperature l

1 tsp vanilla bean paste


Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

For the filling l

12 tsp Martha’s Lemon Curd*


100g full-fat cream cheese


350g icing sugar


150ml double cream

For the topping l

50g digestive biscuits


1 tsp butter, melted

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C

fan) gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with 12 cases. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, butter and baking powder using the paddle attachment. Mix on a low speed, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs; or, use your fingers to rub the butter in to the flour and sugar. 2 In a small jug, use a fork to blend together the eggs, milk and vanilla bean paste. Add the lemon zest. Add the mixture to the bowl, a little at a time, beating until it is all combined. Keep beating until the mixture is uniform and smooth with no lumps.

3 Divide the mixture evenly between the cases, filling each one no more than two-thirds of the way. Bake in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean and the cakes are a pale golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then remove and leave to cool completely on a rack. 4 To make the icing, put the cream cheese into a large bowl, and use an electric, hand-held whisk to beat it until smooth. Add the icing sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until it is all incorporated. Mix in the double cream and whisk until the mixture thickens. You can whisk it by hand, but it will take a few more minutes to thicken. It won’t hold its shape yet, so it is important to chill it in the fridge for at least an hour so that it firms up. Put the biscuits for the


topping in a sealable plastic bag, seal it and then, using a rolling pin, lightly bash the bag to crush the biscuits into small pieces. Add the biscuit crumbs to the melted butter and stir until the mixture starts to clump together. 5 To assemble, use a knife or special cupcake corer to make a circular incision in the centre of each cupcake. Take out the middle and fill each cavity with ½ teaspoon of lemon curd*. 6 When the icing has set, put it into a disposable piping bag. Cut the end off the bag, making a medium-sized, circular hole, then pipe a double ring around the edge of the lemon curd, and fill the gap with the remaining lemon curd. 7 Sprinkle the topping around the icing ring, avoiding the lemon curd centre. These cupcakes can be stored in the fridge for up to three days.

For the recipe for Martha’s lemon curd and choux pastry, see the Food channel on

For the icing



TURKISH delight PROFITEROLES These profiteroles are drizzled in a sticky, rose syrup and garnished with vibrant pistachio nuts – all coated in a light dusting of icing sugar. I like to include small pieces of real Turkish delight, too, for a contrasting texture, but they are not essential. People often say that they aren’t sure about rose as a flavouring but, when I ask if they like Turkish delight (which is rose-flavoured), the answer is almost always yes. It doesn’t have a soapy or overwhelming flavour; in fact, it is delicate and floral. MAKES ABOUT 30 l

1 x My Favourite Choux Pastry recipe*

For the filling l

200ml double cream


1 tsp rose water


2 tbsp icing sugar

For the topping l

100g caster sugar


1 tsp rose water


75g pistachio nuts, chopped


Icing sugar and Turkish delight

cubes, to serve (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C

(180°C fan) gas mark 4 and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. 2 Make the pastry* and spoon the mixture into a large piping bag. Snip off the tip and pipe about 30 small balls of the pastry on to the baking sheet, leaving space for them to spread out, then bake for 20-25 minutes or until risen and a dark golden brown colour. If they are too pale, they will become soft before they are filled with cream. Turn off the oven and leave the profiteroles inside to dry out and cool completely. 3 To make the filling, whip the cream with the rose water and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks, then spoon

into a piping bag. Pierce the bottom of each cooled profiterole with a skewer, snip the tip off the piping bag and fill each profiterole with the rose cream. 4 Make a rose syrup by putting the caster sugar and rose water into a saucepan with 75ml of water and heating it gently. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil for around a minute so that the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. 5 When you are ready to serve the profiteroles, pile them on to a large plate. Pour the rose syrup on top, then sprinkle over the pistachios and Turkish delight cubes (if using). Dust with icing sugar just before serving.


the retreat

A cup of tea is a hug in a mug. Coaster, £2.50, U Studio

Add a spoonful of love to your bakes. Silicone spoons, £6 each, Sisters Guild

Treat yourself to a lovely cuppa. Flowerdrop tea for one, £24, Collier Campbell

Store your cakes in a practical place. Enamel cake tin, £22, Coastal Home

Baking for love There aren’t many people who object to the scent of a freshly baked loaf (or cake or biscuits) wafting from the kitchen, enveloping your home in waves of domestic comfort and love. For what is taking the time out of your busy day to bake a cake or a batch of biscuits, if it’s not an act of love for others – and yourself? If you know a keen baker, BakeBox ( is a great value subscription service that includes bakeware, recipe cards and ideas. And, if you want to bake to give back, Free Cakes for Kids ( is a national charity providing birthday cakes for disadvantaged children. So, get in the kitchen and get creating.

TREATS FOR TEATIME Our selection of products will make for a special teatime spread

Morning Mojo, £2.20 for 15 teabags, Higher Living

Gin & Tonic frosting, £2.39, Lakeland

Simplicitea infuser, £18, We Are Tea

122 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6

Cashew Butter, £3.95, Pip & Nut

Iced Tea Chia and Cacao brownie mix, £5.49, concentrate, £3.75, YumCha Creative Nature

Blogger spotlight

Having won the first series of GBBO, Edd Kimber, who blogs at, has fed his passion for baking and written three books: ‘The Boy Who Bakes’, ‘Say It With Cake’ and his latest ‘Patisserie Made Simple’. Edd’s blog has a wealth of recipes, how-to videos (also on his YouTube channel) plus mouthwatering, stunning photography, to inspire anyone with enthusiasm for baking to get in the kitchen.


Infuse your tea with character. Groovy Chimp ‘Octeapus’ infuser, £7.99, NuCasa

Don’t miss the NOVEMBER issue – on sale 30 Sept dossier

Your best night ever

Create the dream ‘sleep well’ plan


‘I’m just being honest…’ How to give and receive criticism


Cosy up to the concept of hygge Happiness Scandi-style



Mind your back Dr Andrew Weil on getting the support you need

Stockists A B

Amly Argos

Beatitude Bloom 24Bottles Dr Bronner



Captain Blankenship Coastal Home Collier Campbell Conscious Water Creative Nature


Dr. Alkaitis de Mamiel Ella Mills George Home

Where to buy the products featured in this month’s issue


Higher Living Holistic Silk Hotel Chocolat HomeSense Houseology


Ila John Lewis

Kahina KitchenAid Klean Kanteen Klorane


Lakeland Laura Ashley Lichtjuwel Loaf



Madara Mangle and Wringer Marks & Spencer

Sainsbury’s Shanti Sundays Sisters Guild Spire


Tata Harper The French House

Nadia Narain Next NuCasa


Ocado Oka

Pip & Nut Positivitea Pukka


Reeho 1001 Remedies




U Studio Vallila Waitrose We Are Tea Xnergy Yoshi YumCha

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 123



If you have read and enjoyed our Dossier this month on ambition and success (pages 56-73), and you feel the time is right to identify what you really want, and what success actually means to you, these coaches will be able to use their expertise to guide you on your way...

Psychologies magazine is all about creating success, your way. We believe that – if you can tune in to your passion, instead of conforming to the world’s definition of success – you are halfway there. Why? Because only then can you build an authentic life around your values and what you love, instead of wasting energy competing for something that you never really wanted in the first place. It’s an invitation to make a leap to be your best self, to create a life that inspires you versus just making do. Let’s make it happen! Editor


KAMILA ILAVSKA, THE CBT PSYCHOTHERAPIST Ambition is a desire that is necessary to make things happen. But how do you navigate that desire? Being an expert CBT therapist with years of experience, I have professional and personal insight into translating that drive into reality. Allow me to navigate the ship of your ambition through clear waters instead of an uncertain path to unreachable goals. ● For more information, visit, email or call 020 8133 6203

JULIE HOYLE, TRUE ALIGNMENT Are you in a transitional phase, stuck in a rut or bored? Expert personal growth and mindfulness coach, Julie Hoyle, will help you identify where your physical, mental and spiritual health is out of balance. Author of An Awakened Life – A Journey Of Transformation, Julie will motivate you to dream big and realign with passion and purpose. ● For more information, visit, email or call juliehoyle1 on Skype

MOLLY ANN FAIRLEY, SPIRITUAL COACH Do you want to have it all? Perhaps you aspire to having more money; the perfect partner; a loving family; excellent health; or business success? I’m a spiritual coach who will clear all the ‘blocks’ in you to achieve what you want. You will be spiritually guided to overcome the obstacles that have held you up until now. I will help you on your road to success, without fear. One-to-ones and workshops are available. ● For more information, visit, email or call 020 8974 6792

JOHN PRICE, LIFE COACH In an ideal world, ‘where you are’ and ‘where you want to be’ would be on the same page – however, that is often easier said than done. If you’re in a situation in which you feel unable to attain your ambitions, please don’t fear. Contact me today to utilise your hidden resources, and fulfil your next life chapter with confidence. ● For more information, visit, email or call 07968 476241

RACHEL COFFEY COACHING Rachel is a top life and voice coach, working in a mindful and intuitive way, supporting you on your journey of positive change. Rachel works from the calm of her Chelsea riverside base, as well as beautiful Gazelli House wellness centre in South Kensington. She is a master at enabling you to let go of stress – you’ll leave feeling relaxed, confident and free to enjoy life. ● For more information, visit, email or call 07867 360183

BIMAL PATEL, PSYCHOLOGICAL COACH AND MINDFULNESS EXPERT Reconnection isn’t easy – it takes time and patience. Using science and artistry, Dr Bimal Patel will help you revitalise your life. The outcome? Gentle, deep healing; feeling whole again; finding balance, tranquillity and fulfilment in your life. ● For more information, visit or email


Being ambitious is one thing, but actually achieving your goals and ambitions can be a lot more difficult. Angela Garry – life and career coach, trainer, psychotherapist and author of My ‘ME’ Book – Am I Nearly There Yet? – can work with you via Skype, email or phone to define your path towards success. ● For a free 20-minute consultation, visit, email or call 07707 688437

SALEMA VELIU, NEUROPSYCHOLOGY COACH AND WELLBEING EXPERT Live. Learn. Love. Salema reflects a new era of coaching, incorporating yoga, meditation, psychology and neuroscience. She is a yoga teacher, and Cambridge University student in coaching, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. She provides an alternative approach to finding emotional balance. ● For more information, visit, email or call 07711 187625

BRONWYN NASH, MAGIC ROUNDABOUT COACHING For overwhelm, work-life balance and life crossroads: feel confident, in control, clear about what you want and how to get there, and more comfortable in yourself. Professional coaching that focuses on the future and feels fresh, unique and very effective. Stop surviving, start thriving! Now offering two-hour intensive kickstart sessions. ● For more information, visit magicroundaboutcoaching., email or call 07730 400536

SUPARNA MALHOTRA, THE GENTLE WORLD Fulfilment in life and work are essential for our wellbeing, but remain elusive for many. Suparna’s coaching programme helps you unlock your true voice, enabling you to be confident – with every step you take leading towards your authentic calling through making heartfelt, courageous and positive choices. ● For a complimentary consultation, email

essentials BY CHANGING YOUR THOUGHTS, YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE STRESS AND NEGATIVE EMOTIONS CAN REALLY AFFECT OUR HEALTH. Lifestyle-change expert and psychologist, Joanna Konstantopoulou can help you improve your quality of life, limit psychological distress and maintain positive results after the therapy. By attending our one-to one therapy you will: ● Identify the triggers and negative thinking patterns that blocks

you from keeping a rational mindset ● Change unhealthy behaviors that holding you

from achieving your goals and manage daily stress. The Health Psychology Clinic is situated on London’s prestigious Harley Street offers a range of psychotherapy, lifestyle-change and behavioural health treatment options. FOR MORE INFORMATION: ● Tel: 020 8144 3041 ● Web: www.healthpsychology ● Email: info@health

TRASIERRA HILLYOGA & THE NATURALISTA AMBER SCOTT & XOCHI BALFOUR 6TH-13TH OCTOBER 2016 1800€ FOR 7 NIGHTS Hill Yoga is a well established yoga & hill walking retreat at Trasierra, well known as a refuge from the overcrowded modern world. The inspiring walks take place in land of unparalleled beauty in this 30,000 acre natural park north of Seville Amber Scott teaches her own method of alignment based core yoga designed to make the best of the deep stillness of the surroundings to expand and develop rapidly and safely. This year The Naturalista, Xochi Balfour (& Psychologies magazine regular columnist), will be strengthening our connection with nature and ourselves through fascinating workshops. The food on the retreat is locally sourced, fresh & delicious. You will be beautifully looked after, mind, body & soul. FOR MORE INFORMATION: ● 07887946583 ● ●

HAPPINESS EMPOWERMENT RE-BALANCE SATURDAY 1ST OCTOBER 2016 Her Event is a brand new show for women who want to shop, eat, talk, listen and learn - all under one roof. Finding that your life just keeps getting busier? Struggling to find some balance? Fancy a fun day out with your friends? Her Event is the show for you. Our expert speakers will offer lifestyle tips, coaching and solutions to the questions we all have. Join us at London’s Olympia. Meet new people - or just spend the day with those you love? Enjoy a glass of Prosecco and maybe a spot of shopping! t for discounlogies o Inspirational speakers h c y s P reuoatedcoerdes Self-discovery workshops Q MAG’ ‘PSYCH Advice and inspiration to help you conquer life’s challenges The Olympia Conference Centre, London Ticket price £25 FOR MORE INFORMATION: ●



A new satisfying career? Improve children’s lives and change your own! Train as a Registered Play Therapist or Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills

The UK needs an estimated 22,000 therapists to work with children. There are less than 3000 at present. PG Certificate and Diploma courses run over five three day weekends. 13 convenient venues throughout the UK.

The only courses that qualify for the Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists managed by Play Therapy UK and accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. Find out more - attend our: One-day Introduction to Play Therapy course. Phone for 28 page career and training guide Penny Milne, APAC Tel: 01825 761143 Email:


Health, happiness and wellbeing, empowering you to live well. A selection of products and services to improve your month. FUSION BREAKTHROUGH™ COACHING


Do you want to feel your best, be your best and live your best life? Do you want a rewarding career which will give you the professional tools to help others do the same?


The STOPGO™ Coaching System combines the best of counselling and coaching with really effective skills to really help people. Study for the prestigious NCFE accredited fast track diploma or distance learning skills certificate with psychotherapist Frances Masters. Book a Fusion Breakthrough™ Day for your own personal development or find out how to become a Fusion Breakthrough Trainer. Book now or to find out more.. FOR MORE INFORMATION: ● Web: www.thefusionmodel. com ● Email: www.integrated

wingwave® is an effective, yet gentle coaching method which dissolves emotional and subconscious stress with uplifting results. Scientifically researched at the University of Hamburg, wingwave® is a huge success internationally and used byVW, Bosch&Colegate. The technique is new to the UK, so if you would love to make a bigger difference in your practice ahead of the market, now is a great time to become a wingwave® coach! wingwave® Trainer and NLPCoach Caroline Rushforth is holding trainings in Oct 2016 & Feb 2017 in Brighton FOR MORE INFORMATION ● 01273

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Creative approaches offering a holistic therapy to resolve and overcome problems, heal symptoms, and support positive change.


Elizabeth Heren is an Integrative/Transpersonal Psychotherapist and Counsellor, registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, offering one-to-one psychotherapy and counselling, drama and movement workshops for wellbeing, and clinical supervision. Experienced in treating people with a wide range of problems and life issues, creative approaches such as visualisation, movement and breath work are incorporated within talking therapy when words are not enough. Movement & Story Workshops use movement, story-making and play to access the imagination and body for wellbeing, improved self-esteem, and creativity. FOR MORE INFORMATION ● 0773 213 1062 ● www.elizabeth ● eh@elizabeth

Join us in our all-inclusive 5* oceanside retreat with the practice of daily yoga, meditation, massages, hikes, spa and healthy nutrition on a beautiful Spanish Island Lanzarote. Our retreats are all-inclusive with a purpose: to allow our guests optimal time for relaxation, improvement of mental and physical well-being. Beginners welcome! Next retreats: 1 Oct – 8 Oct, 5 Nov – 12 Nov, 12 Nov – 19 Nov Join our website mailing list for additional dates.

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Win your Heart, Love the Goddess within. “I believe it is a ‘must try´ experience for every woman. It benefits on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. It activates the inner beauty and creates radiance no cream or pill can do.” Eva, Solicitor


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Create a book club gathering with a difference in your home once a month – focusing on happiness and positive psychology


his month, Vanessa King from Action for Happiness recommends Ed Halliwell’s new book Into The Heart Of Mindfulness (Little, Brown, £13.99). A one-time editor of FHM magazine, Halliwell’s life was plagued by anxiety and depression, before stumbling on meditation and Buddhism. Mixing memories and personal reflection, he emphasises that mindfulness is a way of life, not a quick fix to help you find a way that works for you. ‘Rather than trying to change our circumstances – which may not be feasible and certainly isn’t a lasting cure – we work to change our relationship with our circumstances. This enables us to perceive the world in a different way,’ Halliwell says.


Your Action for Happiness this month

Mindfulness – noticing events in an open, inquisitive manner – develops the courage to meet our lives with genuine interest, says Halliwell. It doesn’t mean there’s no discomfort when we dare to be curious. It means we’re willing to tolerate not knowing what might be around the corner. In return, we experience the delight of being able to look, listen, taste, touch, feel, and learn from our environment. Be a scientist in the laboratory of your world. Pause before making assumptions. Hear the feedback from your mind, body, environment, and other people. Give those around you space to express their views, especially if they are different from your own. Next month, we are reading Charles Duhigg’s ‘The Power Of Habit’ (Cornerstone, £13.99)

130 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6

Questions to discuss at your book club ● When are you most and

least mindful with others? ● What stops you from being

more mindful with others? ● Who could you be more mindful with? ● See our Ed Halliwell interview on the Life Labs channel:

Feeling Tired?

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