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IS THE WORLD OUT TO GET YOU? The simple key to an easier life
Recharge & reconnect retreat special
‘WHY I MEDITATE’ Sapiens author Yuval Noah Harari
Avoid regret ● Take back control ● Deal with bullies ●
Hemsworth On his greatest fears, challenges and passions
love of man
A NEW ERA FOR US ALL
Masculinity redefined for the 21st century Test: Identify your unconscious beliefs about men
Contents NOVEMBER 201 8
* COVER STORY
Page 60 Page 39
Page 52 Page 62
Cover: Mark Veltman/The New York Times/Redux/Eyevine
EDITOR’S LET TER
I’D LIKE TO THANK …
HAPPINESS BOOK CLUB
22 * INTERVIEW
Chris Hemsworth “I love my wife and children more than I can possibly describe”
FEATURES 21 PERFECTLY IMPERFECT
PHOTOGRAPH: BONNIN STUDIO/STOCKSY
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Beth Kempton introduces the Japanese concept of ‘wabi sabi’ 26
MURPHY’S LAW MAKEOVER
Things can go right, discovers fledgling optimist Eleanor Tucker 30 SHARED VALUES
The guiding principles and passions of country girl Kate Humble 32 MY LIFE, MY WAY
Muddy Stilettos founder Hero Brown keeps her finger on the rural pulse 39
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
Business guru Sháá Wasmund tells us how to get through bad times 40 ‘I FEEL STUCK IN MY CHILDHOOD’
Agony aunt Mary Fenwick helps a woman who wants to move forward
62 * THE DOSSIER
Being a man in the 21st century
64 REDEFINING MODERN MASCULINITY
We ask five very different men what they need to escape the dangerous ‘man-up trap’ and create a healthy future for all mankind 70 THE LOVE CHALLENGE
John Williams embarks on a special journey, with Psychologies at his side. He wears his heart on his sleeve in discussion with Ali Roff 72 ‘MANLINESS IS TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY OWN HAPPINESS’ The UK’s first
triple amputee Mark Ormrod’s truly inspirational and remarkable story
74 WHAT GENDER STEREOTYPES HAVE YOU BOUGHT INTO? Complete our insightful
test to help you identify which patterns of thinking are affecting your views of people
N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 3
Contents NOVEMBER 201 8
‘I DON’T WANT TO BE A NEEDY SINGLETON’
Our award-winning coach, Kim Morgan, assists a woman through her emotional loneliness 46
* MEDITATION AND ME
Bestselling author Yuval Noah Harari explains how the practice altered his view of himself in the world 51 ORGASMIC LIFE: IN ALL INNOCENCE
Karla Newbey’s sexual journey continues 52
* DEALING WITH BULLIES
The UKCP’s Sarah Niblock outlines a strategy 54 UNBROKEN HOME
Child of divorce Charlotte Gray’s guide to a happy childhood with a double dose of parental love 60
REGRETS, WE’VE HAD A FEW
Oliver Burkeman on managing the ‘if onlys’
THE RETREAT 10 6
REST, RECONNECT, CRE ATE
Retreat Editor Caroline Sylger Jones’s selection of meaningful getaways covers all the bases 1 1 4 MEET ME IN MARR AKECH
Discover the treasures of Morocco, ambling through a scented souk with Leona Gerrard 116 ALL THINGS BRIGHT…
Be brave and decisive and give your haven a bold blast of the colours that reflect your personality
Expert advice in four holistic sections – Mind, Body, Spirit and Gut – for happiness, and pleasure
122 THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY
Make ours a leisurely brunch with an inventive take on mid-morning fare with Lantana Cafe
PHOTOGRAPH: MICHAEL ABRIL/GALLERY STOCK
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4 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8
THE PL AN
THE OPEN MIND
Eminé Rushton considers compromise and comes to a serene awakening in the quiet night 91
FEEL BE AUTIFUL
All-natural beauty products plus wellbeing gizmos to soothe, nourish and renew us 92
THE JOURNE Y
Soul-seeking Ali Roff ponders the way we see men and finds common ground in empathy 94
BAL ANCE PL AN
Paul Rushton runs through the most beneficial and mindful ways to consume life-giving water 99
RE AL NUTRITION
An apple or two a day is just what the doctor ordered, reveals Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik
Art by Marie Fox
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OUR TEAM Editor-in-Chief Suzy Walker Design Director Lynne Lanning Creative Director Laura Doherty Features Director Elizabeth Heathcote Wellbeing Director-at-Large Eminé Rushton Associate Editors Danielle Woodward, Anita Chaudhuri Editor-at-Large Ali Roff Features Writer and Digital Editor Ellen Tout Acting Picture Editor Leanne Bracey Production Editor Vee Sey Deputy Production Editor Leona Gerrard Contributing Editors Wellness Nicky Clinch, Elizabeth Bennett, Larah Davies Body Hollie Grant Spirit Annee de Mamiel Mind Suzy Reading and Will Williams Gut Eve Kalinik Yoga Kat Farrants Nature Paul Rushton Retreat Caroline Sylger Jones Health Hazel Wallace ADVERTISING & PRODUCTION TigerBee Media, Commercial Director Nikki Peterson (020 3510 0849) firstname.lastname@example.org Commercial Manager Clare Osbourne (07876 594762) email@example.com Production Manager Melanie Cooper (01733 363485) firstname.lastname@example.org Production Supervisor Dionne Fisher (01733 363485) email@example.com MANAGEMENT Managing Director Phil Weeden Chief Executive Steve Wright Chairman Steve Annetts Finance Director Joyce Parker-Sarioglu Publishing Director Kevin McCormick Retail Distribution Manager Eleanor Brown Audience Development Manager Andy Cotton Brand Marketing Manager Rebecca Gibson Events Manager Kat Chappell Publishing Operations Manager Charlotte Whittaker Print Production Manager Nicola Pollard Print Production Controller Georgina Harris SUBSCRIPTIONS 13 issues of Psychologies are published per annum ● UK annual subscription price: £55.90 ● Europe annual subscription price: £70 ● USA annual subscription price: £70 ● Rest of World annual subscription price: £76 ● UK subscription and back issue orderline: 01959 543747 ● Overseas subscription orderline: 0044 (0) 1959 543747 ● Toll-free USA subscription orderline: 1 888 777 0275 ● UK customer service team: 01959 543747; firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet three of the people who have taken part in the creation of Psychologies
Lewis Howes Lifestyle entrepreneur American athlete Lewis Howes is the bestselling author of The Mask Of Masculinity and The School Of Greatness – ranked one of the top 100 podcasts in the world on iTunes. On page 64, Lewis contributes to our Dossier about men, in which he speaks about suffering a childhood trauma, and how he finally found healing by opening up about it. Hear Lewis chat to Editor-in-Chief Suzy Walker about redefining masculinity on the Psychologies Podcast Channel on iTunes and SoundCloud.
Mary Fenwick Coach and journalist Mary has made a living through writing for the past 30 years – something she’s both surprised and delighted about. ‘My regular column as Psychologies’ resident wise woman is a dream gig. I love translating big ideas into simple words, and feel privileged to have a window into what really matters to all of us,’ she says. Mary speaks regularly on the subject of women in public life, and has her own independent coaching practice. Read her astute advice on page 40.
Sue Cowan-Jenssen Psychotherapist Sue Cowan-Jenssen has written for Psychologies and contributed articles to several books and journals. She has specialist training in trauma and bereavement and is a founding member of The Relational School and The London Psychotherapy and Trauma Centre. This month, Sue will be talking to Matt Nicholls, the head of content at UKCP, in our Talking Therapies podcast, to discuss the damage and shame bullying can create, and what you can do about it. For more, see page 52.
Find subscription offers on our website: shop.kelsey.co.uk/psy Manage your subscription online shop.kelsey.co.uk/site/loginForm DISTRIBUTION & PRINTING William Gibbons, 28 Planetary Road, Willenhall, Wolverhampton WV13 3XT; 01902 730011; williamgibbons.co.uk Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9PT; 020 7429 4000; seymour.co.uk Psychologies is published under licence from Psychologies Magazine France. Psychologies Magazine is a registered trademark. Copyright ©2002
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Psychologies Magazine is a registered trademark and is published monthly by Kelsey Media 2018 © 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 kelsey.co.uk, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01959 543524.
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A new world order As inventor Richard Buckminster Fuller said, ‘You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.’ Karla Newbey explores this on page 51: how to let go of negative beliefs and patterns, so she can reclaim her sexual power. Relinquishing old ideas and creating a new way of thinking is a theme that winds its way through Psychologies this month. Suzy Walker In our Dossier, we examine how to move on from the era of Editor-in-Chief, with Oscar the office dog ‘toxic masculinity’, asking five men what a new model might look like. Let’s co-create a world in which masculine and feminine energies integrate in a healthier way, so we can all flourish. This means making room for evolved thinking with meditation. As the inspiring Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens, says on page 46: ‘I realised that the deepest source of my suffering is in the patterns of my own mind.’ But don’t beat yourself up if you find it challenging, as Lizzie Enfield writes on page 26: ‘Parting company with the paradigms we’ve always known is no easy task!’ She’s right. And that’s why our Life Leap Club will support you, and encourage you to be compassionate to yourself, and others, when life doesn’t go to plan.
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ERE FIFR T WO TH
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EVERYBODY’S FREE T0 FEEL GOOD
Thank you so much for the feature ‘Sweet freedom’ (September). Having read the article, it reminded me how much I value my freedom; to choose what I want to eat and do with my body. By getting frustrated with others who dismiss my ideas, it not only makes me look judgemental, but like someone who my family and friends don’t want to be around. I realise now that it’s not my place to comment or say anything to them, but to simply continue on my journey and, if they decide to join me, then I have wonderful company! Rafina
Ellen Tout was put out that her attempts to help and guide those closest to her were rebuffed, until she learned more about what it means to be free
ast year, I decided to go vegan. I made the choice for ethical reasons but, after learning about the potential health benefits, I was excited to share them with my younger sister. Since childhood, she’s suffered from low immunity, so discovering how certain foods can help, I eagerly made notes and explained it to her. She rolled her eyes, changed the subject and dismissed the whole idea – she’s often like this when I try to help her. I felt frustrated and overlooked. Later that week, a colleague told me I should eat dairy otherwise I’d make myself ill. I felt shocked and judged, even though she was not the first person to react this way. Since making the change, people often take it upon themselves to question my health and nutrition. But the incident made me think. Was it actually any different from how I treated my sister? If I want to be free to eat and do what’s right for me, then isn’t it true that I, equally, don’t have the right to tell others, even those I care about, what to do? Recently, I met speaker and coach
Gabriela Lerner, who talks about freedom, and how by valuing it in ourselves and others, we can be happier. What Lerner means by freedom is our freedom to choose – to be and act as we wish without judgement – and honouring the freedom of others to do the same. ‘If you immerse yourself in the idea of freedom and use it in your daily life, you will find it gives you tremendous power, independence, strength and peace of mind,’ she says.
‘I love you, now do as I say’
The concept of freedom is particularly important in our close relationships, she says. ‘Long-lasting, healthy and happy relationships rely on it.’ This brings me up short; I believe I respect the freedom of others but, in situations like the one with my sister, is it possible my desire to help could be interpreted as overbearing or even controlling? Although my sister and I are close, we often argue. I decide to spend time observing my behaviour around her, as well as with friends and my partner, and try holding back when I think I might be encroaching on their freedom.
Lerner explains that there are common situations in which we might believe we’re helping, but actually we’re limiting the person’s freedom: a kind of affectionate control. She gives me some examples: ‘When you acknowledge and value that your partner is free to leave their socks on the floor, you can negotiate over it without resentment, anger or judgement.’ Try to think about what has motivated your partner to leave the socks. Are they tired? Is your anger reflecting more about you than them? Perhaps if you wait, and ask about their day, they’ll tidy up in their own time. If you choose to discuss it, do so from a place of respecting their freedom, rather than judgement. ‘To be free, we must consciously choose to value freedom above being right, and to let go of judgement.’ She gives another example: ‘When you acknowledge and value that your parents are free to do what they want with their money, it’s easier to feel less resentment when you watch your inheritance dwindle.’ Although my sister is an adult, I still feel a level of responsibility for her, and I realise this may be curtailing our >>> ILLUSTRATION: GETTY IMAGES
56 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8
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Share your photos and comments on Instagram @psychologiesmagazine, or tweet us @PsychologiesMag both using #PsychologiesMagazine @JulieSpencer4D: Today, the sun still shines; what a truly amazing day. I have been nattering with the Life Leap gang and they are all such lovely people. @PsychologiesMag #bekind
@DrRadhaModgil: So honoured to be interviewed by the wonderful @daniellewoody14 for @PsychologiesMag in its Shared Values feature. I love Psychologies magazine because it aims to spread positivity, share advice and inspire people to reach their potential… exactly what life is all about.
ABOVE I’ve got a famous mamma! #sark #chocolates
@luciianngiftedart: ABOVE Lovely surprise when my favourite @psychologiesmagazine arrived through my letter box. I was in the middle of painting and decided that as a work of art itself, it deserves a go on the easel!
@Gaby_Deschamps: I just bought myself a @PsychologiesMag magazine today, which I think means I vaulted to ‘wise old owl’ in one fell swoop! #enlightenment
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@suzegedney: ABOVE Scrapbooking while the boo naps. Can’t keep all these mags!
@melodyhallsit: RIGHT Looks like I’ve got some catching up to do with @psychologiesmagazine
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8 PSYCHOLO GIES MAGA ZINE N OVEMBER 201 8
AN APOLOGY FROM THE EDITOR
Letter of gratitude
Our magazine stands for acceptance, kindness and self-awareness, and that’s why I’m sorry I got it so wrong in the ‘Energy vampires’ piece (August). It was not my understanding nor belief that people with BPD are energy vampires. I understood the piece to say that one in five of us struggle with a personality disorder. ‘Energy vampires’, however, are full-blown psychopaths with no conscience. I have since reached out to the BPD community and we are working together to raise awareness of this stigma. See our article on understanding BPD at bit.ly/2M9dLfW. Suzy Walker, Editor-in-Chief
PHOTO COMPETITION I took this photo recently of my daughter and her partner on a local beach. I was inspired by the calmness of the evening and the natural beauty around us. It was just one of those unplanned beach walks, but I chose this moment for many reasons... the landscape, the amazing evening sky, the appreciation of life and freedom, their love for one another and their casual ‘madly deeply’ pose. I’ll treasure this image for many years. Julia
Phil, my mentor, confidant and former boss I’d been struggling so much at work. Mental illness is too often overlooked and treated with disdain. You, however, supported, encouraged and helped me to recover, thanks to your patience and words of wisdom. When everyone was ready to give up on me, you protected me and told me I was worth it. It meant so much. I wanted to succeed and be the best I could be – and you helped me to see my potential. In the end, I left my job with your support. I left because you made me realise that I needed to pursue my dreams to be happy. And now, I am happy and free. I feel that I can finally spread my wings and fly. I will be forever grateful for your kindness.
WOULD YOU LIKE to showcase your photographic talent in ‘Psychologies’? What moment has made you feel inspired, grateful or moved this month? Capture it and tell us why. We’ll print the winner, plus you’ll receive a six-month subscription, and access to our Life Leap Club! Share your photo with us and explain its inspiration on Instagram @psychologiesmagazine with the hashtag #PsychologiesPhoto or email your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I’d like to thank…
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News I Reviews
EDITED BY ELLEN TOUT
my opinion, “Inadventure is
mainly in the mind. Adventure is an attitude
PHOTOGRAPH: ALEXANDRA OETZELL FROM ‘HOMECAMP’ BY DORON AND STEPHANIE FRANCIS
Doron and Stephanie Francis are passionate advocates of our connection with nature. In their book, Homecamp (Hardie Grant, £30), they describe, ‘A surge of joy, a feeling of wholeness, a spontaneous connection to something greater. Those moments when the sun sets or rises, sitting quietly by a mountain or the sea. There may be a shiver down your spine – a kind of release. That sense of belonging.’ Whether it’s a Sunday stroll, or travelling through America alone in a van like Alexandra Oetzell (pictured), the book shares the inspirational stories of people who made the leap to living closer to nature.
N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 11
Thought-provoking culture, creative ideas, insightful science and inspiring gifts
Seeing you in me
Hanging banner, £11.90, notonthe highstreet.com
OUR KINDNESS PROJECT
Think of a friend. Reckon you would recognise them instantly? A study** found that those we’re close to can become ‘absorbed into our self-concept’, that is, our brains may struggle to distinguish their face from our own. Researchers showed people a series of headshots – friends, celebrities and their own. The task was simple: press a button when you see your face. Reactions slowed when a friend’s face popped up, suggesting our self-image overlaps with that of our pals.
HAVE A HAPPY HEART Author David Hamilton is an advocate of kindness. Here, he looks at how reaching out to others has cardiovascular benefits A UNITED STATES CENSUS in 1960 found that not one person under the age of 45 in the town of Roseto had ever died of heart disease. What’s more, the death rate from heart disease for the over-65 age group was less than half the national average. Quite a startling couple of statistics, given that the US has the highest rates of heart disease in the world!
It turned out the close community bonds enjoyed by residents was responsible for the phenomenon – now known as the Roseto effect.* Close connections foster kindness, support and friendship: cardioprotective behaviour which safeguards the cardiovascular system. In a nutshell, being kind, supporting people and nurturing your relationships are good for your heart.
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Join Psychologies kindness tsar David Hamilton live on Facebook @Psychologiesmagazine for his free 30-day kindness challenge every month, next on 1 November at 1pm. For access to more like this, join the ‘Psychologies’ Life Leap coaching club, free when you subscribe. ‘The Five Side Effects Of Kindness’ by David Hamilton (Hay House, £10.99) is out now
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PHOTOGRAPH: YURY PROKOPENKO/GETTY IMAGES FROM 'EVERYDAY ADVENTURES' BY ANITA ISALSKA. *MALCOLM GLADWELL, ‘OUTLIERS’, (LITTLE, BROWN), 2008; ** S KETAY ET AL, SEEING YOU IN ME: PRELIMINARY EVIDENCE FOR PERCEPTUAL OVERLAP BETWEEN SELF AND CLOSE OTHERS, ‘SAGE’, 2018; †HAPPY BEDS, 2018
Weave wonder into your daily life and experience your local area with a fresh perspective. ‘It was on a drizzly day in London, clutching my camera, that I learned to love my city again,’ says author Anita Isalska. ‘Through a lens, I saw my surroundings anew.’ In her latest book, Everyday Adventures (Lonely Planet, £12.99), Isalska encourages us all to embrace adventure in our home cities. Try urban foraging, escape with your backpack for a day, camp in your garden, or unlock the mysteries of your town’s abandoned buildings (pictured). The book is brimming with ideas of how to liberate your traveller spirit at home. Each activity has easy instructions plus, for inspiration and insight, a case study of someone who’s completed the adventure. These are, literally, eye-opening quests that help us appreciate where we are.
OF PEOPLE USE AN ALARM CLOCK TO WAKE UP IN THE MORNING – AND NINE PER CENT OF THOSE SLEEPYHEADS SAY THEY STRUGGLE, HITTING SNOOZE MORE THAN FIVE TIMES!† Alarm clock, £9.95, rexlondon.com
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Thought-provoking culture, creative ideas, insightful science and inspiring gifts
Brave is beautiful
We all fear being vulnerable, but research* confirms that others view our vulnerability more positively than we perceive our own. Experts call this the ‘beautiful mess effect’. In various scenarios, people consistently saw their own vulnerability negatively, but were more positive about that of others, apparently because we see them in a more abstract light. The study backs up the idea that what might feel like vulnerability on the inside looks like courage on the outside.
♥ Audible books
Wash bag, £15, notonthehighstreet.com
Our friends at Audible tell us why we should plug into Earpedia: Animals for a lesson and a laugh about all creatures great and small
WE LOVE Earpedia: Animals by Sue Perkins In this humorous guide, former Bake Off host, passionate animal lover and comedian Sue Perkins delivers a madcap tour of the natural world. Each of the 13 bite-sized episodes (each with a runtime of around 10 minutes) introduces the oddities and intricacies of one fascinating creature – from the pink fairy armadillo to the platypus and the naked mole rat – delivered with Perkins’ trademark sarcasm and wit. Comical, insightful and, at times, shocking, this is an uplifting account of the planet’s amazing beasts, complete with sound effects and hilarious asides.
‘Earpedia: Animals’ is available for £12.99 or free with a 30-day Audible trial. See audible.co.uk
OF WOMEN SAY THAT, ON THE WHOLE, THEY ARE HAPPY – BUT ONLY 72 PER CENT OF MEN FEEL THE SAME WAY.** BOTH GENDERS AGREE THAT FRIENDSHIP, FAMILY AND LOVE CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR WELLBEING
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LEAP INTO LAUGHTER
WE TWO ARE ONE Our clown-inresidence, Emma Stroud, reflects on the men who have helped shape her life My first clown teacher was a man called Terry. He taught me to be brave, accept my inner wisdom and follow my creativity. (He also had a great beard!) John, another teacher, told me to never listen to the constraints that others put on me, and to always go forth and be the best Em that I can be. These two men have been part of my journey (along with the wise women in my life). As I raise my son, I want him to flourish with this knowledge, too. Look at the men around you – what wisdom can you impart to help them be the best that they can be? Men and women sharing their insights will make the world a better place for us all.
FILM REVIEW: ELLEN TOUT. AUDIOBOOK RECOMMENDATION BY ELISE ITALIAANDER, CONTENT MANAGER AT AUDIBLE. *A BRUK ET AL, BEAUTIFUL MESS EFFECT: SELF-OTHER DIFFERENCES IN EVALUATION OF SHOWING VULNERABILITY, ‘APA PSYCH NET’, 2018; **ROBYNPERKINS.COM, 2018
Anchor And Hope
Directed by Carlos Marques-Marcet In their mid-30s, sweethearts Eva (Oona Chaplin) and Kat (Natalia Tena) share a humble but carefree life aboard their London canal boat. Initially, it seems like this is it for the loveable characters but, when Eva decides she wants a baby, the narrative becomes one of moving honesty.
Eva’s desire for a child throws the couple’s life together into question and brings judgement – for Kat and Eva, and those around them. While Kat fears losing her freedom and is restrained, a visit from friend Roger (David Verdaguer), sparks the idea of him acting as sperm donor for a baby.
‘Man’ mug, £11.50, oakdenedesigns.com
Film of the month We follow the three characters’ journeys with refreshing authenticity, as they struggle with love, loss and what each really wants for the future. Warm, funny and emotive – with the added quirk of Charlie Chaplin’s daughter Geraldine playing screen mother to her real-life daughter Oona. ET
Join bananas Psychologies clownin-residence, Emma Stroud, live on
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Thought-provoking culture, creative ideas, insightful science and inspiring gifts
Winter is coming. Do you wish you could hide away and resurface in spring? It’s time to turn to your allies so you can recharge. Is there someone who wants to help who you’ve been unwilling to ask? What can you delegate?
NINA GRUNFELD, FOUNDER OF LIFE CLUBS
Life Clubs run fun and practical self-discovery workshops. November’s workshop, ‘Time to bounce back higher’, gets you feeling more resilient straight away. See lifeclubs.com
The colour file
A grey area
Martha Roberts, creator of The Colour File, investigates how colour makes us think, act and feel. This month, the shades of grey WHAT DOES GREY mean to you? For many, it’s school uniforms, windowless offices and rainy skies; it isn’t the go-to colour for hope! (Charles Dickens said: ‘Regrets are the natural property of grey hair.’) But is grey all about melancholy, or is there a brighter side to the shade? Deserved or not, grey has a reputation for grimness. It became a symbol of war and industrialisation in the 1930s (see Picasso’s Guernica about the Spanish Civil War) and became a metaphor for uniformity of thought, as depicted in the 1955 book by Sloan Wilson, The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit. Today, grey is still seen as safe and sensible – ideal for blending into a crowd of ‘little grey men’! But the flip side of uniformity is safety, which colour psychologist Karen Haller believes helps when times are hard. ‘In periods of uncertainty, people want to retreat from the world,’ she says. ‘We need to feel protected – and that’s what grey gives us. It reduces emotional overwhelm and noise.’ So, it can be a
friend but, Haller says, it can also be draining. If grey is depleting your energy, try this month’s challenge.
How to make your grey escape ● Push yourself out of your grey
comfort zone and have an ‘away from grey’ day. ‘If you’ve found yourself stuck in a drab rut, wear colourful clothes for one day a week,’ says Haller. ‘It doesn’t have to be extreme; if you’re wearing a grey outfit, choose a red bag or shoes, even lipstick.’ ● Apply this to your home: if you have a grey sofa, brighten it with vivid cushions. ● Before you make changes, note how you feel, then how that shifts after you’ve introduced colour. Do you feel energised? ● Are you having more positive thoughts? Are you getting compliments that boost your mood? Bye-bye grey days!
To find out more about Martha’s colour journey, see psychologies.co.uk; colourfile.com; @the_colour_file; karenhaller.co.uk
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self LESSONS IN ADULTHOOD
Should I stay or should I go?
Thinking of leaving your job, but unsure how? Harriet Minter offers some advice on making your exit and finding career freedom
PHOTOGRAPH: MARK HARRISON. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CAROLINE PIASECKI. STYLIST: KATE ANYA BARBOUR
few years ago, whenever I told someone what I did, they’d respond with, ‘Wow, you must have the best job in journalism.’ It was true, I did, but my enthusiasm for it had ended. We all hit a point in our career when we start to suspect it’s time to move on, but we’re not sure what the next step might look like. We may fear that we’ll be seen as flighty if we move around too much, or we just don’t know where we’ll go. We know that men are more likely to change companies more often. They’ll jump ship every few years, building their experience and their salary as they go. There are lots of reasons given for this: that women stay for maternity leave or because they’ve negotiated flexible working. Or because we’re less likely to try and blag our way into a new role than our male colleagues. I also think that men are more inclined to take the risks that come with moving jobs; they’re less worried about not liking the new boss, not being able to do the work or not getting on with colleagues. Plus, I suspect they simply believe they deserve more in a way that women still haven’t quite mastered. The best advice I’ve received on this is: leave before you’re ready to go; don’t be afraid to stretch a bit further than you think your experience will allow. Don’t wait until you’re bored with your current role. For me, being unhappy actually kept me there longer. I thought the unhappiness was my fault and wasted a lot of time trying to fix it when, actually, I should have just recognised that it was a sign to move on. A wise woman once said: ‘Never stay where you aren’t wanted.’ If you’re clashing with your manager or not getting the support you need, this isn’t your problem to manage. Remember, no company will ever be as loyal to you as you are to it; don’t wait around for recognition, just pack your pencil case and go. Whatever the breaking point is for you, honour it. You aren’t meant to stay in a job that doesn’t fulfil you. There is something bigger and better waiting out there for you – it’s time to leave and find it. For weekly wisdom from Harriet, sign up for her newsletter at tinyletter.com/ harrietminter. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @harrietminter
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Embrace imperfection Wabi sabi is a Japanese concept that helps us see the beauty in imperfection, appreciate simplicity and accept the transient nature of life, says Beth Kempton
WORDS: SUZY WALKER. PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
Pay attention to nature.
Nature is the home of miracles, complex growth, stories of resilience and ephemeral beauty emerging and evaporating. When we take time to stop and look, each of these gifts reminds us to take notice of the fleeting beauty of our own lives. Note the passing of the seasons to help you stay present. Tune into the rhythms of nature to tune into your own natural rhythms, so you know when to surge forth, and when to relax.
Learn how to fail.
There are six steps to learn from failure. Be honest: state the facts about what happened. Humility: admit who you’ve been blaming and the role you played. Simplicity: identify the lesson. Impermanence: name what was lost or gained and what has changed you. Imperfection: acknowledge the flaw – in you or someone else – you must forgive or embrace in order to move on. Incompleteness: this is not the end of the story. What will you do next?
Try to accept yourself as you are.
Change is inevitable in life, so trying to hold onto the past or present is pointless. Be openminded. Your life is happening right here, right now, says Kempton. When your head cannot find the answers, remember that your heart may know the way. Perfection is a myth, you are perfectly imperfect, just as you are.
‘Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom For A Perfectly Imperfect Life’ by Beth Kempton (Little, Brown, £12.99) is out now
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“Being a good father is the most important thing to me” Actor Chris Hemsworth, star of new film Bad Times At The El Royale, talks about why he’s moved back to Australia, his worst fear and the greatest loves of his life PHOTOGRAPH MARK VELTMAN/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX/EYEVINE
hris Hemsworth’s is ditching the Spandex and comic-book capers that made him a household name for a crack at an altogether darker character: charismatic cult leader Billy Lee in Bad Times At The El Royale – his latest screen role. Alongside an ensemble cast comprising Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson and Jon Hamm, Bad Times’ sinister mix of strangers and scoundrels looks set to give Hemsworth the kind of creative freedom that he excels at; from his career-defining portrayal of Marvel’s Thor throughout a near
decade-long span of eponymous films and Avengers projects, to a quirky cameo that flexed his comedic muscles in the Ghostbusters reboot. For all the 35-year-old’s fear of stagnating in his recurring role as the hammer-wielding Norse heavyweight – a concern which led to the cropped hair and lack of Shakespearean overtones in the latest solo outing Thor: Ragnarok – Hemsworth has consistently looked for diverse roles. Having grown up in the vast wilderness of Australia’s outback, working on cattle and buffalo stations for a time, Hemsworth’s looks, natural charm, >>>
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>>> and athletic physique helped him quickly rise the ranks of
Hollywood, alongside both his brothers, Luke and Liam, who would go on to find fame in Westworld and The Hunger Games respectively. Hemsworth insists there’s no sibling rivalry when it comes to getting cast, even if he did beat younger brother Liam to the lead in 2011 franchise debut Thor. Instead, the tight trio have constantly lent their support to one another across their careers – an integral part of Hemsworth’s preference for the personal over the professional. Taking nothing away from his myriad successes at the box office – ‘Being part of the Marvel universe has been a blessing,’ he says. ‘It’s given me financial security and the opportunity to achieve much, much more than I ever thought possible’ – it’s clear that Hemsworth’s true ambitions lay far closer to home than Hollywood. In 2015, he relocated to Byron Bay with his wife, fellow actress Elsa Pataky, and their children, daughter India and twin boys Sasha and Tristan.
“I like being able to go into a project with a little bit of fear. It’s that element of fear that pushes you harder”
enough time between projects to be at home with my wife and our children. I’m also fortunate in that Elsa is totally supportive of me, and knows that this is a very important time for me as an actor and she understands if I have to go away for three or four months. But we also make sure we spend as much time together as possible. I am very conscious of my ‘BAD TIMES AT responsibilities as a father, and I love THE EL ROYALE ’ my wife and children more than In ‘1960s-style noir thriller’ Bad Times I can possibly describe.
What do you identify as your greatest fear? Boredom. I think that’s what drove me into this line of work. There’s so much going on; different settings, different movements, different people. It keeps me interested. What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Having children! It’s much more difficult than you think it’s going to be. You have to change your thinking and be completely there for them. But they have also taught me what real love is and what true responsibility means. What counts most for you in life? Being a good father and a good husband. W hen I was younger, I dreamed about having this kind of life and that’s exactly what I’m living now. In terms of work, a few years ago, I would have settled for much less than I’ve been able to achieve – I never imagined getting to this point in my career. But now I see work as something I do for my family, so that they can enjoy all the advantages and benefits of whatever success I have. I am more mindful of leaving
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At The El Royale, Hemsworth plays a nefarious cult leader alongside Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm and Jeff Bridges. Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have one last shot at redemption – before everything goes to hell. Hemsworth was drawn to the screenplay written by Drew Goddard, describing it as ‘one of the best I’ve ever read’. ‘I desperately wanted to work with him again after Cabin In The Woods, and I almost didn’t read the script. I was like, “I’m in, whatever it is. Let’s go, buddy!” When something’s good enough, it reinspires you and reinvigorates you,’ says Hemsworth.
How has fatherhood changed your perspective on things? Your life becomes more focused and you don’t have as much time to get distracted by unimportant things any more. You become a lot less selfish and you’re suddenly thinking almost exclusively in terms of creating the best possible life for your wife and children. But I don’t feel as though I’m giving up anything or making any sacrifices. I had my share of wild times when I was younger, and that kind of stuff was never that interesting to me anyway. When I met Elsa, I was very comfortable with the idea that she was someone who I wanted to sha re my l i fe w it h a nd bu i ld something for the future.
Hemsworth rose to fame as Thor, the Marvel Comics superhero; here he is in Avengers: Infinity War
WORDS: VIVA PRESS. PHOTOGRAPHS: REX FEATURES; CAPITAL PICTURES
In the Ghostbusters reboot, Hemsworth portrays hunky-but-dim receptionist Kevin. Right, at this year’s premiere of 12 Strong
You moved from Los Angeles back to your native Australia – why did you make that decision? The film business just overwhelms you in LA. You’re living and breathing the business every day, and everyone is talking about the same thing. There’s no escaping it. It was starting to become oppressive, and Elsa agreed that it would be a good idea to get away from that, the paparazzi and all the attention, and move to Australia. I also wanted my kids to learn something about their father’s culture and be able to grow up in a place where you are much closer to nature and the sea. We live just around the corner from the beach and it’s a totally different kind of world. It’s easier for me and Elsa to live without the attention – no one cares about movie stars here – and it’s also nice for the children to get to know their grandparents. It was the best decision we could ever have made. Do you get your strong family instincts and values from your own parents? My parents gave me and my brothers confidence in our
As Curt in 2012 comedy-horror Cabin In The Woods, co-starring Fran Kranz and Anna Hutchison
Playing charismatic cult leader Billy Lee in the upcoming American thriller Bad Times At The El Royale
abilities and a feeling of security. They were very young when they had us – my father was a social worker and my mother was an English teacher – and we moved around a lot. My parents worked for the Australian Childhood Foundation and did a lot of work with children. I learned so much from living in a remote Aboriginal community out in the bush in the Northern Territor y. That experience teaches you so much about basic human respect and kindness for people who have very few advantages in life. What are your long-term goals and ambitions? I want to keep learning and exploring interesting stories and characters. I like being able to go into a project with a little bit of fear, because it’s that element of fear that pushes you harder. I also want to be a good husband and father to my children. I’m living the life I always dreamed of, and I want to do everything I can to enjoy a great future with my family. ‘Bad Times At The El Royale’ will be released in UK cinemas in October
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Itâ€™s going to be great! Eleanor Tucker grew up believing that if something could go wrong, it would. Then she realised there wasnâ€™t a storm on every horizon, and began to live differently
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he man at the supermarket checkout asks, ‘Do you need another bag?’ Unwilling to fork out an extra 5p in return for more plastic, I shake my head and overload the one bag I have, squeezing in a carton of milk. Ten paces up the road and the bag splits, my shopping falling unceremoniously onto the pavement. ‘Typical,’ says a voice in my head. Gathering up bananas and washing-up liquid, I pause and ask myself: ‘Is it really typical? Do bags typically break; does shopping typically end up on the pavement? Why did you say that?’ The answer comes easily: this narrative, the one that says the worst outcome is the one to expect, is what I grew up with. ‘Isn’t it always the way?’; ‘That’s Murphy’s Law’; ‘Expect the worst, and you won’t be disappointed!’ You get the pessimistic picture. The thing is, I don’t
like this Murphy chap. Not only do I reject the idea that life is conspiring against me, I don’t think the belief that it does serves me particularly well. I vividly recall, aged 15, going to the cinema with a boy I’d met on the school bus. I got new sandals for the occasion, which I think was one of the Indiana Jones films. They rubbed my feet raw and, on my return home, limping and bleeding, I was met with, ‘Well, that was bound to happen!’ The date was fun (some snogging in the back row), and I hadn’t cared much about the sandals rubbing but, after that comment, I felt a bit flat. ‘The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe,’ said Albert Einstein, and I couldn’t agree more. But, as we all know, parting company with the beliefs and >>>
My secret diary
Journalling has exploded in popularity, and little wonder – it’s a great way to gain insight to your problems, connect with yourself, and it can be a lot of fun, too. Rachel Garnett discovers how to make the most of it
ince I started journalling 18 months ago, it’s become one of the most helpful and insightful things I do for myself. Yet, for a long time, when friends talked about their ‘journals’, I dismissed the practice as the same as diary-keeping – to be restricted to teenagers wanting to detail their days away from prying parental eyes, or for reminders, such as ‘give cat worm pill’. Away in far-flung places, I never wrote a word – why recount experiences when I was living them? How wrong I was. Diaries may fundamentally be logbooks, but journals are your words about who you are. My mind was changed by a work event. There, I met a woman who had impressed me with her self-belief and confidence. She
amazed me by saying that when her insecurities arise, she journals, and that by leaving them on the page she frees herself from them. I was sceptical, but heeding her encouragement and wanting her tenacity, I bought a cheap book full of blank pages, with a pretty gold and pink cover; there are no printed dates in a journal, so none of the guilt of chronicle-free days. I wrote how I worried that my presentation and perceptions at a meeting would not be well received. The words poured out. It felt weird, even furtive. I hid my journal among other books on my bedside table. But days later, as I felt worries bubbling up again, I journalled that I felt like a balloon about to pop, still stuck years on with a lack of self-worth. Letting rip on the page became a
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that “can‘Anything go wrong, will go
>>> paradigms we’ve always known is no
easy task. I decide, in order to lay this imaginary childhood friend – nay, enemy – to rest completely, I need expert advice.
wrong,’ and ‘Typical’ made me ask myself, ‘Why will it go wrong?’; ‘Why is it typical?’
have been vandalised… But, as I grew older, I felt this attitude didn’t quite fit. So I began to rephrase the words of that inner voice. Noticing it comes first and, once you do, you start to see how illogical it sounds: ‘Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,’ and ‘Typical’ made me ask myself, ‘Why will it go wrong?’; ‘Why is it typical?’ Once I noticed the voice, and questioned it, I began to notice it less often. As I matured emotionally, a new mindset emerged, which felt like a much better fit. The day I first noticed it, I was on the way to a picnic in a botanic garden with a friend, Ali. We had young children in tow – about five between us – and, as we stopped at a cafe to buy lunch on the way, it started to rain.
Shine on my parade
Ali suggested we change plans. ‘It’s just a shower,’ I said, hopefully. The queue progressed slowly, both of us holding freshly baked rolls ready to be filled with tuna mayo. The smell of the bread drifted up and, excited at the prospect of al fresco carbs, I decided that when we stepped outside again, the rain would have stopped. Ali, conversely, tensely googled alternative, undercover venues on her phone. Ten minutes later, we spilled out onto the pavement into glorious sunshine! I’m clearly not in charge of the weather, but this was a game changer for me, and I actively altered my perspective. It turns out that believing things may turn out fine, or even the occasional moment of pronoia (trusting that the
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universe is actually working in my favour) doesn’t hurt one bit. It makes things a lot easier, as it had during that potentially anxious wait with expectant under-fives. Whether it’s true or not, I don’t care. It makes me calmer, happier and even braver because, by imagining the best will happen, it’s much easier to dive in. Think of a presentation at work… If you don’t believe you’ll forget what you have to say, or that your PowerPoint will go wrong, how much more courageous will you feel beforehand? Murphy still pops up, like he did when my shopping bag broke, which got me thinking: what is the perceived benefit of uttering negative statements – for myself, or anyone else? Worsley says that for different people, there are different reasons. ‘One is that if we believe that
PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY; PREVIOUS PAGE, GETTY IMAGES
I speak to life transformation coach Corinne Worsley, who agrees that expecting a negative outcome is not doing me any good. ‘There’s a part of our brain called the reticular activating system (RAS) that filters the billions of bits of data we’re bombarded with every day, according to the guidelines we give it, and those guidelines are based on our beliefs,’ she explains. ‘The RAS is always working to prove our beliefs right, so it seeks evidence to confirm our beliefs rather than challenge them (confirmation bias). If we believe in “Murphy’s Law”, we will be inundated with evidence to prove that belief right, and vice versa. The beauty is that a belief is simply a thought we think over and over again so, once we become aware of the thought, we can change it, create a new belief and start collecting new data to support that belief.’ So far, so logical. But let’s rewind. Why were my parents so fond of saying negative things in the first place? ‘It comes down to experiences, most likely in childhood, which have caused us to adopt that belief to protect ourselves from a perceived threat,’ Worsley tells me. ‘A belief in a universe that’s out to get you may be a protection mechanism trying to keep you safe from humiliation or vulnerability.’ My parents were war babies, born in the south of England. Perceived, and real, threats were commonplace, so I can see why they may have simply copied the attitude of adults around them. But, although our beliefs often mirror those of our parents until we’re adults, we then get to choose again. Not everyone picks a different mindset, but I did – slowly. In my teenage years, I thought that if you were in a hurry, the traffic would be bad; that it would rain on a bank holiday; that when you needed to use the phone box, it would
How to stop believing in an unfriendly universe
Life transformation coach Corinne Worsley shares her tips for turning your back on Murphy’s Law and embracing positivity l Notice the people
you spend most time with. Are they
hopeful? If so, why not try mirroring their way of being, just for a while, and see what happens? If they’re not, try not to get sucked into their way of thinking. Negativity can be contagious.
l Start to cultivate
hope in small ways. Maybe it’s
simply smiling at people when you’re out and seeing them smile back, or maybe it’s setting yourself an achievable goal to
By believing the “world is out to get you, you live life permanently disappointed; you miss out on joy, meaning and love
no matter what we do, the universe is conspiring against us, we can blame our circumstances on other people and outside forces.’ There are other reasons too, she explains: ‘We may get more attention than if life started working out for us. Sometimes, we’re attached to our struggle, because it’s been with us for so
prove to yourself that there is hope. l Be curious.
Try thinking, ‘I wonder what might happen...’ rather than saying, ‘Well, I know how this is going to turn out.’ l Think back
to a time when you achieved something, and what you did. See how you might employ the same approach to creating something new in your life now.
l Start an evidence
journal with proof that life is working out for you. Document
long, it’s part of our self-image. Or, maybe we’d rather stick with certain misery than reach for uncertain happiness; and, by blaming Murphy, we avoid the discomfort of owning our own failures.’
The let-down loop
But at what cost? By repeating this negative internal dialogue, surely we’re missing something? ‘We certainly are,’ says Worsley. ‘Believing that when bad things happen, it’s “typical”, and the world is out to get you, you live life permanently disappointed; you miss out on opportunities, joy, meaning and love.’ If this isn’t a reason to observe the language I use, both in my head and out loud, then I don’t know what is. But what replaces ‘Typical’ and, ‘That was bound to happen’? Words like, ‘Never mind,’ and
ways that life loves you, rather than doesn’t. l Think of
someone whose life seems to go well. What are they
doing that you could emulate? Rather than envying them, use them as inspiration.
l Be careful what
If you spend your life repeating mantras such as, ‘Nothing’s ever simple’, then be prepared for life to prove just how complicated it is! corinneworsley.com
‘I’m sure that won’t happen again.’ Or, to put it another way: hope. Hope that we can have an effect on our own lives; that we are in control. ‘Hope is also linked to a growth mindset,’ Worsley continues. ‘If we believe everything about us and our life is fixed, then we have no hope and we are powerless to make changes. However, this has been proven to be untrue. By adopting a growth mindset and believing we can learn and change, we become more hopeful, and therefore we have more power over our own destiny.’ As I walk back from the supermarket, cradling a bunch of bananas, I realise the washing-up liquid has broken along with the bag, and I left a lemon-scented trail all the way home. But, do you know what? That was a one-off. Not typical at all. Pretty funny, actually.
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The TV presenter, author and farm owner talks about the redemptive power of walking and what she values most in her life INTERVIEW DANIELLE WOODWARD
I quote well-known walkers in the book, such as Thoreau and Dylan Thomas and others for whom walking has transformed their lives, like Ursula Martin. When she was diagnosed with cancer, her illness took away the life she had, and she had to find an alternative, which was walking. She didn’t see it as brave; it just made her feel normal again. I enjoy wild weather; if you have dry feet and good waterproofs, there is something invigorating about it. Weather can change a landscape completely; it affects your mood, what you hear, see and smell. Some of my most memorable walks have been in astonishing weather. I climbed Sugar Loaf mountain in Monmouthshire in a storm once, and my whole face was throbbing with cold and every blade of grass was encased in ice. You feel quietly proud if you’ve overcome a psychological barrier that you may have imposed on yourself, but is nonetheless significant. For me, it was taking part in a public run; I felt oddly self-conscious but I overcame it by just ignoring it and deciding to do it for myself. It was liberating. I truly believe that the majority of people in the world are good. When I travelled in Africa, I hitched everywhere. Once I was in a truck with some male African workers. I asked the driver to take me somewhere but he went in a different direction. I was scared, but the driver had misheard where I wanted to go. He apologised and flagged down a taxi for me and made sure I was OK. I couldn’t present Strictly; I feel happier in the countryside wearing muddy boots, surrounded by sheep! I decided early on in my career that I was only going to do what I really love because I thought being a presenter may not last for very long
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and I couldn’t fake it. There’s been a general rise in interest in the topics I love anyway – rural affairs and wildlife – so I’ve been lucky. I’m a very independent person and I put that down to having had a secure and happy upbringing. I did cause my parents all sorts of hassle growing up, but my family were an anchor, and that is the greatest launch pad anyone could have. I went Eurorailing when I was 16 and travelled through Africa on my own when I was 19, but I wanted to prove to my parents – and myself – that I was responsible enough. They always let me know that if anything went wrong, they’d be there, which was comforting. The way education is going is sad; children should not be judged on how good they are at exams, but on how curious and creative they are. It should be rudimentary that every child has access to the outdoors. There are many benefits to the digital world but I believe we get a great deal more out of life through face-to-face conversation. We all need to be uplifted, rather than be depressed by the things we can’t do anything about. I did a series called Back To The Land about rural businesses that were taking risks, being creative and doing what society says is unacceptable, and it was so popular; people loved seeing others following their hearts and doing something they believed in. Self-reliance and kindness should be instilled in all of us. It’s sad if you notice someone because they have done something kind – that should be part of everyday life, not an exception. Injustice of all forms makes me angry, and the fact that we’ve become a litigious society, where basic human kindness can now be misconstrued as inappropriate, and you could be sued if you help someone and it goes wrong. We are a social species and we need to support and look after each other, not undermine and annihilate each other. ‘Thinking On My Feet: The Small Joy Of Putting One Foot In Front Of The Other’ by Kate Humble (Aster, £20) is published on 4 October; humblebynature.com; katehumble.com
PHOTOGRAPH: LEVON BISS/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES
I love walking; it is so simple yet can be really life-affirming. You connect with the seasons, solve problems, release sorrows and find inspiration. I’m hoping my book about walking will encourage people to reconnect with the outside world.
my life, my way
“I love connecting with
people and helping local businesses” Started as a hobby, Hero Brown’s website, Muddy Stilettos, has grown into the definitive online lifestyle guide for women living in the countryside WORDS DANIELLE WOODWARD PHOTOGR APHS LEANNE BR ACEY
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ABOVE Hero still works from home sometimes, at the kitchen table where it all began
“It was hard to find anything to do locally that I was interested in, so I thought, if I wanted to be in the know about what ’s going on, there would be others who would, too” 34 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8
LEFT AND BELOW More outdoor space was a draw for Hero when she moved to the countryside
my life, my way
ABOVE Haddenham, in Buckinghamshire, where Hero and her family live. Cat Tickle likes country living, too!
ero Brown, founder of website Muddy Stilettos, looks forward to her 20-minute commute to the office, as she says it creates a healthy divide between work and home. ‘I started the business working from home then, as it grew, there was a point when there were eight people in my house, the kids would get home from school, the cleaner would be there, too, and it was mayhem!’ Now, she says, having that break between her work and home life means she is also more productive. Hero came up with the idea for Muddy Stilettos, the ‘urban guide to the countryside’, when she moved to Buckinghamshire from London. ‘I’d heard from someone that a singer did a gig nearby, but it wasn’t reported anywhere. Also, it was hard to find anything to do locally that I was interested in, so I thought, if I wanted to be in the know about what’s going on, there would be others who would, too. I googled ‘how to start a blog’, set up a free one on WordPress and thought of a name – I made a list of words about urban life and the countryside, then matched two I thought worked together. Then I got a cheap logo design and off I went!’ The website is an online magazine for women with channels
“My parents lived in Oxfordshire; I thought it would be nice to move out of the city, get more for your money and take the stress out of life”
including ‘Things to do’, ‘Arts & culture’, ‘Eat out’, ‘Wellbeing’, ‘Beauty’, ‘Fashion’, ‘Travel’, ‘Kids’, and ‘Home’ – with a friendly, direct tone to the content. As Hero explains, ‘It’s all our opinions and it needs to be quick and immediate if you’re scrolling on a smartphone, which most of our readers are.’
Fitting work around family life
Hero oversees editors covering 19 counties in the UK. ‘One of our strengths is that we can provide an enormous amount of knowledge from people who are actually checking it all out first-hand,’ she says. ‘The editors are mostly working on their own, fitting the job around their family, so I make sure we have regular meetups. Although I love the flexibility, as the company continues to grow, I realise that we need structure, too – from Monday to Wednesday, I insist the Muddy HQ team comes into the office, so we can get the week organised. Thursdays are more flexible and, on Fridays, most people work from home. I also like to be on my own sometimes, so that balance works well.’ Hero admits that learning to be a successful entrepreneur is a >>>
N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 35
RIGHT The Muddy Stilettos office is in a converted 17th-century granary, about 20 minutes’ drive from Hero’s house LEFT AND BELOW Working on the move – at her local coffee shop NORSK. – provides a change of scenery for Hero, too
“My husband, Paul, is very much into numbers, figures and facts, so watching me run a business was torture for him!” >>> continuous challenge. ‘Part of me used to enjoy the naivety that
comes with putting creativity above the money side of things – because I love it so much I’d do it for nothing anyway!’ she says. ‘My husband, Paul, is very much into numbers, figures and facts, so watching me run a business was torture for him! He kept saying, “Look at your spreadsheets; what have you earned this month?” And he was right; I knew I needed to get my head around it all. It’s been a big realisation for me; that it’s easy and more enjoyable for me to be the editor, so I tended to leave the business side of things. I know now that I need support with the creative side, so I can be released to actually run the business. All the books I’ve read say something similar – that you need to be on the business, not in the business – when you’re immersed in the day-to-day, you can’t step away and think, “What do I have to do next?” That’s boring for someone like me who likes to be in the business, but the reality is that you can’t do both. And, as I learn more about the business side of it, it’s becoming more enjoyable.’ As someone who has lived and worked in different countries, including New Zealand where she got her first job in journalism and met her husband, Hero believes she is ‘more impulsive than adventurous, but I think it’s healthy to have big shake-ups
36 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8
because you can sleepwalk through your life and end up 10 years down the line wondering why you’re still at the same point. My husband is braver than me and has influenced me; I’m often ensconced in my own world, focusing on the immediate tasks, and he always prompts me by making me think about the future and how I can really make a difference to my readers’ lives.’
Heart in rural living, finger on the pulse
Hero recalls how she came to the decision to change her life, when she was living in London with a young family. ‘Everything felt like so much effort,’ she remembers. ‘My parents lived in Oxfordshire, so I thought it would be nice to move out of the city, get more for your money and take the stress out of life. I always thought I’d made the right choice, but once I got past the joy of hearing the birds sing and knowing the children could roam round the garden, I was still craving something… I realised it was the news – it’s what’s always driven me, the passion to find interesting stories; the cool, new fun stuff that’s happening.’ Hero feels a strong responsibility towards her readers. ‘If people visit places because of what I’m writing, I don’t want to give them the wrong steer. It’s about trying to provide the right information
my life, my way LEFT AND BELOW The team at the Muddy Stilettos head office. Hero and editorial assistant Sophie Hadjikyriacos discuss what’s on the agenda LEFT The Muddy Stilettos Awards are must-wins for local businesses
HAIR AND MAKE-UP: HARRIET THORPE; HARRIETTHORPEMUA.COM
“I started the business from home. As it grew, there was a point where there were eight people in my house, the kids would get home from school… It was mayhem!” – we have a wide range of readers, from people who have children, those who don’t, people who love modern places and others who are into more historic locations… I just want everyone to be able to choose the right thing for them. I made the ‘Muddy mantra’, which explains how we work and means everyone knows what they’re getting when they come to the website. ‘I’m not there to knock anybody,’ says Hero. ‘If I had a terrible meal, I’d tell them in person. I decided to only publish positive reviews, so a bad experience wouldn’t be written about. You have an immediate connection with the readers, as you’re doing something nice for them, and they also affirm what you’re doing by thanking you for recommending something they liked.’ The biggest initiative that helped drive the success of the website is the Muddy Stilettos Awards. ‘Initially, I decided to do awards for Bucks/Oxon, voted for by the readers. I thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase what’s around and find out about cool places, as readers could nominate them and we’d also be supporting independent traders and giving them free publicity. It’s completely free to enter and vote, and we give out free stickers and certificates; I’m proud that it’s free, as most awards charge to enter, and it generates massive amounts of
publicity, so it works on all levels. We also don’t have an anonymous judging panel; we trust the readers to make the right decisions.’
Always onwards and upwards
Does Hero ever take a moment to appreciate how far she’s come, from the early days of having the idea to the growing business of today? ‘Not really,’ she laughs. ‘I’m so involved in doing the next thing, then the next, that I never really stop and think about it. There are moments that stand out in my memory; I remember calling my dad when I won the UK’s Most Innovative Blog in 2015 and he was so pleased for me, even though he had no idea what a blog was! I’m always thinking about what to do next – we’ve just launched Funfinder that works like an app, geolocating you wherever you are and recommending places we’ve endorsed. I’ve also got ideas for events – it’s non-stop. ‘I do think the ideal is to be able to get your fix of the countryside if you live in the city or vice versa; to have a bit of what you’re missing so, wherever you are, you can have a better balance in your life. It’s what we all want, after all.’ To find out more, visit muddystilettos.co.uk and click on ‘Select county’ to discover what’s happening near you
N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 37
britain v cancer
Britain V Cancer Jordan Desert Trek
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Take back control Bestselling author Sháá Wasmund MBE tells us how to keep calm when things don’t go according to plan
here are times in life when nothing seems to go to plan. The client you were sure was going to come through doesn’t have the budget until next year, the washing machine and boiler pack up at the same time, the girls’ trip you were looking forward to is called off, your house sale falls through, and you haven’t exercised in three weeks.
PHOTOGRAPH: MARK HARRISON. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CAROLINE PIASECKI. STYLIST: KATE ANYA BARBOUR
Giving in, not giving up
All of these things have happened to me and, on occasion, at the same time. The truth is, it’s hard not to lose it in these moments; either that, or you end up giving up and feeling like your life is always going to be full of problems. So, how do you keep your calm in testing times, but also hold it together for long enough to pull yourself out of the rut? Contrary to what you may think, I’m a believer in giving in to how you’re feeling, at least for a moment. Better to fall into it, accept the situation for what it is, then get back on your feet and go again. But how do you turn things around? The first thing I do is write everything down. I draw a line down the middle of a page. On the left, I write down all the things that are stressing me out. On the right, I write
down everything that needs to be done to fix these problems. Then, I look at the list and I cross out all the points over which I have no control, and I focus on the things that I can do something about. Next, I write down the possible actions against each point on the list. Finally, I force myself into taking action by picking up the phone and asking someone for help; I always find that this simple act makes me fix things far quicker than I ever would alone – a problem shared is a problem halved. In my experience, the easiest way to keep calm is to regain control of your situation; at least, as best you can. When we feel out of control, we spiral into a downward cycle, and taking back control, even in small increments, stops this spiral. The moment we start doing, we move away from thinking – we can think and worry about many things at the same time, but when we are in the doing phase, we move away from thinking. No matter how bad things are, keeping your calm will always help you find a better outcome. Finally, I remind myself of an age-old truth: this too shall pass. Sháá Wasmund is also author of ‘Stop Talking, Start Doing’ (John Wiley & Sons, £9.99). Join her Facebook group at shaa.com/freedom
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N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 39
Our agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, offers a new perspective on whatever is troubling you
My mother has dementia. Our relationship has always been difficult; her father was abusive and she repeated the ugly cycle of violent behaviour towards me. My father is a good man but he never put my needs on a par with hers. They were appalling with money, and my husband and I sold our house to buy them a home. Despite this, Dad complains to other relatives about what a terrible daughter I am and they no longer see me. I have a wonderful husband and children, yet I feel lonely and empty without any other relationships. I want to move forward, and to have a relationship with Dad that doesn’t render me exhausted and angry. Name supplied
he emotional gymnastics you’ve been through to reconcile your experiences of family life would exhaust anyone. When I imagine selling your house to provide for parents who didn’t give you a safe home in the first place, it takes me into a weird loop of thought that’s difficult to describe. Maybe that’s because it’s not a situation that can be fixed with logic. It sounds as if part of you can acknowledge your dad made his choice a long time ago, while another part has held on to the ideal dad in your mind. Carl Jung said life’s greatest problems can’t be solved, only outgrown. I keep coming back to that image of a safe home. You’ve created it with your husband and children, and now you
want to expand from that base into the wider world. A lot of avenues seem cut off because your dad occupies them with his version of events. Rather than solve the problem as you see it now, there are people who offer compassion and practical help to get onto a different page. The first is NAPAC – the National Association for People Abused in Childhood [see below]. In addition to telephone advice, they point to research which shows yoga or other movement can be effective for recovery, while peer support groups and realising that you are not alone helps healing at any stage. A second option is acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT. Below is a link to a booklet of exercises to work through. This approach does not ask
MARY FENWICK is a business coach, journalist, fundraiser, mother, divorcee and widow GOT A QUESTION FOR MARY? Email email@example.com, with ‘MARY’ in the subject line FOLLOW MARY ON TWITTER @MJFenwick
you to challenge difficult thoughts, but to diffuse them to make them less painful. ACT says we can choose the legacy we want to pass on. Questions may include: what words hook you into memories and fear; what are you doing that keeps you stuck; what do you want to stand for in life; what would you like to do more of to enrich your life? Your kind of background can sometimes be a barrier to human connection, but you have managed to break the pattern of abuse and create a loving family of your own. Please don’t leave it there: more people need to hear your story; sadly for him, I do not think that your father will be one of them. Contact NAPAC on 0808 801 0331; thehappinesstrap.com/upimages/Complete_ Worksheets_2014.pdf
PHOTOGRAPH: VICTORIA BIRKINSHAW
I feel stuck in my painful childhood
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the life lab
“My anxiety is out of control after my latest breakup”
My partner has just broken up with me and I don’t think I can cope. I am having panic attacks and my anxiety is crippling. I’ve been through a bad breakup previously, which took me ages to get over, and I don’t know how I can do it again. How will I get through this? Name supplied
Whatever you did last time worked, and it will again. Humans are hardwired to find rejection tough because it was so dangerous for our ancestors to lose touch with the tribe. One of the keys
will be finding other people – not romantically, but to sit with you by the campfire until you feel safe. If your friends don’t seem like the right people for this, then the website for Anxiety UK [see below] is a good place to start. They offer a downloadable brochure about dealing with panic attacks, which costs £2.49. There’s a free meditation app for members, a text service and reducedcost counselling (even lower cost for students). I always learn something new when I check out their resources – today it was baking as a mindfulness technique, because it draws your focus
to smell and taste, plus gives the satisfaction of creating something new. I’m focusing on the anxiety because working on this will give you the confidence that you don’t need another person to make you better in any way. An intimate relationship is a wonderful gift, but we do survive and even thrive as single people, as long as we have friends. One of the best ways to feel part of something bigger is to find what you can contribute. The simple fact of having shared your story here will help others feel less alone, so there’s already a community that is grateful to you. anxietyuk.org.uk
“Should we move the whole family to make my partner happy?”
My husband has been low for a while – a combination of hating his job and where we live and wanting a change. I like where we are, but he wants to move to the coast, even as far away as Wales or Scotland. I’m undecided, as I know it would make him happy but I’ve built up friendships, and we have two young daughters who are settled at school. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to uproot us all, and it takes so long to start again and make friends. What’s your advice? Name supplied
I support your caution. The risk is that you, as the mentally stronger person, end up with unsettled children, more responsibility and less support. However, it’s also a threat if your husband feels helpless to look after his family because
he’s so unhappy. Is it possible to create less of an either/or scenario and say, ‘I don’t want to move right now, but I’d like to understand more about what it might mean for us all?’ Those two little words ‘right now’ leave the door open. I also recommend counselling support, so you can listen to each other about what you each want from a home. There’s a difference between running away from something you feel is bad, and running towards something good. My concern would be whether there is an element of what therapists call ‘pulling a geographical’ – making a physical move to escape your own head. The term comes from Alcoholics Anonymous, because addicts are tempted by the ‘magical power’ of a fresh start. Many of us are similarly tempted – but what if there are ways to turn the place you are living now into the place you want to be? Unusually, I’m
recommending a book which I haven’t read, but I’ve ordered it on the strength of the reviews as ‘a series of researchbacked ways to be happy in a new home’. My short answer is: consider joint counselling before you spend money on a move, and read This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are by Melody Warnick (Penguin, £9.27).
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UKCP TALKING THERAPIES PODCAST ● Released on 2 October How to stop the bullies
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“ I don’t want to be a needy singleton” Our award-winning coach, Kim Morgan, speaks to a woman who is fulfilled in many aspects of her life, but still feels lonely ILLUSTR ATION ANDREA DE SANTIS
Monica* came straight from her yoga class to our first session. She looked great – toned and glowing with health. She spoke confidently about herself: ‘I’m 37 and I think I’m happy about being single. I enjoy my life, I have a great job and a lovely flat. I’m training to become a yoga teacher, I travel, I host a monthly book club, I’m learning Japanese and I’ve got a really good bunch of friends.’ ‘But…?’ I ventured. ‘I don’t know,’ replied Monica, ‘but there is a “but”.’ She shrugged and made a quizzical face. I hazarded a guess: ‘You have come to see me for a reason and I am not clear what it is yet. You said you think you are happy about being single. Are you here to explore whether you want to remain single?’
Monica looked unsure. ‘I think it is that I don’t have one special person who is there for me emotionally. My friends are great, but I worry that I lean on them too much for support. Some of them are married with kids and they don’t always have time for me, which makes me feel like a bit of a loser. I don’t want to be the needy singleton.’ Monica burst into tears. I was taken aback, as she had seemed so calm and collected up to that point. I waited before asking: ‘What is making you upset?’ ‘I think I am lonely – not socially, but emotionally. I chose to be single, but I didn’t choose to be lonely.’ I asked Monica if she would like any homework from me. She said she was quite shocked by her realisation that she was lonely, and just needed time to process it.
NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED
“Since my friends have settled down, they have less time for me”
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Redefining emotional intimacy
Monica had done a lot of thinking. She said: ‘I know that being on my own is not the same as being lonely. Everything used to be fine. I’ve always given and got back a lot of emotional support from my friends, and I haven’t felt lonely or isolated. Things have changed since more of them have settled down and started having families. They don’t have anything left to give me because they have other priorities now.’ I asked Monica to come up with all the things she could think of doing to get more emotional intimacy in her life. She gave me a long list: ‘Be more vulnerable, ask for help, tell my friends how I am feeling, get some new single friends, do some voluntary work, get a cat…’ She stopped at this point and laughed out loud. ‘I can’t believe I just said that. I am turning into the cliche of a single woman with cats!’ ‘What would having a cat give you?’ I asked. Monica went quiet and muttered: ‘Someone to love, I guess.’ We talked about whether she was truly looking for a partner to love. She really didn’t know the answer, so Monica decided that she would try some of the other things on her list first before thinking about dating again. ‘I just don’t want the answer to everything to be about being in a relationship. Being single is an OK choice, too. Being a successful person does not have to mean marriage and kids.’
As adults, we learn to mask our feelings, from others and ourselves Session three
Feeling is freeing
The next time I saw Monica several weeks later, she was buzzing with enthusiasm. She’d become a volunteer for a charity that supported elderly people. She was visiting 87-year-old Elsie, who was full of wisdom and humour. Every week, Monica went to Elsie’s flat and they talked about life, books, travel and everything else under the sun. She told me: ‘I think I actually love Elsie. She gives me back more than I give her.’ Monica had started to think about other lonely people in her city and had set up a social media group called ‘Only The Lonely’. She had attracted lots of members and they will be having their first face-to-face meetup soon. As she left, she said: ‘Once I named it and admitted out loud that I was lonely, it freed me up to do something about it – thank you.’ As I watched Monica walk away, yoga mat under her arm, I reminded myself that loneliness is hard to detect in others and that even the most busy people can be emotionally lonely.
the life lab
NAME THAT FEELING We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, and we can’t tame what we don’t name. We often express what we’re thinking but not what we’re feeling. It’s an important and useful practice to stop and give a name to the emotion we’re experiencing. Think about how easily children can name their feelings and express them, too! As adults, we learn to mask our emotions – not just from others but from ourselves as well.
Grow comfortable with accessing your feelings by writing in a journal daily for a month: ‘Today I am feeling…’ Happy, sad, angry, scared, ashamed, guilty, proud, excited, lonely, loved, loving, vulnerable, confused. Increase your vocabulary of feeling words and get used to acknowledging the wide range of emotions you have throughout each day. After a while, you can look back and notice patterns in your feelings. What are they telling you? GETTING YOUR EMOTIONAL NEEDS MET Humans all have similar emotional needs which must be fulfilled to give us a sense of self-esteem and self-worth. If you aren’t getting one of your core emotional needs met, you will feel that something is missing in your life. You may not even realise why. This is a great exercise to help you discover which needs are being met for you and which are not. It may be that you require more attention but less privacy. Bear in mind that everyone is different. Think about how far your needs are being met in all of the following areas and who or what is meeting them: ● Attention
● Sense of control
● Emotional connection ● Security
● Achievement ● Intimacy
● Purpose and
If you notice that you have some needs which are not being met enough for you, think about new ways in which you can actively seek to get these fulfilled. Make a list of other people who can support you and new things you can do. For more from Kim, see barefootcoaching.co.uk; @BarefootCoaches
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Why I meditate
As a bright but anxious teenager, Yuval Noah Harari, bestselling author of Sapiens, discovered meditation and his life changed forever. In an excerpt from his new book, 21 Lessons For The 21st Century, he explains how it remains at the core of his vision, and wellbeing
My quest in academia
When I began studying at university, I thought it would be the ideal place to find answers – but I was disappointed. The academic world provided me with powerful tools to deconstruct all the
myths humans ever create, but it didn’t offer satisfying answers to the big questions of life. On the contrary, it encouraged me to focus on narrower and narrower questions. I eventually found myself writing a doctorate at Oxford University about the autobiographical texts of medieval soldiers. As a hobby, I kept reading philosophy books and having philosophical debates but, although this provided endless intellectual entertainment, it hardly provided real insight. It was extremely frustrating. Eventually, my good friend, Ron Merom, suggested I try putting aside the books and intellectual discussions for a few days and take a vipassana meditation course. ‘Vipassana’ means ‘introspection’ in the Pali language of ancient India. I thought it was some New Age mumbo jumbo and, since I had no interest in hearing yet another mythology, I declined to go. But, after a year of patient nudging, in April 2000, he got me to go to a 10-day vipassana retreat. Previously, I had known very little about meditation,
46 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8
and presumed it must involve all kinds of complicated mystical theories. I was, therefore, amazed by how practical the teaching turned out to be.
Our teacher, Satya Narayan Goenka, instructed students to sit with crossed legs and closed eyes, and to focus all our attention on the breath coming in and out of our nostrils. ‘Don’t do anything,’ he kept saying. ‘Don’t try to control the breath or to breathe in any particular way. Just observe the reality of the present moment, whatever it may be. When the breath comes in, you are just aware – now the breath is coming in. When the breath goes out, you are just aware – now the breath is going out. And, when you lose your focus and your mind starts wandering in memories and fantasies, you are just aware – now my mind has wandered away from the breath.’ It was the most important thing anybody ever told me. When people ask the big questions of life, they usually have absolutely no interest in knowing when their breath >>> PHOTOGRAPH: OLIVER MIDDENDORP
hen I was a teenager, I was a troubled and restless person. The world made no sense to me, and I got no answers to the big questions I had about life. In particular, I didn’t understand why there was so much suffering in the world and in my own life, and what could be done about it. All I got from the people around me and the books I read were elaborate fictions: religious myths about gods and heavens, nationalist myths about the motherland and its historical mission, romantic myths about love and adventure, or capitalist myths about economic growth and how buying and consuming stuff would make me happy. I had enough sense to realise that these were probably all fiction, but I had no idea how to find truth.
going out. Rather, they want to know things like, ‘What happens after you die?’ Yet, the real enigma of life is not what happens after you die, but what happens before you die. If you want to understand death, you need to understand life. People ask: ‘When I die, will I just vanish completely? Will I go to heaven? Will I be reborn in a new body?’ These questions are based on the assumption that there is an ‘I’ that endures from birth to death, and the question is: ‘What will happen to this “I” at death?’ But , what is there that endures from birth to death? The body keeps changing every moment, the brain keeps changing every moment, and the mind keeps changing every moment. The closer you observe yourself, the more obvious it becomes that nothing endures even from one moment to the next.
A moment of clarity
So, what holds together an entire life? If you don’t know the answer to that, you don’t understand life, and you certainly have no chance of understanding death. If and when you ever discover what holds life together, the answer to the big question of death will also become apparent. People say: ‘The soul endures from birth to death and thereby holds life together,’ but that is just a story. Have you ever observed a soul? You can explore this at any moment, not just at the moment of death. If you can understand what happens to you as one moment ends and another moment begins, you will also understand what will happen to you at the moment of death. If you can really observe yourself for the duration of a single breath, you will understand it all. The first thing I learned by observing my breath was that – notwithstanding the books I had read and the classes I had attended – I knew almost nothing about my mind, and I had little control over it. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t observe the reality of my breath coming in and out of my nostrils for more than
I lived under the impression I was the CEO of my life. Meditation showed me I was not the CEO, I was barely the gatekeeper
>>> is coming into their nostrils and when it is
10 seconds before my mind wandered. For years, I lived under the impression that I was the master of my life and the CEO of my own personal brand. But, a few hours of meditation were enough to show me that I had hardly any control of myself. I was not the CEO, I was barely the gatekeeper. I was asked to stand at the gateway of my body – the nostrils – and simply observe whatever comes in or goes out. Yet, after a few moments, I lost focus and abandoned my post. It was an eye-opening experience. As the course progressed, students were taught to observe not just their breath, but sensations throughout their body. Not special sensations of bliss and ecstasy, but rather the most mundane and ordinary sensations: heat, pressure, pain and so on. The technique of vipassana is based on the insight that the flow of mind is closely interlinked with sensations in the body. Between me and the world there are always bodily sensations. I never react to events in the outside world; I always react to the sensations in my own body. When the sensation is unpleasant, I react with aversion. When the sensation is pleasant, I react with cravings for more. Even when we think we react to what another person has done – to Donald Trump’s latest tweet, or a distant childhood memory, the truth is we always react to our immediate bodily sensations. If we are outraged that somebody insulted our nation or our god, what makes the insult unbearable is the burning sensations in the pit of our
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stomach and the band of pain that grips our heart. Our nation feels nothing, but our body really hurts. Do you want to know what anger is? Observe the sensations that arise and pass in your body while you are angry. I was 24 years old when I went to this retreat, and had experienced anger probably 10,000 times, yet I had never bothered to observe how anger actually feels. Whenever I had been angry, I focused on the object of my anger; something somebody did or said, rather than on the sensory reality of the anger. I think I learned more about myself and humans in general by observing my sensations for those 10 days than I had learned in my whole life up to that point. And, to do so, I didn’t have to accept any story, theory, or mythology, I simply had to observe reality. The most important thing I realised was that the deepest source of my suffering is in the patterns of my own mind. When I want something and it doesn’t happen, my mind reacts by generating suffering. Suffering is not an objective condition in the outside world, it is a mental reaction generated by my own mind. Learning this is the first step towards ceasing to generate more of it.
Which world is real?
Since that first course, I began meditating for two hours a day and, each year, I take a long meditation retreat of a month or two. It is not an escape from reality, it is getting in touch with reality. For at least two hours a day, I actually observe reality as it is while, for the other 22 hours, I get overwhelmed by emails, tweets and cute puppy videos. Without the focus and clarity provided by this practice, I could not have written Sapiens or Homo Deus. For me, meditation never came into conflict with scientific research – rather, it has been a valuable tool in the scientific toolkit, especially when trying to understand the human mind. Yuval Noah Harari is the author of ‘Sapiens’ and ‘Homo Deus’ (both Vintage, £9.99). His new book, ‘21 Lessons For The 21st Century’ (Vintage, £18.99) is out now
in partnership with Ollie School
Join Ollie’s army!
Ever wanted to make a difference and train to become a coach? With the Ollie School, you could be changing lives before you know it
PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
espite the very best efforts of our education system, it is struggling to cope with fully supporting the emotional wellbeing of our children within the curriculum. Ever felt that you would love to help, but were powerless to act? Well, here’s your opportunity to do something positive. The Ollie School has opened its doors, with plans to build an army of coaches who can make the world a better place, one child at a time. Ollie Coaching is an holistic approach that leads all our youngsters to a place where they can thrive in the chaos of modern living. So many schools are battling to provide an appropriate mental health environment, and busy parents are up against it in our fast-paced lives ruled by social media. That’s why Alison Knowles, who was challenged throughout her life
with undiagnosed dyslexia, decided to set up the Ollie School.
The Ollie methodology is all about empowering children to seek solutions and take control of their emotions, rather than be controlled by them. The Ollie School trains coaches in a blend of methodologies that brings together NLP, CBT, EFT and play therapy, to make sure they cover all bases. The Ollie methodology is all about personalisation and identifying which technique will work with each individual child – no one-size-fits-all approach here. The Ollie School graduates are awarded a certified qualification in NLP and a licence to work as an Ollie coach. If helping children and their families to be more emotionally resilient appeals to you, contact us for a prospectus and let’s talk about getting you with the programme.
Get in touch To train to become an Ollie coach, find a coach in your area or book an event, visit ollieandhissuperpowers. com, or contact us via email at info@ ollieandhissuperpowers. com. We would love to hear from you!
New dates added! Due to unprecedented demand, start dates for additional Ollie Coach courses in Birmingham, Manchester and London are available. See ollieandhissuperpowers.com N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 49
women v cancer cycle milan to venice 10-14 October 2019
Experience “La Dolce Vita” cycling from Italy’s fashion capital of Milan to magical Venice in three days to raise funds for three invaluable women’s cancer charities, Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
For more information and to register online:
www.dream-challenges.com t: 01590 646410 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Giving Works. Registered Charity No. 1078770. To take part you need to pay a registration fee of £149 and raise minimum sponsorship funds of £1,600.
In all innocence
Is it possible to embrace your sexual energy without judgement or shame? As her journey continues, Karla Newbey explores shedding negative emotions associated with past experiences
e all have a history; throughout our lives, our experiences shape us. Negative ones can cause us to disassociate from parts of ourselves. Unconsciously, we pick up messages from our family, friends, teachers, the media and culture that cause us to reject aspects of our personality as we learn to doubt or judge. I came from a household where sex was not embraced – rather, the subliminal messages I picked up were that sex was dangerous and men were dangerous.
ILLUSTRATION: JESSICA DURRANT/GETTY IMAGES
Many of us have experienced some kind of non-consensual sexual contact or even abuse. In last month’s column, I discussed my first experience of sex: being raped at 13. How do I now heal this wound and continue on my tantra journey? If I allowed this part of my history to stop me on my path towards sexual fulfilment, it would mean it still had power over me. On my first tantra workshops, I’d learned to express my ‘no’. One of the pillars of the Shakti Tantra teaching is that you have to listen to your body and be able to act on your ‘no’ before you can progress. Since then, I’d been wielding my ‘no’ in all areas of my life – including with lovers. As I learned to stick up for myself and speak my truth in any given situation, I also became aware that this wasn’t a skill I had at 13 – I didn’t tell anyone about my experience until I was an adult – and, although there was sadness and regret attached to this realisation, I felt a lot of power as I became more confident that I could express myself better in the future. So, what was next?
Despite the benefits for many, I wasn’t interested in spending years in therapy, analysing the complex belief systems and experiences that prevented me feeling pleasure. I wanted to focus on creating a positive, new mindset that would serve me better. As inventor Buckminster Fuller said, ‘You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.’ This was a journey towards pleasure and, as much as possible, I decided it should be fun. I wanted to see if I could rediscover my innocence, to find out if I could fully exist in my sexual energy without judgement or shame. Hilly Spencerley, founder of Shakti Tantra, says, ‘Before we can fully expand into pleasure, we have to let go of negative beliefs and patterns created by past experiences or picked up in childhood, so that we can reconnect our sex to our hearts. We have to feel the innocence of our sexuality again.’ I needed to find out if this was possible for me, so I booked onto the third workshop of their mixed tantra programme: Innocence. Here, the idea was that I could reconnect with my inner child, not by becoming childish, but by experimenting with embracing childlike innocence from the perspective of the adult I now was. Armed with a soft cuddly toy and a furry onesie, the requisite props for this weekend event, I headed towards another new beginning. To be continued…
Karla Newbey is attending the Women’s Shakti Tantra programme, shaktitantra.co.uk. The women’s programme has five levels, which run as consecutive workshops, spread out over a year. Innocence is the third workshop. For details on Karla’s journey, visit yabyum.co.uk and follow her on Twitter @karla_newbey. For those seeking support as survivors of sexual abuse, contact thesurvivorstrust.org/find-support
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How do you deal with bullies? In our column and podcast series, Professor Sarah Niblock, CEO of UKCP, explores real-life challenges that affect us all and how therapy can help. This month, we look at how to handle the bullies we meet in our lives
ullies, we’ve all encountered them. Whether they’re intimidating bosses or colleagues, controlling partners, shaming relatives, even unnerving neighbours – their impact is felt deeply. We come across them at work, in the street and online. Our computer screens are a powerful tool for good, until faceless trolls start attacking with words of hate. A growing body of evidence confirms that bullying is one of the worst experiences we can endure. It attacks our sense of self. The effects are profound, long-lasting and acutely felt. Research shows that those of us who have been bullied are more likely to suffer from mental health issues, suicidal thoughts and depression.
It’s not you, it’s me – or is it?
As children, we’re led to believe it’s just an inevitable part of growing up. We blame ourselves when we are victims of bullying – maybe I could do something differently, why me, why not that person? Let me tell you straight, there’s nothing wrong with you. Some of the most successful icons, including Katy Perry, Rihanna and Beyoncé, have shared their own experiences. Our psychotherapists report an increased compulsion to bully in today’s competitive society. In a world of winners and losers, people will do anything to inflate their fragile status, including pulling others down. So much so, that a national police hub has been set up to crack down on bullies who commit online hate crime against other internet users based on their race, religion,
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sexual orientation, disability or gender. In the therapy room, it is very telling that bullying tends to come up only much later in the conversation, if at all. This is because, all too often, those who experience bullying find it so shameful – whether as the perpetrator or recipient – that they can barely speak of it. Just as in childhood, most adults ignore the bully because we’re taught that not reacting divests them of their power. Yet in protecting ourselves from further hurt, we’re in danger of burying those acutely painful feelings of shame, rather than addressing them. But what if you are the bully? Many of us feel regret at childhood or even more recent misdemeanours. It does not mean that you’re a bad person. Psychotherapists describe bullying as a transferring of shame. When our own shame feels unbearable, one coping mechanism is simply to project it out of ourselves and onto another person. The effects are temporary, do not remove – and may even compound – the original shame. Certainly, the internet makes it easier for bullies to project their own feelings of inadequacy onto others, perhaps complete strangers. The avatar dilutes any shred of empathy even further. With social media ablaze with representations of ‘success’, where are we to channel our feelings of inadequacy if we don’t meet that ideal? Talking can definitely help and is the first step in tackling the matter, whether it’s a current situation or something that happened many moons ago.
in partnership with UKCP
ASK THE EXPERT… Psychotherapist Sue Cowan-Jenssen talks about ways in which we can combat bullying behaviour
What is the definition of bullying?
There’s no legal definition of bullying, but I think of it as repeated behaviour by an individual or group with the aim of demeaning, shaming, humiliating or threatening another person. This can occur within a family, peer group, school, workplace, community or online.
If you feel that you are being bullied, what can you do about it?
What should we do if we think we’re being bullied? If it’s taking place at work, keep a diary with dates and details, and speak to your employer or HR department for guidance. You may also have a trade union representative you can consult. One of our biggest fears about making a complaint at work is that it will mark us out as weak, or that it could even escalate once the accused finds out.
PHOTOGRAPH: PÅL HANSEN. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CARL STANLEY
What you can do
Psychotherapists recommend that anyone witnessing a bullying incident support the recipient, so that they’re not confronting the issue alone. Or you might wish to speak to the bully or harasser directly. Alternatively, if the bullying is actually happening, react with questions such as, ‘Why are you saying that?’ – pushing the statement back onto them. Bullying is a hugely complex topic manifested in myriad ways. What’s clear is that whether you’ve been bullied or have done the bullying, it is not a reflection of how good a person you are or a sign that something’s wrong with you. Working with a UKCP psychotherapist will help you to confront your vulnerability, address emotions that may have been buried for a long time, releasing you from their control, so that you can live your life with confidence.
Speak up. Being bullied can feel shameful because you wonder why it’s you that is being targeted. Talking is a powerful antidote. Ideally, if it’s happening at work, report it. In the podcast [details below], I mention a technique that can help when you feel attacked, which I think of as the ‘mirror’ technique. By honing in on the
bully’s motives and actions, you take the focus off yourself and turn it on them. The bully wants to feel better by making someone feel worse.
If you think you use bullying behaviour, what steps can you take to change? If you find yourself tempted to bully, you also know that it’s coming from an unhappy place in yourself. It requires looking at unwanted feelings and admitting that your need to find relief from these feelings is making you cruel. If you bully, it is because you have contempt, rather than compassion, for the vulnerable part of yourself. If you could have more empathy, you wouldn’t have to ‘dump’ your pain on another. Compassion for self and others is a crucial anti-bullying tool. suecowanjenssen.co.uk
LISTEN TO THE TALKING THERAPIES PODCAST
How to deal with bullies
Listen to psychotherapist Sue Cowan-Jenssen and UKCP’s Matt Nicholls discuss the shame bullying creates and strategies to stop it. See psychologies.co.uk/how-handle-bullying-podcast-ukcp
About the UKCP and how to find a therapist ● The UKCP Alongside professional support for our members, we are the leading research, innovation, educational and regulatory body working to advance psychotherapies for the benefit of all. Our membership includes more than 8,000 therapists and 70 training and accrediting organisations. Members work privately, in public health or third-sector organisations, offering a range of approaches for couples, individuals, families and groups.
● To find the right therapist,
log on to psychologies.co.uk/ find-a-therapist and look at our Life Labs Channel of experts who may be able to help, or visit psychotherapy.org.uk/find-a-therapist to locate a therapist near you.
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Divorce happens, but it doesn’t have to damage the children. Charlotte Gray, whose parents separated when she was three years old, offers a guide
ne week, I live at Mum’s, the next, at Dad’s; except on Tuesdays, when I always stay at Mum’s no matter which week it is, and Wednesdays, when I always stay at Dad’s place. Growing up the child of a ‘sharedparenting’ agreement in the late 1990s was still unusual, and I used it to good effect in the playground. Even more unusual was the idea that you could be a happy, functional child of a ‘broken home’, but that’s the way it was for me. Now aged 28, I look back on my
childhood with gratitude. My parents gave me a stable, happy foundation. And these are some of the ways in which they did it…
Shield a child from drama
I don’t remember my parents’ separation – it happened when I was three. Later, family members would insinuate that it was less than amicable, but I was protected from this. On the occasions when they had to see one another >>>
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Recent research “suggests a 50-50
– pickups, drop-offs, parents’ evenings – they were, for lack of a better word, formal. Information got relayed clearly and quickly, with polite smiles and pleasantries. The topic of conversation rarely veered from me, my school work, and my extra-curricular activities. ‘As a therapist, one of the things that I’m always encouraging couples to do is consider the needs of the child,’ says Denise Knowles, a family counsellor from the relationship charity Relate. We all know this, of course, but it is not so easy in real life, and I saw it slip a few times, when Mum called Dad stingy, and he bit back with some comment about her less-than-frugal spending habits. But it never broke out into a full-blown row. ‘As long as parents can maintain a reasonably respectful – I’m not even going to say amicable – relationship with one another, then that seems to benefit the children,’ says Knowles.
Find a residential situation that works for all
Each childhood memory I’ve held onto takes place in one of two homes. The houses were less than a mile from one another, with my secondary school in between. I have no memory of how this setup came to be, but Dad tells me it was the only logical option when he and Mum split. ‘I’d always been very involved in your care so, when I moved out, I didn’t want
to lose the bond that I’d built with you,’ Dad said. ‘I had no intention of being a “McDonald’s father”, so we agreed that because we were both working, it was practical to share your care. We felt it would have the least traumatic impact on you if you saw both parents for a good amount of time.’ Back then, I was the only child in my school to live between homes. But it is becoming more popular. Last year, the UK Fatherhood Institute reported that more than half of separated dads shared childcare with the mother equally or took sole care of the child at least once a week. My parents’ belief that it was the ‘least traumatic’ setup may have been on the money, too. Recent research by Uppsala University in Sweden suggests that this 50-50 parenting split is the healthiest choice for kids, especially those between the ages of three and five. The study also found that children from shared-parenting families had ‘fewer behavioural problems and psychological symptoms’ than those
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rules may “haveDaily been different
but, for the most part, my parents would talk about the big things
parenting split is the healthiest choice for children, especially those between the ages of three and five
from single-parent households. Although I can’t speak for others, I don’t recall pining for a happy nuclear family. Or giving it much thought at all.
Try not to fret over separate rules
The day-to-day logistics of living in two homes could be a real minefield. Aside from constantly forgetting where I’d left my science book and getting scolded by teachers for it, there were the ‘flip-flop rules’. Each time I crossed the threshold of one of my homes, I was subject to different
I have grown up “knowing they both care, that they are both an equal part of my life; I can turn to either of them in times of hardship
PHOTOGRAPHS: EVGENIJ YULKIN/STOCKSY
parentally enforced guidelines. Mum’s rules were quite lax. She let me eat whatever I pleased and spend hours on the phone at night, calling my friends. At weekends, we would binge-watch box sets together, order takeaways and gossip. Dad’s rules were stricter, involving less TV time and almost zero fast food. He and my paternal grandma – who I saw frequently – encouraged me to spend my time reading, playing games and exercising. Of course, at the time, being denied Happy Meals and made to swim once a week felt like an unthinkable injustice, but I now understand the rationale behind both sets of rules. ‘There may often be a bit of a split, but that’s not uncommon when there are two parents living together either,’ explains Knowles. ‘I will often say to parents: it’s not a bad thing if you’ve got different approaches. It’s about how that difference is explained to the child.’
Don’t undermine your ex
Daily rules may have been different but, for the most part, my parents would talk about the big things. From whether I should apply to grammar school to if I was allowed to go on school trips abroad, they handled each issue together. Still, one memory sticks out, when they failed to present a united front, and it left a lasting impression. Like most young girls, I’d wanted pierced ears since I’d been old enough to glance into the window of Claire’s Accessories and see the joyous event taking place. When I was about 10, I asked both parents – separately. Mum was open to the idea; Dad, on the other hand, called it ‘self-mutilation’ and repeatedly refused to give his consent. A year or so later, while we were on holiday, Mum took me to a jeweller on a whim and I got my wish. She then dialled a number, smirking, and put me on the phone saying, ‘You’d better tell your dad.’ It wasn’t her proudest moment. In hindsight, I see this for what it was – a passive-aggressive move. Maybe I saw it at the time, but I was too giddy with my new studs to care. I’d thought Dad would tell me off. He didn’t. He barely spoke about my pierced ears at all except, years later, humorously noting that I’d paid someone to ‘put holes in my body’. I can only assume that he chose not to rise to the bait – it worked: Mum didn’t pull that one again.
Unite when it matters
Despite the rare bouts of pettiness, there’s one thing of which I’m truly proud. When it mattered, my parents came together to support me. I was around 13 years old when a bout of depression hit me. The low moods, lack of sleep, sick feeling – it was scary. I didn’t want to go to school or even leave the house and, at times, I didn’t. It
was a temporary teenage wobble, fixed, if not easily, then quickly, with a little understanding and a lot of listening. As much as I struggled, I know my parents did, too. The two of them came together. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have come through this bleak period without their actions, but it helped. Instead of demanding that I ‘buck up,’ they asked me what was wrong and heard me when I said I truly didn’t know.
Focus on building bonds
Don’t get me wrong, my childhood wasn’t perfect. I argued with Dad as a teenager. I argued with Mum for longer. I screamed things in anger that I should never have screamed. These are the lowlights, but you get the idea. Thankfully, I had the chance to work through these teething problems with both my mum and dad, and figure out how to overcome them with them both in the picture. ‘The fact that, from an early age, it was shared residency, rather than contact, your parents were given the opportunity to say, “When you’re with me, we’ve got to work out how we’re going to get through the less-than-lovely times,”’ says Knowles. ‘That’s part and parcel of developing a healthy, rounded relationship with both parents.’ Fast-forward and I’m a young adult, who has solid relationships with my mum and my dad. For that, I count myself lucky. I’ve grown up knowing that they both care; that they are an equal part of my life; and that I can turn to either of them in times of hardship. While I can’t imagine a different single-parent childhood or how it would have turned out, I can say that, for me, this route worked. I don’t see myself as the former child of a broken home, but the former child of two stable and loving households. Twice as much drama, but twice as much love and support, too. relate.org.uk
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Coach yourself to a better work life
Are you considering hiring a qualified coach but don’t know who to choose? We are excited to present the Psychologies-approved ‘Find a coach’ directory, in partnership with Barefoot Coaching. Here, respected coach Pete Mosley helps a reader with a professional problem
The ‘Psychologies’endorsed ‘Find a coach’ directory, with Barefoot Coaching, provides readers with a choice of top coaches, all with postgraduate training and accredited by the University of Chester and the International Coach Federation. Find a coach who suits you, to help you navigate and transform your life – in the areas of work, relationships, parenting and leadership.
ASK THE EXPERT…
Pete Mosley, author of ‘The Art of Shouting Quietly: A Guide To Self-Promotion For Introverts And Other Quiet Souls’, gives advice on workplace confidence
I am an introvert and find it difficult to speak up at work. I’m great at my job but I feel overlooked and invisible. How can I increase my self-belief? Confidence is best built in a series of tiny steps. At work, it’s difficult to gather all the courage you have and talk up in a meeting. Suddenly, all eyes are on you, and the danger is that you freeze or fumble your words. Here’s how to focus people’s attention on your ideas, and not on you. ● Prepare a simple document that summarises what you want to say – a mind map, flow chart or a basic bulleted list. Make it visually appealing with a low word count.
● Ask whoever is leading the
meeting if they will add your topic to the agenda, so it’s not you trying to break into the flow of the meeting. Or, enlist a colleague to introduce the subject and hand over to you. Give everyone a copy, and lead people through the document. See it as your script, to keep you on track. ● Let people know you’re willing to talk about your ideas one-to-one. Your colleagues will appreciate that you’ve given them something structured to consider, and your boss will be happy you’ve spoken up. ● Don’t worry about being a bit wobbly at first. This technique works and, over time, will help you build confidence and gain respect. Pete Mosley helps people grow confidence in
BAREFOOT COACHING Psychologies’ partnership with Barefoot Coaching gives you the tools to find a coach who meets your needs. Barefoot Coaching has been at the forefront of coaching and coach training for 25 years. It has a proven track record as a provider of high-level coaching and coach
training to organisations and senior executives, nationally and internationally.
Train as a coach with Barefoot Coaching The Barefoot Coaching International Coach Federation- accredited
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Postgraduate Certificate in Business and Personal Coaching is one of the most well-established coach training courses in the UK. Barefoot runs regular, free introductions to coach training throughout the year. Visit barefootcoaching. co.uk/taster-morning to book.
themselves, their ideas, and connecting with others. ‘The Art of Shouting Quietly’ (PSB Design & Print, £12.99). petemosley.com
Listen to the podcast:
Our monthly podcast of Kim Morgan and Suzy Walker discussing coaching dilemmas is on the ‘Psychologies’ Podcast Channel on iTunes and SoundCloud
in partnership with Barefoot Coaching
Rate how fulfilled you feel at work, then create a plan to up it by 3 points this month
CUT OUT AND KEEP
The wheel of life Cut out this page and put it somewhere visible. Use the wheel of life, a classic coaching tool, to improve your working life and work-life balance. The wheel allows you to focus on improving one segment of life at a time, while giving you an overall picture of all the parts that comprise a happy life
This month, we are concentrating on work life l Focus on how you honestly feel about
work, then give it a score – with 1 being awful and 10 being brilliant. l Brainstorm with a friend or hire a coach to figure out ways that you can improve the score by 3 over four weeks.
l Break it down into baby steps. What
would improve your work life by 1 point? (For example, creating a new admin system, or clearing your desk?) l What would improve your work life by another point? And another? Maybe you need to initiate a conversation with a colleague or boss about your
workload. What action can you take? Could you experiment with a different way of thinking to raise your score? l Every month, we’ll address different segments of the wheel – but feel free to work on all parts of your wheel of life at the same time. Refer to it frequently to track your progress. Good luck!
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The last word on…
Managing regret Oliver Burkeman helps us reflect on life decisions that were not right for us, and learn from them for the future
he Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard had a downbeat approach to regret: ‘Marry and you will regret it; don’t marry, you will also regret it; marry or don’t marry, you will regret it either way.’ But he had a point. It often seems as if regret is inescapable, and some of it probably is. But, by understanding what kind of choices you regret the most, and why, you can build a life that you will look back on with satisfaction.
PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
Accept your limitations. It sounds defeatist, but a first step towards a regret-free life comes from acknowledging that you won’t do some of the things you dream about (because you have a finite lifespan) and that you will make mistakes along the way (because you’re flawed, just like the rest of us). That makes it easier to reconcile yourself to regrets, but also helps avoid future ones: once you realise you’ll never follow every path you can imagine, you can concentrate on picking the most important ones. Focus on the ‘ideal self’ more than the ‘ought self’. Recent research suggests we’re
more distressed by ‘ideal self regrets’ – when you fail to follow your dreams – than ‘ought self regrets’, when you behave badly, say by cheating on a partner or failing to spend time with an ageing relative. That’s not an argument for being unethical,
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but rather for pushing yourself to take risks in pursuit of your ambitions. And don’t expect that to feel great at first: experiencing fear in the present is often the price you pay for reduced regret in future.
Reframe the past. Psychotherapists have long understood that the stories we tell ourselves about the past are at least as important as what actually happened. The point isn’t to pretend your life didn’t take a regrettable turn, but to seek meaning in the experience. Did it increase your capacity for empathy, reveal your resilience, or lead to important friendships? All your past experiences helped make you who you are, so there’s a good chance the ones you regret played some role in the things you currently value. Try time travel. When facing an important
life choice, asking, ‘What will make me happiest?’ can lead you astray. You’re more likely to make regret-proof decisions by imagining yourself in old age, looking back on life, and asking what you’d like to be able to say you had done. Or imagine someone else delivering a eulogy at your funeral: what do you wish they could truthfully say about your life? Start living it that way, right now, and you’ll almost certainly never regret it.
Oliver Burkeman is author of ‘The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking’ (Canongate, £8.99)
In this Dossier, we ponder the question: what does it mean to be a man in the 21st century?
How can our menfolk take care of their emotional health and thrive? We talk to five very different men about what it means to be a man, what needs to change to leave behind the era of ‘toxic masculinity’ and how men can break through the walls that hold them back from expressing their emotions. Plus, inspiration from Mark Ormrod, former marine, coach and speaker, who talks about taking responsibility in challenging times. Then, make sure you turn to page 74 and take our test to discover what unconscious beliefs you might be holding about the men in your life, and what you might need to let go of to create a new era for all mankind.
FOR SUPPORT AND EMOTIONAL WISDOM, JOIN OUR LIFE LEAP CLUB – FREE TO SUBSCRIBERS! WE’RE IN IT TOGETHER! 62 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8
GO TO PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK/SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR COACHING MASTERCLASSES AND WORKBOOKS
How to be a man in the 21st century Could a better understanding of the men in our lives bring more harmony to the world, and true equality for everyone? We ask five very different men what needs to happen for their mental health to flourish, how to abandon ‘toxic masculinity’ and create a new future for all mankind
“The more I talked about my trauma, the less power it had over me”
ewis Howes is The New York Times bestselling author of The School Of Greatness and a lifestyle entrepreneur. A former professional American football player, he is currently in the national men’s handball team. His The School Of Greatness podcast has been downloaded 75 million times and is ranked one of the top 100 podcasts in the world on iTunes. In 2013, Howes was recognised by former US president Barack Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under the age of 30. ‘In my personal life, and my career, I’d always subscribed to traditional notions of masculinity. Work hard, be tough, win at all costs, be aggressive. As a straight “jock” guy, I was not allowed to share my emotions,’ he says. ‘My pain, my fear, my anxiety? I had to swallow them or be called multiple derogatory names. Until my late 20s, about all I was doing was suffering. The torment of my school years – having trouble reading, being big and awkward and enduring my fair share of bullying – was so profound, I could hardly stand to be alive. Four and a half years ago, I opened up about being raped by a man when I
was five years old. For 25 years, I had kept it a secret. I didn’t tell anyone. I was so ashamed and embarrassed. I thought no one would love me if they knew that about me. Once I started to process the trauma, I could start to heal. The more I talked about it, the more power I had over it and the less power it had over me. For 30 years, I would sit in bed for hours, suffering with anxiety. Once I learned to heal the trauma, I could sleep again. It gave me inner peace,’ he says. ‘Even if men haven’t experienced trauma, I want them to be able to access a wide range of emotions, and also to be able to express them. ‘I was building a business around “greatness” and it didn’t seem like * a smart financial move to write a book about vulnerability and masculinity,’ he says of his latest book, The Mask Of Masculinity, ‘but it was the only next step I could take. I’m now committed to helping men end their suffering, to find a way to be vulnerable, to feel less lonely, to express themselves, access inner peace and for ways for them to create meaning, fulfilment, love and connection in their lives.’
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‘The Mask Of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, And Live Their Fullest Lives’ (Hay House, £14.99) To hear the podcast of Editor-in-Chief Suzy Walker interviewing Lewis Howes, go to the ‘Psychologies’ Podcast Channel on iTunes and SoundCloud
WORDS: ALI ROFF. PHOTOGRAPHS: BONNIN STUDIO/STOCKSY. *MENTALHEALTH.ORG.UK
men in the UK has experienced a mental health problem
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“I think the nuclear family got a bad rap, and I see that as a big mistake”
ordan B Peterson is a clinical psychologist and professor (now on sabbatical) at the University of Toronto. He has a strong following of young men, and has been in the headlines recently in relation to several controversial gender-related subjects, including debates around monogamy and gender-neutral pronouns. Here’s what he has to say about being a man in the 21st century… ‘There has been an overwhelming improvement in living standards in the last 100 years, and it’s been accelerating since the year 2000. Far fewer boys are going to grow up in poverty, as a percentage of the world’s population, than has been the case in the history of the planet. That means more boys will be healthy and able to get schooling and make use of their talents. So, on a global level, things look positive for men,’ he says. ‘More locally, in the West, there is some conflict between men and women right now, as we work out our respective roles in the aftermath of [the social changes that followed] the birth control pill – but I suspect that we will probably muddle through as we always have,’ he says. ‘There’s also an ideological battle – the criticism directed at the hypothetically tyrannical and patriarchal structure – that does no one any good, as far as I’m concerned, least of all boys, who risk having their ambition and high levels of activity conflated with oppression and tyranny. It’s just not helpful!’ says Peterson. ‘I think the nuclear family got a bad rap, and I see that as a big mistake because that is the very place people find key meaning in their lives. Career, productive and meaningful use of your time outside of work, family and an intimate relationship – that’s pretty much 90 per cent of life. And the traditional
forms of relationships between men and women provide for the possibility of that at least. So, my sense is that breathing new life into old forms would be a useful thing for us to do. If people aren’t able to establish meaningful lives to tie them into a family and the community in an engaging way, they are more likely to become depressed. People need a place and a purpose and a pathway forward. Part of it too, of course, is the rate of technological change – it’s more difficult for people to plot a pathway forward, but they have more opportunity as well. ‘So, that’s the challenge: ensuring that people have a place that they can carve out for themselves as things change rapidly around them. Again, that’s why I think that emphasis on the traditional forms provides people with a certain amount of stability,’ says Peterson. ‘All sorts of things are thrown into the relationship mix now that we don’t really understand. Dating apps * like Tinder are unbelievably revolutionary. Tinder lowers the cost of rejection to virtually nil, and it makes sex more freely available to at least a small minority of men – but the probability that that’s a useful social innovation is, I would say, zero. It takes all the responsibility out [of relationships]. ‘It doesn’t seem to be good for men or women to reduce intimacy to a technologically mediated series of one-night stands. And, if you treat people like that (as a means to an end, essentially, because it seems to me that a one-night stand is short-term mutual pleasure and little else) then you basically reduce the interaction between men and women to only that. I can’t see that leads anywhere other than to something approximating a psychopathic view of the world,’ says Peterson. ‘I can’t see how that can possibly be good for anyone, men and women alike.’
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Listen to the ‘Jordan B Peterson Podcast’ at jordanbpeterson.com
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
Around the world, on average, we lose a man to suicide every minute of every day
“I knew what it was like to be hugged. As a man, I knew what it was like not to be”
homas Page McBee, a trans man and author of Amateur: A True Story About What Makes A Man, gives his insight into gender stereotypes and the reality of masculinity in the modern world. ‘I started taking testosterone and transitioned in 2011 when I was 30. I became a man when the headlines screamed that there was a crisis in masculinity. A certain kind of man, it seemed, was disappearing and dying and killing and overdosing,’ says McBee. ‘There is a “man box” used by sociologists in the classroom. Boys are asked to draw a box and, inside it, write phrases about being a man. What they choose is a troubling primer in male socialisation: Do not cry openly or show emotion. Do not express weakness or fear. Demonstrate power and control (especially over women). Do not be “like a woman”. Do not be “like a gay man”. This is what is thought to be a “real man” by boys. Suddenly, I had more privilege and power as a white man of a certain age, but the trade-off made me spiritually and emotionally bankrupt. I knew what it
was like to be hugged by my friends. As a man, I knew what it was like not to be. I knew what I’d lost. I realised I would have to abandon what one sociologist called “my humanity” to uphold the false beliefs of the man box. We need to challenge the old idea of masculinity. Feminism taught women to do this about their own gender a long time ago, but men need to look at our behaviour and ask why we are conforming to certain cultural expectations. Genuine inquiry is profound. ‘But I have a lot of hope for the future,’ he adds. ‘Young people are more open to possibilities… of what gender can be; and they are more fluid in their understanding. It’s up to us to keep having these conversations, to question and challenge old models that don’t work any more. To build equal relationships and societies; to create a world free of violence; to tackle the masculinity crisis – we must first acknowledge how we are each failing, right now, to see the full spectrum of humanity in ourselves, and in others,’ he says.
‘Amateur: A True Story About What Makes A Man’ (Canongate, £14.99) To hear the podcast of Editor-in-Chief Suzy Walker interviewing Thomas Page >>> McBee, go to the ‘Psychologies’ Podcast Channel on iTunes and SoundCloud
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“We think men and women speak the same language but, actually, we don’t”
ormer teen magazine agony uncle Mike Gayle is a bestselling author, whose books often explore male friendships, and have complex protagonists at their heart. ‘I have a close group of friends I see weekly yet, regularly, it will only be after the event that we find out someone’s lost a parent or getting a divorce,’ says Gayle. ‘It’s hard for men to talk, even to long-term mates. Because men don’t discuss their emotions, when problems do occur, we think we have to deal with them alone, and that others aren’t going through similar things. I think women are better at dealing with their mental health – they have a support network and can connect with other women faster – whereas I see the opposite for men. We may have had strong friendships when we were younger, but it only takes a couple of job moves to lose friends and become isolated. ‘Your partner is often the only support you have. However, you want to be the sort of man you think
your partner wants: strong and dependable, but there are times when you cannot be that person, when you need to say, “I can’t cope.” When you strip away the things society defines as “being a man”; success, financial security and so on… there is life beyond that – and it’s a better life,’ says Gayle. ‘If you can make a man’s first experience of opening up a non-scary one, where he feels listened to and understood, he might be willing to talk again. It helps to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. A way to do that is to read books with male voices; hear their interior monologue; understand a man’s way of thinking. I write about men going through emotional change – creating characters and situations with which men can connect. I’ve had so many men tell me, “I thought I was the only one going through that,” or, “You’ve written exactly what I was feeling.” Problems arise when we think men and women are speaking the same language when, actually, we are not. It helps to be aware of that.’
‘The Man I Think I Know’ by Mike Gayle (Hodder & Stoughton, £14.99)
“Men haven’t learned the skills to manage our emotions and needs”
indfulness expert Ed Halliwell was deputy editor of men’s magazine FHM in the 1990s, before retraining as a mindfulness teacher, when he found that meditation was a useful tool in helping him combat depression. ‘Thirty years ago, there were more defined roles for men or, at least, a sense of what a man was “supposed” to be. Wonderfully, a lot of that has broken down, which has created possibility, but also uncertainty around what it means to be a man,’ he says. ‘The generation of men below mine have more flexibility, openness and willingness to be vulnerable, and are more able to speak about their experiences. They have an emotional intelligence that, perhaps, men my age don’t have, and the highest rates of suicide are in middle-aged men. I wonder if that is because we grew up with these fi xed ideas: Men have to be strong; men don’t talk; men are unemotional. We haven’t
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learned the skills to manage our emotions and needs; to even understand what they are. To be able to open up and speak, and hear what other people are saying, is part of healing. What we’ve learned until now is not to do that. ‘Since I started to look at who I am through mindfulness, I’m seeing patterns that are part of my evolutionary heritage, and when they aren’t helpful. That can be difficult for men my age – to untangle from ideas about who we should and shouldn’t be,’ he says. ‘I’m glad mindfulness and social and emotional education is happening; emotional health as standard, not something we’ve got to take a remedial step towards. Taking responsibility for our health is key. ‘If a man wants something to change, a first step has already been taken, because the recognition something is not working, there’s a crisis, an episode of depression, or just a lack of meaning, means there’s motivation and a willingness to examine the problem. He’s on the road.’ For more on Ed Halliwell’s mindfulness courses, go to edhalliwell.com
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Is there a clever way to seek love? John Williams, founder of The Ideas Lab, vows to find out in a special Psychologies project. He chats to Ali Roff about what brought him here, and what’s next, as he launches The Love Challenge…
You’re embarking on an exciting mission to help yourself and Psychologies readers find partners in a more intelligent manner. What is your inspiration for this? I’ve undertaken all sorts of projects in my business, but dating and love has never been the focus of any of them. I’ve had relationships but never met anyone I want to spend my life with. My dad died when I was a baby, so I grew up without a father figure, which made the issue of masculinity complex for me because I’ve never had a role model. I also had low self-esteem, which I’ve worked on, but that has influenced my dating life. I’m OK once I’m in a relationship, but I find it difficult to meet people. It becomes harder as you get older because others your age are coupled up. When I was struggling with low self-esteem, I felt as if I was always on the back foot. After my last relationship ended, I realised something’s got to change if I’m going to find somebody who I want to be with long term. I thought, ‘I can’t be the only person, man or woman, who has this problem!’ That’s when I decided to create The Love Challenge. I’ve been talking to top experts for a podcast for Psychologies to learn innovative ways to approach dating. I’m applying what I learn to my own life and reporting on the process. I’m also inviting the experts to help me create a transformational online experience for people to take their own Love Challenge in 30 days this November.
women. How do you do it with integrity and without overstepping the mark? It’s one of the questions we explore in The Love Challenge. We need to have difficult conversations about what’s OK, and what isn’t, to move forward.
What can you tell us about dating smarter? A lot of people rely on online dating, and it can work but, actually, for the amount of time you put in (on average, people spend 15 hours a week browsing Tinder and online dating profiles), only a small minority of these dates become long-term relationships. Online dating can turn the whole exercise into a shopping experience – there’s always another swipe and another person. I interviewed Jean Smith of Flirtology – she’s one of our experts on The Love Challenge podcast – about how to flirt on the street; strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, starting with asking a complete stranger for directions. * Then, you ask a more personal question, something like, ‘Can you recommend a good restaurant?’; or, in the supermarket, ‘Do you know what sauce would go well with this pasta?’ Now, you’re asking for a personal opinion and practising the lost art of initiating a conversation. You get better results having live contact with somebody than you do flipping through online profiles.
of men believe friendship is vital to men’s positivity and wellbeing
We can’t wait! Why is now the right time? Me neither! I feel like we’re in an interesting period. The #MeToo movement has made the relationship between men and women extra charged. It’s a great movement, but it means there’s increased sensitivity about what is appropriate, and what isn’t, when men approach
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Men are usually the initiators. How can they do that in a more authentic way? I talked to John Cooper, a dating expert for men, and he told me about the old model, when men use psychological tactics to engage women as quickly as
possible, when the only thing that matters is getting her phone number. His approach is to flip it and say, ‘My only goal is to enjoy the process.’ We follow what we enjoy, so it becomes about how you enjoy talking to women and how you like going on dates, rather than focusing on impressing a person. I went out with someone who suggested sitting in the park because it was a sunny day. I thought, ‘Can you do that on a date; just hang out?’ I thought you had to book a restaurant or have a plan. To focus on enjoyment is a better way to date; to ask, ‘Where can we go to have fun, even if we decide not to see each other again?’ It’s mindful and authentic dating.
for a bit. Endomorphs, the feelings people, will sit comfortably in the presence of others for a long time. Another consideration is attachment theory. If we have a good relationship with our parents, particularly our mother, we will develop a secure attachment style. This means we can go into a relationship and be intimate and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, but not lose ourselves in the relationship. If you don’t have a good relationship with your mother or primary caregiver, say because they have a mental health problem or are not physically or emotionally available, that will affect your attachment style. You end up in one ** of two primary dysfunctions: anxious attachment style or avoidant attachment style. Avoidant is somebody who avoids getting too close or dependent, and anxious means needing constant reassurance that the relationship is OK.
PHOTOGRAPH: BONNIN STUDIO/STOCKSY. *THE HARRY’S MASCULINITY REPORT, 2018; **THECALMZONE.NET
of men (v 19 per cent of women) feel they should be the breadwinner
How can psychology help us date smarter? I interviewed therapist and relationship expert Natasha Curnock about morphology, which is about body type and personality styles. A mesomorph is the athletic type, and they’re all about action. Ectomorphs are slim and often tall; they think things through. An endomorph is pear-shaped, and considers feelings. Say, for example, you’re faced with a challenge: an endomorph will first process their emotions, an ectomorph will come up with a plan and a mesomorph will leap into action. What’s this got to do with relationships? It’s about how we relate to each other. Ectomorphs, the thinkers, can’t be in close contact for too long. If they’re having an intimate conversation, they’re likely to want to go away and disconnect
Is it possible to heal; to move past the behaviour stopping you from having a happy relationship? Yes, and that’s what I’ll be exploring in the podcast. We’ll be looking beneath the surface to find out what really works in finding love, and breaking some of the old ‘rules’ to find a smarter, more authentic and more successful way. Follow John Williams’ journey in his ‘The Love Challenge’ podcast for ‘Psychologies’ at psychologies.co.uk/love-challenge-podcast; theideaslab.org
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“Being a man is about taking responsibility for your life” When he became the UK’s first triple amputee, Mark Ormrod realised that manliness is more about living up to your full potential than being an alpha male INTERVIEW RIN HAMBURGH PHOTOGRAPH GARETH IWAN JONES
efore doing what I do now, I was a Royal Marines commando. In September 2007, I was deployed to Afghanistan for a six-month tour. On Christmas Eve, while on a routine foot patrol, I stood on and detonated an explosive device and became the UK’s fi rst triple amputee from the confl ict. I actually think I was pretty lucky. When something like that happens, there are two ways you can go. You can think, ‘Why did this happen to me?’ Or you can look at it, assess it and say, ‘Well, there isn’t a lot I can do about it now, so I’m just going to get on with it.’ That was my natural go-to attitude. In the beginning, it defi nitely shook how I saw myself as a man. I used to be 6ft 2in and weigh 16 stone – not from being fat, but from being fit and lifting weights. All of a sudden, at my lightest, I was just over 9 stone and, without prosthetics, stood at 3.5 ft tall. One day, I was a Royal Marine – one of the fittest professions in the country – the next, I was in a wheelchair, not even able to
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sit up without someone helping me. That really hurt at the beginning. I based a lot of who I was on being the alpha male macho guy, and it all got taken away from me. I had a few low moments in the fi rst few weeks after being injured. When I started doing rehab, it was really difficult physically. I realised physio is just as hard as military training, and it made me think, ‘If I can do this, then I’m still the man I was before.’ For me, being a man is about living up to your potential holistically; as an athlete, as a husband and as a father. It’s about trying to reach your potential in all those areas of your life and not making excuses for why you can’t do this or that. I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all when it comes to being a man. It’s about taking responsibility for your life instead of blaming everyone else, the situation or the government, for what’s gone wrong. markormrod.com
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What stereotype do you need to challenge? Limiting beliefs about men (and women) hold us all back from having more meaningful, equal relationships. Take our test to find out how unconscious bias influences your view of the sexes
Do you think many men in positions of power:
♥ Have supportive women behind them ◆ Can compartmentalise their feelings l Are doing a job that women could do equally well ■ Have more self-confidence than many women
Which quality would most put you off a potential male partner?
■ Passivity ♥ Immaturity ◆ Awkwardness l Arrogance
If a boyfriend was always late to meet you, you would be most likely to think: ♥ It’s ridiculous – how difficult is it to be on time? l He seems to think his time is more valuable than mine ◆ He has no idea how infuriating it is ■ Why can’t I meet someone more reliable?
Growing up, your father was:
■ Solid as a rock
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l Deferred to and looked after
◆ Kind but hard to talk to ♥ Never really there for you
The world would be a better place if:
♥ There were more women
in positions of power
◆ We all talked to each other more l Everyone was judged on their
individual merits ■ People got back in touch with old-fashioned values
In terms of professional success, the biggest hurdle for women is: ■ A general belief that women are nurturers, rather than hunters ♥ Women have to shoulder the bulk of society’s emotional labour ◆ ◊ A lack of confidence and self-belief l A cultural bias that favours men
If a man was to criticise you, he might label you:
♥ Too controlling or bossy ◆ ◊ Too emotional l Too easily offended
■ Too demanding or needy
An ideal partner is your: l Biggest ally
■ Rock ♥ Equal ◆ ◊ Best friend
In intolerant moments, you can’t help thinking that some men need to: ♥ Grow up ◆ ◊ Open up l Wake up ■ Man up
Generally speaking, men need a steer on:
◆ Communicating with women l Understanding women ■ What women want ♥ Taking more responsibility
Circle the answers that you most closely agree with, then add up the symbols. Read the section (or sections – sometimes there’s more than one) you circled most, to find out what stereotype you have bought into, and how it affects your perspective.
WORDS: SALLY BROWN. PHOTOGRAPHS: BONNIN STUDIOS/STOCKSY
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What stereotype influences your thinking? IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ♥
IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ◆
You’ve bought into the ‘men are big kids’ stereotype
You’ve bought into the ‘men are from Mars’ stereotype
Do you dismiss men as being ‘like children’ or ‘useless’? Maybe you’ve made that sweeping judgement because he doesn’t always sort the whites from the coloureds, forgot a birthday, or sometimes arrives later than the agreed time. It can be hurtful to be on the receiving end of ‘noncommittal’ behaviour, or lack of attention to detail, in a romantic relationship – but, while you might claim that your dismissal of men is ‘just banter’, the truth is it’s more likely to be a defence mechanism against disappointment. The cost to you is how you adjust your behaviour or expectations based on this stereotype. Do you hold back from taking risks in relationships because you expect to be let down? Do you shoulder more responsibility or take on more jobs because you don’t trust him to do them well? The trouble with giving people labels is that they tend to live up to them. If you’ve felt irritated, frustrated or hurt by an ‘affectionate’ put-down, you’ll know how toxic stereotyping can be. Raise your expectations of the ‘big kid’ in your life for a week, and see what happens.
‘Men aren’t in touch with their emotions.’ If you’re nodding, you’ve fallen for the ‘men are from Mars’ myth. There’s no doubt cultural expectations differ for boys and girls, and men may be more likely to absorb the message that it’s good to be stoic, but science shows little structural difference between the male and female brain, and men have a need for meaningful human connection, just like women. You’re not being smart by attributing conflict or misunderstanding to a man’s ‘lack of emotional intelligence’, you’re limiting yourself and missing out on an opportunity to understand the real dynamic between you, including the part that you play. Every man is an individual and deserves to be treated as such. If you judge someone as ‘repressed’ or ‘in denial’ because they don’t react in the way you would, you may be missing or dismissing the way they are expressing emotion. Try approaching each relationship with a ‘beginner’s mind’ and see what reveals itself.
IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ●
IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ■
You’ve bought into the ‘men have it easy’ stereotype
You’ve bought into the ‘knight in shining armour’ stereotype
No periods or childbirth… More likely to be respected at work, or get the job in the first place… Less likely to suffer from low confidence or mood swings… Not expected to ‘be nice’ or make everyone happy… Can turn up in the same clothes all week and no one will bat an eyelid… You can reel off reasons you think men ‘have it easier’ than women – and, yes, it’s important to acknowledge and fight inequality, but you also need to tap into an inner dialogue that empowers you. If you constantly tell yourself that the world is weighted against you, how does that make you feel? We may have work to do in terms of equality but finding an inner dialogue that inspires you, not demotivates you, will help you build personal power. If your inner narrative generates more resentment than determination, which keeps you stuck in a place of inaction, gently replace that inner script with one that enables you to challenge the status quo. What do you need to do differently to help you feel more empowered and question this stereotype?
You might not admit it, even to yourself, but you are holding onto the erroneous belief that all your problems will disappear when you are with the right man. This gender ‘conditioning’ is truly the stuff of fairy tales – princes and distressed damsels – but the trouble with putting men on a pedestal is that the only way for them is down, and you are setting the scene for failure, then disappointment. What potentially follows is resentment that he can’t take responsibility for, or fix, difficulties in your life. That sense of him coming up short can be a toxic undercurrent, colouring the way you both feel and behave. The added cost to you is that this stereotype increases the risk of losing your sense of self, or deferring your personal authority. The relief you may feel at not having to make decisions will be short-lived, until you realise the man you’ve elevated is not a demigod, just a flawed human being like you. You know that there is nothing to stop you getting on that horse and galloping towards a happy ending of your own making!
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#360me p82 The Plan l p89 The Open Mind Embracing the spaces in-between l p91 Feel Beautiful Products to soothe and renew l p92 The Journey Gender quality: do men really need to man up? l p94 Balance Plan Life-giving water l p97 Wholistic woman Henrietta Norton looks at natural remedies for PCOS l p99 Real Nutrition The awesome apple EDITED BY EMINÉ RUSHTON
Wild is the music of the “autumnal winds amongst the faded woods ”
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The plan #360me
Every month, the #360me team will be sharing our baby-steps approach to leading a healthier, happier life – expert-endorsed and real-life approved
The number of people suffering strokes or heart attacks as a result of diabetes will increase by 29 per cent by 2035, according to research by the British Heart Foundation.* There are four million people living with diabetes in the UK, but this is expected to rise to more than five million over the next 20 years, partly due to unhealthy lifestyles and growing obesity rates.
GOOD EVENING “Rower Holly Hill recently shared an insightful tip with me about making evenings feel longer, especially during the winter months. Instead of zoning out in front of the TV after work, dedicate some time every night to reading or learning a new skill, such as playing a musical instrument. These activities are more productive, and I’ve noticed making this switch means the working day doesn’t feel quite so encroaching” Hollie Grant, Fitness Editor @thepilatesPT
SHARE YOUR #360ME JOURNEY FOLLOW US #360me @eminerushton @psychologiesmagazine, psychologies.co.uk
82 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8
Slippers, £69, mahabis.com
CLASS SLIPPER ‘I’m a sucker for a slipper, and I follow Ayurvedic advice that suggests we keep our extremities and chests warm and covered up as the weather starts to cool. These cosy, comfy and funky slip-ons from Mahabis are just the ticket – they’re made to last, so will see me through many a year, and their non-slip soles are a bonus when I am dashing around after the children!’ @eminerushton
body Gently transformative ideas for a happier body
#360 LOVES... These fantastic new books explore the essentials of good health
THE AIR THAT I BREATHE
EDITED BY: ELIZABETH BENNETT. PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES; STOCKSY. *BHF.ORG.UK/WHAT-WE-DO/NEWS-FROM-THE-BHF/ NEWS-ARCHIVE/2018/AUGUST/GROWING-DIABETES-EPIDEMIC -TO-TRIGGER-SHARP-RISE-IN-HEART-ATTACKS-AND-STROKES-BY-2035
cells and brain with much-needed oxygen, which is vital for all our bodily processes. We take in essential qi (energy) from the air, which the lungs use to perform many functions that keep us healthy. To relieve stress, go for a walk in the crisp, clean autumn air, and fill your lungs with heavenly qi; allow it to wash through you, to calm and revive you.’ Annee de Mamiel, Spirit Editor @ademamiel
My Lumie alarm clock is a must as the mornings get darker. It wakes you up gradually, as if real sunlight is slowly filling up your bedroom CATHERINE TURNER, WELLBEING EDITOR @CATHERINEYOGI
Lumie Bodyclock Spark 100, £75, johnlewis.com
‘In traditional Chinese medicine, the bridge between autumn and winter is the season of our lungs. One of the best ways to strengthen the lungs is to breathe deeply. It sounds simple but most of us only ever take shallow breaths. This not only affects our immune system but our memory and energy levels, too. When we breathe deeply and with intention, we are flooding our
NEAL’S YARD REMEDIES COMPLETE WELLNESS BOOK, (Dorling Kindersley, £25) From balms and oils to soothe, to foods that help our gut thrive, a wonderfully #360me look at our wellbeing, from these holistic pioneers.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BREAST CANCER by Trisha Greenhalgh and Liz O’Riordan (Vermilion, £14.99) The first evidencebased book about breast cancer, written by two highly respected doctors who have both survived the disease.
THE LONGEVITY BIBLE (Godsfield Press, £14.99) A completely holistic examination of the sciencesupported factors that enable us to live fuller, happier and healthier lives – for longer.
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spirit Lift your spirit with these great finds and useful insights
“Kikki.K’s infectiously optimistic founder, Kristina Karlsson, brings wellbeing more tangibly into our lives and, with the Paper Lover’s range, she blends mindful crafting with tactile, pretty stationery. I love The Ultimate Paper Lover’s Book for rainy-day projects with the children, and secret solitary moments, when sticking and colouring just seem to make life better” @eminerushton
The Ultimate Paper Lover’s Book, £48, kikki-k.com
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BARE YOUR SOLE Spirit Editor Larah Davies invites us to take off our shoes and walk barefoot outside, a practice that rebalances and renews us, physically and emotionally ‘Earthing by Clinton Ober (Basic Health Publications, £23.95) examines how earthing – walking barefoot on the earth – reconnects the body with negative ions in the ground and restores balance for the positive ions. The Earthing team reveal how an excess of positive ions can create
JOIN THE DOTS ‘I highly recommend this captivating and inspirational book about The More Beautiful World embracing the Our Hearts Know Is idea that we’re all Possible by Charles living in a state of Eisenstein (North Atlantic Books, £15.99) mutual symbiosis – interconnectedness or “interbeing”. Its message stuck with me.’ Nicky Clinch, Spirit Editor @nicky_clinch
inflammation, which can lead to asthma, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. On an emotional level, earthing ‘grounds’ the overabundance of stimulation from our mind, body and nervous system, which can increase our anxiety and stress.’ Larah Davies, Spirit Editor @ibizaretreats
PODCASTS WE LOVE Sharing the power VITAL VOICES ‘This series of uplifting interviews with women in leadership equips those with business, marketing and communications skills to expand their enterprises, provide for their families and create jobs in their communities. Listen at itunes.apple. com/us/podcast/vital-voicesradio-podcast.’ Larah
mind This month’s food for thought... Tell us how you get on by using #360me
PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES; STOCKSY. *SCIENCEDAILY. COM/RELEASES/2018/04/180419100204.HTM
“While I was on a silent retreat in India, the teacher said to me, ‘Silent is an anagram of listen’ – and it was a light-bulb moment for me! It highlights the value of being quiet in order to really hear, not only to reconnect with ourselves, but also with others. Not listening is what leads to miscommunication” Catherine Turner, Wellbeing Editor @Catherineyogi
‘This is a powerful mantra. The first part, “I am”, allows you to own how you feel in the moment. The “I can” part encourages you to focus on what lies within your control. I like to draw on the “I can” to remind me of a strength that I have which will help me step up to meet the demands of a situation. For example: “I am tired” is the honest truth – but “I can also be resilient and motivated”. Or, if I am confused, I can call on my curiosity and resourcefulness to find clarity. Experiment with your “I am, I can” and see what you tap into. It’s an empowering excercise.’ Suzy Reading, Mind Editor @suzyreading
MAN V MACHINE ‘The subtitle of this enlightening book is “What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About The Most Human Being Alive” – a Human by Brian Christian great take on how AI (Penguin, £9.99) can help us see how robotic we’ve become, and what we can do to rediscover our humanity.’ Will
What you seek is seeking you
SILENCE IS A VIRTUE
I AM, I CAN
New research* published in the Journal Of Neuroimaging highlighted a link between a regular tai chi practice and both physical and psychological benefits. Participants in the study, conducted over 12 weeks, saw marked improvement to their brain metabolism and muscle energetics.
“THIS QUOTE FROM RUMI NEVER FAILS TO INSPIRE ME”
Will Williams, Mind Editor @willwilliamsmeditation
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gut Nurture your gut health for an overall feeling of wellbeing
‘It’s not as straightforward as a sprinkle of turmeric in your curry because, despite curcumin’s impressive properties on paper, it has one big drawback in that it has poor bioavailability (the amount we can absorb and use). This means you have to consume quite a bit for a therapeutic dose. Most
studies of curcumin use high-dose supplements to improve how easily it is absorbed, so the end result is unlikely to be equivalent to the turmeric we can buy. A review of 28 turmeric and curry powders found tiny amounts of curcumin, with a maximum of 3.14 per cent in turmeric powder.
But certain foods, like black pepper, boost absorption. My advice, therefore, is to continue to add turmeric to curry or a latte; It’s also good on roast cauliflower.’ Hazel Wallace @thefoodmedic ‘The Food Medic For Life: Easy Recipes To Help You Live Well Every Day’ by Hazel Wallace (Yellow Kite, £20)
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX “I’ve been ordering a weekly vegetable box from Riverford for almost a year and it still feels like Christmas when I open it! I love how it saves a trip the supermarket and forces me to experiment with new vegetables. I also admire how the business supports local farmers and how it’s now fully owned by its employees” Hollie; riverford.co.uk (box prices from £11.95) 86 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8
Quercetin and Vitamin C Complex, £33, theorganic pharmacy.com
Each month, we raise a topic for the consideration of medical doctor Hazel Wallace, who gives us her balanced, research-backed and definitive explanation
THE FACTS ABOUT TURMERIC
This is one of the most effective all-natural allergy remedies out there! To build up your body for next year’s high pollen counts, start taking natural remedies, aloe vera, bee pollen and raw local honey now”Eminé
Research* shows high levels of omega-6 protects against premature death. The 22-year study of 2,480 participants found the risk was 43 per cent lower in the group with the highest levels. Up your intake with flaxseed oil, pistachios or acai berries.
CAULIFLOWER SOUP WITH CURRY-FRIED APPLE I don’t know whether you’re a genius or evil when you ‘hide’ protein-rich butter beans in soup, says Ylva Bergqvist in ‘30-Minute Vegetarian’ (Hardie Grant, £16.99), but my guess is the former! Nutritious and creamy. SERVES 4 lO live oil, for frying and to serve l1 onion, diced l2 garlic cloves, crushed l800g cauliflower l200g cooked butter beans l500ml cashew or almond milk, unsweetened l300ml water l1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice lSalt FOR THE CURRY-FRIED APPLE apple, peeled, cored and diced lOlive oil, for frying l2tsp curry powder l100g pumpkin seeds lSalt and freshly ground black pepper l1
PHOTOGRAPHS: LENNART WEIBULL, FROM ‘30-MINUTE VEGETARIAN’ BY YLVA BERGQVIST; GETTY IMAGES; STOCKSY. *SCIENCEDAILY.COM
1 Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat for around 5 minutes, until soft. 2 Remove the green leaves from the cauliflower, cut them into smaller pieces and reserve them. Cut the rest of the cauliflower into small pieces. 3 Place the cauliflower, beans and nut milk in the saucepan. Add water to cover the contents, put on the lid and cook for around 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is completely soft. 4 To cook the apple, put the apple and reserved cauliflower leaves in a frying pan with a little olive oil, sprinkle over the curry
powder and fry until soft. Add the pumpkin seeds and ensure everything is warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. 5 Drain a little of the milk from the saucepan into a bowl. Blend the soup until it is smooth. Reintroduce the milk and/or water and dilute to your preferred consistency. Season with the lemon juice and salt. 6 Top the cauliflower soup with the fried apple and a drizzle of olive oil, to serve.
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FIGHT COLDS AND FLU WITH THREE TIMES THE POWER HRI Coldcare is the first herbal medicine to combine Echinacea plus Vitamin C and Zinc to prevent and treat colds and ﬂu. Winter doesn’t have to mean battling with colds and ﬂu. Take new HRI Coldcare - the only product formulation to combine Echinacea plus 100% RDA of Vitamin C and Zinc in one dose. Coldcare is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of colds and ﬂu. Based on traditional use only. Always read the label.
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the open mind
Eminé Rushton reflects on life’s trade-offs and demands, and remembers to nourish herself with serenity and acceptance in rare moments of quiet
Still of the night D
uring all my years of motherhood, I’ve been juggling full-time work with wanting to be as present a parent as possible. I’ve stretched and split myself into pieces in a bid to be home for bed and bath times, up before babies to meet deadlines and make calls, and sobbed my heart out when inevitable train diversions took me away from that promised bedtime story or nuzzling feed. It has not been easy. There, underneath so much of it, was that palpable knock of my heart, and tension, worry and guilt, with their caterwauling catcall, underlining the black-and-white fact that I have a family to support, and that I have chosen to be the working parent.
PHOTOGRAPH: PAUL EDMONSON/STOCKSY
In the past year, however, so much has changed. I no longer commute to work, which is undoubtedly the most enormous blessing. Yet, working from home has also come with emotional caveats. With just a single door separating my work from my family, lines are continually blurred… the kids think nothing of hopping over the threshold and onto my lap, as I type, edit or talk on the phone. During school holidays, when I must still work, my husband is forever shooting up the stairs with a wagging finger to usher them away, containing them temporarily behind another closed door. But, there I am… and there they are… still, somehow, together in the same house but also, mostly, elsewhere. It’s the oddest feeling and it has, in many ways, meant that life
feels even more non-stop than it did before, when (that old parental joke) one went to work for a rest. At night, there’s that temptation, too, with my work right there, to step back into that room and get a little bit more done to lighten tomorrow’s load. My sacred evenings, which are punctuated with rituals, breath, yoga and reading, have become that bit shorter – as my girls grow older and their bedtimes edge closer to my own, there’s a sense of coming to the end of one’s day with just a handful of crumbs to peck at. Because of this, I have learned that the most important thing I can do at the end of each day is… absolutely nothing at all. No phone to prompt me, no notepad to tempt me, no book to excite me. I may have only an hour before I fall into bed but using it for something slow, simple and restorative is what redresses that balance. Being still. Lying down. Breathing. Bathing. Meditating. Watching the moon. This is when the dust settles. This is when the busyness shows itself for what it really is – a symptom of wanting more: wanting to do more; wanting to be more. To be still, then, is the opposite: an act of complete acceptance. A radical act of saying to myself, in whatever moment I choose to do so, that nothing more is needed of me. I am enough.
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A Natural Approach To Menopause
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#LETSTALKMENOPAUSE Vitamin B1 contributes to normal psychological function and contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism. Vitamin B2 contributes to maintenance of normal skin and contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue. Vitamin B6 contributes to normal psychological function, contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism, contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue and contributes to the regulation of normal hormonal activity. Vitamin D contributes to normal absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorus, contributes to maintenance of normal bones and normal muscle function.
This lovely lightweight gel formula with squalene, coconut extract and melon and pomegranate seed oils, leaves skin noticeably smoother and hydrated, while also providing a deeper cleanse – keep on for up to 15 minutes, before buffing away with a flannel. ●
Wellbeing Pod, £90, Neom
PEACE IN A POD
You may have spotted the diminutive and super-chic white ceramic Wellbeing Pod on your Instagram feed – yes, it is beautiful. But, far more important, is just how effective it is, speedily yet discreetly diffusing scent throughout the home within a few minutes. Choose from Neom’s Wellbeing Essential Oil Blends, £20 each, or use your own favourite oils.
Eminé Rushton’s all-natural beauty bounty will soothe, nourish and renew
Hand Wash with Lavender, Geranium and Petitgrain, £42 for 1ltr, Bramley
Chia seed and rosehip oils, jojoba, camomile, rose geranium and evening primrose combine to produce this vibrant golden anti-inflammatory oil, that is highly recommended for sensitive skin. Three drops morning and night make a noticeable difference to the skin’s condition and radiance. ●
Cell Renewing Cleansing Mask, £38, Willow
With kiwi seed and hemp oils and shea butter, this unctuous golden-brown balm has many uses: as a deeply nourishing cleanser, a chapped skin panacea, brow tamer or lip balm. You decide!
Bloom & Glow Radiance Restoring Face Oil, £20.50, Angela Langford
This gorgeously scented lavender, geranium and petitgrain wash, from the little English brand with a big conscience, gets a double thumbs up from me. What’s more, Bramley is switching all its plastic packaging to biodegradable sugar cane by 2019 and a refill scheme is on the horizon. ●
The One Balm Original English Lavender, £30, Alexa Sky Botanicals
we believe that how we feel “ At ‘Psychologies’, is more important than how we look
FOLLOW US #360me @eminerushton @psychologiesmagazine lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk
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Man, oh man
Men should x… Women should y… Ali Roff explores the preconceived ideas we have about men, ‘success anxiety’ and how empathy might help us find equality for all
here is an elderly man I’ll always remember health, the way they deal with and share their feelings, and – he was eating an ice cream alone at the seaside. the pressures that they face. During a recent exchange with I found it heartbreaking. My friend commented a couple of male friends I see at the gym every morning, I was that it was probably the last way he wanted to be perceived. almost jubilant to hear one of them raise the subject of the She was right: I knew nothing about the man, so why did I feel pressure they feel to have their life ‘together’ – to have everything sympathy for him? My reaction tells me something about how in place: the car, the house, the job, the relationship – the very thing I have been exploring and hoping to cultivate we commonly view men, and what it means to be a man in our awareness around in this column. My other friend sprang society. Ultimately, feeling sorry for him was more about my to the edge of his seat: ‘Exactly! I beat myself up, striving own discomfort at a man appearing vulnerable. Men should towards this idea of success, but nothing be strong, silent and indestructible, right? Wrong – and I know this at my very core. I’m I do is ever good enough!’ Disable ‘should conscious about creating space for vulnerability in A few days ago, I received an email thinking’ my relationship. I take care to allow my husband from a man who had discovered my ● What ‘shoulds’ do you feel a safe place to share his emotions. I don’t expect website, saying that he wished there was about others? Men, women, children, family and friends? him to provide for me; we provide for each other a similar one for men. He felt trapped by as a team in every way possible. And yet, despite the judgements around perceived success ● How can you be more empathetic towards others, this, societal conditioning obviously has a – the emphasis on the trappings of wealth and challenge your ‘should’ subconscious grip on the way I see men in and having perfect families, perfectly preconceptions? the world – like it does so many other things. provided for by the man of the house. ● If you free others from The ‘shoulds’ rear their ugly head again. I had previously thought my male the ‘shoulds’ you impose friends did not experience the same on them, how can you free ‘The man-up trap’ level of ‘success anxiety’ as me; I look at yourself from the ‘shoulds’ I’ve had many interesting conversations with many of my male pals and see them flying you apply to your own life? male friends while writing the masculinity financially. But, despite the injustice I feel Dossier this month – around men’s emotional about the gender pay gap, it seems no
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Tip of the month
“ Ifouwer stcanoryshare with
someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive
PHOTOGRAPH: LAURA RICHARDSON. *THE MASCULINITY AUDIT, COMMISSIONED BY CALM
Challenge old ideas
Don’t miss the opportunity to confront the stereotypes you may have about men on page 74
matter how much money we earn, many of us still feel the pressures of success anxiety, and that is a lesson in itself. Another enlightening remark was by a friend who admitted he believed he couldn’t live up to his girlfriend. ‘She’s got her life all sorted out; she’s so impressive! If we broke up, she would continue to thrive, but I would sink. I self-destruct so I can prove to myself that I’m not good enough for her – it takes the pressure off having to match her.’ His revelation struck me because it was so honest and vulnerable. And, while men and women face many of the same demands, his words highlighted the differences between us in terms of success and our openness around it. Research* shows men still feel the pressure to be the provider and, perhaps for some, the success of modern women underlines their perceived shortcomings. One thing is clear to me, my friend’s frankness enabled me to feel empathy for him. I truly believe that by being open, honest and by sharing our experiences, empathy works both ways, which is essential if we want gender equality. Follow Ali Roff @AliandConnieRoff and download her free five-day ‘Self-Love’ course at aliandconnieroff.com. Follow Ali’s journey for more inspiration and ideas on Instagram @aliroff, and find out more about her yoga and mindfulness retreats at aliroff.com
STRESS ASSESSMENT Start an activity diary to measure your stress levels. Keep a record of everything you do during the day, the time the task took and your stress levels surrounding it – one being low and 10 being high. After a few days, examine your entries. What patterns can you see? This is your chance to become more aware of your experiences and find creative ways to better manage your time, and stress. MINDFUL READING Solitude: In Pursuit Of A Singular Life In A Crowded World by Michael Harris
(Popular Philosophy, £9.99) I’m an extroverted introvert so, while I’ve loved my busy summer, I inevitably find myself craving time alone after the glut of weddings, BBQs and group activities. However, I often get it wrong – holing up for too long creates an unhealthy dip in my wellbeing; there’s a big difference between being alone and loneliness. But, when done properly, solitude can enrich our lives dramatically, Harris argues beautifully. One for introverts and extroverts alike, as we naturally begin to hibernate as winter creeps in.
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Water of life Paul Rushton considers the most beneficial and mindful ways in which to consume water – for optimal health, balance and reflection
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PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
lmost all civilisations have bloomed by rivers, from the Ganges to the cenotes of Yucatan; sacred, vital water has been a font at which we have worshipped long before we could import it in plastic from beautiful Polynesian islands. Ayurveda would suggest that water be stored in glass or copper. Like the moon to which it is intimately linked, water brings calmness and coolness. In stillness, it reflects the sattvic mind; a mirror to the universe. As it is still or flowing, ice or vapour, ocean or droplet, water is nuanced and so are the ways in which it is optimally used. The Ayurvedic answer to how much water we should drink is equally nuanced and the question, perhaps, better reframed to how we should drink it. Unlike revenge, water is best served warm. A glass first thing in the morning, with an optional slice of fresh ginger or spritz of lemon, cleanses and prepares the body to digest. Cold or ice water is taxing to our systems. It reduces our bodily resistance, hampers digestion and leads to excessive mucus production. Instead, we should sip when we are thirsty and during mealtimes, where it combines with the food to ease its path. As the Rig Veda tells us, water is ‘the very breath of people’ – true life force. By hydrating gently and gratefully, we can find the river; brilliantly reflect and gracefully flow. balanceplan.co.uk; @thebalanceplan
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How can I deal with polycystic ovary syndrome naturally? Each month, bestselling author and speaker, Henrietta Norton, answers a health question and offers advice. In this issue, she takes a look at the minefield that is PCOS, and gives holistic suggestions to a reader with the condition
he prevalence of PCOS is thought to be five to 10 per cent of women, and involves a constellation of clinical and biochemical features. Women with PCOS produce a higher amount of a group of hormones called androgens, such as testosterone. It is thought that this excess is made by the adrenal glands and ovaries and is both affected by, and causes, imbalances in insulin, which is a pivotal hormone for blood-sugar management. It’s also thought that PCOS is genetic, so women with a family history of diabetes may have a higher risk of developing the condition. These imbalances in both androgens and insulin can result in symptoms including an irregular menstrual cycle, acne, excessive body hair, weight-management issues, mood changes and reduced ovulation or anovulation (cessation of periods). Some women who experience a number or a few of these symptoms would be diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. However, some do not experience any of the symptoms, but still present with polycystic ovaries.
The pivotal role of diet and exercise
PCOS is a complex condition involving multiple systems, and therefore requires holistic support, with diet and exercise playing a vital role in any treatment plan. It is important to support healthy glucose regulation with a diet low in grains and high glycaemic foods, refined sugars and trans fats, and rich in fibre from a variety of vegetables and pulses, as well as nourishing fats, such as seeds,
nuts, olive oil and avocados. Reducing your exposure to synthetic compounds that interact with hormone receptors – whether environmental, dietary or in cosmetics – can also be helpful. There is evidence to suggest that the health of the digestive system, detoxification efficiency and thyroid function can also influence the development and progression of PCOS, as well as our exposure to and management of tangible and intangible ‘stressors’. Finding the right support to help you achieve more ‘pause’ and balance in your daily life is crucial, whether that’s through gentle massage, reading, music or time spent in nature. Regular exercise outside improves your body’s production of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which helps to regulate oestrogen and testosterone, as well as support mood, stress and weight balance. In nutritional medicine, we also use a combination of nutrients and fatty acids, including chromium, alpha lipoic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, as well as a number of helpful herbs. Work with a naturopath or nutritional therapist to find the most appropriate supplement plan that works for you.
Our expert, Henrietta Norton, is a registered nutritional therapist, a women’s wellbeing writer and expert, and co-founder of food-grown supplements brand Wild Nutrition. wildnutrition.com; @wildnutritionltd
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A is for apple
Forbidden fruit? Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik is very much tempted by the benefits of the adaptable apple
pples have been used in multiple idioms: ‘the apple of my eye’, ‘the apple never falls far from the tree’ and, probably most famously, when it comes to nutrition anyway, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. Apples certainly have anecdotal celebrity, and maybe this is due to their myriad health benefits. Firstly, apples are one of the best sources of pectin, a non-digestible fibre, which can have positive effects on gut health, helping to keep things moving along. Pectin also encourages the growth of beneficial gut bacteria; and supports these microbes to produce butyrate, an important antiinflammatory substance that is necessary for the health of cells in our colon, and has a protective role for our immune system. Secondly, apples are a rich source of many different polyphenols, types of antioxidant compounds, that can also have a ‘feeding’ effect for gut bacteria. One of these antioxidants is quercetin, which may support the immune system and, since apples also contain vitamin C, this can have a twofold impact on potentially enhancing immunity. Both pectin and polyphenols found in apples have been associated with improved lipid metabolism, meaning healthier cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular
Willy’s Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother, £5.95, is made from fruit that’s been untouched for 300 years. Unfiltered and unpasteurised, this is one special souse! ● coombefarmorganic.co.uk
Buy local apples as air miles on this fruit really rack up for no good reason – we have delicious Brit varieties. Check out farmers’ markets or visit an orchard and pick your own. Have a look at pickyourownfarms.org.uk to find your garden of Eden!
functioning. There has also been a link between apples and better blood sugar regulation that can help with weight management. However, try to eat organically grown apples as they are one of the fruits with the highest use of pesticides when farmed otherwise. Although the proverb says an apple a day, technically, it is thought to be closer to two to really tap into the benefits but, if it is just one, it will add up. When apples are lightly stewed (with skins) pectin is more easily accessible to our gut bacteria. I suggest making a batch with a sprinkle of cinnamon and leaving in the fridge to dollop on top of porridge or spread on sourdough toast with almond nut butter. You could also add julienned to homemade slaw for a fruity twist, or just crunch into one whole as nature intended: sweet and simple. evekalinik.com; @evekalinik
Try the recipe for ‘Stewed cinnamon apples and honey kefir cream’ in my book, Be Good To Your Gut (Little, Brown, £20). ● amazon.co.uk
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The Retreat p102 The Words New season, new reads, new inspiration l p106 Well Travelled: Retreat Special Reconnect with you on restorative getaways hand-picked by Caroline Sylger Jones l p114 48 Hours Miraculous Marrakech l p116 Living Be brave and create a vibrant, colourful home l p122 Feasting ‘Brunch’ is the new buzzword!
The thankful “receiver bears a plentiful harvest
PHOTOGRAPH: CAMERON ZEGERS/STOCKSY
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Book of the month
Why I write…
Author and word fanatic, Russ Litten, is writer-in-residence at education charity First Story. Here, he defines his love affair with his craft
hat does writing mean to me? Everything, really. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love reading and telling stories. From a very young age, I was devouring comics about spacemen and dinosaurs, and filling exercise books with my own fantastic felt-tipped worlds. Gradually, the speech bubbles above my characters’ heads became bigger, pushing the drawings out of the frame. Fiction became my favourite playground. I had a Christmas story published in the local paper as part of a primary school competition and, ever since then, it’s always been there; this unshakeable habit. I realised long ago that my state of mind deteriorates if I don’t write almost every day. Writing is self-therapy. Capturing an emotion in words makes it feel more real. Of course, it’s not all heavy mind soup. Writing, for me, is also pure evasion,
a handy escape hatch from the appalling horror show that is much of the modern world. A blank sheet of paper is another universe waiting to happen. It’s always a relief to go there. I write every day, so it makes sense to try and earn a living out of it. Apart from books and commercial writing, I’ve been blessed to work with First Story, the Writers in Prison Network and Arvon, whose creative writing workshops allow people to explore the redemptive wonders of the written word. Writing encourages empathy, which I think we’ll need in abundance through the coming decades. It has been my function and duty to myself all my life. I also think it’s a form of prayer; an agnostic’s prayer – a way of talking to the most hidden part of ourselves.
Russ Litten is author of ‘Scream If You Want To Go Faster’ (Cornerstone, £7.99), ‘Swear Down’ (Profile Books, £7.99) and ‘Kingdom’ (Wrecking Ball Press , £10); russlitten.com
First story The charity changes lives through writing, believing there is dignity in every young person’s tale. We bring professional writers into secondary schools in low-income communities, to foster students’ creativity and communication skills. We’ve helped many young people tell their stories, and the majority are now more confident, write and read more, and are more engaged with their school communities. For information, and details of how to support us, go to firststory.org.uk or email us at email@example.com
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BRIDGE OF CLAY By Markus Zusak (Doubleday, £18.99)
The bestselling author of The Book Thief returns with a lush, lyrical and conflicted look at masculinity, in all its strengths and weaknesses. The five Dunbar brothers are growing up without grown-ups in a ramshackle house where they make their own rules. They are a jostling, rowdy, fighting family, who are mourning their dead mother and disgusted by the father who abandoned them. But then Clay, the fourth brother, quiet and haunted, heads to his father to help him build a bridge, (both literal and metaphorical), upending all the old certainties, and opening the way for forgiveness in their raging, ruptured lives.
WORD OF THE MONTH
We are sure that you experienced the surprise of curglaff at some point over the summer – it’s the shock felt when plunging into cold water.
Summer might be over, but it makes way for blankets, bedsocks and long nights cuddled up with a good book. Doesn’t sound so bad to us…
Bloody Brilliant Women
EDITED BY ALI ROFF. MAIN REVIEWS: EITHNE FARRY. PHOTOGRAPHS: SHUTTERSTOCK; GETTY IMAGES.
By Cathy Newman (William Collins, £20) In the roll call of history, it’s often the men that get honorable mention – with the exception of Elizabeth 1, Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale. Here, Cathy Newman redresses the balance with a spirited look at the ‘pioneers, revolutionaries and geniuses history forgot to mention’, championing the complex, independent-minded women who changed all our lives for the better. She concentrates on modern Britain, and celebrates biologist Anne McLaren, whose work in genetics paved the way for IVF, as well as the suffragettes, Barbara Castle and Anita Roddick.
There’s no better time to get into the habit of writing than with an evening review. Think about your day by writing in your journal, using these prompts: what was your greatest achievement today? What emotions did you ignore or overlook? What learning can you take into tomorrow? Jackee Holder is an author, coach and facilitator. jackeeholder.com; @jackeeholder
Shark pencil cases cases, £1 each; Africa book, £2, all uk.flyingtiger.com
Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart HARUKI MURAKAMI, KAFKA ON THE SHORE
The Bus On Thursday By Shirley Barrett (Fleet, £12.99) There’s a careening out-of-control pace to Shirley Barrett’s brilliant second novel, as it rushes headlong into a darkly funny story in the company of a riotous, jinxed heroine. Eleanor has survived breast cancer, is single, and hasn’t much going on in her life, so she takes a supposedly dream teaching job in out-of-the-way, eerie Talbingo. And then the nightmare really begins, as revealed in her hilarious blog, when she finds herself at the mercy of some very strange locals, with some very worrying ways.
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Get ready for Halloween. La Rochelle nautical globe lanterns in stainless steel, from £69.95, cuckooland.com
We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories
MARGARET ATWOOD, THE HANDMAID’S TALE
LOST IN TRANSLATION
Mamihlapinatapei Language: Yagan
(Indigenous language of the Tierra del Fuego region in South America)
Unsheltered By Barbara Kingsolver (Faber, £20)
A meaningful look between two people – both wanting to initiate something, but reluctant to begin.
In the present day, Willa Knox is grappling with a falling-down home and fraught family life. In the same house in 1871, teacher Thatcher Greenwood is chaffing against the conventions of small-town life and a new marriage – his closeness to intellectually curious biologist Mary Treat proving a far cry from the constraints of his own life. In alternating chapters, both Willa and Thatcher come to realise that, while the future may be uncertain, shelter can be found in the bonds of the kindred, and the strength of the human spirit.
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The Corset By Laura Purcell (Raven Books, £12.99) In Laura Purcell’s second thrilling, chilling Gothic tale, teenage Ruth Butterham is a seamstress, who believes she has an uncanny ability to cause harm with the power of her stitches. Imprisoned for murder, she’s visited by young, well-to-do and educated Dorothea, who is convinced there’s a rational explanation for Ruth’s crime and her murderous creations. But the more she hears of Ruth’s story, with all bitterness, betrayal and deadly dresses, the more she wonders if science can be a match for the supernatural, in this deliciously dark mystery.
Cat owners rejoice! Finally, a book designed to help you not only create a happy home for your cat, but also understand the inner workings of their mind, so that you can live together harmoniously. It’s a fascinating and funny read, with great illustrations for anyone who loves or lives with cats. ‘Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide To Life With Your Cat’ by Jackson Galaxy (Penguin, £12.99)
Reclaim your life
Take control of your situation, work and space
Can you combat overwhelming anxiety the natural way? PHOTOGRAPH: TRINETTE REED/STOCKSY
Calm down, dear
Stop feeling irritated
‘I don’t want to go home for Christmas’ l
Living the dream
We explore if it’s truly feasible to travel
the world in freedom as a digital nomad l
How much is enough? Make the leap from scarcity to abundance
Don’t miss the DECEMBER issue – on sale 30 October
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Retreats to help you live well As our world ebbs and flows in highs and lows, retreating helps us step back, reassess and rejuvenate, so we can re-enter our lives and re-engage, infused with positive energy. Reignite your creative self, work through strong emotions, use the power of silence to heal, or refresh with yoga and holistic treatmentsâ€Ś These are Retreat Editor Caroline Sylger Jonesâ€™s best retreats for 2019, tried and tested by writers who care >>>
ABOVE FROM LEFT Atsitsa Bay, with its glistening blue waters and pebbled shores, is the ideal backdrop for creative expression – whether you paint, draw or write your way to wellness on the Greek island of Skyros; quiet time on the beach at dawn releases the artist; at Artful Retreats in Crete, art therapy provides a mindful space for recognition of your needs
Reconnect with your creative being ATSITSA BAY, SKYROS, GREECE
ARTFUL RETREATS, CRETE
SET IN A HILLSIDE park a stone’s throw from a number of pebble beaches, Atsitsa Bay, one of Skyros Holidays’ two locations on the island, is the perfect creative environment. From July until September, sign up for two courses a day from a choice of eight. Topics and teachers change weekly, but yoga, singing and creative writing are staples. Other activities include painting, drawing and making mosaics, as well as mind, body and sport options. Everything is optional, so you can create a bespoke one- or two-week stay. Guests congregate for lovely Mediterranean buffet-style meals, eaten on wooden tables under a pergola in the open air. Accommodation is in rustic huts with communal showers in the geranium-filled garden. The retreat is set up is as a community, with participants pitching in with everyday tasks. You’re encouraged to participate in 45-minute ‘oekos’ group meetings: small daily gatherings where people share in turn whatever comes up without judgement, comment or advice. Atsitsa Bay has a way of restoring self-belief. Bring an open mind for an affordable adventure that leaves one feeling that it’s never too late to start anything.
ENLIGHTENING AND CLEVER, art therapy retreats take place a few times a year on set dates at two tastefully converted villas on a private olive grove estate, a short walk from the heritage village of Gavalochori. Retreats are led by Cretian art therapist Penelope Orfanoudaki and mix art therapy principles with yoga, walks, tasty Mediterranean meals and visits to local artists. You don’t have to be ‘good at art’ to attend, and you won’t learn how to paint or draw. Instead, expect an exciting creative space to help you become mindful, express yourself and rediscover your needs. Art therapy retreats are especially useful for those with stressful lives, who want to live more in the moment. There are no rights or wrongs in the creative process, and there is no need for an aesthetically pleasing result. The art therapist does not interpret artwork, but will encourage participants to reflect on what they have created, and how it relates to themselves. Workshops take place in a lovely studio, outside on terraces beside olive trees and fragrant herbs, or by the pool. Book for 16-19 or 21-26 May 2019.
l More information: From £675 pp sharing, including accommodation, all meals
l More information: From £702 pp for three nights and four days, including all meals, classes, activities and transfers. +30 698 587 5903; artfulretreats.com
and course-based programme. 01983 865566; skyros.com
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ABOVE FROM LEFT At the Talalla Retreat in Sri Lanka, yoga is taught twice daily by seasoned professionals in the beachside shala. You can also ‘Fall in love with your yoga practice’ on a dedicated retreat; be inspired by the contrasting surroundings of crashing ocean and whispering forest and, if surfing is your passion and water your natural habitat, Talalla is ideal for you
Relax and rejuvenate in paradise
WORDS: JANE ALEXANDER; SASHA BATES; ELIZABETH BENNETT; SARAH GARBETT; NIKI NATARAJAN; PAUL RUSHTON. PHOTOGRAPH: PREVIOUS PAGE, MICHAEL ABRIL/GALLERY STOCK
TALALLA RETREAT, SRI LANKA ARRIVING AT TALALLA is like stepping into a picture postcard: hidden at the end of a mile-long stretch of golden sand, fringed with palm trees; the sea scattered with fishing boats. Set just east of Matara on Sri Lanka’s south coast, it’s a laid back, boutique hotel with a wellness offering that was founded 20 years ago and has been drawing loyal fans ever since for yoga, Pilates, Ayurveda, surfing and rest. Set in lush gardens, the hotel is open all year and has a 20-metre freshwater lap pool, an Ayurvedic spa, yoga shala and fitness area. Accommodation is in bamboo huts, with outdoor bathrooms (and sometimes cheeky toque macaques monkeys) or modern villas with sea or pool views. Rooms are minimally decorated but all have rustic four-poster beds, comfy seating areas and traditional wooden furniture. Talalla is all about balance, and specialises in holidays with a wellbeing twist, where guests choose how active and healthy they want to be. There are no strict diets or meal plans – instead there’s a mix of Sri Lankan and Western dishes, with an abundance of tropical fruit, fresh fish and inventive veggie
curries – but there’s also excellent coffee, cocktails and desserts. Twice-daily drop-in yoga classes are held in the breezy beachside shala with views of the ocean, taught by a rotating roster of experienced teachers. In the morning, it’s an energising practice, while the evening is a restorative mix of yin and breathing, but both end in a much-deserved shavasana to the hypnotic sound of breaking waves. In between, swim in the crystal-clear sea, tot up lengths in the pool, surf or take it easy in shaded hammocks or at the spa for Ayurvedic-inspired massages, herbal body scrubs and tropical facials. For a more immersive wellbeing holiday, Talalla offers all-inclusive packages with a focus on yoga, surfing or wellness. These have a more regimented schedule and are a great option for solo travellers. On the ‘Fall in love with your yoga practice’ retreat, there is twice-daily yoga as well as meditation, including visualisations, walking and ecstatic dance, and workshops covering alignment, philosophy and home practice.
“Accommodation is in bamboo huts, with outdoor bathrooms (and sometimes cheeky monkeys)”
l More information: From £45 pp per room per night B&B.
+94 41 225 9171; talallaretreat.com
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ABOVE FROM LEFT The Bridge Retreat, in rural Somerset, is the brainchild of Donna Lancaster and Gabi Krueger, where baring your soul to like-minded people in a protected space is a truly restorative experience; sensitive care delivered with professionalism in a restored farmhouse in the English countryside
Detoxify emotionally and heal your heart THE BRIDGE RETREAT, SOMERSET ‘TO WITNESS AND BE WITNESSED’ is a powerfully intimate, necessary and yet rare event: simple in theory, but difficult to find in practice. It is this bearing witness that The Bridge aims to facilitate in its unique five-night healing experience. In a gorgeously refurbished farmhouse in rural Somerset, groups of eight to 14 people gather to work through the painful losses, traumas and childhood betrayals that may be influencing their decisions on an unconscious level. The philosophy is that if loss is not acknowledged overtly, it will seep out surreptitiously, revealing itself in illness, depression, poor relationships or plain unhappiness. The Bridge helps people recognise, feel and share their grief with others who care, who will hold that knowledge gently and without judgement. At the helm are highly skilled therapeutic facilitators: co-founders of The Bridge, Donna Lancaster and Gabi Krueger, who have pooled their experience to devise a powerful healing journey, delivered compassionately and professionally. The Bridge venue, 42 Acres, plays a substantial part in creating a safe, nurturing atmosphere: calm, enveloping rooms; lush all-encompassing nature; and plenty of delectable, healthy food, in which you can clearly taste
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not just on-trend and powerfully nutritional ingredients – turmeric, coconut oil, kefir, cinnamon and seeds – but also the genuine love and creativity that has gone into making the inventive and appetising combinations. Specific details of the programme are kept secret (for no off-putting reasons, but because the experts feel they defy description when taken out of context). What can be revealed is that The Bridge combines valuable psychoeducation – psychological theory is explained in clear, concise and digestible form – with exercises that involve using the body and voice, considered rituals, and pair and group work, to explore the unconscious and embodied ‘wounds’ that have become so much part of us, that we believe they are what ‘normal’ feels like. The aim, say the founders, is to support people in achieving optimum spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual health, in order to live life to its fullest potential, and to share their gifts with the world: ‘Crossing The Bridge takes courage of heart, wisdom of soul, and vulnerability of emotions,’ are their heartfelt words of encouragement. l More information: From £2,650 pp in a shared room with full board, full retreat
programme and pre- and post-retreat support. 07510 325304; thebridgeretreat.com
ABOVE FROM LEFT Path of Love UK headquarters is Buckland Hall, a stately property in scenic Wales, where soul-searching participants seek release from their emotional shackles, using the mystical, non-religious principles of the Rajneesh movement; by the end of the intense experience, strong connections are made
PATH OF LOVE, WALES AND WORLDWIDE PATH OF LOVE AIMS to heal, end self-defeating patterns, and open the heart to love, awareness and personal power in brave groups of around 70 participants, with an almost 1:1 ratio of staff to guests. Retreats are held around the world, from Australia to the United States and Brazil. In the UK, home base is Buckland Hall, a large hotel deep in the Welsh countryside, surrounded by grassed terraces and beautiful woodland. The retreat is physically challenging, with mammoth dance meditations and its trademark ‘burns’ – long, intense and cathartic sessions with music cleverly selected by the resident DJ, to guide the large group to deep release. This is where Path of Love staff come into their own, intuiting exactly what each participant needs. That might involve venting suppressed rage via – safely contained – punching, wrestling and screaming, or dancing wildly and passionately, or softly, cheek to cheek. Alternatively, they may offer you the chance to be held, with unconditional love, as you come to terms with past
betrayals and sorrow. Outside these therapeutic processes, you spend time in small groups, each guided by two facilitators and a team of support staff. It’s said that, by the end of the week-long retreat, your group will probably know you better than your family and friends. Expect to delve into the darkest depths of your soul, sharing shame, guilt, anger and heartbreak in a supportive and non-judgemental space. Path of Love is the ‘heartchild’ of former Osho sannyasins, Rafia Morgan and Turiya Hanover and, like the mystical Rajneesh movement, it’s a bit Marmite – you’ll either fall passionately in love with it or shake your head in sceptical bemusement. It also has a deeply spiritual edge, while remaining strictly nonreligious. Alongside the wild catharsis sit contemplative processes, intended to open your connection to a wider sense of consciousness. It’s heady stuff.
“It might involve venting suppressed rage via punching, wrestling and screaming, or dancing wildly”
l More information: The next UK retreat is 8-15 November. From £1, 800 pp for the programme plus £450 for accommodation. + 39 338 370 4893; pathretreats.com
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ABOVE FROM LEFT At the bottom of Mount Batukaru, on an ancient site that has served as a sanctuary for centuries, lies the Bali Silent Retreat; practise yoga and meditate peacefully under the guidance of Sang Tu and Patricia, who provide a range of accommodation surrounded by lush rice fields, far from the madding crowd in the tourist hotspots
Declutter your life in a veil of silence BALI SILENT RETREAT, BALI NON-PROFIT AND OFF THE GRID, Bali Silent Retreat is a consciously created, beautifully designed safe haven in the Tabanan region of southern Bali. Situated on four hectares of land at the base of Mount Batukaru on the site of an ashram dating back to 1487, it offers the chance to blend into the background and go about your day in total peace, practising the art of doing nothing, or working out what you do need. There are meditation and yoga classes in the mornings and afternoons, led by English-speaking volunteer teachers from around the world. And there’s plenty of wandering to do – through the organic kitchen and medicinal gardens or the small labyrinth. When you feel tired, you can relax on a huge bean bag in the common space with a book from the library, take in the serene, pastoral views, hang out in the shady yoga ‘bale’ (think open-sided dome with wooden floor) or meditate under the holy water spout. Every day, there is a free ride to wonderful local hot springs and, once a week, to a butterfly farm (the only place with an internet connection for miles). There are also stargazing beds on which to recline, a ‘crying bench’ where you can let out suppressed emotion, and a jungle path, carved out to take you down through the lush tropical vegetation and over a
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bamboo bridge to the river. Apart from the teaching of yoga and night talks, the silence is only broken three times a day by the meal gong, informing you that the consistently tasty spread is ready but, if you do need to chat or use your phone, there is a designated area in which to do so. Founders, Balinese Sang Tu and Bali-based American Patricia, are present much of the time, with Sang Tu often guiding a walk through the rice fields, as well as the UNESCO-protected surrounding area. She also delivers talks in the evenings. Stay in one of three types of accommodation, from dormitory to private bungalow, all of which are simple but immaculate. In the bungalow, ginger tea is left on your veranda at 5am. If silent meditation, such as vipassana, appeals to you, this retreat is the perfect introduction, and you can check in for as long as you like. Otherwise, it can be the perfect antidote to the touristy side of Bali, and somewhere you can interact with the Balinese people without it feeling staged. Sunsets over the rice fields and mountains ground and astound in equal measures. A day pass is also available but, in all cases, book ahead.
l More information: From £19 pp per night in a dorm to £70 pp per night in a private bungalow, including all meals, classes, nightly talks and excursions. +62 852 3734 7608; balisilentretreat.com
ABOVE FROM LEFT A traditional machan hut is a place of solace and reflection on the coconut plantation that houses the Shreyas retreat, not far from Bangalore in India; one of the poolside cottages for retreaters, who can embrace a time of simple joy surrounded by nature; regular meditation brings deeper exploration of self, and the chance to properly relax
SILENT RETREAT, SHREYAS, INDIA ON A 25-ACRE organic coconut plantation near Bangalore, Shreyas embodies the rich Indian spiritual tradition that recognises the essential divinity in everything. It is easy to accept this among the coco palms and shocks of bamboo, birdsong ringing through foliage, beaming greetings from staff and tented garden rooms, where sleep is infused with nature. As well as yoga, Ayurveda and nutrition-led wellbeing programmes, silent retreats are run all year, with the hush bringing a deeper exploration of the gentle, customised schedules. (How long you are silent and who you are silent with can be customised.) Days flow around hatha and ashtanga yoga, and sound meditation with hand-picked teachers facilitating deep rest, immersion in nature, restorative spa treatments and revitalising practices such as yoga nidra (psychic sleep) and trataka (candle meditation). With silence comes permission to step back, observe and rest deeply. It allows for openness and presence, mindfulness and mindlessness. Mealtimes are a delightful meditation to savour slowly,
when produce from the organic gardens and dairy from home-raised cows contribute to tantalising, thali-style, sattvic dishes, which vibrate with vitality and flavour; the kind of nourishment and satisfaction only drawn from care and variety. The gardens also provide medicinal herbs used to prepare oils, scrubs and masks for use in the spa, where treatments and therapies range from Ayurveda and naturopathy to mud therapy and acupuncture, and authentic massages include abhyanga, Balinese, Thai and Swedish – every one graciously and expertly rendered. Options such as walking meditation, cooking lessons, tending the organic gardens or sharing a meal with the children at the Shreyas orphanage invoke a simpler way of village and ashram living. With bodily restoration, comes the higher prize of a peaceful conversation with our deeper selves. With silence comes surrender and a simpler, purer joy.
“With silence comes permission to step back, observe and rest… openness and mindfulness”
l More information: From £2,287 in a garden or poolside cottage, inclusive of service charge and government tax, for a seven-night silent retreat. +91 99 161 1 0434; shreyasretreat.com
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Magical Marrakech Leona Gerrard uncovers a world of snake charmers, spice sellers and souks in Morocco
arrakech is a delightful shock to the senses. I can’t believe that in just over three hours, I’m in the midst of the medina, being walked by my guide to the riad where I’ll be staying, which contains exquisite green-tiled floors, fountains, fez hats and birdsong. A refreshing mint tea later, I receive directions to the market, heading for the main square and souks. I’m dazzled by treasures: silks, leather, silver, hand-carved trinket boxes and baskets. I haggle for a small wooden box with a toy snake inside for my son – 50 dirhams… ‘That’s a good deal,’ the riad manager tells me later. The day ends with a traditional hammam scrub; black soap with olive stones and eucalyptus is used to exfoliate and cleanse the body – Moroccans go to hammam baths weekly to partake in this ritual. I sleep peacefully after this deep and spiritual relaxation.
Secret gardens and daydreams
Morning prayers wake me from my slumber, and I’m ready to explore. This time a hair-raising taxi ride to the Marjorelle Gardens, restored by Yves St Laurent and Pierre Bergé, who first became enchanted with the gardens when they visited in 1966. The surroundings remind me of childhood African holidays mixed with Asian adventures. Lotus flowers drift on peaceful ponds, alongside the tallest palm trees imported from the South Pacific, east Africa and India. Dinner is in a hole in the wall… at least that’s the restaurant’s name in French – Le Trou au Mur. I float to the rooftop on the breeze, enticed by a chilli passionfruit cocktail and some barbecued mixed lamb meshoui. As I leave Marrakech, I feel I must somehow have uncovered a magic lamp in the souk, because I’m sure a genie has granted one of my wishes… this.
PHOTOGRAPH: 4CORNERS IMAGES
Romantic riad Leona was hosted by Wix Squared, a tailor-made tour operator. Wix Squared offers a two-night trip to Marrakech staying at Riad Farnatchi, from £400pp, including accommodation, transfers, a royal hammam at Farnatchi Spa and flights with British Airways. wixsquared.com, 020 3808 6383; riadfarnatchi.com; trouaumur.com
N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 115
An unapologetically vibrant saturated blue shade enlivens this dining area. The gleaming Tom Dixon copper pendant and the light, modern furniture balance out the boldness
This homeowner follows no rules when it comes to choosing colour, so the grey-green walls, the yellow Ligne Roset armchair, the red vintage rug and blue paint were all part of a layering process that evolved over time
Bold and beautiful
Expressing your true self in your home takes guts, but itâ€™s time to let go of the fear of being judged and surround yourself with vibrant, energetic hues PHOTOGRAPHS BY CATHERINE GRATWICKE EDITED BY DANIELLE WOODWARD A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 117
THIS PAGE This eye-popping mural with electrifying papaya, hot pink and busy patterns brings the kitchen to life. The colour scheme continues with apple green on the walls and bright metal stools
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RIGHT In this living room, the furniture is upholstered in three different velvets, with personality introduced via cushions, artworks and accessories. Green velvet curtains throw yet another shade in the mix
uthor of new book Be Bold, Emily Henson, says: ‘Interiors, emotions and lifestyle choices are all interconnected. The way we decorate our homes directly correlates with the way we feel.’ Henson admits that she was inspired at a low point in her life to decorate with ‘joyful patterns, gutsy colours and exhilarating paint treatments’, and how, even though she wasn’t feeling bold, she was creating a home for the way she wanted to feel. She says: ‘Allowing yourself to be bold takes courage and you have to let go of the fear of being judged, but sometimes it’s important to fake bravery until you really feel it.’ There are lots of ideas on how to experiment with paint, creating a riot of pattern, and choosing furniture in unusual shades, such as pale pink, sage green and aquamarine. Henson also takes a peek behind the doors of some bold homes full of character, to give you inspiration for your own vibrant room schemes. ‘Be Bold: Interiors For The Brave Of Heart’ by Emily Henson (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) is published on 9 October
Thanks to a tight colour story of black, white, blue and mustard, the large kitchen/dining room doesnâ€™t feel overwhelming. The Mosaic del Sur encaustic tiles that line the wall between the pantry cupboards create an interesting feature
Frida Kahlo cushion cover, £31, iansnow.com
Coushto armchair, £262, houzz.co.uk
Go for it! If you’re unsure where to begin when adding bold touches to your rooms, thinking about the colours you like and are drawn to is a great starting point. As well as paint – test the waters by painting something small; paint part way up the walls of a room and leave the top white; or use two different colours on a wall – you can also add colour and pattern with textiles, furniture and accessories. Look out for items that catch your eye to fill an empty corner or add a sense of theatre to a room, creating a work of art – how about an oversized floor lamp or a rabbit pot hanger? Definitely a talking point! Cobalt vase, £13.95, annabeljames.co.uk
Clockwise from back: glass and vase, both £3.99 each, tkmaxx.com; tumbler, £3, johnlewis.com
Dibrell bar stool, £74.99, wayfair.co.uk
Cactus vase, £42, abodeliving. co.uk
Rabbit pot hanger, £7, marquisanddawe.co.uk
Reader offer Harper velvet sofa, £1,500, sofa.com
Bamboo basket set, £95, outthereinteriors.com
Psychologies readers can buy a copy of Be Bold (RRP £19.99) for the special price of £14, plus postage and packing.* To order, go to rylandpeters.com and quote the code BOLDPSYCHOLOGY at the checkout.*
POSTAGE AND PACKING IS £2.95 FOR THE FIRST ITEM AND £1.95 FOR ADDITIONAL ITEMS. OFFER CLOSES ON 30 NOVEMBER 2018
Orla Kiely plant pot, £40, cuckooland.com
Bow floor lamp, £89, made.com
Roberts Revival Uno radio radio, £149.99, johnlewis.com
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Let’s do brunch! Break out of the usual breakfast-on-the-run routine with these mouthwatering ideas from Lantana Cafe Breakfast & Brunch RECIPES SHELAGH RYAN PHOTOGRAPHS KATE WHITAKER AND ADRIAN LAWRENCE EDITED BY DANIELLE WOODWARD
ustralian Shelagh Ryan, author of Lantana Cafe Breakfast
& Brunch opened her first cafe in 2008 to introduce to London everything she and her co-owners, Michael Homan and Caitlin Ryan, love about the thriving Aussie cafe culture. They’ve since opened
FRENCH TOAST WITH HONEY ROAST FIGS, ORANGE MASCARPONE AND TOASTED ALMONDS Nothing says ‘Saturday morning’ better than French toast. The orange mascarpone cuts perfectly through the thick, eggy brioche. SERVES 2 l
another three branches and have
captured favourite recipes in
2 tbsp single cream ½ tsp grated orange zest,
a new book, which celebrates the most important meal of the day
plus extra to serve 1 tbsp freshly squeezed
and shows how versatile it can be. Ryan says she is ‘one of those
orange juice 4 ripe figs, cut in half
annoying morning people that wake
early and full of energy. I know many
people find it hard to be adventurous
Clear honey, to drizzle
with breakfast, especially if you need
100g whole almonds
to be out the door in 10 minutes. But,
for those days when you have the
luxury of time, breakfast or brunch can be gloriously indulgent’. There are creative takes on fruit and grains, inspiring ideas for eggs, baked savoury tarts, numerous
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract 1 tsp granulated sugar
2-4 thick slices of brioche
Unsalted butter, for frying
Icing sugar, for dusting 2 baking sheets, greased
colourful salads and beautiful breads and bakes. Take a look at the selection we’ve chosen here and get planning for a delicious weekend brunch – as Ryan says, ‘You might just find yourself becoming an annoying morning person.’
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and lined with baking parchment
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Mix the
mascarpone with the cream, orange zest and juice in a small mixing bowl. Cover and set aside. 2 Place the figs, cut-side up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with honey and roast for 15-20 minutes until caramelised. Remove from the oven and set aside. Meanwhile, scatter the almonds on the other prepared baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven, cool, then chop if desired. 3 To make the French toast, whisk together the eggs with the milk in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and granulated sugar, and whisk again. Transfer to a shallow dish and set aside. 4 Melt a little butter in a large frying pan set over a medium heat. Dip each slice of brioche in the egg mixture one at a time. Let the slices soak up the mix for a few seconds, then turn over to coat the other side. 5 Place the egg-soaked brioche in the hot pan, one slice at a time, and cook until golden. Turn over and cook for a few minutes more until both sides are golden. Transfer to a clean baking sheet and put in the oven to keep warm. Cook the remaining slices in the same way, adding a little butter to the pan, if needed. To serve, cut the brioche slices in half, overlap the slices on the plate and top with the figs, mascarpone and almonds. Sprinkle with orange zest and icing sugar, and serve. >>>
FISH FINGER BAPS WITH PLUM KETCHUP MAYO We all feel nostalgic for this comfort food classic. Our Asian twist on this humble sandwich transforms it into something quite sublime. SERVES 2 2 x 280g firm white fish fillets, such as cod,
haddock, pollock or hake l
3 tbsp plain flour
¼ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp sea salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
40g panko breadcrumbs
½ tsp dried chilli flakes 1 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
Vegetable oil or sunflower oil, for frying
2 tbsp Plum Ketchup*
2 tbsp mayonnaise 2 brioche burger buns, halved and
lightly toasted l
1 little gem lettuce, leaves separated
2 tbsp coriander leaves
CUCUMBER AND RADISH PICKLE l
5 tbsp rice wine vinegar
4 tsp sugar
¾ tsp sea salt 1 cucumber, thinly sliced into discs using
a mandolin 4 radishes, thinly sliced into discs on
a mandolin l
½ tsp black sesame seeds
1 For the cucumber and radish pickle, mix
the vinegar, sugar and salt with 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and warm over a gentle heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the cucumber, radishes and sesame seeds. Stir and transfer to a sealable container. This will keep in the fridge for up to one week. 2 Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Cut the fish fillets into fingers. Depending on the size of the fillet, you should get about four per fillet – approximately 3 x 8cm each. Line up
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three shallow dishes. Mix the flour, white pepper and salt in one, pour the beaten egg into another, then combine the breadcrumbs, chilli flakes, parsley and Parmesan in the third. 3 Using one hand to do each step, coat the fish fingers, one by one, in the seasoned flour, then in the egg wash, shaking off any excess; then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat. Transfer to a clean plate. 4 Pour 1cm of oil into a large frying pan and heat. To check if the oil is hot enough, put a breadcrumb into the pan and, if it sizzles, it is ready. Cook the fish fingers in the hot oil until lightly brown, then turn over and brown the other side. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for 3 minutes. 5 In a small bowl, combine the Plum Ketchup* with the mayonnaise and mix together. Set aside. To assemble, put a generous spoonful of the plum ketchup mayonnaise on the top and bottom of each toasted brioche bun. Place two lettuce leaves on each bun, then the fish fingers, and top with some Cucumber and Radish Pickle, coriander leaves and the top of the bun. Serve.
Psychologies readers can buy Lantana Cafe Breakfast & Brunch for the special price of £6 (RRP £9.99). To order, go to rylandpeters.com and use the code LANTANAPSYCHOLOGY at checkout. Offer valid until 31 December 2018.
* FOR THE RECIPE FOR PLUM KETCHUP SEE THE FOOD CHANNEL AT PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK
SAUSAGE AND EGG MUFFINS WITH SMOKED CHEDDAR, WILTED SPINACH AND SRIRACHA HOLLANDAISE When I opened Lantana, I vowed I’d never put eggs Benedict on the menu, as I felt it was served in every cafe and I wanted to be different. After a few years of gentle, but persistent pressure, I relented and this twist became one of our bestsellers. SERVES 4
2 egg yolks
4 good-quality Lincolnshire or
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
100g Applewood smoked Cheddar
cheese, sliced Knob of butter, plus extra for
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce A baking sheet, lined with baking parchment
buttering the muffins l
150g baby spinach
4 eggs, fried, over easy Sea salt and pepper
SRIRACHA HOLLANDAISE l
150g unsalted butter
1 For the hollandaise, melt the butter in
a small pan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and skim the white solids off the surface with a spoon and discard. 2 Put the egg yolks, vinegar and 2 teaspoons of cold water in a heatproof bowl and sit the bowl on top of a saucepan of barely simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Using a metal whisk or hand-held blender, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in colour and double in volume. 3 Remove the saucepan from the heat, but keep the bowl over the saucepan, and add the melted butter in a steady trickle, whisking or beating constantly. Once all the butter has been added and it has reached a mayonnaise-like consistency, stop whisking and stir in the lemon juice,
sriracha sauce and salt to taste. Keep the hollandaise somewhere warm with a piece of clingfilm touching the surface to stop a skin forming. 4 Preheat the oven to 160ºC, gas mark 3. Remove the casing from the sausages and shape the sausage meat filling into four flat round patties. 5 In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and fry the sausage patties on both sides until browned. Put on the prepared baking sheet, top each patty with a slice of cheese and place in the preheated oven for a few minutes until the cheese has melted. Return the pan to the heat. Melt a knob of butter in the pan, then add the spinach and toss until just wilted. Season and transfer to a bowl. 6 Slice the muffins in half horizontally and lightly toast. Butter both insides. To assemble, put the muffin bottoms on four serving plates, sit a sausage patty with the melted cheese on top, then some spinach, then a fried egg, and spoon some hollandaise on top. Put the other halves of the muffins on top and serve.
the retreat Add character to your kitchen. Metal hanging sign, £4.95, rexlondon.com
Enjoy quality drinking chocolate like no other. The Velvetiser, £89.99, hotelchocolat.com A stylish toaster with £20 donated to charity. Dualit toaster for Breast Cancer Haven, £195, dualit.com
Serve breakfast in bed. Tray, £9, creative-tops.com
A delicious non-dairy alternative. Almond mylk, £2.45, farmdrop.com
Start the day with a smile. Breakfast mould, £8.99, kitchencraft.co.uk
A touch of luxury. Cacao Breakfast Tea, £5, hotelchocolat.com; BOKA Choco Mallow Cereal Bars, £7.50, bokafood.co.uk; Pukka Organic Latte, £4.99, tesco.com; Pip & Nut Chocolate Orange Almond Butter, £3.95, ocado.com
The brunch club The origins of this culinary tradition are hazy; some historians believe it comes from the meals after hunting, which were lavish affairs with a wide selection of sweet and savoury dishes. Others refer to the tradition growing in the US after the Second World War, when Sunday became the main day when the family ate together and going out for brunch was a celebration. Today, it’s an indulgence on a weekend when you’re not pushed for time, so why not get creative with a new take on traditional brunch options? How about corn fritters topped with smashed avocado and poached eggs? Or French toast with strawberries and a drizzle of nut butter?
BEAUTIFUL BRUNCH Cookbooks for a marvellous mid-morning mouthful
1 The Little Book Of Brunch by Sophie Missing and Caroline Craig (Square Peg, £16.99) 2 CARAVAN: Dining All Day by Laura Harper-Hinton, Miles Kirby and Chris Ammermann (Square Peg, £25) 3 Brunch Life: Comfort Classics And More For The Best Meal Of The Day by Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi (Prentice Hall Press, £19.99) 4 LEON: Breakfast & Brunch (Conran Octopus, £6.99)
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This beautiful blog, elizabethskitchendiary. co.uk, is the brainchild of Canadian expat and mum of three Elizabeth, who now lives on the Shetland Islands in Scotland. There’s a section devoted entirely to breakfast; find creative ideas, such as ‘Coconut and mango breakfast parfait’, ‘Apple and cinnamon French toast casserole’, and ‘Cottage cheese crepes’. You’ll find everything you need to prepare a brunch spread to impress!
PHOTOGRAPH: ALEKSANDRA JANKOVIC/STOCKSY
Liven up the morning. Orla Kiely Bonnie Bunny egg cups, £19.95 for two, hurnandhurn.com
r u P o t P GeEE A FR
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essentials Improve children’s lives, change your own!
The Government is committed to an additional £1.4 billion for children and young people’s mental health over five years; to recruit 1,700 more therapists. If you have at least two years experience of working professionally with children you can train as a Play Therapist.
Psycological Therapies, Phobias and Counselling Service
The Integrative Holistic model, developed in the UK, has the only quantified evidence base showing positive change of between 77% and 84%. You can achieve the same results.
Study at weekends. 13 convenient venues in the UK, 10 overseas: PG Certificate and Diploma courses The only courses that qualify for the Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists. The Register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. Post graduate university and professional organisation awards.
Find out more: One-day Introduction to Play Therapy course. Phone for 28 page career and training guide.
Dee Rose, APAC Tel: 01825 761143 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.playtherapy.org.uk Know a child that needs help? Consult: www.playtherapyregister.org.uk
Please Contact Us on: 0161 670 6701 or 07903 672 048 This service can help you, no matter how trivial or traumatic your personal issue is... Some Psycological Therapies that we deliver in this service. Counselling, Phobias, Emotional Freedom Technique, Mental Health, Bereavement, Stress and Anxiety, CBT, PTSD, Depression, Conﬁdence, Self esteem, Group Therapy, Relationship and Identity. We will look at any issues www.dearalva.com Email: email@example.com
TRAIN TO BE AN IMAGE CONSULTANT With over 30 years’ experience of image consulting, Alicia personally mentors every one of her students. What better way to learn but from one of the top stylists in the business? ● Learn how to help other women feel fabulous, giving them the
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own style, your mojo and want to be the best version of you? Alicia’s experience in the image business has changed thousands of women’s lives. Contact her today and let her change yours. www.aliciakite.co.uk email firstname.lastname@example.org
TO ADVERTISE CALL NIKKI.PETERSON@TIGERBEEMEDIA.CO.UK 0203 5100849
Health, happiness and wellbeing, empowering you to live well. A selection of products and services to improve your month. BECOME A RELAXATION TEACHER OR JUST LEARN TO RELAX YOURSELF
Practically Slim is looking to recruit highly motivated Regional Directors all over the UK to join our Team.
Are you looking for an exciting new challenge ?
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A unique one day certiﬁcated teachers workshop with Buddhist monk VEN LAMA SHRI SADHU DHARMAVIRA (teaching since 1969) This unique workshop contains all the relaxation techniques needed to experience the wellbeing that comes through a life that is stress and anxiety free.
We are looking for people who want to build a business, with low start up costs, low investment, flexibility, a faster return on investment and a higher income than you will find in many other businesses. We see this as a truly unique business opportunity within the weight loss industry. Running your business, in your own time and being your own boss.
THE ART OF FINDING STILLNESS AND CALM Relaxation and Daily Awareness Workshop
This course was created for those who wish to teach others to be stress free. But, anyone who would like to attend for their own personal wellbeing, is very welcome. Booking now for workshops in London. Practically Slim is the UK based weight loss and management company everyone is talking about.
email: email@example.com or call: 07970 252647 to find out more.
HYPNOTHERAPY CAN HELP YOUR MIND BOOSTYOUR HEALTH!
To ensure quality teaching, workshops are limited to a maximum of 8 participants To receive full details about the workshop and its beneﬁts, please telephone: 01723 862 496 (calls taken between 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week)
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Low Self-Conﬁdence holding you back?
5. Overcoming phobias and bad habits
Conﬁdence and self-esteem are the most inﬂuential elements in ﬁnding success in your life. Our expert Conﬁdence Coaches can empower you to be more assertive and to ﬁnd success using your unique skills and talents. Feel good about yourself, change career, ﬁnd a partner, enjoy social situations, start your own business, speak in public…Whatever your goal, with conﬁdence, you can achieve it!
As it grows in popularity, demand is growing for well-trained therapists. LCCH International has training centres across the UK offering a variety of courses.
Book your sessions today and never allow low self-conﬁdence to hold you back again! (Sessions in Lancashire or Skype sessions available)
To ﬁnd out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lcchinternational.co.uk, 020 3 603 8535.
h UKCP & IAPC&M Registered Practitioner Coach
Hypnotherapy is often thought of as a method to only help smokers quit or for weight-loss. Many people don’t realise that it is also linked with bringing relief to a wide range of other health problems too. Used for centuries, it often involves being guided into a deeply relaxed trance-like state, during which an experienced therapist encourages positive changes to help tackle your problem. Here are ﬁve problems you might not have realised hypnotherapy can help with: 1. Dealing with stress. 2. Coping with IBS 3. Pain management 4. Healing trauma
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TO ADVERTISE CALL NIKKI.PETERSON@TIGERBEEMEDIA.CO.UK 0203 5100849
Happiness Book Club
You can fight your fear of failure Vanessa King of Action for Happiness, author of 10 Keys To Happier Living, recommends Wire Your Brain For Confidence: The Science Of Conquering Self-Doubt by Louisa Jewell
ILLUSTRATION: LESLEY BUCKINGHAM
espite being competent in several areas of our lives, many of us don’t feel good enough. Even when we have success, we can question it or attribute it to someone or something else. Why do we do that? To some extent, self-doubt is normal, helpful even, if we are struggling with a difficult challenge, and it can motivate us to learn or seek help. But, if we are unsure of our abilities and the daily outcomes that stem from those abilities, it can lead to procrastination and hold us back from doing things that help fulfil our dreams. We are also more likely to experience anxiety and depression. Chronic self-doubters spend less time positively focused on the task in hand and more energy avoiding being seen to fail. This fear of failure can cause us to consciously or subconsciously self-sabotage so that, when we fail, we have a reason for it, rather than putting our self-worth on the line. However, researchers have found that the actual experience of failure is rarely as bad as we anticipate. We also underestimate how much we’ll regret not doing something. So, how do we overcome chronic self-doubt? This book includes many science-backed strategies to try. At its heart is understanding that self-doubt is our belief about our abilities or lack thereof, rather than our abilities themselves. We need to find ways to challenge these beliefs. It’s the act of trying which enables us to build a greater sense of competence. Jewell suggests setting learning goals rather than performance ones, remembering that mastering something new takes small steps and several ‘failures’ along the way. This is one way to gradually build our confidence and courage, and make achieving our big goals less scary. Next month, we’re reading ‘The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food And The New Science Of The Gut-Brain Connection’ by John Cryan, Scott Anderson and Ted Dinan (National Geographic Society, £17.99)
130 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8
Wire Your Brain For Confidence: The Science Of Conquering Self-Doubt by Louisa Jewell (Famous Warrior Press, £11.95)
Questions to discuss ● When has self-doubt held you back or led to procrastination? ● What is one area in your life where you’d like to build your confidence and competence? ● What is a small learning opportunity; something to try that would help you build your skills in the area you identified above?
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