Jennifer Aniston: why we want to be her friend
Aniston Our obsession with the girl next door
ways to embrace uncertainty
CHANGE CAREER from your deckchair
LUST & LONGING
Get the sex you deserve Bounce back from burnout
FIND YOUR SERENITY
Stop worrying: sort your head out this summer Test: what is your body telling you about stress?
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Contents SEP TEMBER 2016
* COVER STORY
EDITOR’S LET TER
9 I’D LIKE TO THANK … 1 1 THE FIX 74 E VENTS Cover: Jason LaVeris/ Getty Images
1 30 HAPPINESS BOOK CLUB
20 * PROFILE
“You may not have [had] a child come out of your vagina, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t mothering...” 18
56 * THE DOSSIER
Getting to the heart of stress
THE GREAT WAKE-UP!
Chris Baréz-Brown helps us look on the lighter, brighter side of life 24
Martha Roberts on body clocks 26
A NOVEL SUMMER
The Psychologies team reveal their books that stole a holiday 30
See page 40 for this month’s print and digital subscriptions offers
REST AND WORK
Our expert’s guide to coming home from your annual break with a tan... and a career plan
FREE GIFT WORTH
A PHYSICAL STRAIN Anita Chaudhuri examines how the invisible demon stress secretly plots against us and makes us ill
THE ANSWER IS IN YOU Science proves we can dispel anxiety and self-soothe with every breath we take
PSYCHOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY
Selema Veliu reflects on the links between science and Eastern practices
Isabelle Palmer, The Balcony Gardener, shows size is no barrier to creating a sanctuary
SUCCESS STORIES Three women who suffered from stress share their wisdom
‘I HAVE TO STOP SPENDING’
WHAT ARE YOUR TRIGGERS? Knowing and understanding your weak points is the first step to preserving your calm
Award-winning coach Kim Morgan helps a woman regain control
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 3
ILLUSTRATION: MONTSE BERNAL/CENTRAL ILLUSTRATION AGENCY
Contents SEP TEMBER 2016
THE TIME IS NOW
Heidi Scrimgeour learns how to see life’s treasures in troubled times 46
With Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill 48
SE X AND SELF- ESTEEM
Lucy-Anne Holmes lifts the covers on how to get the intimacy you need 53
Oliver Burkeman helps us make peace with professional uncertainty 54
Our wise agony aunt advises three readers
THE RETREAT 108 FINE DINING , FINE COMPANY
Invite your loved ones over to share your hospitality... and these holiday-inspired dishes 1 16 RE VE AL YOUR TRUE COLOURS
Celebrate your individuality and mix your own palette for home and heart
THE HOLISTIC GR AIL
Eminé Ali Rushton brings the holiday feeling home 80
THE PL AN
Expert advice in four holistic sections – Mind, Body, Spirit and Gut – for a summer of wellness
ONE GOOD THING
Xochi Balfour exposes the joy of barefoot walking 88
Sian Clifford, Psychologies’, New Wise Voice, surrenders to a more feminine way of life
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4 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 6
RE AL BE AUT Y
Anita Kaushal, inspirational founder of beauty brand Mauli Rituals, talks about her East-meets-West philosophy 95
WELL NET WORK
Insight from wellbeing entrepreneurs. This month, it’s Aurelia’s Claire Vero 96
Foodie sisters Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley on enhancing beauty, rather than concealing it 98
ASK THE DOCTOR
Dr Andrew Weil gives advice on coping with stress 101 RE AL NUTRITION
Nutritionist Eve Kalinik gets crystal clear about salt 102 WELL TR AVELLED
Karin Mochan spends a month as part of a tribe on a sustainable farm in Umbria, Italy
PHOTOGRAPH: TRUNK ARCHIVE
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TATE MO D E R N 6 JU LY – 30 OC T 2016
GEORGIA O’KEEFFE T H E E YA L O F E R G A L L E R I E S
Supported by With additional support from the Georgia O’Keeffe Exhibition Supporters Group and Tate Patrons
Georgia O’Keeffe Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1, 1932 Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas © 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London Photography by Edward C. Robison III
OUR TEAM Editor Suzy Greaves Managing Editor Danielle Woodward Art Director Heather Heward Art Editor Lynne Lanning Health + Wellness Director Eminé Ali Rushton Picture Editor Laura Doherty Dossier and Books Editor Ali Roff Chief Sub/Production Editor Vee Sey Editorial Assistant Ellen Tout Associate Editors Anita Chaudhuri, Elizabeth Heathcote Thanks this issue to Rachel Woollett and Terry Barber Contributing Editors Wellness Suzanne Duckett, Catherine Turner Health Dr Andrew Weil Living Well Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley Fitness Hollie Grant Spirit Akcelina Cvijetic Mind Suzy Reading Nutrition Eve Kalinik Positive Psychology Vanessa King Yoga Kat Farrants Travel Daisy Finer Home Xochi Balfour ADVERTISING & PRODUCTION Commercial Manager Nikki Peterson (01959 543734) firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales Patricia Hubbard (01959 543514) email@example.com Advertising Sales Anne Fleming (01959 543716) Sales Executive Leeanne Garrett (01959 543713) firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager Jackie Aubrey (01733 363485) email@example.com Production Supervisor Amy Rutter (01733 362317) firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Operations Manager Charlotte Whittaker MANAGEMENT Managing Director Phil Weeden Chief Executive Steve Wright Chairman Steve Annetts Finance Director Joyce Parker-Sarioglu Publishing Director Vicky Ophield Retail Distribution Manager Eleanor Brown Audience Development Manager Andy Cotton Subscriptions Marketing Manager Daniel Webb Brand Marketing Manager Rebecca Gibson Events Manager Kat Chappell SUBSCRIPTIONS 12 issues of Psychologies are published per annum ● UK annual subscription price: £47.88 ● Europe annual subscription price: £62.99 ● USA annual subscription price: £62.99 ● Rest of World annual subscription price: £68.99 ● UK subscription and back issue orderline: 0333 043 9848 ● Overseas subscription orderline: 0044 (0) 1959 543747 ● Toll-free USA subscription orderline: 1 888 777 0275 ● UK customer service team: 01959 543747; email@example.com Find subscription offers on our website: shop.kelsey.co.uk/psy Manage your subscription online shop.kelsey.co.uk/site/loginForm
Meet three of the people who have taken part in the creation of this issue of Psychologies
Health writer and volunteer Karin has been writing about health and wellbeing for more than 10 years. She also volunteers for Macmillan Cancer Support’s digital team. In this issue, she immerses herself in a sustainable farming community in Umbria. ‘This was “field to fork” living at its simplest and best,’ she says. ‘I love Italy and I love good food, making this the ultimate volunteering experience for me.’ Follow her journey on page 102.
Lucy-Anne Holmes Writer and activist
Lucy-Anne launched the No More Page 3 campaign after realising that the media’s portrayal of women had shaped her negative self-image. She is the author of five books, including the award-winning Just A Girl Standing In Front Of A Boy (Little, Brown, £7.99). This month, she asks: are you getting the sex you deserve? ‘My mission to have better sex was the most exciting, transformative personal journey I’ve been on,’ she says. Read her story on page 48.
Sian Clifford Actor and writer
Named Psychologies’ New Wise Voice for 2016, Sian was chosen to speak at our recent Ignite event with Hay House. She shares the struggle and inspiration behind her conscious living business, Still Space. ‘Founding my company, I was a slave to the delusion that busyness and burnout equate to success,’ she says. ‘I’ve since found ways to build a healthy work-life balance.’ Read more on page 88.
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 Psychologies Magazine is a registered trademark and is published monthly by Kelsey Media 2016 © all rights reserved. Kelsey Media is a trading name of Kelsey Publishing Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden except with permission in writing from the publishers. Note to contributors: articles submitted for consideration by the editor must be the original work of the author and not previously published. Where photographs are included, which are not the property of the contributor, permission to reproduce them must have been obtained from the owner of the copyright. The Editor cannot guarantee a personal response to all letters and emails received. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Publisher. Kelsey Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties. PRIVACY NOTICE Kelsey Publishing Ltd uses a multi-layered privacy notice, giving you brief details about how we would like to use your personal information. For full details, visit 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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Your portable life coach
It’s been a turbulent few weeks, hasn’t it? That’s why this month we are focusing on what we can control: our thoughts and actions. The starting point for that is pressing pause to focus on what you do want versus what you don’t, so you don’t feel as if you’re simply reacting to whatever is thrown at you. Whether you want to change career, (we invite you to sit in your deckchair and answer the questions posed by our life coach columnist, Kim Morgan, on page 30), or ‘get the sex you deserve’ (read Lucy-Anne Holmes’s feature on page 48), then this issue might be the perfect holiday or weekend companion. Think of us as your very own portable life coach. Our 18-page Dossier on page 56 encourages you to find new ways to deal with stress. Susan David, psychologist and author of Emotional Agility (Penguin, £14.99) says: ‘If you want to live a life that’s vital, thrilling and energetic, you don’t want to avoid stress – because stress is the point at which you’re experiencing true growth.’ With growth can come failure. Our new columnist, Harriet Minter, talks us through why failing is actually good for the soul on page 17. And, if you’re feeling frazzled, read Sian Clifford’s piece on burnout on page 88. Want to escape but not going away? Turn to page 26 to discover the books that transformed a long-lost summer for the Psychologies team. However you’re feeling, just remember you’re not alone. Join our Action for Happiness community and start a Happiness Book Club. Find out how to take part on page 130.
GET IN TOUCH
Join our tribe! Connect with us on our website at psychologies.co.uk and on social media. Share your comments, photos and inspiration on Twitter (twitter.com/ PsychologiesMag), Facebook (facebook.com/ Psychologiesmagazine), and Instagram (instagram.com/psychologiesmagazine).
Suzy Greaves Editor, with Oscar the office dog
F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 7
Let us know what you think of the magazine and each month we’ll publish the best letters STA R LETTER
IN IT TOGETHER Thank you for the ‘feel good in your skin’ content of the July issue. So many women are obsessed with being thin, fad diets and body image that we forget about our health. Your Dossier made me realise that I should love myself the way I am. I have struggled with bulimia for 10 years and I am drained. Thanks to your advice, I now realise that mindfulness is a way forward and keeping a food and mood diary might help, too. Reading your magazine is like being part of something bigger – a group of friends – and I want to thank you for it. It helps a lot. Katarina
PHOTO COMPETITION Would you like to showcase your talents in Psychologies? Each month, we ask you to submit a photo on a theme. We’ll print our winner in the next issue of the magazine and on psychologies.co.uk, and the winner gets a prize. The next theme is ‘Freedom’. Send your photo attached in an email, with your address, to pictures@psychologies. co.uk by midnight on 31 August.*
THIS MONTH’S STAR LETTER AND PHOTO COMPETITION PRIZE:
The Ivy handbag from VVA, worth £99.**
THE WINNER THIS MONTH I took this photograph when I was in Marrakesh, Morocco – it’s a view of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains across the ruins of El Badi Palace – the contrast of colours was striking. It gave me thrills just to look at it, and walking in the majestic Atlas mountains was a real adventure! Katarzyna Drabek
EMAIL LETTERS@PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK THE THEME FOR THE NEXT PHOTO COMPETITION* IS ‘FREEDOM’. DEADLINE: 31 AUGUST 8 PSYCHOLO GIES MAGA ZINE SEP TEMBER 2016
TIMELY REMINDER I was delighted to read about the concept of emotional labour in the July issue of Psychologies. Women need to be able to appreciate how much they do. As well as being a full-time carer for small children, a freelancer and a volunteer, I also recently signed up for a UN Women course on the Care Economy. This looks at how much value this emotional labour has. Ironically, while running myself ragged caring for others and studying about care, I fell sick for more than a month. Determined to learn from the experience, I am now prioritising rest more, and your feature was a great reminder. Nicola
FOR FULL T&CS, SEE PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK. **VVA.CO.UK
DIFFERENT STROKES What a breath of fresh air to read Eminé’s ‘Little green lie’ article (Holistic grail, July). There are so many products on the market that I often feel bamboozled. When a shop opened in my town advertising natural products, I decided to go there. However, a colleague suggested I try another brand because it was more natural – and then I was told by someone else that both might have too much of a particular ingredient. I was left feeling so confused. I was pleased to read the article, and I have realised that advice is subjective. We all have different skin types and it is up to me to do my own research and find what works for me. Thank you. Rachel
This month’s winner
I’d like to thank… To my ex-husband,
You changed my world. You made it amazing when you gave me our two children. You showed me what it feels like to be part of something, and you showed me what it is to put down roots. You taught me that family is the most important thing in the world and that I will do anything to protect it. You also taught me what it is to be truly broken. You showed me the damage that alcohol can do if it takes over a gentle soul. You showed me what it is to hit rock bottom and become a shell of who I was. But you also taught me how to be brave and how to come back from such an awful experience. You showed me that I could be strong. You have taught our children the harm that alcohol can do, and for that I am thankful. You have also shown us that addiction turns people into someone even they don’t recognise. You have taught us how to forgive, how to stand strong together – even though we have gone our separate ways – as well as patience and the real meaning of love. We are with other partners now but still friends, and teaching our children not to be bitter, not to hate, and to keep their hearts filled with the good things. Thank you.
THIS MONTH’S LETTER OF GRATITUDE WINS… A year’s digital subscription to Psychologies, worth £28.99
IS THERE SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO THANK? SHARE YOUR LETTER OF GRATITUDE BY SENDING IT TO LETTERS@PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK SEP TEMBER 2016 PSYCHOLO GIES MAGA ZINE 9
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News I Reviews
ILLUSTRATION BY KATIE DAISY FOR HER BOOK, ‘HOW TO BE A WILDFLOWER: A FIELD GUIDE’ (CHRONICLE BOOKS, £12.99)
EDITED BY ELLEN TOUT
‘Life itself is a patchwork quilt of beauty,’ says author and illustrator Katie Daisy. ‘Begin to gather beautiful things and stitch them together yourself.’ Katie’s How To Be A Wildflower book inspires self-discovery through connecting with nature. The uplifting quotes, recipes and meditations invite us to wander, gather and enjoy life off the grid.
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 11
Book of the month
THE MARE by Mary Gaitskill (Serpent’s Tail, £14.99) Ginger is in her late 40s and a recovering alcoholic. Unable to have children of her own, she’s convinced that adoption is the way forward. Her husband Paul is less than sure, but agrees to house a poor inner-city child for a few weeks over summer as part of a charitable initiative to provide deprived children with a countryside holiday. And so Velvet enters their lives: wary, verbally abused by her mother and overwhelmed by the wealth – material and emotional – that Ginger lavishes on her. Velvet is sometimes grateful, sometimes grasping, especially when a horse named Fiery Girl comes into the picture. The Mare is a devastatingly good novel; an unflinching but compassionate look at the social and emotional divides that separate us and how, even with the best of intentions, damage can be done. EF
OF PEOPLE SAY THAT NEW TRAVEL EXPERIENCES MAKE THEM FEEL CONTENT AND FULFILLED; AND 79 PER CENT OF US ARE HAPPY TO GIVE UP MATERIAL GOODS IN ORDER TO FUND NEW OR UNIQUE EXPERIENCES AT HOME AND ABROAD*
Hollywood mirror, £349.99, Illuminated Mirrors
PRESENTING CONFIDENCE If public speaking fills you with dread, changing who you look at could help. A study** found that, when we are nervous, we focus on negative social signals, such as someone yawning, and we miss those who are nodding or smiling. Speakers’ eye movements showed confident people were drawn to engaged, positive people who fuelled their confidence.
Hammock, £79, and stand, £295, notonthehigh street.com
In a recent study***, people struggling with sleep problems were challenged to listen to classical music for 45 minutes before going to bed. Eighty-six per cent found the music improved their sleep and mood after just three weeks of the new routine. Listening to audiobooks did not have the same effect: only 30 per cent experienced a change. The music is thought to calm our stress hormone, noradrenaline. This soothes our night-time vigilance, allowing us to drift off.
FILM REVIEW: DANIELLE WOODWARD. BOOK REVIEW: EITHNE FARRY. *ONEPOLL RESEARCH FOR HILTON HOTELS & RESORTS. **ATTENTION ALLOCATION IN SOCIAL ANXIETY DURING A SPEECH, LIN M ET AL, PUBMED.GOV. ***FROM ‘WHY WE LOVE MUSIC’ BY JOHN POWELL (JOHN MURRAY, £16.99). † COMMUNICATIONS MARKET REPORT, OFCOM
RESEARCH† HAS REVEALED THAT, ON AVERAGE, WE SPEND EIGHT HOURS AND 41 MINUTES EACH DAY ON OUR 12 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 6
Film of the month
Up For Love Directed by Laurent Tirard
This sweet, funny French-language film focuses on our expectations of romantic love and confronting prejudice. Diane (Virginie Efira), agrees to go on a date with charming architect, Alexandre (Jean Dujardin), after chatting to him on the phone. When they meet, Diane discovers Alexandre is just 4ft tall. Her realistic disappointment, plus the fact that Diane is falling in love with Alexandre, make this a compelling watch. There are moments of hilarity – such as when Alexandre gets knocked over by his Saint Bernard dog – but also moving scenes, like when Alexandre’s 6ft son says people’s attitudes to his father’s height never bothered him because of Alexandre’s dignity. We are shown love is found in unexpected places, and it is up to us whether society’s prejudice will make us run away, or if we are brave enough to listen to our hearts. DW
SCHOOL OF LIFE LESSONS
‘When others are kind to us, it reminds us of our common vulnerability and humanity; to re-engage with our deepest values – and it moves us to consider whether we are kind enough day-to-day. Kindness creates a ripple effect.’ DAVID BAKER Writer, coach and broadcaster, David Baker, will teach Mastering the Art of Kindness as part of The School of Life and DoubleTree by Hilton’s new summer classes. For details, visit theschooloflife.com
DIGITAL DEVICES – 20 MINUTES MORE THAN THE AVERAGE TIME WE SPEND GETTING A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP! S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 13
OF PEOPLE AGREE THAT GIVING UP SOME OF THEIR TIME TO VOLUNTEER FOSTERS SKILLS THAT A DEGREE OR POSTGRADUATE QUALIFICATION SIMPLY CANNOT*
Thank you for the music Love to dance? Or do you have two left feet? Researchers have found that, when we dance in time with others, our endorphins are activated, helping us to bond and boosting our self-esteem.** Apparently, ‘rounded’ dance moves, like a swish of the arm, give the biggest lift to our happiness.*** It seems that, unlike rigid or angular dancing, these motions stir happy memories and promote unity. No robots on our dance floors, then!
Frends Layla rose gold on-ear headphones, £179.99, Selfridges
WE LOVE: Upbeat: The Story Of The National Youth Orchestra Of Iraq by Paul MacAlindin (Sandstone Press, £19.99) Our friends at Radio 4 tell us why you’ll find this book compelling:
DV Clock 7, £120, IN-SPACES
Time to paint Stressed? A new study† has found that just 45 minutes spent creating art can significantly lower our cortisol levels and promote relaxation. Whether you are an experienced artist or simply draw for fun, art’s calming effects can be equally harnessed. Making collages, drawing or clay modelling were found to be beneficial, too, with 75 per cent of people showing reduced levels of the stress hormone.
Having heard about the extraordinary successes of El System in Venezuela and Lang Lang’s initiative in China, producer, Clive Brill, was fascinated to hear about Paul MacAlindin’s project in war-torn Iraq. After Paul came across the 17-year-old Iraqi pianist, Zuhal Sultan’s plea to find a British conductor willing to bring a new orchestra into being, he responded. So began a labour of love, which saw the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq emerge out of the most dangerous of times to produce fine music, not only in Iraq, but across the globe. Listeners will discover an inspiring story of a huge creative spirit battling against the odds. ‘Upbeat’, abridged by Polly Coles and produced by Clive Brill, is Radio 4’s Book of the Week from 15-19 August. Sign up for BBC Books’ newsletter at bbc.in/1Lk0BAm
2011 IMAGE, OPPOSITE: COURTESY THE ARTIST AND GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE NEW YORK/ROME. * VINSPIRED SURVEY. **SYNCHRONY AND EXERTION DURING DANCE, BRONWYN TARR ET AL, THE ROYAL SOCIETY PUBLISHING. ***AFFECTIVE RESPONSES TO DANCE, JULIA CHRISTENSENA ET AL, ‘ACTA PSYCHOLOGICA’. †REDUCTION OF CORTISOL LEVELS AND PARTICIPANTS’ RESPONSES FOLLOWING ART MAKING, GIRIJA KAIMAL ET AL, ‘JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ART THERAPY ASSOCIATION’
BOOKS TO SOOTHE THE SOUL
DOES YOUR JOB MAKE YOU HAPPY? A STUDY†† HAS FOUND THAT, ON AVERAGE, PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR NON-PROFIT 14 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 6
PROCRASTINATE AND THEN CREATE! According to a survey*, 80 per cent of us procrastinate when faced with a deadline. But is this such a bad thing? Researchers found that people who procrastinate before starting a task are 28 per cent** more creative than those who immediately begin working. When you procrastinate, you are more likely to let your mind wander and generate original ideas, rather than drily jumping into a task.
* THE NATURE OF PROCRASTINATION, STEEL ET AL, ‘PSYCHOLOGICAL BULLETIN’. **JIHAE SHIN, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN. ***LINDA MCCARTNEY FOODS, ‘THE GROWTH OF THE VEGGIE’. ††DO IT WITH JOY!, MARTIN BINDER, BARD COLLEGE OF BERLIN
Alessi Anna kitchen timer, £42, Red Candy
Fresh representation This is a piece by New York-based painter, Ella Kruglyanskaya, entitled Fruit Picnic. Distinguished by her bold colours and patterns, Kruglyanskaya’s work captures female relationships, friendships and dialogues, exploring the psychology and atmosphere behind these encounters. ‘There is so much representation of women in our visual culture,’ says the artist. ‘In so many cases, I feel like “she” is just a projection of her creator. I’m interested in exploring that, but also in making her the protagonist of the work, with a psychology behind the characters.’ Tate Liverpool is hosting a free exhibition of Kruglyanskaya’s work until 18 September, which then tours to Tramway in Glasgow from 8 October to 11 December
OF US WILL PICK A VEGETARIAN LIFESTYLE WITHIN 25 YEARS – WITH HEALTH AND SAVING MONEY OUR MAIN INSPIRATION***
ORGANISATIONS ARE HAPPIER AND MORE FULFILLED AT WORK AND HOME, COMPARED WITH THOSE IN OTHER INDUSTRIES S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 15
SKYROS ISLAND GREECE
CITY BREAKS: Copenhagen, Havana, Marrakech, Venice BEACH HOLIDAYS: Thailand and Trinidad WEEKEND BREAKS: Isle of Wight
HEALTH & WELLBEING
SINGING AND SO MUCH MORE
T: 01983 865566
self LESSONS IN ADULTHOOD
How to fail better
Harriet Minter explains why failing at yoga (or anything) is actually good for the soul
PHOTOGRAPH: MARK HARRISON. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CAROLINE PIASECKI. STYLIST: KATE ANYA BARBOUR
here’s a moment about 20 minutes into a yoga class when I know I’m going to cry. Not the ‘emotional release’ of one whose soul is so Zen that they no longer have control over their tear ducts, but the petty, painful, bratty wailing of a four-year-old having a tantrum. I want to stamp my feet, pout and give the person next to me a shove, starting my own game of downward-dog dominoes. ‘I can’t do it!’ I want to weep, as I contort myself into yet another pose that my body is designed to resist. And then, I remember the thing I actually love about yoga; the reason I keep coming back... is that I’m really, really bad at it – and that’s OK. I never meant to be one of those people who tell you how yoga has changed their life. I only went because my flatmate bought a ‘10 classes for £10’ deal on Groupon and wanted someone to go with her. She assured me it would just be a bit of gentle stretching, some deep breathing... Within minutes, my cheeks looked as if I’d been attacked with a pink highlighter and I was calculating the distance between my mat and the door. When we had to do a shoulder-stand (it was actually advanced power yoga), I knew it couldn’t get any worse. The deadly combination of boobs and gravity turns a routine pose into your very own erotic asphyxiation. If you thought the most embarrassing thing you could do in yoga was fart, try suffocating yourself with your own breasts and get back to me. I left red-faced, swearing I’d never go back. But then, something strange happened: I forgot the mortification and began to feel proud of myself for surviving. It was that feeling that got me through the next class, and the class after that. I was hooked; I no longer minded that I was still the
worst person. There was one hour a week when I got to be terrible at something – and no one cared. We’re taught from birth that achievement is our goal: we learn to walk and talk and are applauded for it; we go through school aiming for As; we try to be better friends, wives, mothers. Nobody applauds us for failing, for trying something even if we’re never going to master it, for falling on our faces and getting up. Each week, I go to yoga and fail. Having the space to do so has given me something more important than success: it has taught me the joy of taking risks – whether it’s standing on your hands, speaking up in a meeting, talking to the guy on the Tube... You might fall over, you might fail, people might laugh, but you’ll get over it, and try again. Harriet Minter is a journalist, speaker and former editor of the Women in Leadership section of ‘The Guardian’. Follow her on Twitter @harrietminter
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the great wake-up!
If you want to spend less of your life on autopilot, look at the lighter side and do something frivolous and liberating, suggests Chris Baréz-Brown want to let go of into it. As you release your breath and the paper plane, feel those thoughts leaving with them and indulge in the pure joy of the plane’s flight. Watch as the plane travels and embrace the sense of freedom. Doing something frivolous like this allows us to let go of autopilot and remember that every single day is an opportunity to see the lighter, brighter side of life.
Wake up now!
Author, speaker and Upping Your Elvis founder, Chris Baréz-Brown, has teamed up with Psychologies on a 12-month experiment to help us break our routines. We will introduce the experiments one by one each week and, at the end of the month, review the results.
FOLLOW THE GREAT WAKE-UP! BLOGGERS AT LIFELABS.PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK/CHANNELS/297-THE-GREAT-WAKE-UP 18 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 6
PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
hen we believe life is tough and we have to work hard to be happy; that we can only relax when we retire and have paid off the mortgage, we get stuck and thrust ourselves into survival mode – and living on autopilot kicks in. As a consequence, we can lose our vitality and creativity. When we remember that we have all we need right now to lead an extraordinary life, we can laugh and smile, play and relax – and escape autopilot’s clutches. This month, we are going to do exactly that: find a place that’s perfect for launching a paper plane. It may be high; it may be expansive; it may be alongside a child who loves a little freedom. Make a plane that is worthy of proper flight (see paperaeroplanes. com for ideas). Take a deep breath and put any thoughts that you
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There’s something about Jennifer After all these years as our favourite on Friends, why are we still so fascinated by Hollywood actress, Jennifer Aniston, asks Psychologies Associate Editor, Anita Chaudhuri – and what does it reveal about us?
eadlines across the globe screamed: ‘Jen’s pregnant!’. There was no need to ask, ‘Jen who?’. Legions of us stopped what we were doing to pore over this latest episode of Ms Aniston’s real-life soap opera. Could it possibly be true? ‘But... she’s 47!’ was the first thought. The frenzy around the ‘baby bump’ story gathered such momentum, Jennifer was forced to deny rumours, saying, ‘For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up... fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs under the guise of “journalism”, the “First Amendment” and “celebrity news”.’* It’s not a new narrative. Looking back through the celebrity magazine archives, the headlines follow a familiar pattern: ‘Jen: Pregnant at 40!’; ‘My baby is a miracle!’; ‘Pregnant and alone!’; ‘It’s a girl!’; and, more recently, ‘Yes, I’m pregnant – with twins!’ The latter ran last year in OK! Magazine, illustrated with a fake ultrasound scan, helpfully captioned in microscopic type: ‘Dramatisation’. Aniston is clearly exasperated. ‘I don’t like [the pressure] that people put on me; on women – that you’ve failed
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yourself as a female because you haven’t procreated. I don’t think it’s fair. You may not have [had] a child come out of your vagina, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t mothering – dogs, friends, friends’ children...’ she said recently.** ‘Poor Jen,’ I think, when I read through the headlines, before coming to my senses. Aniston is a multimillionaire living in marital bliss with her new husband, Justin Theroux. Yet, we are still entranced by the perceived prototype of the lovelorn, flaky woman desperately seeking happiness wherever she can find it.
Singledom and the dating years
Yes, her five-year marriage to Brad Pitt ended. Yes, the media still loves to speculate about an apparent long-running feud between Aniston and Pitt’s second wife Angelina Jolie. Yes, we have watched as she has dated everyone from a former Essex bricklayer (Paul Sculfor) to trophy musician, John Mayer, but enough already. That’s ancient history. Since long-running sitcom Friends, Aniston has >>>
broken out of romcom typecasting to take on more challenging roles in Horrible Bosses and Cake. In the latter, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, she plays a woman suffering from chronic pain and grief in the aftermath of a car crash. ‘I wanted to mix things up and not keep playing similar kinds of women,’ she says. ‘My problem has been that I kept getting offered mainly romantic comedies and it was hard for me to break free of that. But then I chose films like We’re The Millers, where I played a stripper... And doing projects like Horrible Bosses and She’s Funny That Way have taken me out of my comedic comfort zone in different ways – and I love that.’*** Yet, to many of us, even 12 years later, Aniston will always be Rachel Green, the girl next door she played in Friends – balancing Monica’s logic, Phoebe’s kookiness, Ross’s geekiness, Chandler’s sarcasm and Joey’s general uselessness. Out of all the sitcom archetypes, Rachel was perhaps the most relatable. She laughed and cried with abandon, blurted out her true feelings at the most inopportune moments – and everything still worked out fine in the end. She may have been ditzy – believing that the plot of Jane Eyre involved cyborgs – but she still managed to hold down a job and her friends remained loyal to her, no matter what. And, crucially, Rachel became a mother. Maybe that’s why so many of us are invested in Aniston having this supposed fairy-tale ending?
But what does it say about us that we can spend precious time obsessing about the lives of people that we have never met? That we keep hitting refresh on that website in the hope of an update on the Hiddleswift romance (the pairing of Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston, announced to the world by The Sun with ‘Tinker Taylor snogs a spy’). Psychologists call this type of close bond we form with a celebrity a ‘parasocial relationship’, in which a person invests time and energy on a higher-status individual and, over time, believes that they know them. ‘It is important to stress the “normality” of these relationships – we all have them, to a greater or lesser extent, with celebrities and other media figures,’ explains David Giles, a media psychologist at the University of Winchester. It’s not just women,
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“I don’t like [the pressure] people put on me; on women – that you’ve failed as a female because you haven’t procreated”
either – men tend to do it with politicians and sports stars. Giles points out that, when we do this, we aren’t compensating for any lack of social connection in our lives: ‘Research reveals no correlation between loneliness and parasocial interactions. In fact, we tend to find that the people who witter on about what celebrities are up to are invariably the people surrounded by friends – with whom they gossip about celebrities!’ This makes sense. Celebrity gossip is a great leveller, giving us common conversational ground where there might otherwise be none. University of Michigan evolutionary psychologist, Daniel Kruger, has gone as far as to suggest that we like to observe high-status individuals coming soon in any society, so we can learn how to become one and that, as social l Mean Moms animals, we are primed to pay Aniston is a married mother of two, attention to how they operate. who moves from small-town America ‘One of the things about the human to the high-class suburbs – and brain is that we love polarities; is faced with the cut-throat world we love spikes and extremes and of competitive parenting. never is that more present than l Office Christmas Party in gossip columns,’ explains Comedy in which Aniston is the celebrity psychologist Emma Kenny uptight CEO of a company – at (makeyourswitch.co.uk). ‘A celebrity which her brother throws the typical in dire distress, who’s put on six work bash that gets out of hand. pounds and fallen out of a taxi; l Storks or whose love life has crumbled Aniston lends her voice to this to dust; or the opposite – the perfectly animated comedy, set in a world poised, acutely skinny “success where the titular birds have stopped story”... You don’t often get these bringing babies – and are delivering stories in life. Real life is a consistent packages for an Amazon-like internet experience; we kind of know what’s retailer called Cornerstore. going to happen. Looking at the world l The Yellow Birds through the eyes of someone else’s Iraqi war drama in which Aniston car crash, or someone’s amazing love plays Maureen Murphy, the mother story, gives us an adrenaline rush.’ of a young soldier.
PHOTOGRAPHS: rex features. *the huffington post **Allure magazine **Interview Hub
>>> reinvented herself as a serious Hollywood actress. She’s
We first fell in love with Aniston as the ditzy but relatable Rachel Green in Friends
In the crime caper, We’re The Millers, Aniston got to flex her comedic muscles playing a stripper
Aniston managed to break free from her usual romcom role in Horrible Bosses 2
In Cake, Aniston portrays a woman grappling with raw, personal tragedy and chronic physical pain
Kenny points out that there’s more going on than a cheap thrill. ‘Often it’s a great wake-up call. You read the papers and think, ‘Oh, actually my life’s not that bad, actually things are OK.’ It reminds us that fame is not all that it’s cracked up to be, which is healthy. Also, celebrity gossip is democratic, you can access it and, by commenting on it, feel a sense of connection and belonging.’
Madonna, witch and whore
That said, there is another reason why Aniston holds such appeal, believes Kenny. The entertainment industry relies on rigid female stereotypes, which reflect the ancient female archetypes of madonna, witch and whore: the perceived seductress/loose woman (Kim Kardashian and Rihanna), the prim, nice girl (Taylor Swift), the TOWIE-
type ladette or reality star rebel (see also Adele and Florence Welch), and the earth mother (Angelina – who, for some, is also the witch). But, in her grown-up incarnation, Jen offers us an alternative to all that. ‘We also celebrate Aniston because we have been told by the media and Hollywood that women are finished by the age of 35. Yet, as she’s aged, she’s become more real, more self-reliant. She’s a reminder that women aren’t defined by chronology. For every woman, whether you’re in your 40s, 50s or 60s, Aniston is a reminder that the only thing that limits you is your own perception, so go out and do whatever makes you happy. Concentrate on your strengths, unique gifts and talents, instead of feeling that it’s too late to change things. Ultimately, she gives us hope – hope that we, too, might eventually attain our own happy ever after.’
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the life lab
Get your timings right
Every month, Martha Roberts invites you to road-test research around feeling good
1 2 3
Your body clock isn’t only responsible for making you feel alert or sleepy, it can also boost or lower your mood.
Increase levels of happiness by working with your body clock to do things at the ‘right’ time.
NOW TRY IT OUT ● Spend time outside. Being outdoors in daylight helps to reset your
body clock and get you into a positive routine. If you want to be more alert in the morning and wake up earlier, get lots of light in the morning. Lots of light in the afternoon will help you stay up later at night. ● Get into a routine. Your body clock is a bit like a mechanical clock – if you don’t give it any cues, it will get half an hour later each day. It needs adjusting to stop this. The way to do this, is to check it against the environment, for example, going out in daylight, not looking at screens late at night, and allowing yourself to have a nap if you need it. ● Keep warm. It’s known we perform best in the late morning, with memory, focus and alertness improving as body temperature rises. ● Shift from shift work. Not everyone has the option but, if you have the chance to switch to a daytime pattern, take it. Light is the primary consideration in setting our internal clock. MARTHA ROBERTS is an award-winning UK health writer and mental-health blogger at mentalhealthwise.com
SHARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT BODY CLOCKS AT FACEBOOK.COM/PSYCHOLOGIESMAGAZINE AND TWITTER @PSYCHOLOGIESMAG 24 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6
ILLUSTRATION: ROSE BLAKE/CENTRAL ILLUSTRATION AGENCY. *’ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE’ **’PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE’
Why is it that we wake up when it is light, and feel sleepy when it is dark? It is all down to our body clock, which dictates many aspects of our wellbeing, including the sleep-wake cycle. The body clock, or circadian clock, is a group of brain cells that turn on and off to help other parts of the body track time. Research shows that our circadian clock also tells us when it is the best time to do things, from exercising (3pm to 6pm), tweeting a positive message (8am to 9am), or enjoying a nap (daytime sleepiness peaks at 2pm). But, can our body clock also impact on our happiness? Research suggests that going along with our body clock can boost wellbeing, while fighting it can be detrimental. A 2015 study at the Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital in South Korea, found that shift workers were significantly more likely to have depression. And, according to a 2012 study*, night workers also suffer impaired thinking. Experts found that, after a night shift, doctors remembered significantly fewer words than those working a day shift. What is more, recent research** discovered that gene activity in the brains of depressed people did not follow healthy 24-hour cycles. So, without a doubt, our body clocks are linked to our mental wellness, and therefore our happiness.
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The book that claimed my summer If you are anything like us, a summer holiday is a chance, before almost anything else, to be consumed by a good book (or three). But there will be one hazy getaway when, other than chirping crickets and the sun on your skin, the details are sketchy â€“ because you were completely lost in a story. The Psychologies team share their books that stole a summer >>>
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I CAPTURE THE CASTLE
Summer holidays with my sisters, lounging aboard a bobbing boat on the sluggish Breede River in South Africa, are the closest I get to reliving my childhood: we three together again, giggling like naughty schoolgirls and stomping about our Africa barefoot. Sweltering days are spent sunbathing and reading, while evenings melt into each other under starlit skies. This creepy debut novel could not have been more out of place. Published in 1963 and set in leafy England, it’s not a lengthy book, but it’s unputdownable – and was my other constant companion for the brief time it took to read. Frederick Clegg is an unpopular loner. To fill the hours, he collects butterflies and pins them down, and he does the same to the woman he is obsessed with, kidnapping her and locking her in his cellar. Miranda must use all her cunning in her bid to escape, but the most chilling part of this psychological drama is how the reader accepts Frederick’s evil enslavement of his victim, and even takes his side. I won’t reveal the unforgettable ending, but I never want to read it again. As a swell caused a pile of my belongings to topple from the boat, I grabbed The Collector from the greedy green river before anything else.
‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.’ So goes the famous first line. Sinister Mrs Danvers, the beautiful dead wife, the insecurities of the second Mrs de Winter, murder, suicide and the charismatic house, Manderley… I practically devoured it in one sitting. I had just stopped breastfeeding my son, and escaped to a summer screenwriting retreat in deepest Cornwall. I took Rebecca as inspiration because I was writing a psychological thriller. Early motherhood was not what I expected. It didn’t come naturally to me. Friends would say: ‘You’ll know why he’s crying instinctively.’ I didn’t have a clue. I was living in London, surrounded by yummy mummies, who swished their shiny hair and gurgling babies over their shoulders confidently, while I waddled behind – pale and spotty with my red-faced baby wailing. I empathised with the mousy second wife, thrown into a new world in Rebecca. But, after time away to focus on creativity, to sleep, to read, to write, I remembered who I was. ‘Manderley’ is now code for being true to myself and not dreaming about it, but living it. I’ve since written two non-fiction books and I am working on a novel.
I was 22 and had just been made redundant from a job that I hated – but it was my first job and I felt like a failure. I was still living at home with my parents and felt that everyone else was having a great summer; living an exciting life and, here I was, with no money to spend and no plans for the next few weeks. I Capture The Castle changed how I felt about those empty weeks. I felt grateful for the free time I had to lose myself in the nostalgic world that Smith had created. I followed the main character, Cassandra’s joys and disappointments, as she copes with living in a decaying castle with no money; with a difficult father; her eccentric stepmother; and the excitement of potential romance. The mood of the story is evocative of an idealised early-20th-century England; and Smith’s descriptions are so vivid: I could smell the bluebell perfume Cassandra’s sister, Rose, wears; taste the supper of cheese and bread Cassandra shares with Simon; and absorb the contrast between the quiet countryside and bustling city. The book gave me a focus during a time I will always remember as the ‘redundancy summer’. Cassandra understood herself better by the end of the novel, just as I did by the end of that summer.
by John Fowles
by Daphne du Maurier
Vee Sey, Chief Sub Editor
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Suzy Greaves, Editor
by Dodie Smith
Danielle Woodward, Managing Editor
PHOTOGRAPHS: PÅL HANSEN; LIBI PEDDER. PREVIOUS PAGE: TRINETTE REED/GETTY IMAGES
THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY
Completely relaxed, practising ‘corpse pose’ on a sun lounger (with one numb arm propping up my book), and utterly lost inside the deranged mind of Tom Ripley, is how I spent my summer in… I forget where. I may as well have been in the sun-drenched Italian seaside town in which Patricia Highsmith sets her novel, for all I noticed of my surroundings. This is the ultimate psychological thriller. I won’t say it was the most relaxing read – for most of the time I spent relaxing in Savasana, my mind was lurching at its twists and turns – but it was certainly an entertaining one; perfect for long, lazy days. Highsmith’s brilliant protagonist, psychopath Tom Ripley, is as fascinating as he is terrifying. The one thing I clearly remember about that holiday is wanting to go to bed early in the evening, so I could read for longer, and the feeling of contentment in the morning at having a whole day of reading ahead. For me, that’s what summer is all about. It’s not a long read, and I was left reeling, ice cream melting into the sand, when, halfway through the holiday, I came to the final chapter. I have never found a thriller that has beaten it.
I was in my late 20s and studying, and so was my then-boyfriend, so we shared the prospect of the three-month summer break, probably for the last time. Somehow, our ambitious plan to work and travel across America became an extended beach holiday in Greece – six weeks of touring and sunworship. Sound lovely? After a fortnight, I was restless and felt I was wasting a precious opportunity. Then Middlemarch took over. Beach followed beach, but my days were absorbed in George Eliot’s brilliant portrait of thwarted lives. Energetic, idealistic Dorothea ties her ambitions to dried-out Casaubon – she is too young to see the fear and bitterness that lie beneath her husband’s learned veneer, and how these will imprison her. Meanwhile, the ambitions of Lydgate, an enlightened young doctor, are undermined by marriage to a materialistic and demanding wife. Their unfolding travails devoured 10 days or more. Then there was a heatwave; I remember the smell of grapes drying under a 40-degree sun. As we moved to yet another resort, I bought a notebook, and spent the rest of the trip plotting a novel of my own. It was the first step on a path that I have followed ever since.
Last summer, I spent a muchneeded break reading Yes Man by comedian Danny Wallace. Like the author, my long-term relationship had just ended and I was feeling lost. I picked up a tatty copy of the memoir from my office’s ‘book box’ and didn’t put it down from the minute my train left London. Recently single, Wallace decides that he’s happy spending time on his own, making excuses to avoid friends and falling into loneliness. But, when a stranger advises him to say ‘yes’ more, he boldly vows to accept every offer, challenge or chance that comes his way. It’s an hilarious (and mainly true) story with heart, as we see Wallace travelling across the globe, saying ‘yes’ to career opportunities and moving on from heartbreak. Nestled in the comedy is the message that we can all learn from our mistakes, heal and move forward – but, of course, it’s harder to learn from something that hasn’t happened. If only we had taken the plunge; held our breath, stood up and said ‘yes’. It’s a philosophy I’ve tried to embrace ever since by saying ‘yes’ more often, even to little things in life. For me, the best holiday reads inspire you long after the tan has faded.
by Patricia Highsmith
Ali Roff, Dossier Editor
by George Eliot
Elizabeth Heathcote, Associate Editor
by Danny Wallace
Ellen Tout, Editorial Assistant
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Change your career from your deckchair
PHOTOGRAPH: MICHAEL DOS SANTOS/gALLERY STOCK. *LINKEDIN SURVEY: WHY AND HOW PEOPLE CHANGE JOBS (MARCH 2015)
Are thoughts of work intruding on your holiday? Are you ready for change? With award-winning coach Kim Morgan’s accessible guide, you’ll return home with a plan, as well as a suntan
olidays give you the chance to switch off… but if, after the first few days of escape, you find thoughts of work creeping into your head, you are not alone. Many of us return home resolved to change our working situation, but with no clear way forward. Being away from it all is the ideal opportunity to think through what it is that’s niggling you in your job, and also to work out how to improve things, or whether it’s time to make a change. So, from the comfort of your lounger, follow these five steps to achieve clarity and devise a plan.
The moment of truth
You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, so the first step is to have a long, hard look at your current situation. Ask yourself the following questions about your job: l What do I still enjoy and what do I dislike? l What would I miss about it? l How did I feel when I got the job? l What has changed since then? l How do I feel when I wake up on a working day – am I ready to leap out of bed or not? l What circumstances would have to change for me to want to stay in my current job?
It’s really important to explore your reasons for feeling dissatisfied at work. A recent study by LinkedIn* revealed the main reasons why people decide to change their careers – these included dissatisfaction with senior management or the culture of the organisation; their work-life balance; wanting to take on a more challenging role or earning a better salary; and being curious about working in a different industry. Understanding your reasons for wanting to change jobs will ensure that you don’t jump from the frying pan into the fire, and possibly find yourself facing the same difficulties >>> in your next position.
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 31
What do I really want and what matters to me?
Not wanting to stay in your current job is one thing, but actually knowing what you want to do next is an altogether different challenge. To help you identify what you want, and what really matters to you, write a letter – which you will not send – to a friend. Write the letter as if you are corresponding with them many years from now. Imagine you are looking back and telling your friend about your life and your work. Include the high points in your career, and what made you feel proud, fulfilled and happy. Tell your friend what you would like to be remembered for, and what gave your life meaning. Writing this letter as if you have already had the career of your dreams will help you to identify your values, and really engage with what matters to you in your work. When you have finished, read your letter through carefully and make a list of the values you have identified and what you need to have in your professional life to make you feel fulfilled and happy.
What do I have to offer?
If you are going to put yourself out there and start looking for a new job, you will need to identify what you have to offer. There is no room for ‘Imposter Syndrome’ when you are job-hunting. Imposter Syndrome leads you to feel like a fraud, to put your achievements down to luck, think that other people have an overinflated view of you, and discount your successes. Here’s how you can combat Imposter Syndrome and realise all the transferable skills you have:
number one “wayThepeople hear
about new positions is from someone that they already know. Your network can be a valuable resource when you’re looking to change your job or career
Without being modest, make a list of all of the following (they don’t have to be specifically work-related): l Your passions. What do you love doing? l Your strengths. What are you good at? l Your experiences. What have you been through, learned, survived and achieved? l Your talents. What additional gifts or skills do you have? l Your uniqueness. What makes you ‘you’? What words do others use to describe you? Ask someone whose opinion you really trust and respect – perhaps your holiday companion – to help contribute to the list. Read through and evaluate the list, then think about possible careers or roles that would suit the unique qualities that you offer.
The LinkedIn survey also revealed that the number one way people hear about new positions is from someone that they already know. Your network can be a valuable resource when you’re looking to change your job or career.
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Take a pen and paper and draw a ‘mind map’ of all the people you know. Start with yourself in the middle and draw lines connecting you to other people in your life. Then draw lines connecting them to people in their lives who could be helpful to you. Include people who can support you; who are already doing the sort of work that you would like to do; who inspire you; and people who can introduce you to others – such as colleagues, social media contacts, relatives, neighbours, or school or university friends. Make a note of some of the people who you will contact on your return from holiday.
Review and action plan
Drawing on what you have learned from the first four steps, answer the following questions to create an action plan to keep up the momentum for change when you get home from your trip: l What is my career goal? l When do I want to achieve it? l Why do I want it? l What is the first step I need to take to move closer to my goal? l Who can support me in my career change? l When will I contact them? l What information do I need and how can I get it? l What additional skills do I need and how can I get them? l What will happen if I don’t make this change? l How will I feel when I have achieved my goal? Finally, send a postcard to yourself explaining why this change is important to you. It will help to motivate you to keep working on it when you are back in everyday life. For more from Kim, go to barefootcoaching.co.uk
Next month in
The secret of success How you can achieve your goals
Experience the eco escape
We discover the world’s best affordable and ethical retreats
Need a duvet day?
Sometimes we all have to step off the merry-go-round… photograph: getty images
‘ I want a divorce!’ Read our guide to saving your relationship first
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The downstairs balcony has enough space for a table and chairs and is a great spot for eating outdoors and enjoying the long summer days
“I’ve filled the space with my favourite flowers; lavender reminds me of my grandparents’ garden”
“Nature is my solace and comfort” Creating an urban oasis in a small space is a source of relaxation and joy to The Balcony Gardener, Isabelle Palmer
WORDS DANIELLE WOODWARD PHOTOGR APHS CLIVE NICHOLS
eeing how Isabelle Palmer has made the most of the two small balconies attached to her flat – on the top floor of a converted church in north London – is truly inspirational. ‘When I step through the front door of the flat, I get an overwhelming sense of relief,’ she says. ‘My home is my calm sanctuary.’ Isabelle has created an urban oasis by Chantal relaxes at boxes with evergreens, planting window her kitchen table, in herbs, flowers and foliage and fixing front of salvaged library bookshelves, them on to the rails of her balconies, which display some of which overlook the busy roads below. her treasures, the ‘Gardening source of her has happy memories for me; inspiration when I bought this flat, the first plants
I decided to grow were lavender and strawberries – I remember playing in my grandparents’ garden when I was a child, and nurturing my own strawberry plant that my grandma helped me repot every year. As my grandparents are no longer around, caring for plants that I know they used to like helps me feel close to their memory, too.’ Isabelle first lived in this flat as a student with flatmates, then decided to buy it and make it her own. Pale walls and natural-coloured floors keep the feel light and fresh, while houseplants, flowers and terrariums bring the restful interior to life. ‘Gardening is all about
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caring for something and anyone can do it,’ says Isabelle. ‘My plants give me a lot of joy. I believe we are connected to nature and we lose that connection in our busy, modern lives, so it’s healthy to slow down and focus on an activity that’s relaxing and therapeutic. When I check on the plants, prune a little and do some deadheading, before I know it, I’m doing a whole session and it’s just me and the plants – it’s a meditation.’ After graduating from the Chelsea College of Arts, Isabelle started a career in PR before becoming inspired to start her own business, The Balcony Gardener, for people who want to >>>
A U G U S T 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 35
>>> ABOVE The vintage crate holds a lavender tree with purple violas cascading down, and the solar outdoor lights cast a soft glow over the outdoor space when the sun sets
RIGHT Isabelle opens the living room doors during the summer, allowing the light to flood in. She enjoys cooking with the herbs she grows, too – parsley, chives and bay are her favourites
“I wanted to create a restful feel in my bedroom and living room. I chose a plain pale backdrop, then added splashes of colour with cushions and throws to cosy up” 36 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 6
“I created a mini office leading on to the balcony, so I'm lucky to have a great view to inspire me while I'm working” ABOVE Isabelle has two balconies as her flat is on two levels and, even though they are both small, she has
packed in a lot of greenery to create a lush, fresh feel – without having to compromise on precious space
maximise the potential of a limited space. The company offers small space garden design, products and workshops for urban and rural dwellers who don’t have much room outdoors, but heaps of imagination and a desire to garden. ‘I was sure there were others like me who lived in the concrete jungle but wanted to garden, too,’ says Isabelle. ‘There were people in my life at the time who didn’t think the business would be successful, but it just spurred me on to prove them wrong. My family was really supportive – my parents ran their own business and shared their valuable expertise – and I just stayed focused and disciplined. You have to survive those disappointments and knocks as they make you the person you are today. Now, working with a client to create their dream garden is satisfying – it’s like a work of art; you put your soul into it and it’s great to know you’ve helped people create their own little oasis.’ Isabelle is a self-confessed ‘nature person’ and she spends as much time
outdoors as possible. ‘I love cycling, although not in the city,’ she says. ‘I’m lucky I live near Hampstead Heath and I love to cycle there – nothing can beat that carefree, childlike feeling of being on my bike, surrounded by nature. I also like to challenge myself to do something daring every year – this time, it’s trapeze school and going down the ArcelorMittal Orbit slide [the world’s longest tunnel slide] at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – I must be crazy!’ At least Isabelle can come home and relax surrounded by the beautiful foliage growing on her balconies – the one at the back of the flat has room for a couple of chairs and she often sits there listening to the birdsong, beneath the Braeburn apple tree she’s cultivating this year. ‘I love living here,’ she admits. ‘I’m able to tap in to the natural elements of life while being close to the centre of the city. It’s the best of both worlds.’ To find out more, visit thebalconygardener.com. Isabelle’s latest book, ‘House Plants: How To Look After Your Indoor Plants’ (CICO Books, £14.99), is out on 8 September
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 37
“I need to take responsibility” Our award-winning coach Kim Morgan meets a woman who can’t stop living beyond her means
Living to excess
Amber* owned an events management company and had a reputation as a successful local businesswoman. At our first session, she was very honest with me. ‘The business isn’t making any money and I fear I am going to have to declare bankruptcy. That would be disastrous for me.’ Living life to excess, Amber modelled her lifestyle on the people she read about in celebrity magazines. By her own admission, she had no restraint. ‘If I want it, I do it,’ she said. She loved extravagance and spent so much on events she organised for her clients that she often made a loss. Amber felt it was time to ‘grow up’ and start taking her life and business seriously, so we developed an action plan to introduce more restrained behaviours into her life and work. When it was time for our next session, Amber arrived
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with a bottle of Champagne and a box of cupcakes. ‘Sorry I’m late,’ she said. ‘I was just buying a new car and personalised number plate.’ I was surprised to hear this. As the session progressed, I realised that she hadn’t made any attempt to change. I asked her if she identified with any of the following reasons for doing things to excess: l A feeling of emotional emptiness inside that you are trying to fill with other things. l Fear of Missing Out (‘FOMO’), where you experience anxiety due to comparing your lifestyle to that of others. l Low-frustration tolerance, characterised by seeking instant gratification and ignoring the long-term consequences, sometimes referred to as ‘short-term hedonism’. Amber realised that she identified with all these to some extent. As the only girl and youngest child in a large family, she had been adored and always given whatever she
•name has been changed
ILLUSTR ATION ANDREA DE SANTIS
wanted. Her father was still funding her business and bailing her out of financial difficulties. Amber recognised that she had never had to experience the consequences of her actions, and I pointed out that short-term hedonism could lead to financial problems, health issues and unhappiness. Also, research has indicated that people who have the ability to delay gratification are more likely to achieve their long-term goals. Amber assured me that she had reached a point in her life where she wanted to stand on her own two feet and be taken seriously.
Challenging old behaviours
I met with my supervisor, who got straight to the point: ‘What were you thinking of? Amber charmed you into overlooking her lateness – you wouldn’t tolerate this with another client. My guess is that she has learned she can get away with anything if she is charming enough – and that includes with you. It is your responsibility and duty as her coach to notice these behaviours and to challenge them, not to be taken in by them like everyone else.’ I resolved to be aware of this next time and to challenge her behaviours. It’s an important aspect of the coach’s role to encourage the client to enter into an adult-to-adult relationship that is not based on games or manipulation.
Amber had learned that she “could get away with anything
Time to grow up
if she was charming enough
I worked with Amber for many months and she did learn to resist immediate temptation and delay gratification. Of course, along the way, there were some spectacular relapses – like the last-minute clubbing holiday in Ibiza. Most importantly, Amber told her father what she was trying to achieve and asked for his help. He proved to be a great support. He was now able to share his experience and wisdom as a successful businessman in an adult-toadult way with her, instead of ‘rescuing’ her. Their relationship moved into a different stage where they began to appreciate one another. For the first time in her life, Amber started to feel genuinely proud of her achievements. For more from Kim, go to barefootcoaching.co.uk
Make your own labels
the life lab
This is a great exercise to help you to make changes in the way you see yourself, and how you behave. Get some sticky notes and, on each one, write a word or phrase that represents a label you have worn. These might be things other people have said about you and/or words you have used about yourself. Make sure you write both positive and negative labels, then take each one in turn and do one of the following: l Keep it. If you like it, agree with it and if it’s useful, put it somewhere you can see it each day. l Reword it. Maybe there is an element of truth in it, but the word is not useful to you. You might have been called ‘extravagant’, but would now rather use the words ‘generous when I can be’. l Reject it. If this word doesn’t reflect who you are or how you want to see yourself, throw it away. Then write some new words for yourself that will be useful to you in your life now. Benefits calculation This is a way to break through decision-making blocks. It’s based on the principle that we are likely to be happiest when our decisions take into account both the desirability of getting enjoyment now, and continuing to get it in the future. List all factors that seem relevant to the decision, including the likelihood of short- and long-term consequences. Decide how much value or benefit each item has to you, negatively or positively, then add up the pros and cons. Delayed gratification – the STANFORD Marshmallow Experiment In this famous study, a group of four-, five- and six-year-olds were given a marshmallow and left in a room for 15 minutes with the choice of eating the marshmallow immediately, or waiting 15 minutes and then having two. Some children waited and others didn’t. The study followed them into adulthood and found that those who had been able to delay gratification were more self-motivated, had better results at school and were more psychologically well-adjusted than those who hadn’t. If you experience frustration when you have to wait for what you want, try delaying gratification with one thing each day for a month or two. Notice how you feel and what has changed at the end of each month.
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 39
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These are the days of our lives T
rudging along the beautiful cobbled streets of Bruges on the last day of a fraught family holiday, I was lost for words when my temperamental pre-teen whispered: ‘This has been the best trip of my life, I will remember it for ever.’ Let us just say that is not how I was mentally summarising our holiday. Booked to mark my husband’s 40th birthday, we had chosen the beer capital of Europe as our destination because he is the co-founder of a brewery and had just finished a year-long break from drinking alcohol. With three children in tow, we had obviously not expected to drink the city dry, but enjoying everything Bruges has to offer adults while keeping our children happy had proved more challenging than
we had anticipated. We had argued ceaselessly about the appropriate use of spending money, spent a small fortune on chips and waffles, and amassed so many begged-for holiday souvenirs that we had to fork out for a new suitcase just to carry them all home. Factor in a flat tyre on the hire car on day one, and travelling via an airport patrolled by machinegun-wielding military police because it had been the scene of a terrorist attack two months earlier, and you’ll understand why my son’s soulful words came as a surprise.
Lapping up adventure
To me, the trip was chaotic, stressful and not far from disappointing. But my son was too busy making memories and lapping up adventure to notice. He saw exotic trinkets to be
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treasured, not overpriced junk; time spent together being a family, not the constant juggle of conflicting interests; and soldiers keeping us safe, not impending danger. His perspective was both a tonic and a challenge, because it made me realise that many of the moments I rush through – or even resent – end up yielding memories I later treasure. Looking back over various periods in my life that seemed difficult or felt like a struggle at the time – losing a job I had loved, becoming a mother for the first time, and even a painful period in my marriage – I can see that many of them have since mellowed into some of my richest and most meaningful memories. Redundancy from an executive PR role I had worked my way up to over six years felt like abject >>>
PHOTOGRAPH: terry schmidbauer/gallery stock
Sometimes, stressful moments and difficult times also produce our brightest, best-loved memories. Heidi Scrimgeour views her life through a different lens
it became the catalyst for me starting my own business, which I cannot imagine ever having had the courage to do otherwise. When my firstborn lost weight, and the health visitor labelled him ‘failing to thrive’, I interpreted her dismay as an indictment on my capacity to be a good mother. But, as that headstrong judo champion now prepares to throw himself headlong into high school, I look back on those days of angst, and feel that they somehow anchored me to who I truly am: an imperfect mother, who loves her child as fiercely as though his life depends on it. And the rough patch in my relationship, which I once thought would destroy me, actually helped me forge the deepest and most enduring friendships of my life. In Bruges, I couldn’t see past the trip’s logistical challenges and stressful moments to appreciate the memorable parts that would stay with me always – but my son could. If only I could apply his outlook to adulthood’s many mundane or even miserable moments, maybe I could capture the contentment that seems to come so naturally to a 10-year-old.
Living the highlights
A few days later, I shared this rumination with a friend. ‘Bruges was on the highlights reel,’ she said, nodding sagely. It transpired that she had read an article about a strikingly similar moment of clarity in someone’s life. Dragging her irritable children from the beach back to their holiday rental in the middle of a heavy downpour, the writer overheard an elderly man commenting on the scene of domestic chaos that passed before him.
The rough patch in my relationship, which “I thought would destroy me, actually helped me forge the deepest friendships of my life
‘Those were the days,’ he said, smiling broadly and, in that moment, she realised what my son knew instinctively: that what will one day be the ‘highlights reel’ of our lives – the moments that we will replay with fondness; longing for those days that passed too fast – are the very moments we are in danger of missing or taking for granted, unless something, or someone, resets our perspective. She is right. These are the days of our lives, and that realisation can move us through every moment with more grace and purpose. I suppose mindfulness is an effort to capture the essence of this thinking, but muttering ‘highlights reel’ to myself when I’m chasing my toddler back to bed for the sixth time in an evening is as effective in focusing my attention as any mindfulness technique I have tried. If anyone knows how highlightsreel thinking can recalibrate your sense of what makes life more meaningful, it is my dear friend who was diagnosed with cancer three months after meeting the love of her life. ‘Now, I think of my “cancer year” as one of the best of my life,’ she says. ‘I look back fondly on the wonderful connection that I forged with my now-husband, while he coached me through painful chemotherapy; learning to grow my own vegetables when I could barely eat a thing; and the new respect I earned from my siblings by refusing to give in to the fear of dying.’
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>>> failure at the time it happened, but
Perhaps our children are possessed of an acute sense of perspective that us grown-ups have to face death in order to acquire, but it is undeniable that highlights-reel thinking changes absolutely everything, if you will let it.
Now, I kiss my husband more attentively, hug my children more intensely, and celebrate even small successes at work far more unashamedly. I also take fewer things for granted: the small voice that whines for yet another story at bedtime is also the one that I might one day yearn to hear in a rare long-distance phone call. And the pressing professional deadlines that seem to deaden the joy of a sunny weekend are the mounting accomplishments that I hope might one day inspire and amuse grandchildren yet to come. If you are in any doubt over whether you are living the highlights reel, or need a sign that these truly are the days of our lives, let me leave you with the words of Van Morrison, whose track These Are The Days came on at this very moment in the pub – where I am seeking a period of solitude away from the chaotic highlights-reel moment that is bedtime on a Friday evening in our house: ‘These are the days of the endless summer; These are the days, the time is now; There is no past, there is only future; There’s only here, there’s only now.’
Stonehenge Trek 3 September 2016
Challenge yourself to trek 26 or 13 miles through Wiltshireâ€™s historic countryside, taking in the world-famous Stonehenge. Do something incredible, join us and help transform the lives of people affected by dementia.
alzheimers.org.uk/Stonehenge 0330 333 0804 Alzheimerâ€™s Society operates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Registered charity no. 296645
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Jessica Ennis-Hill Olympic gold-medallist and undisputed national treasure, Jessica Ennis-Hill, is gearing up to defend her heptathlon title after the birth of her first child – and the toughest year of her career so far. She tells us what matters to her INTERVIEW JAKE TAYLOR photograph JO METSON/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES
I think there’s always pressure on young people to achieve and go somewhere in life. I think pressure is a good thing – it drives people and keeps you pushing forward, but it’s got to be balanced. If you enjoy what you do, if you have people around you who can support and mentor you, then you can go on and achieve whatever you want. I’ve always had the drive to be the best that I can be and get the most out of my career. I’m a very competitive person and I always want to make improvements and end on a high; so I always aim to push that little bit more in training and do better. Last year was like no other year. Trying to find my feet back in training after having Reggie [her son] was hard. I remember one hill session that we do every year at the beginning of winter training: I found it incredibly tough. I couldn’t keep up with the pace, and it just kind of broke me down. I thought that this was going to be a deciding moment, where it goes one way or the other. I think there was always that determination to fully come back into athletics and to compete again. But then, when I started training, I wasn’t prepared for how hard it was. I want Reggie to see me competing; to see his mum doing well. I want him to have those memories and photos that he can look back on and say, ‘Oh, look what my mum did when I was little’. That definitely motivates me and drives me in this stage of my career. I had to deal with how much my body had changed, and the physical and mental effects of coming back from childbirth. My body was slightly different. My ligaments were a lot looser and I had Achilles problems.
I was never really able to put a solid block of consistent training together; not having that time to rest and recover made everything that little bit more difficult. I still knew I really wanted it, and I really wanted to make sure I went out to Beijing for the World Athletic Championships. I didn’t want to come back empty-handed, but, that year, getting the gold medal was more than I could have ever wished for and imagined. Every year is year zero for me. You kind of achieve what you achieve that year and then you have to do it again from zero points. Every athlete is in the same position. I’ve always been brought up to be who you are and not try and be someone you are not. Enjoy what you do, be confident, and always believe in what you do. People will just keep on expecting me to perform at the highest level and win gold medals every time I step out but, unfortunately, it’s just not that easy. This [Olympic] year is going to be all the more challenging because of the level of competition – everybody steps up their game, trains that little bit harder, and performs that bit better. But I don’t think I’m ever going to feel the amount of pressure I did in 2012. Having Reggie means I have to balance everything, so that I spend as much time with him, as well. My perspective has really changed, but it’s definitely for the better and I think it will hopefully get that last little bit out of my career. The Rio 2016 Olympic Games take place from 5-21 August, with the women’s heptathlon events starting on 12 August. Find the latest Olympic news and information at rio2016.com. Find out more about Jessica at jessicaennis.net
s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 47
How to get the sex you deserve In her 30s, Lucy-Anne Holmes asked herself some questions about the sex she had so far experienced. This started a journey that led her to self-esteem, feminism – and some great orgasms
photographs trunk archive
hen I was in my mid-30s I had some really rather beautiful sex. What makes me describe it as beautiful sex? Well, it could be the exquisite way he touched me. Gently, he explored my body. Yes, my whole body – if you know me, you might want to sit down for this… even my feet. The most surprising bits of me became power points of arousal. When his fingertips brushed the back of my knee, I groaned. ‘Calm down, Luce, it’s your knee,’ my inner critic said, but I ignored it as he was slowly working his way up my thigh. It could be that we took our time. Oh wow, we took our time. Sexual energy was literally sloshing around my body so that when he eventually nipped at my nipple, blimey, I was drowning. It could be that we looked into each other’s eyes. I felt connected to him through the whole experience. I sensed his delight in me and in the sex, and his respect for me and for
the act that we were doing together. So, yes, I’d say that it was beautiful sex. Now, you’d assume that I’d jump up afterwards and start singing ‘aye aye yippee’, wouldn’t you? Well, I didn’t. I cried. I lay there naked and I wept. I am so not cool. ‘Why are you crying?’ he asked. ‘I didn’t think I deserved to be touched like that,’ I said. He kissed me and that phrase ‘I didn’t think I deserved to be touched like that’ kept repeating in my mind. We all have our own sex stories. It is likely they begin with our first feelings of arousal, the first time we are touched intimately, or are spoken to about sex. Mine probably starts when I was six years old and played with myself behind the curtain in the living room. Or the sting of shame I felt for months after being discovered, age seven, with another girl, with our knickers down. Moving into puberty, I remember a ‘How to…’ manual that came >>>
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 49
breath would catch when I saw sex on the telly. I lost my virginity aged 14 on a friend’s bathroom floor, and was dumped three weeks later. Then there were boyfriends with porn mags behind radiators and hidden stacks of VHS cassettes, an incident of abuse in my early 20s, and years and years of having sex, a lot of it under the influence of booze and drugs. Then suddenly, there I was in my 30s, lying sobbing in bed with a man. I think I was crying for all the sex that was rough, disconnected, or desensitised by substances. Somehow, being touched tenderly in my sex area brought up the sadness of all the times I had not been touched lovingly there.
This situation didn’t just happen randomly – you might say I called it in. In fiction writing, big moments in the story where everything shifts or changes are known as reversals. This event came six months after I’d decided to create a shift in my own story. My friend has an expression: ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’ – and I didn’t want to get what I’d always got in the realms of sex any more. It seemed as though I’d been flailing around there, yet deep
Somehow, being “touched tenderly in
my sex area brought up the sadness of all the times I had not been touched lovingly there
>>> free with a magazine, and how my
down I knew there was more to this sex malarkey than I’d experienced. The first thing I did was ask myself, ‘What would I like to experience sexually?’ I thought about the question, and then made a list. The thing that came to my head straight away surprised me – it didn’t seem very rock ’n’ roll. It was simply that I wanted to experience really slow sex. It seemed as though, for a long time, sex had felt full of speedy acrobatic routines. This list was an opportunity to take things out of the shadow of shame or fantasy, to think, ‘I have been aroused at the thought of this, so could/should I try it for real?’ Or, ‘I’ve heard of this, but what is it, can I find out more about it?’ Novelist Paulo Coelho has a quote in The Alchemist: ‘When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it,’ and I honestly think something powerful
Explore these questions in your journal l What, if anything,
has really worked for you sexually? What turns you on? l Write about your best sexual experience and how it made you feel. l What makes you
feel connected to someone while in a sexual relationship? l What does intimacy really mean to you? l How do you imagine a healthy sexual relationship? l What gets in the
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way of you asking for what you want in a sexual relationship? l What is the one thing you could change, in order to explore a more satisfying sexual relationship?
shifted just by me making that list. It was as though my life opened up to this journey – I would meet surprising people who could help me; life became serendipitous, richer. That’s not to say it wasn’t frequently a disaster. Especially at the start. I soon realised that, in order to have the sort of sex I was hoping for, I needed to completely love my body. It’s difficult to surrender to sexual pleasure if you’re worried that your bits are horrible or weird. I also had to be absolutely clear and confident in stating my boundaries, and requesting what I did and didn’t want with partners. My sexual adventure wasn’t simply and suddenly about to just happen. I had to create it, and I couldn’t do that passively. But I had been passive for so long – all my life – in this area, and old patterns tend to be hard and clunky to break. When I asked a man if he wanted to learn tantric sex with me, this wasn’t a confident woman offering a man a sexual escapade. It was more like a girl in a cagoule at a bus stop, using wine for confidence, shaking and wincing, ‘I, er, oh my goodness, I’m so embarrassed, can I ask you something?’ The poor man looked petrified. ‘I don’t know!’ he responded, eyes like saucers. I was practically traumatised by the time I eventually said the words, ‘Would you like to learn tantric sex with me?’ and ran away before I could hear the answer.
Immature or insecure?
As I read this back, it occurs to me how young I sound, as though I hadn’t matured, or I’d missed out on some crucial development. To be honest, it felt that way. Occasionally, I would look in the mirror during these times and be surprised at the lined face of the woman before me. I felt so young, or perhaps it was the insecurities
“I didThewasfirstaskthing myself,
‘What would I like to experience sexually?’ I thought about the question, and then made a list…
that felt so very young. I found it agonisingly hard to say to men what I wanted, something that took me a good while to work through. It was even present with the ‘beautiful sex’ man. We spent a wonderful day in the sun getting to know each other. That evening we were outside, looking at the stars, and he put his hand very gently on my back. My body felt alive at his touch. ‘What would you like to do?’ he asked. All I want to do is kiss you, I thought. I just want to lean into you and see where all this attraction and sensual energy leads. ‘I don’t know,’ I said. I don’t know. We went to bed in our separate rooms. I don’t know. It was strange. I was someone who was able to make things I wanted to happen in my own life: I’d performed on West End stages, I’d had books published. And yet, with a man, when
faced with a simple question such as ‘What would you like to do?’, I’d respond with empowered corkers like ‘I don’t know’ or (and I really did say this at one point) ‘Whatever you want’.
The right questions
But, every time I encountered a setback, I would learn so much that I was almost glad it had happened. In the May issue of Psychologies, Elizabeth Gilbert talked about asking yourself the right questions. Looking back, I think that’s what I did. I asked myself why I needed a bottle of wine inside me before I could get naked. Why, when I was a hippy who didn’t want to hate anything, was I heaping hate on my body so much? Why was it so painfully difficult for me to ask for what I wanted? Why did I, quite literally, hand my power over to the men I was with? I was forced to look at myself. And in doing so, you could
say that I found myself. Best of all, I started to accept myself and love the glorious muddle of a human being that I am. I found feminism, too. And I had some exquisite orgasms. The list, the adventure, offered me a wonderful opportunity to do things differently in my life. ‘The opportunity to do things differently’ – I found that a powerful mantra. Take that night with the ‘beautiful sex’ man, when I went to bed alone. There I was, twizzling around in the duvet, my inner critic calling me all sorts of names, but I didn’t want to be that girl who couldn’t communicate with men any more. I wanted to try a different way. So I got up, went to his room and whispered, ‘You know when you asked me what I wanted earlier, and I said “I don’t know”? Well, that wasn’t strictly true. Actually, my body was on fire for you, I wanted to kiss you, I wanted to…’ Our sex stories are always evolving and changing. Where are we now? Are we having the experiences we would like? If not, can we shake things up? I feel inspired to really engage with my sexual story, to keep checking in with my wants and desires, and to keep asking myself what I am feeling and why. I believe there’s not just growth in it, but magic. Lucy-Anne Holmes is a writer and activist. She is currently crowdfunding a book, ‘Don’t Hold My Head Down’, about her sexual journey. Psychologies readers can get an exclusive £5 off a pledge to the book by entering ‘Psych16’ at the checkout on unbound.co.uk
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Stop feeling small, start feeling brave
How confident are you? Deep down, you probably believe that if you could be just a bit more confident in your own skin, then you could do anything you wanted... In Psychologies’ brand new book, we bring you the latest research and the top experts in their field to show you how to develop confidence for real through insightful advice, practical tips and helpful tests.
No more sitting quietly in the corner, it’s time to conquer the world and live a life on your own terms!
›› Available in all good bookstores and online
the life lab
Every month, Oliver Burkeman invites you to improve your work life
Uncertainty about your future at work – if you’re worried about job security, for example – is a unique kind of torture. Our minds are designed to seek control and predictability, so it is arguably worse to fear bad news than to receive it. The feeling of being in limbo can damage health and relationships. There is a solution – but it’s probably not what you’re thinking.
The real problem, argues self-help writer Susan Jeffers, isn’t the uncertainty, it’s the struggle to get rid of it. ‘We live in a society that teaches us to grasp for control of everything: our careers, relationships, children, health, money,’ she writes. But that’s impossible. Even in areas in which you do have control, it’s only partial, and accidents, illnesses and economic crashes happen. The trick is to embrace uncertainty instead – but that’s easier said than done.
Embracing uncertainty doesn’t mean failing to make plans. It just means seeing the truth: that such plans are made against a backdrop of unpredictability. ‘Let go of any hope that you can create certainty in your life,’ Jeffers urges. Then, switch your focus from outcomes (which you can’t control) to processes and habits (which you can). You can’t guarantee financial security, but perhaps you can save a little extra each month. You can’t be certain you’d get a new job if you were sacked, but you can make regular coffee dates, to nurture your network. You can’t determine the outcome of your performance review, but you can do good work – and make sure that those higher up know. This approach to life is a relief. In contrast to the futile struggle for certainty, when you focus on daily steps, you ‘win’ every time you perform one.
NOW TRY IT OUT ● Use ‘negative visualisation’. Instead of trying to persuade
yourself that everything will work out fine, try calmly imagining the steps that you would take if things went badly wrong. That way, the worst-case scenario won’t hold so much horror. ● Meditate. It’s a piece of advice you hear often these days. But a mindfulness practice – even just five minutes of concentrating on your breathing each day – helps you to see that the thoughts and feelings associated with uncertainty are simply that: thoughts and feelings. You don’t have to believe them. ● Try the ‘I wonder’ exercise. Jeffers suggests listing your hopes for the future – ‘I hope I find a new job’, ‘I hope I get promoted’ – and substituting ‘I wonder if…’ It’s a surprisingly powerful way to shift your stance towards the unknown future. OLIVER BURKEMAN is the author of ‘The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking’ (Canongate, £8.99)
TELL US HOW YOU IMPROVE YOUR WORKING LIFE AT FACEBOOK.COM/PSYCHOLOGIESMAGAZINE AND TWITTER @PSYCHOLOGIESMAG
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ILLUSTRATION: ROSE BLAKE/CENTRAL ILLUSTRATION AGENCY
Our agony aunt Mary Fenwick offers a new perspective on whatever is troubling you
‘‘I’ve never stuck Q
I want to get rid of some emotional baggage. Since the age of 12, I have felt conscious of how I look and my mannerisms. I was bullied at school and told I would never get anywhere in life. I wanted to stick up for myself, but I did not know how. Subsequently, at work, I have found it hard to integrate into teams. In my teaching-assistant role, it took me five months to pluck up the courage to ask my manager for feedback on my performance, and she said the team wasn’t sure if I liked it in school. I do like the job, I just find it hard to say what’s on my mind. I’m passionate, and I feel it comes out too strongly. Now there is the chance for me to train as a qualified teacher, but I need confidence. What can I do? Name supplied
My heart goes out to you. It sounds tough, lonely and tiring having all these thoughts. Please take the credit for having created this opportunity
up for myself
Mary Fenwick is a business coach, journalist, fundraiser, mother, divorcée and widow
in your life, despite the difficulties. I agree with your metaphor of baggage, if it means you can lay some of these thoughts aside and feel more free to be yourself. Three things strike me about your letter. Firstly, this is not a one-off concern. You are talking about your past, present, and possible future, so taking time to review your baggagehandling policies is definitely worthwhile. Secondly, the common themes are anxiety about your relationships with other people, and difficulty in speaking up. It might be helpful to check out the definitions of social anxiety or generalised anxiety disorder. Remember that anxiety is something you might have, not the definition of who you are, and not a label to be stuck on you without consent. The website for Anxiety UK (see ‘More inspiration’, opposite) has a number of downloadable, low-cost fact sheets. There is also an app, which offers a DIY diagnosis. Lastly, when you say that your opinions ‘come out too strongly’,
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GOT A QUESTION FOR MARY? Email email@example.com, with ‘MARY’ in the subject line Follow Mary on Twitter @MJFenwick
my instinct is that your opinions are always strong, but you don’t tend to express them unless you are pushed. This would fit the characteristics of an INFP-type personality within the Myers Briggs (MBTI) psychometric tool. I recognise it because I have those traits myself. One aspect is that we seem flexible unless a value is threatened. Again, please bear in mind this is not ‘the one big answer’, but might be useful. If – and it’s a big if – that description fits, then some other characteristics include being idealistic, prone to being misunderstood, and being hard on yourself. I recommend you go to the original MBTI tool, not one of the copies (see the link in ‘More inspiration’, opposite). It is definitely worth going for the teaching opportunity. Think how much difference it could have made to the younger you, if there had been a teacher who was able to empathise and help.
the life lab
“Should I stop flirting with this older man?”
I am a happily married woman with a young child. Everything looks perfect in my life – I have a loving family and a great job. My husband is always considerate and thoughtful. Almost a year ago I met a man at work who is 30 years older than me. We started flirting and now we text each other every day, sharing details of our everyday life with some sexual content. We meet privately for lunch from time to time and, to some extent, act like secret lovers. He is living with a girlfriend. I know we’re just having fun and are not going to commit to anything further. I know that what I’m doing isn’t right, but somehow I’m not willing to give up this friendship. What should I do? Name supplied
Maybe there is a part of you that feels this is a relatively safe way of getting the thrill of sex with someone else, without actually acting on it. However, most people will say that it’s not the extramarital sex that hurts, it’s the lying. I’m not judging you at all, I’m just pointing out that your actions definitely have the potential to hurt your husband. The balance between safety and excitement in love is a human challenge, and there is no better writer on the topic than Esther Perel. Her book, Mating In Captivity, argues that a happy marriage is a sexy one, but that doesn’t just happen by magic in a long-term relationship. I also recommend watching the online TED talks by biological
anthropologist Helen Fisher – see the link in ‘More inspiration’, below. She says evolution has given us three basically different brain systems to deal with mating – one for sex, one for the madness of early love, and the third for long-term attachment. If you really mean it about the value of your marriage, then try putting the time and energy of your secret lunches into planning some exciting surprises for yourself and your husband. They don’t even need to be sexy surprises, just having fun and enjoying the novelty together will be bonding. I can see the appeal for your secret lunch partner in having the attention of a woman half his age who acts like his lover, but it sounds as if you have rather more to lose than he has.
“I feel at a loss and ready to give up”
photograph: victoria birkinshaw
I took on a masters training course a few years ago, but unfortunately I failed. I was very ambitious as this has always been my dream field to work in. Since then, I have been applying to several other universities offering the same training course, but it’s proving difficult to get a place – it’s a very competitive subject. I now feel at a loss and completely hopeless, and I wonder whether I should just give up pursuing this career? I feel like I’m stuck and not sure how to move on with my life. Name supplied
Ask the leaders of each course what you could do to increase your chances of being accepted. It’s rare for any career to have only one entry route, so how about asking three or four people who are doing the job how they got there? It’s also rare for someone to turn down the chance to give advice. In terms of the bigger question of feeling stuck, the key is finding ways to build your own mindset of hope. Studies show that hope is a better predictor of success than talent alone. The three ingredients of hope are: a clear goal (is it getting on the course, or working in the field?); the ability
to see several routes there (pathways thinking); and the motivation and self-belief to use those routes (agency thinking). If you can’t find self-belief, spend time with someone who believes in you to give you a boost. More inSPIRATION Visit: anxietyuk.org.uk for the Stress Tips app Visit: mbtionline.com or 16personalities.com Read: Mating In Captivity by Esther Perel (Hodder & Stoughton, £9.99) Visit: ideas.ted.com/10-factsabout-infidelity-helen-fisher
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ADDRESS YOUR STRESS Stress. An intangible demon that we cannot see nor feel, while it slowly picks away at our energy, sanity and happiness. It’s a word bandied around with fervour, but what does it actually mean? What is it? How can we identify it? And how do we get rid of it? This month, we investigate ‘the big bad stress’; from the different ways it manifests itself in our lives – and our bodies – to how to manage it. We hear three different stories from real people on how stress took over and how they recovered; and discuss Eastern philosophy and Western psychology; plus, take our specially commissioned test to find out how stress is most likely to play out in your body. And, exhale... illustrations montse BERNAL/CENTRAL ILLUSTRATION agency
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – JK Rowling, ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows’
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take a moment and breathe...
Often, the worst kind of stress can be the type that we don’t notice at first. The kind that festers within us, beginning in the mind, but only showing itself through our physical bodies. Migraines anyone? Not to mention eczema, ulcers and more. So, what’s going on in there? Anita Chaudhuri investigates the deep, dark secrets of stress
few weeks ago, I found myself at the hospital for an emergency ECG heart scan. It’s a perfectly painless and quick test, but, being a hypochondriac, my inner scriptwriter had already created a compelling drama featuring a montage of Casualty out-takes and alarming outcomes. I could feel my heartbeat race – not helpful for the test. ‘Oh no, now the results will be abnormal and then I’m doomed…’ I panicked. Try as I might, nothing would calm me down. Not visualisation, nor any of the mindfulness techniques I had spent 11 weeks diligently learning earlier this year. I could feel my heart beating faster and faster, in spite of my willing it not to and, surprise surprise, the test result indicated ‘tachycardia’ – abnormally fast heartbeat. As soon as I left the building, I exhaled and everything slowed down. By the time I got home and measured my pulse, it was normal. I mention this incident to illustrate the thorny issue of stress and its involuntary impact on our physiology. We all know it’s desirable to reduce stress and adopt a calm mindset, but certain aspects of anxiety lie beyond our control. Medics even have a term for what I experienced: ‘white coat syndrome’. As Dean Burnett, author of The Idiot Brain (Guardian Faber, £12.99) points out, our minds aren’t only occupied with thoughts, memories and the brainy stuff. ‘The body needs the brain to control it and make it do necessary
things. As a result, much of the brain is dedicated to basic physiological processes, monitoring internal workings, co-ordinating responses to problems,’ he explains. ‘The regions that control these fundamental aspects, the brainstem and the cerebellum, are often referred to as “the reptile brain”. By contrast, all the more advanced abilities we humans enjoy – consciousness, attention, perception, reasoning – are found in the neocortex, neo meaning new.’ Burnett describes the relationship between these two parts of the brain as being like a freedom-loving employee and an annoying micromanager. ‘If you’ve ever worked for someone who’s a micromanager, you’ll know just how inefficient this arrangement can be,’ he says. ‘Having someone less experienced (but higher ranking) hovering over you, issuing ill-informed orders and asking dumb questions (the super-analytical neocortex).’
“Nothing would calm me down. I could feel my heart beating faster, in spite of willing it not to”
So, what happens when we’re stressed? The brain receives information about any given situation. Depending on the context (such as footsteps in your house in the middle of the night, as opposed to footsteps outside during the day when the postman usually does his round), your brain will label it safe or not safe. If ‘not safe’, cortisol and adrenaline are released – the so-called fight-or-flight response. According to Burnett, this is why we often experience >>>
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So you start layering struggle into the experience and expending precious cognitive resources on whether we’re allowed to feel something. This takes away from the core issue – I need to find a new job/boss/husband or whatever.’ In the case of type 1 stress, what should we do about it? ‘The question to ask yourself is, “Is this worthwhile stress?”. Is the source of stress fundamentally connected to what’s important to you? If it is, it will often involve discomfort or pushing yourself in directions that are not part of your usual story. So, you may be in a job that’s stressful, trying to deal with the kids and make dinner, which is also stressful. But those things are deeply congruent with the choices you’ve made.’
“If you want to live a life that’s vital, thrilling and energetic, you don’t want to avoid stress, because stress is the point where you experience true growth”
Two types of stress
According to David, psychologists have identified that there are two distinct types of stress. ‘Type 1 stress is when you are stressed about something specific, such as losing your job in a round of redundancies. You’re upset, but it’s a clean emotion,’ she explains. ‘Type 2 stress is when you get stressed about the stress. “Oh no, I’m stressed, that’s really bad for me, I might have a heart attack.” Or, “I shouldn’t be feeling this way, I should be feeling happy”.
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In the case of type 2 stress, the so-called ‘stressing about being stressed’, David observes that people often have an unrealistic attitude. ‘Be very careful of adopting what I call “dead people’s goals”. By that, I mean when you hear yourself saying, “I don’t ever want to feel anxious, I never want to fail or embarrass myself”. The only people who avoid all that are dead. If you want to live a life that’s vital, thrilling and energetic, then you don’t want to avoid stress, because stress is the point at which you’re experiencing true growth.’ So, if that’s good stress, what is bad stress? ‘When you start feeling that stress is in charge of your actions,’ explains David. ‘Your inner dialogue might be something like, “I’m so stressed, so it’s justified that I snap at my husband because he’s asked me to do one extra thing. I’m on overload! I can’t believe he’s asked me to do that”. So your thoughts and emotions take over, directing the way you snap at your kids or check your phone instead of being present with the family. Instead of being connected to what you truly value as an individual, you’re being completely distracted, you’ve got hooked in.’ In her book, David mentions that, during the average day, most of us speak an astonishing 16,000 words, and that’s not counting the voice in our head! ‘This voice is an unreliable narrator – just like Amy Dunne in the psychological thriller Gone Girl. Our own narrator may be biased, confused or engaged in wilful self-justification or deception. And it will not shut up.’ She cites an example from her own life: a colleague rang to tell her that they were going >>> epel et al, Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress, proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the usa, 2004
of this include rapid pulse, dry mouth, the shakes and – in more extreme situations – eczema, mouth ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. But these physical responses are no longer only triggered by obvious threats to our safety. One research study* indicated that low-grade daily stress, like your phone running out of charge before an important call, the train that’s running late, or having to tackle a pile of bills, can cause brain cells to prematurely age by as much as a decade – a statistic that’s enough to bring about a mini stressattack in itself. However, Kat Farrants, yoga teacher and founder of Movement for Modern Life, offers some words of reassurance. ‘In a way, stress is a good thing because it has saved us from being eaten by wild animals and it gets us out of immediate danger. But it is meant to be a short-term reaction to a situation. Humans can deal with it and return to relax-and-recuperate mode,’ she says. ‘However, if you’re in fight-or-flight mode all the time, your body can’t focus on repairing itself. For example, the human body is not able to digest food and be on that red alert state at the same time, and red alert takes precedence.’ So, given that evolutionary biology isn’t on our side, what can we do about stress? Susan David, psychologist and author of Emotional Agility (Penguin, £14.99), believes we overuse the term ‘stress’ in the first place. ‘We often use it as a blanket term for anything that’s going wrong,’ says David. ‘So, if we’re asked, “How was your day?”, a typical response might be, “Busy and stressful”. We’re using stress as an umbrella term to describe stuff that’s far more granular. On further questioning, you might discover that, in fact, you’re not stressed, you’re angry, or embarrassed.’
>>> physical reactions to stress. Common manifestations
Create your own stress toolkit
Making simple changes to the way we approach stress, can help us find the clarity and strength to overcome it. Try Susan David’s top stress-busting tips
TAKE A HELICOPTER VIEW OF LIFE
Noticing your thoughts about stress immediately deflates the power of that stress. If you’re standing waiting for a train that’s late, instead of running a script that says, ‘I’m going to be late for work and then the boss will… because…’ imagine yourself looking down on the situation objectively. Notice feelings as feelings, as opposed to being stuck inside them. ‘I’m
stressed because the train is late’. Breathe into it.
LABEL WHAT YOU’RE TRULY FEELING
If you’re able to articulate your emotions, then that’s an incredibly helpful first step to enable you to deal with the situation more easily and effectively. For example, rather than simply saying, ‘I’m stressed at work’, you might come up with, ‘I’m disappointed with my career direction’ or, ‘I’m
struggling with my sense of belonging at work’. When people do this, it helps them to be more emotionally agile and become less stuck.
Find the gift
What’s the beacon behind your stress? For instance, if you’re struggling with a sense of belonging at work, that could be a sign that you want to feel more like you’re part of a community and that’s evidently important to you.
Make tiny tweaks
Rather than just abandoning the whole situation, such as leaving a job or relationship, once you identify what’s really meaningful for you, you can make small life changes. For example, if you’re stressed because you feel you’re always running after other people and lacking self-care, you might make a Monday evening date to go to a painting class or see girlfriends – just for you!
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Dossier >>> to use one of her ideas in their own research paper. Upset,
she called her surgeon husband, who said he couldn’t talk because he was about to operate on someone. Rather than brooding about the cause of her stress, her inner scriptwriter came up with the line, “He’s never there for me”, and she proceeded to ignore her husband for two days. David laughs when I tell her how much this anecdote resonated with me, and mentions that it’s really common for people to brush off the real source of the problem and fixate on something easier to handle. ‘There are two default responses I see in people who are very stressed. The first I call “bottling”. This is when the person says, “I’m stressed about my boss/husband, but at least I’ve got a job/marriage”, so they push the stress aside and ignore it. The other strategy I see is the same but opposite – brooding. That’s where the person will say, “I’m so stressed”, going over and over it in their mind. They come up with drastic solutions like giving it all up and moving to the country. Both are illustrations of where thoughts are in charge.’
Coming up for air
One much simpler solution than resigning from your job or asking your spouse for a divorce might be to change the way you breathe. Kat Farrants observes that many people she sees don’t know how to breathe properly because they’ve never been taught how to do it. ‘There are people who take their first shallow gasp of breath when their boss shows up in the morning, and the last shallow breath with a sleeping pill at midnight,’ she says. ‘In between, there’s a constant state of anxiety.’ When you’re feeling stressed, she suggests sitting up with a straight spine, visualising your head reaching up to the ceiling: ‘That gives your lungs a chance to take in air. If you’re sitting hunched over your desk, you’ve got no chance.’ In a really stressful situation, she suggests not trying to control the breath at all. ‘Just count. Count the inhales as they occur naturally, and count the exhales. Accept what shows up without changing your breathing. “Ooh, that’s a very shallow breath. Oh, I’m breathing quickly, I’m going into something stressful”. By counting your inhales and exhales, you cannot also be stressed, because the mind can’t count and think about the stressful event at the same time – it’s not possible.’
Although stress feels like it’s a scourge of modern life, and isn’t something we can ever completely make peace with, David does offer a comforting theory: ‘Don’t forget that, very often, you’re experiencing stress because things are going your way.’ Having a tough deadline at work because you’ve been given more responsibility, or juggling a busy family schedule with work and a hectic social life are common examples. ‘Think back to a time when you learned the most from an experience,’ David says. ‘Usually, that will coincide with a time when you were also stressed. Those types of learning experiences take us out of our standard way of being. Learning to become emotionally agile gives us a willingness to accept what is.’ Perhaps this idea is best summed up by a quotation in David’s book from Viktor Frankl, the psychiatrist who survived a Nazi death camp. ‘Between stimulus and response there is a space,’ he wrote. ‘In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.’
“Just count. By counting your inhales and exhales, you can’t also be stressed, because the mind can’t count and think about the stressful event at the same time”
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TAKE CONTROL BY BREATHING
So, how do you combat anxiety? Research shows that one easy way is to just breathe deeply. Here’s why it’s effective and how you do it… WHY IT WORKS
In 1970, Harvard Medical School cardiologist, Dr Herbert Benson, researched a technique to induce an opposing reaction to the ‘stress response’ – that feeling of anxiety we get that comes from being constantly triggered into fight-or-flight mode by the stressors of modern-day life. He found that we can invoke a ‘relaxation response’ instead, which counteracts the ‘stress response’ through our breath, and the first step is by simply breathing deeply. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness and tai chi all help with stress – and breath is the one factor that connects them all.
HOW IT WORKS
Deep breathing, which uses the full space in the abdomen to fill with air rather than only our chests, is scientifically proven to increase oxygen within the body, creating energy and improving functionality in all areas. It balances the nervous system, lowers our heart rate, decreases the production of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, and cleanses our body of carbon dioxide and 70 per cent of other bodily waste. It also helps to keep oxygen and carbon dioxide levels balanced, which supports an alkaline environment; as infection and inflammation thrive in acidity, explains Jean Hall, author of Breathe: Simple Breathing Techniques For A Calmer, Happier Life.
WHEN NOT TO DO IT
There are some circumstances under which deep breathing is not helpful. If you are prone to panic attacks, which involve hyperventilation, causing a dramatic drop in carbon dioxide levels in the blood, a recent study at the Southern Methodist University found that the antidote to reverse hyperventilation is not to take deep breaths, but slow, shallow ones.
Next time you feel overwhelmed, try the self-soothing breath. Adopt this comforting pose to alleviate anxiety; the gentle, rhythmic rolling motion used in this practice helps to soothe both the body and the brainwaves. Drawing up the legs and hugging them softly can make powerful feelings seem less overwhelming, as you protect and contain them with this action.
Self-soothing breath ● Lie down on your back in a comfortable position. ● Bend your knees up towards your body and gently hug your legs, relaxing your feet and ankles. Soften and release your shoulders to the floor, relax your back and lower your chin to lengthen the back of your neck. Close your eyes. ● As you hug your legs to your body, pay particular attention to your breath. Notice its natural rise and fall; your energy softly rising when you inhale and gently falling when you exhale. When you inhale, allow your belly and ribs to rise up towards your thighs, then sink back down again when you exhale. Settle here for a few moments.
● Slowly and gently, roll your body a little to the right and then to the left, using the floor to massage your back. Keep the motion relaxed, soft and rhythmical. ● Now, begin to coordinate the rocking motion with your breath. As you inhale, gently roll to the right, and as you exhale, roll back to centre. Slowly inhale as you rock to the left, and exhale as your rock back to the centre. ● Continue rolling for 5-10 minutes, until you feel a quiet calm flowing through your body and mind. Take time to breathe, moving slowly and smoothly. Adapted from ‘Breathe: Simple Breathing Techniques For A Calmer, Happier Life’ by Jean Hall (Quadrille, £7.99)
TRY OUR ‘HOW TO USE YOGA TO TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE’ ONLINE COURSE AT LIFELABS.PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK
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Dossier QQ&A &A
Stress: East vs West
Can Eastern philosophy meet Western psychology when dealing with stress? Yes, says Salema Veliu, and explains the links she’s found in a bid to reflect a new era of coaching, incorporating yoga, meditation, psychology and neuroscience
Your ethos combines Western psychology with Eastern philosophy. How do they work together with regards to stress management? Neuroscience has a lot to say about the nature of leadership, business and creating a life of meaning and value. A huge part of yoga is to be present but observant; to step back and observe, rather than play out the drama. Yet, while the practices of yoga and meditation are useful, I feel that they are only part of the equation in helping us to return ‘home’ to who we really are and, more importantly, in us discovering our capability to lead a more fulfilling, peaceful life. The exploration into the Western perspective goes one step further, showing us other tools and practices, yet we can also see the similarities between the two. Neuroscience is changing the way we understand interpersonal connection, conflict, and productivity in the workplace. I don’t think yoga alone is enough to teach us that we are accountable for our own mental health, and we can’t rely on the gurus to ‘make it all better’. We all feel lost and need to be led but, sometimes, there is no real leadership, so we turn to yoga and meditation – though they do not always have a ll the a nswers. Wester n psychology is backed up with scientific research, in understanding how our
past patterns and behaviours result in stress and anxiety, which are present on the yoga mat and may continue after the practice of yoga.
What prompted this journey for you? I had a terrible time with stress more than 10 years ago. I tried to get out of bed one morning and my whole body had shut down. At first, it was thought that I’d had a stroke. My mind and my body were completely disconnected. There was this pounding sensation in my head and I began to lose my eyesight momentarily, which really panicked me. I was an active, healthy person but, after many tests and scans, they couldn’t find anything wrong. It was put down to severe stress, and I was signed off work in my corporate role for six months to rest. My consultant said I had to change the way that I lived, both personally and professionally. He recommended yoga because he had seen the difference it had made for his wife. He truly believed it worked.
“While yoga and meditation are useful, they are only part of the equation in helping us return to who we really are”
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How do you best manage stress? Starting yoga was my very slow path back to health, emotionally and physically. The problem was, sometime later, I would still feel stressed even when I was practising yoga, which I didn’t understand. I wasn’t able to manage my stress properly until three years ago, which is when I started having coaching, coaching others and studying the psychological and neuroscientific approaches to coaching. I realised I was more reactive than I thought I was, and I needed to find my way to being responsive to the stressors in my life, rather than reactive to them. I’ve been able to uncover my limiting beliefs, behaviours and patterns, and this was the first step towards reducing the stress and anxiety I’d had for years. The second step was to find different go-to learning tools to calm me down and, instead of feeling that everything was happening to me, to realise that I was responsible for procreating my reality. That was an important ‘eureka moment’, realising that I had a choice: to continue down the path I was on, or choose to lead a life that I was writing, rather than one that was being written for me by stress. The problem with living in a reactive place is if you are continually stressed – and this is where it shifts back to the neuroscience – you’ll be living in a fight-or-flight
the believers there’s the ‘energy’-based side – such as the chakra systems and eight limbs of yoga. They are similar but use different tools. Yoga uses physical movement in the form of postures, and meditation and mantras in the mind, although it seems that when we define yoga today, more emphasis is placed on the physical. A lot of people say they need physical exertion to release stress, but problems can occur if you don’t know what your stressors are – you could be impacting it even more. Coaching is moving into a new era, where more emphasis is placed on psycholog y, mindfulness stressfighting techniques and neuroscience, which better equips coaches to recognise and help people with stress management more efficiently, and also allows people to come into a safe, supportive, non-judgemental and neutral space. It may be that what the person needs to release their stress is simply to be listened to. Likewise, in yoga, one of the most important things a teacher can do is to hold the space for the students to unravel themselves, without creating an environment that is judgmental and intimidating. In this unbiased space, people are more likely to disengage the autopilot of ingrained behaviours and habitual responses.
response most of the time, which isn’t healthy and creates imbalances with hormones and the nervous system. Learning to talk myself down from an ‘escalation in crisis’ has been a big one for me. Lisa Wimberger, founder of The Neurosculpting Institute, recommends this simple technique: when feeling anxious and stressed, she advises to register basic survival. For exa mple, to think, ‘So, this is happening, but what do I have? I’m safe. I can afford to eat today. I have somewhere to sleep tonight.’ This sends different signals to the brain and
removes you from the fight-or-flight response because you are probably not in life-threatening danger.
How do yoga and coaching differ when it comes to stress management? Yoga works with sensory perception; u s feel i ng somet h i ng but not necessarily knowing it exists; it isn’t black and white like the Western science perspective. I like to refer to the two perspectives as Mulder and Scully! For the ‘non-believers’, there’s the psychology and research, and for
Are there any other East-West ideas about dealing with stress? ‘Mindsight’, which is the work of Dr Dan Siegel, is the integration of insight and empathy, which has the potential to pull people back from any disharmony they may be feeling. Once we’ve got that union of insight into ourselves and empathy for the outside world, it really affects our ‘interpersonal neurobiology’ – and that drastically improves how we see events.
Salema is a yoga teacher, coaching psychologist, writer and motivational speaker based in London. Visit salemaveliu.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Try our ‘How to use yoga to transform your life’ online course at lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk
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Three people tell us how stress affected them mentally and physically, and share the steps they took to reduce the strain in their lives INTERVIEWS RIN HAMBURGH PHOTOGRAPHS LOUISE HAYWOOD-SCHIEFER
“I take pleasure in the little things. If I’m having a stressful day at work, I’ll think about what I’m going to do when I get home” RACHEL LANNING, 22, MAKE-UP ARTIST
hen I was 14, I was diagnosed with anorexia. At around that time, I had been under a lot of stress in different areas of my life – my best friend had just moved to Australia, I was starting my GCSEs and I was also painfully shy; so going into new classes with people I didn’t know was nerve-racking. I wanted some control in my life, so I went on a diet and completely restricted what I was eating. It snowballed quickly. In September 2008, I was well and, by December, I had lost half my body weight. I was admitted to rehab as an inpatient the following February. After six weeks, my eating was improving but my depression was getting worse. I was really dependent on my family and friends for support, and being away from them was affecting me badly, so I was discharged. It took another six months before I came off the critical-weight list. Today, I consider myself to be recovering, rather than recovered, because the threat of getting ill again is always there. When I get stressed, I have
no appetite, so it’s very important to stay relaxed, otherwise I would simply not eat and that would be a downward spiral in terms of the anorexia. Stress can also trigger panic attacks. I always know when one is coming because I get bad chest pains. It feels as if someone is squeezing my heart and lungs, and sitting on my chest at the same time; it makes it very hard to breathe. I get cold and start to shake and I can’t stop crying. It’s a complete physical and mental reaction. One thing that helps is talking about it. I’m lucky that I have a great support network, including my understanding family and a loving boyfriend. Having them there, and being able to share and open up to them is very helpful. Sometimes, just getting it off your chest can make you feel better. I also take pleasure in the little things. If I’m having a stressful day at work, I’ll think about what I’m going to do when I get home, whether that’s having a bath or watching a movie. Having something to look forward to, even if it’s something very small, helps me put things into perspective.
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“I practise yoga with a different mindset now; it’s a space to find release ” Sushilla Done, 53, Jewellery designer
hen I was in India this year, the news came that my father was dying. Thankfully, I got home to say goodbye, but the situation left me very stressed. I’m the eldest of four girls, and felt a huge sense of responsibility for them and my mother. Physically, the symptoms showed as an inability to sleep and high blood pressure, although I didn’t realise it was high blood pressure until weeks later. I had headaches and couldn’t relax: I felt I had to keep running around; keep working. My father died on the Friday, and on the Monday I was dealing with suppliers. It was the not sleeping that drove me to the doctor. He said I had high blood pressure but didn’t diagnose stress. He put me on blood pressure pills and sleeping tablets. I’ve always tried to take an holistic approach
to life, so I decided to go back to yoga and Pilates. My first class was difficult. The breathing involved brought a huge release and I spent most of the hour crying. It was exactly what I needed. I now practise yoga most days and use the breathing techniques to help me sleep. If I wake up, I start yoga breathing and I fall asleep again. I’ve stopped taking sleeping pills and am reducing the blood pressure medication. I practise yoga and Pilates with a different mindset now. It used to be about making my body beautiful and strong but not any more: it’s a space to find release. Recently, my yoga teacher said something that triggered a memory and I began to cry. I think grieving could only happen once I had my stress under control. sushilla.co.uk
“I’m more aware of my stress levels. I get stressed when I take on too much, so I’m getting better at saying ‘no’ to things” Heather Stanley, 38, Digital communications manager
hair and make-up: (rachel) rachel lanning; (sushilla and heather) sadaf ahmad
fter seven years of struggling with stress, I finally did something about it. I was working in a management position in the environmental sector, with a long commute and long hours that included being on call. Our unofficial office slogan was “faster, better, more, for less”. I was also running a Brownie group and volunteering for my church and a charity. My first symptom was sleeplessness and, when I did sleep, stress dreams. I became forgetful, and lost lots of weight. I also developed an irregular heartbeat. My heart would beat really strongly, then stop and then thump again, like it was catching up. I did go to the doctor to have an ECG, but I never heard back, so I assumed I was OK. In 2010, I went on holiday and made myself do absolutely nothing. I remembered what life was like when I’m not busy. Overnight, I made the decision to quit my job, even though it meant moving back in with my mother.
The hardest thing was walking away from colleagues who were going to be even more stressed with me leaving. For six weeks, I just lay on the sofa recovering. Then I started doing small things: I did an Open University photography course and took on little jobs. It gave me a chance to figure out what I loved. This year, I started as a digital communications manager at the charity Embrace the Middle East; I recently got back from a trip to Gaza, where I was able to use my new photography skills. I’m much more aware of my stress levels now. I get stressed when I take on too much, so I’m getting better at saying ‘no’ to things. I’m prioritising differently – I’m a wife now, and an aunt. These days, when my husband and I discuss whether we’ll take on a new commitment, we’ll talk about not only how it will affect us financially, but also in terms of our physical and mental health. embraceme.org
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What is your stress weak point?
Sometimes, we react to stress in surprising ways. Understanding how it undermines your wellbeing is key to protecting your health and happiness, now and in the future, so take our quiz to discover your warning flag
When you’re under pressure, which of the following do you find yourself craving? ● Time on my own ◆ Sugar and other quick hits ▲ Reassurance from other people ■ A day in bed
Which of these investments in yourself would bring you the most benefit? ◆ Sessions with a personal trainer and nutritionist ■ A top-to-toe health MOT, with full diagnostic health tests and scans ▲ Personal coaching in how to develop self-belief ● A course of therapy or training in mindfulness
words: sally brown
After a nightmare week at work, you’ve got a big party to go to this weekend. You’re most likely to… ◆ Appreciate the chance to let off steam, but end up eating and drinking yourself silly ■ Miss it because you feel unwell ▲ Wish you could have a night in, but enjoy yourself when you get there ● Find an excuse not to go because you feel too anxious
Which of these do you think most undermines your quality of life? ■ Niggly health issues, like
headaches, eczema or IBS ● Insomnia, anxiety or panic attacks ◆ Weight or body image issues ▲ Self-doubt and lack of confidence
What is often the usual payback when you take on too much? ● Forgetting and losing everything ■ Picking up every bug going ◆ Putting on weight ▲ Worrying and doubting my ability to cope
Which of these changes would make you feel more on top of things? ◆ Having more time in the day ● Having less to worry about ■ Having more energy and just feeling well ▲ Having more support from other people
You have been offered a promotion at work, which will bring with it an initial period of stress. Which of the
following consequences would you worry about most? ■ The impact on your physical health ● The impact on your mental wellbeing ▲ The impact on your relationships ◆ The impact on your weight and how you look
Which of these statements would you agree with most?
▲ Other people seem to find challenges easier to cope with than I do ■ I seem to be more vulnerable to bugs and other health issues than other people ● It often seems that others feel much calmer and more in control than I do ◆ My lifestyle seems to yo-yo from healthy to unhealthy far more than most people
Now, add up the number of each symbol you circled. The biggest number is your main stress weak point, but many of us have a multi-faceted response to stress, so if you have also scored highly in one or more of the other areas, you should >>> read those sections as well.
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If you mainly circled ▲
If you mainly circled ◆
Stress in small doses can fire you up, but ongoing, low-level stress is your undoing. Over time, it erodes your self-confidence and self-belief. You begin to feel everything is out of your control, start to question yourself at work, and feel insecure in your relationships. When you’re at your most stressed, your instinct is to retreat as you question whether you can cope with social events. When you do go out, however, you generally find it makes you feel better. When you’re under a lot of stress, the brain loses the ability to think logically, and you may have a tendency to go into black-and-white thinking mode, or catastrophise (‘I’m so out of my depth I’m going to lose my job’). So your first priority is to feel calmer, enabling you to regain perspective. Simple breathing techniques like 7-11 breathing (breathe in for a count of seven, then out for a count of 11, repeat for a few minutes) can help, or try listening to confidence-boosting hypnotherapy or creative visualisation downloads.
The first sign you’re under stress is that your healthy eating habits go out of the window. You may find yourself craving sweet stuff, eating erratically, or feeling hungry all the time. Then you start to skip exercise or yoga sessions, and use wine to wind down, or spend evenings watching TV and snacking instead. There’s a voice in your head that says you ‘deserve’ a treat when you’re under stress, but what you’re actually doing is trying to numb the uncomfortable feelings inside. You can be an ‘all or nothing’ person, and like to throw yourself wholeheartedly into whatever you’re dealing with. That focus has got you far in life, but unless your wellbeing is your current project, it can get sidelined. Your big red flag is when you start to neglect self-care activities because you ‘don’t have time’. That’s your cue to do the opposite, and find more time for exercise, mindfulness, hobbies, cooking from scratch, reading or whatever sustains and nourishes you. Yoga is your secret weapon, as it brings you back into your body and helps you stay in touch with what you need.
If you mainly circled ■
If you mainly circled ●
Your body tells you that you’ve taken on too much way before you mentally register that you’re under stress. You may feel that you’re coping just fine but, suddenly, you get a flare-up of eczema, or wake up with a cold sore. Digestion can also be affected; you often lose your appetite, or get symptoms of IBS. Or maybe you just pick up every bug going. Your health niggles are frustrating because you see yourself as a coper and take a ‘keep going’ approach to life, and people know they can rely on you. But it’s also a drain on your mental and physical energy, leaving you constantly tired. Your warning sign is fantasising about spending a day in bed, or cancelling social events so you can curl up with a box set. Take this as your cue to slow down. Think of your health issues as messages from your body – rather than just dealing with symptoms, think about what it needs, such as more sleep, a nutritious diet, or time outdoors. Consider booking a holistic MOT with a naturopath. And try starting the day with a ‘body scan’ mindfulness exercise, checking in with how you feel.
The first sign that your stress levels are rising is a feeling of general unease. You lose your tolerance for the normal irritations of life, you find yourself snapping at those around you, your brain may feel foggy, and you can no longer rely on your short-term memory. People who react to stress in this way are often ruminators and worriers who imagine the worst possible outcomes for any scenario. You may also be empathetic; while it’s generally an asset, the downside is it can mean you’re a stress sponge, absorbing and reacting to others’ emotions. It’s important to be aware of when you start to feel overwhelmed – left unchecked, your experience of stress could trigger panic attacks, anxiety or depression. Regular exercise is one of your best defences: at least a daily 30-minute brisk walk outdoors, preferably somewhere green, but the more active you are, the better. Opt for exercise that engages your mind as well as your body, like dance or yoga. A course of CBT could also be worthwhile.
Your stress weak point is your confidence
Your stress weak point is your physical wellbeing
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Your stress weak point is your lifestyle
Your stress weak point is your mental wellbeing
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In partnership with NOW Live Events, we’ll show you the path to health and wellbeing with our Health + Wellness Director, Eminé Ali Rushton, and nutritional therapist, Eve Kalinik. Our wise agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, is teaching women how to step into public life and change the world, and we’re also at Margate Bookie, bringing creativity and wellbeing to a book festival
AUGUST TW0-DAY EVENT
360me – Heal Your Gut: Nourish Your Spirit, with Eve and Eminé
Find wellbeing and happiness at Margate Bookie litfest
DATE: 3 August TIME: 7pm-8.30pm VENUE: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 4RL COST: £18 Leading nutritional therapist, Eve Kalinik, and Psychologies Health + Wellness Director, Eminé Ali Rushton, come together for a candid and practical discussion on the importance of gut health – for happiness, immunity, confidence and true radiance. Learn simple principles that will transform your everyday health and bolster your spirit, while enjoying healthy bites and hearty discussion. Eve and Eminé are great friends and have designed this event to be interactive, fun and inspiring. Why not bring a friend and make a night of it?
DATE: 20-21 August TIME: 10am-late VENUE: The Sands Hotel, Marine Drive, Margate, Kent CT9 1DH COST: From £5 Our programme includes a special series of events with Psychologies magazine, compèred by Editor, Suzy Greaves, from 11am-4.30pm on Saturday 20 August. Hear author Vanessa King on 10 Keys To Happier Living (Headline, £12.99), writer and literary agent, Jacq Burns, on writing your story, and Tom Chatfield – author of Live This Book (Penguin, £8.99) – inviting us to disconnect from technology and explore the things that really matter.
THIS WORKSHOP WILL COVER: ● How to eat for energy ● What is good gut health and why is it important? ● Five simple things you can do daily to improve your health right now
SPEAKERS AND ATTRACTIONS: The festival weekend programme includes: ● Ed Halliwell, author of Into The Heart Of Mindfulness (Piatkus, £13.99), leading a mindfulness masterclass ● Janey Moffat, from Craftimation Factory, exploring craft and wellbeing ● 64 Million Artists on tapping in to creativity ● Mindful walking, family events and fun For more details, visit nowliveevents.org/margate-bookie. To find out more about the litfest, go to margatebookie.com
Join us! Buy tickets at nowliveevents.org/tickets
What stops you from changing the world?
DATE: 7 September TIME: 7pm-8.30pm VENUE: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 4RL COST: £18 ‘I am on a mission to see more women in public life, being human and real, and being judged on more than just their shoes!’ says Mary Fenwick, agony aunt at Psychologies. ‘I want to see women in power, making decisions about charities, peace processes and entrepreneurship; women talking about ideas, listening to other people, and finding new ways to put big dreams into words and action. You don’t have to be amazing – let’s start by being as mediocre as some of those in public life right now!’ Mary will teach participants about the barriers that hold women back – and what you can do to develop your own public voice. She is an experienced coach who works
with women in politics, business and the media all over the world. Her clients include a Westminster MP, who she coached from pre-selection to a shadow ministerial role; a member of the Tibetan parliament in exile; the CEO of a London-based international charity; and the founders of political parties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Libya. Mary is the director of a not-forprofit organisation, which works in countries that are in transition to democracy. She has spoken about her experiences in a TEDx talk called ‘What works – when you need to recreate your own future’. THIS WORKSHOP WILL TEACH HOW TO: part of the change you want to see in the world ● Be a cheerleader for yourself and other women ● Practise and share tips for instant confidence boosts ● Develop your leadership potential ● Overcome the obstacles that hold women back ● Be
Join us! Buy tickets at nowliveevents.org/tickets
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Tired of not
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Dormeasan® Sleep Valerian-Hops oral drops - a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances caused by the symptoms of mild anxiety, exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the leaﬂet.
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#360me p79 Holistic Grail A summer perspective / p80 The Plan / p87 One Good Thing Barefoot walking / p88 Wellness The art of surrender / p93 Real Beauty Mauli Rituals / p95 Well Network Claire Vero / p96 Living Well The Hemsleys / p98 Ask the Dr Stress / p101 Real Nutrition Salt / p102 Well Travelled Umbria
we walk, “ Wherever we are walking on
Mother Earth. So, wherever we are can be a holy sanctuary
PHOTOGRAPH: JON ATTAWAY/STOCKSY
EDITED BY EMINÉ ALI RUSHTON
THICH NHAT HANH
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KNOTS? Today's lifestyles are demanding, and one of the things they demand most is the mineral magnesium, which allows the nervous system to function properly and the muscles to relax. Magnesium is available in healthy foods such as wholegrains, dried fruit, green leafy vegetables and nuts, however there are times when your diet can lack the goodness needed and be deficient in magnesium. If you are feeling irritable and snappy, with knots in your shoulders and tension stiffening your neck, bump up your magnesium and lose those knots. Floradix Magnesium contains highly absorbable magnesium in a delicious herbal formula which could make the difference to your nerves unlock the knots and survive the stress. Available from selected Holland & Barrett and Boots stores, independent health food shops and selected pharmacies nationwide.
5 best beauty boosts
Stretch the soul
here’s a reason we tend to make lofty resolutions and promises to self when we’re on holiday: our perspective shifts, and we get this giddy sense that our lives – our real, everyday lives – might be more magical than we realised. Why not sip cocktails at sunset while your toes are lapped by the sea? Why not read the best books, laugh the most raucous laughs and sleep the deepest sleeps? A break from the norm creates space for possibility. I have friends who have taken sabbaticals and gardening leave and never come back – still to be found in Bali, Brazil and Barcelona, living lives that stay truer to the liberating possibilities that presented themselves while on holiday. That sunny holiday mindset need not be the preserve of the vacationer, though. This month, I have taken great pleasure in striking big lines through days in my diary to do a series of things with no agenda other than pleasure and growth. To meet with Suzanne Wylde at Triyoga Camden, who stretched my body back into the right shape, and walked all over me (literally – using her feet to
Embrace that summer holiday feeling without even having to pack a suitcase manipulate pockets of painful tension). With resistance stretching, you are guided through a series of moves in which you push back against the therapist as she manipulates your body – it’s been proven to remove the fascia (areas of dense connective tissue that build up over time), and leave the body freer to move in a more natural and confident way. Suzanne brought about a real transformation – the ‘me’ that walked into a room with sloped shoulders and dipped head, to ‘warrior me’ who left with shoulders back, feet squared and demeanour powerful. Every day since, I’ve been returning my shoulders to their correct position, planting my feet more firmly, and feeling that power we all possess, yet often fail to connect with. A real shift, both physical and psychological, without a passport stamp to show for it. A session at Triyoga Camden is £70 for 60 minutes. triyoga.co.uk. Follow me @psydirector
Twelve Beauty Ideal Brightening Corrective Serum, £68 Pedro Catala pioneers the use of unusual botanical activities that sit in perfect synergy, and really work. Uma Pure Calm Wellness Oil, £60 Founder Shrankhla Holecek hails from a family who have been growing pure, potent essential oils in India for 300 years. Add her Ayurvedic knowledge for powerful skin, body and mind therapies. Kjaer Weis Lipstick in LOVE, £42, and Rodin Lipstick in Winks, £28 (pictured bottom) – beautiful pigment, creamy formulas, staying power and, of course, all natural. Alexandra Soveral Midnight Oil, £41 Simple, all-natural formula using herbs grown on the family’s farm in Portugal. It has been a huge help in balancing my skin when it’s both oily and dehydrated.
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The plan Every month for the next year, the #360me team will be sharing our baby-steps approach to leading a healthier, happier life – expert-endorsed and real-life approved.
Enjoy our suggestions to help you maintain a healthy body
The art of surrender pg 88
Ask the doc tor abou t stress pg 98
Soulfulness in your soles pg 87
Salad tha t’s a feast for the eyes pg 85
THIS MONTH, HOLLIE LOVES... To feel your best, you have to consider the health of not just your BODY and GUT, but your MIND and SPIRIT too – this is holistic health in action. To help you, we’ve split all the advice in the plan into these four sections and, by spending a similar amount of time on each, you’ll be looking after your ‘self’ in a truly holistic way. Dip in and try one thing from each section. Or dive in and do it all. It’s here for you – to inspire, support and motivate. Share your journey with us @psydirector and we’ll share ours too.
SHARE YOUR #360ME JOURNEY @psydirector
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The Body Bible by blogger Clean Eating Alice, Alice Liveing, (HarperCollins, £14.99). I love that the recipes are genuinely delicious (try the stuffed French toast, pictured), there’s no pressure to cut out food groups, there’s an emphasis on the importance of exercise and healthy eating, and it’s been written by someone who actually works in the fitness industry.
DON’T OVERDO IT
PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY. *RALPH ET AL, DIETARY PATTERNS AND THE RISK OF MAJOR ADVERSE CARDIOVASCULAR EVENTS IN A GLOBAL STUDY OF HIGH-RISK PATIENTS, ‘EUROPEAN HEART JOURNAL’. **KHAN ET AL, LOWERING OF OXIDATIVE STRESS IMPROVES ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION IN HEALTHY SUBJECTS WITH LOW INTAKE OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES, ‘FREE RADICAL BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE’. ***PARK ET AL, BLACKCURRANT SUPPRESSES METABOLIC SYNDROME, ‘EVIDENCE-BASED COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE’. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 129
says our Fitness Editor, Hollie Grant
“Whenever we take on a new client, I’m asked, ‘How often should I exercise?’. Usually, an upcoming event has spurred them to get into shape and there’s a sense of time pressure. They ask if they can come every day, or what they should do on the days they aren’t training with us. The problem with packing such a high volume of exercise into an already busy life is that it’s just not a long-term option. Exercising too often is just like being on a highly restrictive diet – it can never be sustained. Eventually, your body will need recovery and, if not properly rested, something will give. That’s often shown through injury, adrenal fatigue or changes to mood. Too much HIIT (high-intensity interval training) has been shown to increase our stress hormone cortisol (which leads to weight gain) and too much strength training can cause overuse injuries. Follow my guidelines (top right) and you’ll see and feel better results after proper rest.” @PilatesPT
HOW OFTEN TO EXERCISE
In an ideal world, you would do a ‘workout’, such as running, Pilates, spinning or weight training, every other day, for one hour. Also, try to do one thing that gets you a little out of breath, most days – such as a brisk walk with your dog, cycling to the shops, or a short hike through park or woodland. A typical week could therefore look like the following: 2 x 5k runs, 1 x Pilates class and 4 x walks to work/school/the bus stop. Listen to your body. If you feel run down or the thought of going to the gym fills you with dread, treat your body with love and let it rest, guilt free, until you feel up to it.
A recent study* followed 1.6 million Swedish men from adolescence onwards and found those with a high BMI (35 or over) in their teens were up to 10 times more at risk of heart failure. This highlights the need for maintenance of a healthy body weight from an early age as a preventative measure. The sooner we see fitness as a long-term life enhancer, instead of a short-term weight-loss solution, we’ll all be happier and healthier.
“I recently spent time with natural movement expert, Tony Riddle, and much of it barefoot. I’ve taken to being barefoot at home and have invested in Vivo Barefoot shoes (from £30) for other times. Super comfortable, they allow my toes to spread and support spinal alignment” Eminé Ali Rushton @psydirector
GETTING THE JUICE Research** has shown that those with a habitually low intake of fruit and veg could benefit by drinking blackcurrant juice to improve vascular health. It contains berry fruit polyphenols – micronutrients renowned for playing a role in reducing the progression of cardiovascular diseases. Recent research*** also found it can reduce the symptoms of metabolic syndrome: high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
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spirit Lift your spirits with these great finds and useful insights
360 BOOKS LET YOUR BODY CHOOSE
‘Growing herbs is the starting point for many home gardeners and Herbarium, by Caz Hildebrand, is a chic illustrated compendium of 100 heavenly herbs, from sweet cicely and summer savory, to purslane and sage. I love this book!’ (Thames & Hudson, £16.95) Eminé Ali Rushton @psydirector
‘When you pick a style of yoga, don’t choose what you want, choose what you need. Be honest and realistic. If you run on adrenaline, try to slow down and enjoy the release on your way to relaxation. Feeling relaxed, and not much like moving? Move for just a few minutes, see how much better you feel – you may want to do more. If you’re naturally flexible and want to do classes like Ashtanga for its complicated poses, maybe do something more alignment-based or requiring more strength, such as Forrest yoga. If you’re strong and tight, try to do simpler stretches. It’s all about being honest with where your body and your mind are in this moment, so you can live a bigger, better, more embodied life.’ Yoga Editor, Kat Farrants @MFML_
Perform this practice and reconnect... 1 Stand facing your chosen person. 2 Close your eyes and place both
How To Deal With Adversity, by ‘How Christopher Hamilton of The School of Life, is my book of the month. A wonderfully written, deep but easy to follow and act-upon reference. I know I will reread this and refer to it often, for years to come.’ (Pan Macmillan, £7.99) Suzanne Duckett @thisistheantidote
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your hands over your heart to connect with it. 3 Think about what you appreciate about the other person and feel thankful for it. 4 Let gratitude spread through your body. 5 Connect deeply to your heart and listen for three things that you are grateful for. 6 Make eye contact with your chosen person and allow them to receive your gratitude, then repeat the ritual for you. 7 End with the hand gesture of Namaste.
INTO NATURE ‘I adore Essential Bath Oil for the Senses, £44, from Susanne Kaufmann. It has a fresh “green” outdoorsy energy – like the smell of the air when you are out on a mountain walk in Austria (where the range originates).’ Suzanne Duckett
WAKE-UP CALL ‘Crio Bru is made from 100 per cent pure premium roasted cocoa beans. A delicious, antioxidant-rich alternative to coffee, it has the essence and goodness of dark chocolate, but the flavour of fine coffee. A wonderful boost for mental clarity, without the jitters.’ Wellbeing expert, Akcelina Cvijetic @Akcelina_Health
September’s food for thought... Tell us how you get on by using #360me
Want to remember something new? An intriguing new study* has shown that exercising four hours after a new learning experience can significantly increase our likelihood of retaining the information we have learned in the long term.
“Turn the meaning of life on its head. Instead of thinking, ‘What does life mean to me?’ think, ‘What do I mean to life?’. This simple concept creates a less spoilt, selfish outlook; like Mother Nature is watching – and I need to behave!”
PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY. *VAN DONGEN ET AL, PHYSICAL EXERCISE PERFORMED FOUR HOURS AFTER LEARNING, ‘CURRENT BIOLOGY’
Suzanne Duckett @thisistheantidote
THE POWER OF NOTHING GREEN SERENE ‘When I’m feeling emotionally exhausted, I head into green space. It is instantly nourishing to be in nature, breathing in cool, fresh air; everything just seems to fall into place. If it is pouring with rain, even better, as the rain seems to bring even greater in-the-moment clarity!’ Catherine Turner @catherineyogi
‘The simplest advice is often the most profound. I once heard an Indian spiritual teacher say that choosing to rest is an action, and it sank in that it is perfectly all right to choose inaction. We all need restoration time if we are to be at our best, as often as we can be.’ Wellness Editor, Catherine Turner ‘Try Tazeka Non-Stop Thoughts, £29.50, a wonderfully grounding essential oil blend that reminds me to “take some mental time off” when overwhelmed by thoughts or circumstances. It is great for tension headaches, too.’ Spirit Editor, Akcelina Cvijetic
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COOKBOOK OF THE MONTH
Natural Nordic cuisine that soothes the soul
Nurture your gut health for an all-over feeling of wellbeing
‘Raw (Phaidon, £24.95), from the owner of Iceland’s famous restaurant of the same name. Chef Solla Eiríksdóttir has earthy recipes, see right, celebrating seasonal produce (and they’re not all raw either).’ @evekalinik
50% ‘Broad beans are bang in season and, not only are they an excellent plant-based source of protein, they also provide B vitamins, folate and iron, which all help to support energy levels. I love mashing them up with some fresh mint, a generous pinch of mineralrich salt and a good glug of cold-pressed olive oil. This works as a dip, spread on to sourdough or as a nice BBQ side dish.’ @evekalinik
“Kimchi, a Korean delicacy of pickled vegetables, is great for our gut and cheap to make (but it can take a couple of weeks). If you’d like to buy and try, go for Tickles’ Pickles Vegan Kimchi, £4.99 – it’s the best shopbought kimchi I’ve tasted” Nutritional therapist, Eve Kalinik
EVE KALINIK’S TOP 5 SUMMER DELIGHTS
Strawberries – packed full of vitamin C and one of our best seasonal fruits. Strawberry-picking is a lovely way to spend a summer’s day, too.
Radishes – crisp, peppery and great for digestion; and they have antioxidants to help support our natural detoxification processes.
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Broad beans – they grow plentifully in this country and, when young, the soft, tender pod can be eaten, too. (See Eve’s delicious recipe, above.)
Seasonal, nourishing fare to savour
Watercress – it’s full of vitamins A, C and K, and is a source of magnesium, calcium and folate, which support bones and give glowing skin.
Courgettes – hydrating and versatile, these are great in muffin and bread recipes, or spiralised in heavier spaghetti or noodle dishes.
PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY; SIMON BAJADA. RECIPE FROM ‘RAW’ BY SOLLA EIRÍKSDÓTTIR. *NOVEMBER 2015 SURVEY OF 2,000 ADULTS BY OAT PRODUCER FLAHAVAN’S. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 129
KEEN ON BEANS
of us regularly skip breakfast* – three times as many as three years ago. If you simply can’t stomach food first thing, try a glass of nut milk with ground ginger and cinnamon (ginger eases nausea and cinnamon balances blood sugar).
Beautiful Raw Root Salad ‘When we look at beautiful foods, our digestive system starts to wake up, so we might argue that we start eating with our eyes – and this salad is definitely a feast for the eyes.’ Raw chef, Solla Eiríksdóttir SERVES 4-6 l3 00g red cabbage, cut into thin strips l2 carrots, cut into thin, round slices l1 courgette, cut into thin, round slices l1 yellow beetroot, cut into thin, round slices l1 striped or red beetroot, cut into thin, round slices l 5 radishes, cut into slices l1 pear, cut in half, cored and cut into thin slices l Seeds of 1 pomegranate l 50g pistachios
l1 0 dried Incan
golden berries l4 tbsp green herbs, such as coriander, mint, basil and parsley, finely chopped FOR THE DRESSING l 50ml walnut or olive oil l 3 tbsp lemon juice l3 tbsp mandarin or orange juice l1 tbsp rice vinegar (or your favourite vinegar) l 1 tsp ras el hanout spice l 1 tsp onion powder l ½ tsp sea salt
To make the dressing, put all the ingredients into a clean jar, put on the lid and shake to mix. Set aside. Put the prepared vegetables into a bowl, and pour over the dressing, then, using your fingers, massage the dressing into the vegetables. Let the vegetables marinate for 15-20 minutes. When ready to eat, put the vegetables into a serving bowl, add the remaining ingredients, toss together, and enjoy.
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her. Gr ro owing togethe
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one good thing
The Naturalista, Xochi Balfour’s One Good Thing for September
PHOTOGRAPH: RAHEL WEISS. EXTRACT FROM ‘THE NATURALISTA’ BY XOCHI BALFOUR (HEADLINE, £25). *EARTHING: HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF RECONNECTING THE HUMAN BODY TO THE EARTH’S SURFACE ELECTRONS, ‘US NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE’
arthing, or barefoot walking, is one of the simplest ways to, quite literally, ground ourselves. I find this particularly beneficial in the city, where we can so easily become disconnected from our natural environment. Kicking off our shoes for a walk in the park is an instant way to press ‘reset’ and reconnect with nature when we are caught up in everyday stresses. Research* reveals that, when we touch the ground with the soles of our feet, exposing specialised pores, we are able to absorb the earth’s electrons. These are thought to help balance the autonomic nervous system, which controls our stress-response mechanisms. We spend more time in the sympathetic (or ‘fight or flight’) state than we used to, and the negative effects on health are recognisable as widespread modern imbalances. Barefoot walking can bring these back into harmony, and regulate our natural day-night cortisol rhythm. We sleep better, feel better and strengthen our natural resources.
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Incredible lightness of ‘being’ Sian Clifford, entrepreneur and winner of our New Wise Voice award, explains how, after burning out, she surrendered to a kinder, more ‘feminine’ way of living and working – and learned to ‘be’ as well as ‘do’ photographs trunk archive
t the end of 2015, I found myself in a dangerously catatonic state. As well as having three jobs – one for money, two for love – I had given myself six weeks to create, brand and launch an entirely new business, something I had never done before. ‘Still Space’ was founded to share my maverick approaches to slowing down, alongside the empowering practice of connecting to your authentic self. As Christmas loomed, I was so exhausted I could barely choose what underwear to put on or recall whether I had eaten that day or not. I felt hollow. I shall borrow from Tolkien to explain: ‘Like butter scraped over too much bread.’ I put even more pressure on myself
to get everything done because that seemed to be the only way out. Lost in my phone, laptop and social media, I didn’t notice when my footing faltered, or the earth fell away beneath me, or even as I plummeted, down, down, down into the deepest, darkest depths of a nervous breakdown. No, not until I smacked into the earth so hard that it cracked me open, did I look around and find myself in an abyss so immeasurably bleak, that it was too late to claw my way out. Welcome to rock bottom.
Grounded and safe
In a ball on the floor, I wept. I begged. I prayed. I ‘furied’. Until a tiny, kind voice within me whispered: ‘Stop what you’re doing.’ I railed against >>>
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>>> her with my commitments and
deadlines and endless to-do lists, until I collapsed again, without an ounce of fight left. She wasn’t perturbed. With unconditional love and patience, she talked me off the ledge and ushered me to safety on a three-day retreat. On the final day of my trip, sitting on a swinging bench in a beautiful garden, staring into the middle distance, I suddenly experienced an enormous ‘seismic shift’. For the first time in weeks, I felt back in my body. I felt grounded. I felt safe.
The peace of nothing
I started to search frantically for what it was that I was doing in that moment, so that I could bottle it – and it dawned on me: I was doing nothing. For the first time in six months, I was doing absolutely nothing. Not pushing, not striving, not even meditating. I was allowing myself the space to just ‘be’ and feel. I was gifted with an epiphany: suddenly, I saw my ‘strong work ethic’ as a deep-seated fear of what would happen if I ever dared stop. My ‘crazy busyness’ was a modern addiction to prove to everyone that I was making a success of my life. My need to keep pushing was a way of controlling the things beyond my control. I had been conforming to a masculine, goal-oriented ‘just do it’, ‘no pain no gain’ structure, which society had told me was not only acceptable, but the only way to be successful. I saw that this way of being was neither authentic nor sustainable. Not for me. Not for anyone. Not in the world I want to live in: a world that embraces the feminine as well as the masculine, that leads from the heart as well as the head, a world that
reveres compassion, creativity and kindness over aesthetics, celebrity and excess. ‘Stop what you’re doing,’ she said. I was finally ready to be the change that I wanted to see. I gave thanks for the abundance of opportunity on my plate and then, as scary as it was, handed back some projects, pressed pause on others, and dropped some entirely. I even started to say ‘no’.
Divine feminine self
As I tried to slow down further, to unpick those deeply entrenched patterns of behaviour, something strange happened – my life went into hyperdrive: I produced a music video that went viral; my two-month-old business and I became the Hay House and Psychologies’ New Wise Voice; I spoke at Ignite; I started working on this article – all while preparing to film the biggest acting role of my life for the BBC and Amazon. Was this a test? Rather than panicking
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and aligning myself with the familiar patriarchal model I had leaned on my whole life, I took a risk – and I surrendered. I gave myself space – just to be; just to feel; to flow with the rhythm of my divine feminine self and listen to that inner voice. She softly, kindly reminded me that habits take time to be formed and unformed; that no one deserves your patience and compassion more than you do; to forgive yourself if you trip up along the way. I realised that this is why taking baby steps is so important. It was with that same softness I decided to approach the BBC project. As an experiment, for the full seven-week period, I made a commitment to focus solely on that project; the antithesis of my traditional way of working. It was a triumph! Despite my long hours and the intensity of the work, I found myself creatively stimulated and free, well-fed and rested, joyous and
Coach yourself to do less, be more In your journal this month, ponder the following: l Think about your
diary commitments and to-do list for the following month. What does your diary reflect about your life? Do you like what you see? What don’t you like? l If you could wave
a magic wand and free up some time, what three things would you let go of this month? l What are the three
things or people that
you are most passionate about? How much time do you spend with those people? How much time do you spend doing the things that you really love? l What are the three biggest time-wasters in your life? l What new rules or boundaries could you put in place that would allow you to focus on the
fulfilled. If my ego started to niggle, I just stopped what I was doing and took a moment to be me. What began as a tiny gesture to the self led to clarity and expansion: do one thing at a time, even if that thing is nothing. This is the space from which I can be of highest service, creating from love, joy and ease, not blood, sweat and tears.
Lists are not my friend
Since then, my mentor, Rebecca Campbell, dared me to do the unthinkable: to stop creating to-do lists. I laughed. And then I dared. It was game-changing! Although those lists may wear the mask of a friend, I was, I am, a slave to their judgement. Without them, I am more intuitive, more resourceful, more me. Surrender is a sacred act, but it’s only when we are forced to give up, that we actually allow ourselves to give in. The divine feminine also teaches us that we are always held
people or things you love, versus the people or things that waste your time? l Complete the following sentences: Being busy means... Getting rid of my to-do list would make me feel... When I relax and do nothing, I feel... l What can you
do differently every day to create space to simply ‘be’ as opposed to ‘do’?
and supported by Mother Earth, and we don’t need to fall to our knees every time we want to feel grounded. When was the last time you allowed yourself time to do nothing; swapped being productive for simply being; a strict schedule for an act of kindness? Without that authentic connection, I believe whatever aspect of our world we are meant to heal cannot flourish. Nor can any of us be of real service as long as we remain slaves to ‘making it happen’. Give up, give in. Forget logic and reason and see what happens when you find two minutes to check in with how you’re feeling; post online from inspiration, not obligation; give yourself an early cut if you work too late. Step outside. Laugh. Breathe. Do less. Be more. Allow your vulnerability to be your greatest strength.
Sian stars in ‘Fleabag’ for the BBC and Amazon this summer. For free resources and to find out more about connecting to your authentic self, visit still-space.com, and follow Sian’s journey on Psychologies’ Life Labs expert blogging platform at lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk
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This month, we meet the founder of Mauli Rituals, who shares her East-meets-West beauty philosophy
Soul & skin food 1
PHOTOGRAPH: CHRISTINA WILSON. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 129
he simplest things are what make the biggest difference to my skin – plenty of water, a daily meditation and yoga practice and finding reasons to have fun and laughter. My mother has the most radiant skin and she only ever uses pure oils on her face, so I follow her example with Mauli Rituals’ Supreme Skin Face Serum, day and night. I also like to use Alchemy Beauty Elixir, an organic blend of plant protein and super nutrients that you add to drinks to nurture skin, hair and nails. Other beauty favourites include By Terry Touch-Expert Advanced Concealer and Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner. I travel light – taking a cashmere shawl, our Devotion Rose Face Mist, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks, my essential beauty oils, and a great book. To blow off the stress of the day, I go for a walk in the park with my dog. Conscious breathing immediately relaxes, delivers
fresh oxygen, detoxifies, lowers blood pressure and stops mind chatter, too. When I can, I have a deep massage – my grandmother was a midwife and would teach new mothers how to massage their babies for myriad health benefits, so I’ve grown up with that and with my mother’s brilliant Indian head massages. I love using our dosha massage oils at home and, occasionally, at Bulgari’s beautiful spa – all in the name of work! And now I rely on my husband, Bittu, to give me a regular Indian head massage. Deep sleep impacts on my emotional health and my skin’s radiance – nightly rituals start with lighting a candle, having a hot bath with our healing salts and oils, meditation, and herbal tea. I then absorb some wisdom from the books on my bedside table: The Upanishads, Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing by Dr Vasant Lad, and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.
1 Supreme Skin Face Serum, £54, Mauli Rituals 2 Beauty Elixir, £40, Alchemy 3 By Terry Concealer, £32, Space NK 4 Rahua Shampoo, £28, Liberty 5 Pot Rouge, £19.50, Bobbi Brown
FOLLOW US #360me @psydirector @psychologiesmagazine lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk
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N EW ! Realise your dreams once and for all with our new How to Achieve Your Goals online course. Try it for free at lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk
plus l How to save your relationship l Transform with yoga
Claire Vero We meet the working mother and founder of revolutionary, award-winning Aurelia Probiotic Skincare range
ow did your brand come about?
In my late 20s, my skin was visibly changing, so I started looking for a perfect skincare line, but couldn’t find one I could put my faith in. It was through discovering the power of probiotics in my work in pharmaceuticals and my personal need for natural, effective skincare that Aurelia was born. I wanted the products to be based on scientifically proven technology, to maintain a healthy balance in the skin and target ageing.
Was there a turning point when the business became more established?
Looking back on how far we’ve come as a small team in just three years makes me extremely proud. One of the most exciting moments was being handpicked as part of Net-aPorter’s first Beauty Edit three months after our launch. Moving from a table to being given a counter in the iconic beauty hall at Liberty in just 12 months was incredible, too.
What are your favourite green products?
For stockists, see page 129
Bloom and Blossom’s range was amazing during my pregnancy with Henry, who is now two, and I couldn’t do without my Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Lip & Cheek Stain, £31. I also love John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo, £17, and Lavender and Avocado Conditioner, £22. Ilia’s Silken Shadow Sticks, £23, are lovely as well. I only ever use Aurelia on my skin. The probiotics reduce inflammation, peptides boost collagen and our exquisite essential oils make the experience of using them a delight.
What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made to create a successful business?
Leaving a six-figure salary to self-fund Aurelia was a big sacrifice. Initially, I was working from home and had to do everything myself. The hours involved and the dedication required to succeed has meant that I have missed seeing my friends so much, but it does all feel worth it.
What are your fail-safe rituals and routines to help you switch off and unwind?
Cuddles with Henry. We spend Wednesdays together visiting friends, swimming and going to the park. I have a digital detox, too, so I’m not checking my phone constantly. Walking to and from work helps me to unwind and clear my head. I started getting into mindfulness earlier this year. For me, it’s about focusing on my breathing, taking time out to evaluate my thoughts and being mindful of others. It has helped hugely with stressful situations and I am pleased to hear that some schools have introduced mindfulness into the curriculum. I also enjoy watching Game Of Thrones with my husband, Alex, after a long day; and I like an Epsom salts bath before bed. The benefits of magnesium salts are endless and I am a huge advocate of them. I buy the giant 25kg bags, so I can scoop three big cups into my bath.
What’s next for Aurelia?
We’re launching an amazing aluminium-free Botanical Cream Deodorant, which I’m sure will encourage women to choose a natural alternative. This year will also see us launch some beautiful facial essences, a range of body care and a powerfully concentrated product to dramatically boost skin radiance and glow. aureliaskincare.com
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Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, authors of Good + Simple, share their down-to-earth approach to beauty – it’s all about natural, effective and ethical products that enhance, not conceal
‘We’re really into natural products and love how the internet has made even the smallest brands available. Yes, most naturals are not going to be cheaper than your high street brands but, statistically, what we actually spend on make-up and skincare is unbelievable. It’s almost an obsession to keep buying things – if you open people’s cupboards, you’ll see hundreds of pounds’ worth of gear in there. I believe it’s about rethinking your money, rather like your food. When it comes to skincare, buying a large tub of organic, virgin coconut oil will cost about £14 and remove your eye make-up, moisturise your skin, and condition your hair. Plus, you can use it in your food at the same time! It doesn’t go rancid easily either, which is great – a large tub can last you months, making it even more economical. We save money with great multitasking natural basics, then choose to invest in a few favourites that we feel are worth the price tag.’ Jasmine
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‘We use Alexandra Soveral’s products, which are all natural and incredible. She is from Portugal, where her brother grows the plants on their farm from which she extracts her oils. We both use her Angel Balm, £55, as a mask. We did a face massage workshop with her and she taught us to decongest and oxygenate our faces, which feels amazing – and really boosts skin health.’ Melissa
‘I no longer use strong shampoos that strip or overcleanse and, as a result, I’ve found that I no longer need conditioner – which is a far cry from where I used to be with my hair. I love the gentle and all-natural Ila Revitalising Shampoo, £18. I have an EVA water-filter shower head at home, which softens water and neutralises chlorine, and has also made my hair less dry. If it needs taming or shine, I just use coconut oil.’ Jasmine
PHOTOGRAPH: NICHOLAS HOPPER. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 129
‘Going green feels like second nature, and we’ve found some gems over the years. I love Soapwalla Deodorant Cream, £14, which keeps me smelling fresh without blocking sweat glands, and the gentle Twelve Purifying Cleansing Beauty Cream, £22, and May Lindstrom Youth Dew Hydrating Facial Serum, £96, for my face. Make-upwise, I love a bright lip – Ilia lipstick in Perfect Day, £22, is a longtime favourite of mine, and I also love the Absolution Sweet and Safe Kiss Lipsticks, £24.’ Melissa
‘Our mum has handed down so many remedies and self-care routines. It’s so refreshing to stop thinking about beauty as always being a surface thing, and her message is how we grew up – beauty was always from the inside out. When she saw me experimenting with an avocado face mask when I was 14, she said, “Don’t put it on your skin – eat it!” Oh, and she would always say, “Eat for your brains and beauty” – so, omega oils all the way.’ Jasmine
Ray of light
‘We don’t wear sunscreen every day; unless we know we are going to be out in the midday sun, we’d rather get as much vitamin D as possible when running from one meeting to the next. When we do wear SPF, we opt for an organic one like Green People, so we’re not using chemical sunscreens that react with your skin in the sun.’ Melissa
‘This is a quick and easy, creamy spinach soup – perfect for fighting off a bug. The immune-boosting properties of ginger, garlic, turmeric and lemons, along with the nourishing broth, will soon pep you up’
What’s in the flask?
SUPER-CHARGED STORECUPBOARD SPINACH SOUP Serves 3 ● 2 tsp coconut oil ● 2cm piece of fresh root ginger (unpeeled if organic) ● 2 garlic cloves ● ½ lemon or 1 lime ● 2 tsp ground turmeric ● 4 spring onions or ½ small onion, roughly chopped ● 400ml tin full-fat coconut milk ● 400g tin cannellini or butter beans, drained and rinsed ● 450g spinach, fresh or frozen ● 2 tsp tamari ● Sea salt and black pepper ● A pinch of chilli powder or cayenne pepper (optional)
1 Gently melt the coconut oil in a saucepan and grate the ginger, garlic and lemon or lime zest straight into the pan. Add the turmeric and spring onions or onion and cook on a medium heat for 2 minutes. 2 Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a medium simmer. Add the drained beans and spinach, place a lid on the pan and cook for 2 minutes. 3 Squeeze in the lemon/lime juice then add the tamari with a pinch of salt and pepper and chilli powder or cayenne pepper (if using). 4 Blend everything together using a hand-held stick blender or in a food processor. Check the seasoning before serving.
‘The beauty staples I’m faithful to are Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum, £126, and Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, £22. For make-up I love RMS Lip2Cheek in Smile, £28, ZAO Liquid Eyeliner, £16.95, and Intensae Nail Lacquer, £14.45. We get most of our products from Content Beauty in Marylebone (or beingcontent.com if shopping online), and abeautifulworld.co.uk. At home I’m a huge fan of Neom candles and room fragrances –Real Luxury and Tranquillity are my two favourite scents.’ Jasmine
Rest and repair
‘For essential relaxation, I have my wind-down routine – I love a shower, and then moisturise with Emile Noël Organic Fairtrade Virgin Sesame Seed Oil, £6.49, and light the 100 Acres Signature Scented candle, £28.’ Melissa
For more of the Hemsleys’ beauty favourites, visit hemsleyandhemsley.com
Find recipes and foodie inspiration online at the #360me channel at lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 97
ask the dr
How can I cope better with everyday stress?
The world’s leading integrative health expert, Dr Andrew Weil, tells us how to combat the effects of feeling overwhelmed by life
PHOTOGRAPH TRUNK ARCHIVE
any of us work long hours, are under pressure at work and home, and are juggling myriad responsibilities – understandably, this can cause significant stress. Rather than accepting that your life will always be stressful, identify the principal sources of stress in your life and consider what could be changed for the better. You might meet with your manager regarding shorter, or more flexible, work hours. If your efforts are unsuccessful or unrealistic, it may be time to look for another job that better fits your needs. While at work, organise your time and workspace as much as possible – clutter adds to stress. When the workday is done, maintain some semblance of organisation, starting with a fixed schedule of sleeping and waking. Healthy sleep enhances emotional wellbeing, while inadequate sleep adversely affects it. Eat at regular times, follow a healthy anti-inflammatory diet, and limit alcohol and caffeine, which contribute to irritability and anxiety. A brisk walk at the end of your workday, especially outdoors with family or friends, provides the benefits of aerobic exercise, exposes you to nature, and helps
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maintain social interaction while dissipating stress. Limit time online to prevent information overload and reduce social isolation. Surround yourself with people who are positive. Ask for help if you need it. Laugh – a lot. Practise forgiveness to calm your spirit, and minimise exposure to unpleasant noise. Focus on sources of joy in your life. Explore relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, until you find one that works for you. My personal favourite is breath work, and I recommend the 4-7-8 exercise (right), at least twice a day. Camomile or passionflower tea can be relaxing, and some patients benefit from the herbs holy basil or valerian. However, I don’t recommend the long-term use of any substance for stress management – it encourages the notion that relief comes from external, rather than internal, sources. Learn more about optimising emotional wellbeing in my book, Spontaneous Happiness (Hodder Paperbacks, £9.99). drweil.com @drweil
4-7-8 breathing Sit with your back straight or lie in a comfortable position. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a ‘whoosh’ sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through
your nose to a mental count of four.
Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely
through your mouth, making the ‘whoosh’ sound to a count of eight. This completes one breath.
Inhale again and repeat this breathing cycle
three more times – a total of four breaths. If you have trouble holding your breath, simply speed up the exercise, but keep to the cadence 4-7-8. The entire exercise takes less than two minutes to complete. Should you continue to feel stressed, wait five minutes and repeat the exercise.
GOOD Have aMOODday! HRI Good Mood tablets – St. John’s Wort – for slightly low mood and mild anxiety. HRI Good Mood is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of slightly low mood and mild anxiety, based on traditional use only. Available from leading Boots stores and Holland & Barrett. Look for the THR symbol – your guarantee of safety and quality. Always read the label. www.HRIHerbalMedicine.co.uk
Love your hair again Hair styling, colour treatments, poor diet and hormonal changes can all have an impact on our hair. Hairfollic® is based on the latest nutritional research to provide biotin, selenium and zinc which help to maintain normal hair, plus specific amino acids and Marine Collagen. Hairfollic® contains Tricologic™ – an exclusive Biomarine complex with Grape Seed and Collagen extracts.
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Salt of the earth A good sprinkle of quality, mineralrich salt should be revered, not feared, says nutritionist Eve Kalinik
alt has suffered a bit of a bashing in the press over the past few years. Many an article has linked consumption of this king of condiments to a host of conditions, including high blood pressure and degenerative bone health. But let’s take a small step backwards and differentiate between ‘bad salt’ and the mineral-rich kind that is essential for our health. Yes, it’s true that processed and junk foods, as well as generic table salt, can be a recipe for disaster. These foods typically contain salt that has been stripped of most of its nutrients, leaving just the sodium chloride part of the equation. This means we are missing out on the abundance of essential minerals and elements present in naturally derived salts. Salt has always been a part of our diet, but where processed foods have taken over, this means we are consuming a lot more of the ‘empty’ kind. Ironically, this has left our diet depleted in nutrients that would naturally be present if we were just seasoning ‘real’ food with pure salt. Moreover, it is these unadulterated types of salt that provide us with crucial minerals that work in balance to support fundamental processes in the body. In short, our bodies would not work without salt. Our heart, muscles, nervous system and absorption of food depend on it and, alongside sodium and chloride, these natural salts also contain nutrients such as magnesium, calcium and many other trace elements. Some of the unrefined rock salt is said to contain up to
buy Halen Môn – certified organic by the Soil Association. This white ‘free-flowing’ sea salt is my kitchen musthave, halenmon.com.
Seed and Bean Cornish Sea Salt Chocolate – salt and chocolate are a match made in heaven, seedandbean.co.uk.
84 different minerals and elements. Now that’s a far cry from your ordinary white table stuff. Of course, we can overdo it even with the more nutritious versions, which now include everything from native Anglesey sea salt and pink Himalayan salt to Persian blue and even Hawaiian red volcanic. Guidelines indicate that adults should have no more than 6g per day (less for children). My advice is to get organic salt that’s most local to your geographic area, as you are likely to be ingesting elements that best support you and the surrounding environment, but it can also be fun to experiment with different flavour combinations and colours. Whether it’s a pinch of the white, pink or blue, you can enhance much more than just the flavours on your plate. evekalinik.com @evekalinik
relax with Full Moon Bath Salts by Species by the Thousands, with soothing lavender and camomile. Available at beingcontent.com.
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Immersed in the good life
Karin Mochan rolls up her sleeves and spends a month as part of the tribe on a sustainable farm in rural Umbria – where the most precious seeds planted are those of comradeship
owards the end of last year, I was offered one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities: four weeks in rural Umbria – and a chance to find out whether I really am a country girl at heart. The destination was Monestevole, a hilltop 15th-century hamlet in central Italy, and home to a thriving ecotourism project called Tribewanted. I’d already enjoyed a couple of week-long holidays there, making pasta and feeding the animals (in between dips in the pool), so when I heard about plans for a ‘full immersion’, I was ready to put truly sustainable living into practice. Tribewanted was established 10 years ago by Ben Keene, from Henley-onThames, who used crowdfunding to start a beach community in Fiji. Since then, his Tribewanted network has expanded to Sierra Leone, Bali and Umbria – with a remote island in Papua New Guinea added just last year. The dynamo driving the community at Monestevole is Filippo Bozotti, a charismatic filmmaker turned social entrepreneur, who first partnered with Keene to create the community on John Obey beach in Sierra Leone. Bozotti was eager to replicate this sustainable model back home in Italy, and started searching Tuscany and Umbria for prospective properties. He tells me he fell in love with Monestevole immediately: ‘I’ve always loved Umbria – it’s accessible, it’s in the centre of Italy, the country’s green heart. Monestevole is still pretty virgin, with woodland and local traditions that have died out in many other places.’ Bozotti and the Tribewanted team welcomed their first guests to Monestevole in 2013. I arrived that October, just
after the grape harvest, and was genuinely impressed by the project – even sneaking an early taste of what would be their first wine! It feels fantastic to be back, meeting the new volunteers I’d be living and working with side by side.
The four musketeers I unpack my waterproofs and boots for November rain, rather than Umbrian sunshine – the end of the year may well be less of a draw as just four of us signed up for Monestevole’s second immersion. When I arrive, I am introduced to Coree and Adam, a lovely couple in their early 30s who met in Manchester. They are here for a bit of an eco-pitstop before a permanent move to Berlin – and tell me how they’ve driven here with the bulk of their worldly belongings. The following day, our final member flies in from Seattle. Like me, Revital (pronounced ‘Rev-itaal’) is in her 40s, and she’s put her demanding career in the software industry on pause for a few weeks to try low-tech living. Together, we create a small but more or less perfectly formed team. Over the next four weeks, we build a large, fenced enclosure for the goats, muck in with the daily chores on the farm (filling the biomass boiler that runs on hazelnut shells, feeding the animals, picking and sowing various crops), and harvest and plant reeds for the new water-filtration system. This will take used ‘grey’ water from the kitchens and showers, and process it through stones, aquatic plants and a series of filtration pools until it can be safely used to water the animals and irrigate the fields. And this is why visitors are banned from using harsh soaps and shampoos; >>>
“It feels fantastic to be back, meeting the new volunteers I’d be living and working with”
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>>> biodegradable alternatives are provided in the house and
even the toothpaste is homemade – using coconut oil, wintergreen and baking soda. As we tackle each new task under the watchful eye of Nicoló, Monestevole’s permaculturalist and our leader for the month, it soon becomes clear that Coree has the edge. Her experience of set building for the stage (her first job) shows when it comes to making fences, gates and a winter shelter for the goat pen. She’s enviably confident with power tools, and her husband Adam is pretty clued up, too. Arguably Revital and I are the weaker links, but luckily there’s no sense of competition. For me, the really rewarding part of the experience is learning how to work as part of a team, problemsolving together, and helping each other with the stuff we find challenging. Our work days are punctuated with delicious food, laughter and unseasonably mild weather. We are kept busy from 9am to 1pm, with obligatory espresso breaks, and have two days off a week. Meals are eaten communally with the permanent members of staff: farm manager, Valerio, horse trainer, Salvatore, and the lovely guys who look after the fields, farm machinery and animals: Domenico, Carlo and Andrea.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Al fresco lunch; the perfect spot for hanging out; as well as for swimming, the pool is an idyllic setting for Pilates and yoga classes; homemade chocolatehazelnut spread; some of the produce grown on the farm; immersees at work; fruits of the November olive harvest; the hilltop farmhouse; everyone gathers together for dinner
biodegradable washing-up liquid, and the loos are flushed with rainwater. They use local materials and produce as far as possible, and much of the furniture is reclaimed or recycled. Having flown into Perugia, I was required to plant five trees to offset my carbon footprint. Those green credentials are hard won. According to Ben Keene, though, this sort of responsible travel and tourism is ‘exploding’. He describes it as ‘the fastest-growing section of the tourism industry, and there’s a huge demand for authentic experiences – and positive local impact on places where people go on holiday’. And I’m starting to see why. Halfway through my stay, Filippo Bozotti returns from a month on a remote island in Papua New Guinea, the latest outpost of the Tribewanted family. His enthusiasm for the project is infectious, and the photos he shows us on his laptop are stunning. He’s been out there with a group of ‘first footers’ to build beach bungalows and rather sophisticated-looking bucket showers. Back home in London, I have a chance to catch up with fellow immersee, Nicola Moss, who was in Papua New Guinea with Bozotti. She took part in the first immersion at Monestevole in the spring, and was inspired to help him build this latest community. What stood out for her, she tells me, was living completely off-grid, slowing down, digitally detoxing and immersing herself in a new tropical culture. ‘I loved falling asleep to the sound of the waves just a few metres away,’ she says. ‘And waking up and watching the sunrise from my tent every morning, followed by a swim with the manta rays.’ It does sound tempting. As I write this, I hear that Bozotti is recruiting 10 new volunteers to go to Papua New Guinea from September to January. This might just be my next adventure… the tug of the tribe is more than a life-changing experience – it’s a truly primal, and positive, calling too.
“For me, the highlights are the bonds I make with the people of Monestevole”
picking up new skills For me, the highlights are the bonds I make with the people of Monestevole, from Nicoló and his passion for all living things (and the only vegetarian on the farm) and Adrienne, the dog-loving, yoga-teaching manager (who escaped here from London two years ago), to Laura and Daniela, who so patiently showed me how to recreate their favourite dishes – hand-rolled pasta, unctuous polenta and herb-infused ribs cooked over the wood fire. I relish learning how to do new things, some of which seem impossibly intimidating at first. Joy is abundant – watching the goats become more friendly as they get to know us and start enjoying the ‘winter garden’ we’ve created for them is wonderful. And, of course, the four lovely dogs and little Mau, the cat I all but adopted… Spending this period of time trying to live sustainably, and learning to reduce my personal impact on the environment, was quite the eye-opener for me. Throughout my month, Nicoló proved himself a supremely knowledgeable, 100 per cent committed and unbelievably patient teacher. Life at Monestevole is not just about recycling and reducing waste. They generate their own electricity, make their own
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Prices at Tribewanted start from £334 per week for full board (meals, beer and wine included). Immersees are offered a 30% discount, from £946 for the month. RyanAir flies to Perugia from London Stansted, from around £23 one way, and the Monestevole team can arrange a transfer from the airport for around £48 each way (up to four people). Visit monestevole.it for details. If you’d like to learn more about eco and ethical holidays, pick up our October issue, on sale 26 August, which features our Eco-Tourism Travel Special
The Gorilla Adventure 2-11 November 2017
New for 2017 Volunteer your skills or labour at nearby schools, the village clinic, the Music Group or a HIV Project Trek to Bwindi â€˜The Impenetrable Forestâ€™ home of the Mountain Gorillas of Uganda and raise funds for the charity of your choice For more information and to register online:
www.actionforcharity.co.uk 01590 646410 | email@example.com
nothing is perfect “ Inandnature, everything is perfect
JANE PACKER FAUX FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS, FROM £16, SAINSBURY’S. FOR STOCKIST’S DETAILS, SEE PAGE 129
p108 Feasting All together now / p114 Books Shifting sands / p116 Living Shades of calm
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 107
Farro, capers, herb-baked tomatoes, roast carrots and parmesan
Food and friends
Holidays and sunshine, culinary adventures and meeting people – be inspired by these recipes and invite loved ones around to share delicious food outdoors
Recipes Anne sijmonsbergen Photographs david munns Edited by Danielle Woodward
hese recipes are from Anne Sijmonsbergen’s book Eivissa (the Catalan pronunciation of ‘Ibiza’), which is packed with seasonal ideas for sharing food with your nearest and dearest. Sijmonsbergen bought a rundown farmhouse on Ibiza 10 years ago, and set about growing the island’s indigenous fruit and vegetables. She now supplies local restaurants with fresh ingredients, and has written Eivissa to share her inspiration on how you can recreate the tastes of the White Isle at home. Invite your friends over for a feast...
seafood paella The iconic Spanish dish is most memorably enjoyed on a beach with a jug of cold sangria – but it travels home well, broken into simple steps. Serve with Mulberry and Peach Cava Sangria*.
into 3cm rings, tentacles left whole l
18 shell-on prawns
18 mussels, scrubbed
and debearded l
18 fresh clams, scrubbed 1 whole cooked lobster, split in half
Lemon wedges, to serve
You will need: 30cm paella
Aioli*, to serve
pan or large, heavy-based pan for the chilli base 2 dried nora chillies, deseeded
l *For the recipes for Mulberry and Peach Cava Sangria, roasted tomatoes and aioli, see the Food channel on psychologies.co.uk
membrane removed, body sliced
and finely chopped l
1-1½ litres fish stock
for the sofregit (tomato sauce) l
80ml extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped ½ red pepper and ½ green pepper,
deseeded and finely chopped l
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped 3 large Roasted Tomatoes*, chopped
1½ tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
Huge pinch saffron threads
500g paella rice
300ml white wine 6 small squid, or 1 large, cleaned,
1 To make the chilli sauce, soak
the chillies in a heatproof bowl with 80-100ml of the hot fish stock for 30 minutes, then drain, retaining the liquid. Grind the chillies to a paste using a pestle and mortar. Strain the soaking liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a heat-proof measuring jug. Add the chilli paste and whizz with a hand-held blender until smooth, then set aside. 2 To make the sofregit, heat the olive oil in the paella pan or frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, peppers, garlic and tomatoes and fry for about 20 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the sweet paprika, the
hot paprika and a large pinch of sea salt and cook for 8-10 minutes, uncovered, until the mixture has reduced to a thick sauce. 3 Bring the remaining stock to the boil in a separate saucepan, reduce the heat and add the saffron. Add the squid to the pan, turn to coat in the sauce, and cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove and set aside. 4 Add the rice and stir to coat the grains in the sauce. Fry for 3-4 minutes, then pour in the white wine. Cook for 3-4 minutes, to allow the wine to reduce slightly, then pour enough simmering stock into the pan to just cover the rice. Return the squid, evenly distributing it and nestling it into the rice, then cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, uncovered, stirring in more hot stock as needed. Paella, like risotto, requires a bit of judgement. Taste to check the texture of the rice and then add more liquid to reach the desired consistency. 5 Place the prawns, mussels and clams evenly on top and cook for 10 minutes, uncovered, then mix in the lobster (if using). Remove the pan from the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes. If you’re not using lobster, remove the pan from the heat after the prawns, mussels and clams have cooked for 10 minutes. Scatter with lemon wedges and serve with aioli. >>>
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lomo cuban bocadillo Freshly made bocadillos (sandwiches) are a staple of Spanish cuisine. This Cuban-inspired bocadillo is a fabulous way to use leftover Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder*. It makes a day-after lunch every bit as delicious as the previous night’s dinner. Serves 3-4 1 ciabatta or rustic baguette,
halved lengthways l
Extra virgin olive oil
100g smoked serrano ham 500g Slow-Roasted Pork*,
plus cooking liquid 100g Manchego
semi-curado or Gouda cheese, thinly sliced 40g Cucumber and Onion Pickles*
FOR THE DRESSING l
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp crème fraîche
½ tsp soft light brown sugar
1½ tsp lemon juice
for the slaw 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and
thinly sliced ½ kohlrabi bulb, peeled, sliced
and cut lengthways into batons l
¼ red onion, very thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
100g cooked black beans ¼ tsp fennel seeds, toasted and
ground using a pestle and mortar l
Handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 Brush both cut sides of the bread
liberally with olive oil. Heat more olive oil in a frying pan and fry the ham for 2-3 minutes. Set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper. 2 Shred the pork and moisten with 1-2 tablespoons of its cooking liquid. Layer the pork, crispy serrano ham and cheese on the bottom half of the bread. Put both bread halves under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes until the cheese has melted and the bread is lightly toasted. 3 Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the dressing in a small jar. Seal and shake well. Combine all the vegetables
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for the slaw and toss with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper. 4 Remove the bread from the grill and top it with a generous spoonful of slaw and a few pickles. Slice the sandwich into 3-4 pieces and serve immediately.
reader offer Psychologies readers can buy Eivissa: The Ibiza Cookbook by Anne Sijmonsbergen (HarperCollins, £20) for the special price of £15**, including p&p. Call 0870 787 1724 and quote the reference Dept 900K.
* For the recipes for the pork, pickles and samfaina, opposite, see the Food channel on psychologies.co.uk **Offer subject to availability. Please allow seven days for delivery
samfaina with crÊpes, chickpeas and goat’s cheese This is a fantastic way to make samfaina (Catalan ratatouille) into a vegetarian plate for sharing. The nuttiness of the chickpeas works beautifully with the sweet vegetables and the creamy cheese. Serves 4 l
60g cooked chickpeas
60ml extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, bashed
for the crÊpes l
200g chickpea flour
60ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for cooking
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cayenne pepper Handful flat-leaf
parsley, chopped for the topping l
300g Samfaina* 100g soft goat’s cheese,
in chunks Finely sliced strips of peel
from 1 lemon l
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 To peel the chickpeas, fill a large
bowl with cold water. Add the cooked chickpeas in batches and gently rub for 5 minutes to remove the skins and excess starch (also do this with tinned chickpeas, if using). Skim off the skins, drain the bowl, refill and repeat once or twice to remove all the skins. Drain and ensure the chickpeas are dry. 2 Combine all the crêpe ingredients in a jug or bowl with 240ml water and whizz together with a hand-held blender. Add up to 120ml more water if needed, to make a thin batter. 3 Brush a heavy-based, non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan with olive oil and place over a high heat until very hot. Spoon in just enough batter to cover the base of the pan when swirled. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip with a silicone spatula
and cook for a further 2-3 minutes on the other side, until both sides are golden and crispy. Remove from the pan and continue cooking the crêpes until you have used up all the batter. 4 Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and add the garlic. Cook the garlic until just brown, to flavour the oil, then remove and discard. Continue to heat the oil until it is very hot, but not smoking. Add the chickpeas, shake to coat and fry for 5-6 minutes until golden and crunchy. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. 5 Put a crêpe on a plate and cover half with a couple of heaped tablespoons of samfaina. Sprinkle over a few crispy chickpeas, spoon over more samfaina and garnish with goat’s cheese, lemon peel, parsley and a few more chickpeas.
TREK FOR THE CHALLENGE TREK FOR WOMEN WITH BREAST CANCER
TREK PERU Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime challenge and help us be there for more people affected by breast cancer. This awe-inspiring experience will immerse you in a magical world of ancient ruins, remote Andean mountain passes and sun-dappled rainforests. We’ll be there from day one to organise everything for you and make sure you and your newfound friends enjoy a spectacular adventure on the path to the lost city of Machu Picchu. With every step you take on the hike of your life, you’ll be supporting the women who are taking on the biggest challenge of theirs – breast cancer.
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the retreat Fill to the brim with refreshing drinks. Vertical ripple jug, £10, Waitrose Pile up the food on pretty plates. Floral fiesta paper plate, £2.99 for 12, Candle & Cake
Add colour to your al fresco meal. Moroccan tea light set, £9.95, Furnish.co.uk
Raise a glass. Arabian Nights copper martini glass, £5, Sainsbury’s
Eating al fresco Light up the evening. Konstsmide Assisi Solar Lantern, £27.50, Internet Gardener
PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKSY. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 129
Serve a fresh salad. Toscana melamine salad bowl, £12.99, Lakeland. Tuscany acacia salad servers, £10, T&G Woodware
Now that summer is finally here, what better excuse to get outdoors and enjoy food with friends? All you need is some colourful crockery, blankets for comfort and stylish outdoor lighting to cast a soft glow into the long, warm evening. For the barbecue, visit greatbritishmeat.com and try Heck’s gluten-free sausages and veggie options (from Tesco). For inspiration, read new books The Real Greek: Eat Healthy Together by Tonia Buxton (Blink Publishing, £20), and The Social Kitchen: Food For Family And Friends by Shally Tucker – her daughter, Dani, gathered together the recipes in her mum’s memory in this beautiful book; all proceeds go to Dermatrust.
Pack these in your picnic basket for the perfect finishing touch
Paprika mayonnaise, £3.45, Brindisa
Rosemary Honey mustard, from £22, Maille
English Provender Proper Pickle, £1.50, Ocado
Ugly Lemon & Lime, 99p, Ugly Drinks
Hampstead Tea organic iced tea, £1.39, Wholefoods Market
B.fresh cold-pressed juice, £2.49, Waitrose
Karen Burns-Booth is a freelance writer and recipe developer who splits her time between Yorkshire and south-west France, where she runs a cookery school. She is inspired by seasonal food, travel and the best of British cooking and has lots of tasty, good-for-you recipes and ideas on her blog, lavenderandlovage. com, which celebrates the joy that comes from preparing and sharing food with loved ones.
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 113
Ebb & flow Septemberâ€™s selection carries an undercurrent of change, exploring how the reality of life can wash away our expectations
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the retreat The Empathy Problem
Harmless Like You
by Gavin Extence
by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
(Hodder & Stoughton, £16.99)
Cold and calculating, Gabriel Vaughn has, in his own words, lived his whole life ‘putting my interests ahead of every other person on the planet’. That is until he is diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour, which alters the way he feels about everything. Extence’s tale of a life-changing transformation is unusual; a gripping look at an unlikeable character who swaps insensitivity for soulfulness.
This beautiful novel explores creativity and the complicated relationships between parents and children. Art dealer Jay is having trouble adjusting to life as a parent. At the root of his problem is that his own mother, Yuki, left him as a child. As he delves into his abandonment, the parallel storyline explores Yuki’s life, her desire to create art, and the difficult choices she makes to live a fulfilling life.
The Summer That Melted Everything
The Comet Seekers
By Tiffany McDaniel (Scribe, £14.99)
Róisín longs to leave rural Ireland and study the stars, but that means leaving Liam, whose heart resides at the family farm. François yearns for new landscapes, but his beloved mother is anchored to the past, haunted by family ghosts and unable to escape their influence. This is a spellbinding tale of love and loss, aglimmer with passion and melancholy as the characters attempt to reconcile conflicting emotions with fervent desires.
by Helen Sedgwick (Harvill Secker, £12.99)
Dark and wholly original, this startling debut describes what happens in a small American town in 1984 when the local prosecutor asks the devil to stop by. A visitor arrives, who couldn’t look less satanic. Sal is 13 but ‘old in the soul’. He speaks in riddles and sets the town alight with his mesmerising tales of heaven and hell; and enflames the townsfolk with his mysterious presence. Gloriously Gothic.
‘Lord knows how long he’s been lying out there: flat on his back in the middle of the vegetable garden. I see him through the smudged window over the kitchen sink as I’m carrying the groceries to the counter, the day burning bright all over him.’ From Hide by Matthew Griffin (Bloomsbury, £14.99), out 11 August
The book that made me
MAIN REVIEWS: EITHNE FARRY. PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
Natasha Walter on Testament Of Youth
‘When I read Testament Of Youth as a teenager, I didn’t need much encouragement to identify with author, Vera Brittain. Sure, she was a provincial girl living through the First World War and I was a suburban girl living through the early years of Thatcherism, but I was drawn into her idealistic view of the world. How her illusions were destroyed by the brutality of war, and the deaths of her brother and fiancé, struck me with incredible force. I was impressed by the way she learned from her experiences and used them to understand the world, and to grow as a feminist and a pacifist. Now, when I return to the book, I still feel strengthened by her courage.’
Testament Of Youth, Little, Brown, £14.99
Natasha Walter is author of ‘Living Dolls: The Return Of Sexism’ (Little, Brown, £9.99)
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 115
This vintage dresser is restored in Farrow & Ball Calke Green. Cooking Apple Green has been applied inside, to create depth and provide a backdrop for treasured crockery
116 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 6
IN THE MOOD FOR COLOUR
Celebrate your individuality, mix your own palette, and make home where your heart is EDITED BY LUCYINA MOODIE PHOTOGRAPHS JAMES MERRELL, ROBIN KITCHIN, JAMES BOWDEN, JUSTIN BARTON
A window on to nature, framed by light shades, provides an inspirational home workspace J U N E 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 117
All White is the perfect colour and finish for this eat-in kitchen. The subtle sheen in the emulsion reflects the light from the window and helps create an uplifting family space
118 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 6
on’t follow the herd when you make a house your home – pick colours that you love, objects from the present and the past, and then layer them together to create your own inspired style. ‘There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to decorating,’ says Joa Studholme, co-author of Farrow & Ball How To Decorate (Mitchell Beazley, £30). ‘We all gravitate towards different styles, live in different places and like different colours. Every single room is different, so the choice of colour should be influenced by the conditions of the space: how it functions, its architecture and when it is used.’ Choose the colours that make your heart sing and follow Studholme’s practical advice for the best results.
The walls of this comfortable retreat are painted in Farrow & Ball’s classic Limewash finish. Natural wood and flowers bring a touch of nature indoors
In this fresh, relaxing sitting room, the colour of the picture rail has been picked out in the woodwork and ceiling, creating a crisp line that accentuates the simplicity of the soothing two-colour scheme
Kitchen table, £575, Loaf
The Boulevard Montmartre At Night by Camille Pissarro, The National Gallery Collection, prints from £14.95, King & McGaw
Linea Oasis pineapple light fitting, £40, House of Fraser
Chill four-seater sofa, £3,305, Heal’s Grey metal chair, £140 for two, Cox & Cox
Selection of turquoise glass vases, from £55 each, I&JL Brown
READER OFFER Psychologies readers can buy Farrow & Ball: How To Decorate for the special price of £21* including p&p (RRP £30) by calling 01903 828503 and quoting the reference Farrow/MB646.
OFFER SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 129
Mixed anemone centrepiece, £59, Bloom
Whether your choice of colour scheme is spontaneous and instinctive, or more heartfelt and studied, your colour-therapy journey can be an adventurous, ongoing one. ‘Decorating every room is a fantastic opportunity to use colour,’ says interiors expert Studholme but, should your tastes evolve, imaginative use of colour is your one true changeable (in a good way) friend. Opposites attract, so use vintage and contemporary shades and objects alongside each other to create interest and balance, while splashes of intense colour, such as zesty yellow or cooling turquoise, can be an immediate pick-me-up, for a mood, and also for a tired room.
Glazed door medium dresser, £1,876, John Lewis of Hungerford
Cushion cover in ‘curry’, £45, Out There Interiors
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 121
If you have read and enjoyed our Dossier this month on addressing stress in your life, (pages 56-73), and you feel inspired to work on your stress-management techniques for a happier, healthier you, these coaches will be able to use their expertise to guide you on your way...
What would it be like if we could find a new way to deal with stress? We can’t always control what happens, but we can control how we react to it – however I do think we have to learn how to do that. I’m a great believer in challenging the stories that we tell ourselves. We’ve often spent years reacting in a certain way. It takes time, space and commitment to press pause, stand back as an observer, and then explore ways that might take us in a new, perhaps healthier, direction. The first step is realising that we have a choice. We are the author of our own story. Dramatic events might happen, but how our hero responds is entirely up to us. Good luck! TO ADVERTISE WITHIN OUR COACHING DIRECTORY PLEASE CONTACT: LEEANNE GARRETT ON 01959 543713 OR EMAIL: LEEANNE.GARRETT@KELSEY.CO.UK
ANDY FLACK, PSYCHOLOGIST
Stress – it’s all in the mind… but it’s also in the body. Feelings of stress can be overwhelming, leading to a sense of physical and emotional helplessness. However, you have the potential to regulate your stress response. I have 15 years’ experience working as a psychotherapist and sports psychologist specialising in stress reduction and management in both adults and adolescents. ● For more information, visit andyflack.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07546 294003
CHRISTINE CURRIE, POSITIVE EFFECTS As a specialist in stress management, I tailor therapy sessions to each client using a combination of therapies from positive psychology, CBT-based hypnotherapy, coaching, relaxation, mindfulness and reiki. I strongly believe that anyone can overcome stress. I have overcome many stresses myself and helped countless clients. ● For more information, visit positiveeffectsconsulting. com, email email@example.com or call 07858 389589
TRACEY PHILLIPS, HERE FOR U COUNSELLING & PSYCHOTHERAPY Have an anxiety- and stress-free life. Reach out and get the support you need – whether that be implementing changes to your work-life balance, utilising strategies, reviewing your emotional and physical approach or managing stress by getting your wellbeing into perspective. Start considering the life that you want to live, and get help now. ● For more information, visit hereforu.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07714 202184
MANDI WEYMES, SKYPE AND ONLINE LIFE COACHING
Get your life back. Whether it’s your relationship, career or general problems you are struggling with, I can help you regain control. With bespoke, one-to-one Skype or telephone sessions, or face-to-face power coaching, you will feel rebalanced, happier, fulfilled and empowered in all areas of your life. ● To book your free consultation, visit mandiweymes lifecoach.co.uk, email anewbeginning-therapies@ hotmail.co.uk or call 01482 850550 or 07717 210969
PAULA BENDON, COUNSELLING AND HYPNOTHERAPY FOR STRESS I regularly see people who are suffering with difficult emotions due to stress. It can be difficult to know what to do and who to turn to in anxious times. This is perfectly normal, and everyone can feel moments of despair, fear and loneliness on the inside, while appearing calm on the outside. Book a free 20-minute consultation to understand how I can help. ● For more information, visit paulabendon.com, email email@example.com or call 020 8877 2884
JANE WHITFIELD, WOMEN IN TRANSITION COACH
Times of change are difficult to manage. Women suffer in silence faced with the toughest challenges of life. I specialise in coaching women with cancer, depression, divorce, step-parenting, children leaving home, single parenting, adoption and relocation. From my own personal journey, ‘owning’ the process of moving forward is key to changing your path. ● For more information, visit chamomilesuite.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07841 312369
RACHEL COFFEY COACHING
Rachel is a top life and voice coach, working in a mindful and intuitive way, supporting you on your journey of positive change. Rachel works from the calm of her Chelsea riverside base, as well as beautiful Gazelli House wellness centre in South Kensington. She is a master at enabling you to let go of stress – you’ll leave feeling relaxed, confident and free to enjoy life. ● For more information, visit rachelcoffeycoaching.com, email email@example.com or call 07867 360183
JACKY WALKER, THE HARLEY CONSULTANCY Are you suffering from burnout? Surviving, instead of thriving? Jacky Walker, psychotherapist and author of The Burnout Bible, says, ‘Once you understand the crucial difference between stress and burnout, and the different ways they need to be treated, we can put simple strategies in place for rebooting your life.’ ● For more, visit theharleyconsultancy.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07796 904473, quoting REBOOT2016 for 25% off your first session
SUSAN BANKS, COUNSELLING, HYPNOTHERAPY AND LIFE COACHING Feeling stuck or overwhelmed? We will provide you with the therapy service that suits you best. Through one approach, or a combination, we can help you overcome obstacles and move forward towards the life you deserve. If stress is affecting your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, we’ll help get you back in control. ● For more information, visit susanbankstherapy.co.uk, email email@example.com or call 07908 107935
ISABELLA S TRIMBLE, TRANSFORMATIVE HYPNOTHERAPY Isabella specialises in dealing with anxiety and stress, eating and self-esteem issues, insomnia, smoking cessation and creative expression. ‘My two-hour session with Isabella was very intriguing… I am surprised by some of the memories I accessed… If there are any blocks in your life, hypnotherapy may work when traditional avenues haven’t.’ – Annabelle Harrison, The Kensington & Chelsea Magazine. ● For a free consultation, visit hypnotherapybook.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07874 893322
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TO ADVERTISE ON THESE PAGES: CONTACT LEEANNE GARRETT ON:
Health, happiness and wellbeing, empowering you to live well. A selection of products and services to improve your month. FUSION BREAKTHROUGH™ COACHING Do you want to feel your best, be your best and live your best life? Do you want a rewarding career which will give you the professional tools to help others do the same? The STOPGO™ Coaching System combines the best of counselling and coaching with really effective skills to really help people. Study for the prestigious NCFE accredited fast track diploma or distance learning skills certiﬁcate with psychotherapist Frances Masters. Book a Fusion Breakthrough™ Day for your own personal development or ﬁnd out how to become a Fusion Breakthrough Trainer. Book now or to ﬁnd out more.. FOR MORE INFORMATION: ● Web: www.thefusionmodel. com ● Email: www.integrated
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JANE WHITFIELD WOMEN IN TRANSITION COACH Transition is a time of change which is often difﬁcult to manage. Women often suffer in silence faced with the hardest challenges of life. I specialise in coaching women with cancer, depression, divorce, step-parenting, children leaving home, single parenting, adoption and relocation. From my own personal journey, ‘owning’ the process of moving forward is key to changing your path. www.chamomilesuite.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 07841 312369
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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 129
START YOUR HAPPINESS BOOK CLUB Why not set up a book club with a difference, focusing on joy and positive psychology? Let’s create communities in which we can thrive, says Psychologies Editor, Suzy Greaves
130 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 6
ourselves and for our fellow human beings. In this spirit, I’m moving our Happiness Book Club to our back page. Our vision, together with our partner, Action for Happiness, is to create more happiness in the world through the way in which we approach our lives and each other. We are encouraging you to create a book club once a month, and to experiment with how you can put happiness, yours and other people’s, at the heart of your philosophy. It’s about being the change we want to see in the world. This month, Vanessa King, from Action for Happiness, recommends Ed Halliwell’s ‘Into The Heart Of Mindfulness’ (Little Brown, £13.99). Get reading!
How will it work?
Each month, create a book club to discuss our suggested book from Action for Happiness positive psychology expert, Vanessa King. We’ll post author interviews on our Life Labs channel lifelabs@psychologies. co.uk and you can join our Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/ psychologieslifelabs.
Why will it work?
Studies show that people, even introverts, are happier when they are with others. If we are happier, then we will be more fun to be around, creating an ‘upward spiral’ of happiness.
illustration: Lesley Buckingham/central illustration
he world can be an uncertain place. At Psychologies, we believe that we are all part of a global family and that it’s time to start listening – to each other and to our own wisdom – and to focus on what we do want versus what we do not. As any therapist will tell you, in order to facilitate that, we need to create safe, respectful spaces for those positive conversations. As Editor of Psychologies UK, I am determined to create these ‘safe places’. I have faith that we can choose compassion and wisdom as our responses; to become part of a creative movement that figures out solutions, for
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Here is a little healthy advice: eat well, live well & take care of you, right down to your skin. Containing naturally active oatmeal, AVEEN...
Published on Oct 5, 2016
Here is a little healthy advice: eat well, live well & take care of you, right down to your skin. Containing naturally active oatmeal, AVEEN...