Write a novel and win a £5,000 book deal
Stop fretting, start living How to beat guilt, grudges and envy
HATE YOUR BODY? Begin your
Sing & dance yourself happy INTERVIEW
BRIE LARSON Smart, strong and savvy
Reset, reboot, RECHARGE
Real strength: bounce back to your best self Break free from the energy drains now! PSY_SEPTEMBER-COVER-BRIE LARSON-v8.indd 1
Contents SEP TEMBER 2017
* COVER STORY
REGULARS 7 EDITOR’S LET TER 8
9 I’D LIKE TO THANK … 11
19 HARRIET MINTER 29 E VENTS 108
1 2 5 STOCKISTS 1 30 HAPPINESS BOOK CLUB
22 * PROFILE
“I think it’s vital that women are presented in a more positive and serious way” FEATURES
58 * THE DOSSIER
Restore your strength
LET’S HE AR IT FOR L AGOM
Author Anna Brones tells Martha Roberts the latest Scandi secret FREE GIFT WORTH
GIRL S WANNA HAVE FUN
SHÁ Á WASMUND
The guiding principles of edgy, inspirational Cerys Matthews
Subscribe today See page 38 for this month’s print and digital subscriptions offers
* THE DEVIL INSIDE
Three women come to terms with envy, resentment and guilt
WHAT’S DRAINING YOUR STAMINA?
Recognise your individual pitfalls and kick-start a revival with true insight
Keep your eye on the prize, urges our straight-talking business guru 32
COME BACK FIGHTING
Use the slowness of summer to recuperate, writes Anita Chaudhuri, and re-emerge with self-belief and optimism for the future
Rediscover your inner child and learn to play, says Lizzie Enfield 31
PHOTOGRAPH: PLAIN PICTURE
THE LIFE-T WE AK
To do or not to do? That’s Oliver Burkeman’s probing question
MEET THE REAL SUPERWOMEN Three warriors tell us how they got their mojos back
PERSONAL POWER Resilience is at your fingertips with our Real Strength book
WHAT DO YOU DO IN TOUGH TIMES?
Are you a fighter or a flighter? Take our test…
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 3
Contents SEP TEMBER 2017
‘BEING IN NATURE HE AL S ME’
Garden designer Butter Wakefield brings the outdoors into her comfortable Victorian villa 44
‘ WHY DO I ALWAYS WANT THE BAD BOY? ’
Our award-winning coach, Kim Morgan, helps an unlucky-in-love woman choose better men
* MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR BODY
Fiona Cowood finally accepts her physical ‘flaws’, and even learns to appreciate them 52
BEHOLD, I AM A JAGUAR!
Lisa Jackson meets her inner big cat while she explores the ancient tradition of shamanism 56
Our agony aunt advises three readers in turmoil
THE RETREAT 112
IN A MODERN RETRO SORT OF MOOD
Choose your favourite era and bring its iconic elements home for characterful, nostalgic rooms 118
LIVE WELL IN THE GARDEN
There’s a sting in summer’s tail, says Paul Rushton 120
BECAUSE IT’S GOOD FOR YOU
Psychologies Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik shares her tasty recipes for great gut health
THE PL AN
Expert advice in four holistic sections – Mind, Body, Spirit and Gut for wellness, and pleasure 85
H O LIS TI C SKIN
Gary Goldfaden on preventing pigmentation
PLEASE RESERVE/DELIVER PSYCHOLOGIES ON A REGULAR BASIS STARTING WITH ISSUE _________ TITLE................ FIRST NAME................................................................................... SURNAME................................................................................................................... ADDRESS....................................................................................................................
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FEEL BE AUTIFUL
THE KIND MIND
Eminé Rushton’s lightest, freshest ethical finds Ali Roff writes her own her healthily ever after 92
* THE CRE ATIVIT Y CURE
Daisy Fancourt talks about the healing power of the arts on our physical and mental health 97
ASK THE DOCTOR
RE AL NUTRITION
Holistic expert Andrew Weil discusses oral care Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik cracks the coconut 100 FINDING GR ATITUDE IN THE LOST CIT Y
Lydia Bell treks through the unforgiving Columbian jungle in search of spiritual treasures – and discovers much more than she bargained for 106 IT’S A WONDERFUL WORLD!
Street Wisdom’s World Wide Wander shows you why – just up your street
PHOTOGRAPH: GALLERY STOCK
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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 7
Breathe deeply Dream peacefully Sleep naturally
LET YOUR BODY BREATHE
OUR TEAM Editor Suzy Greaves Managing Editor Danielle Woodward Acting Art Director Lynne Lanning Wellness Director Eminé Rushton Picture Editor Laura Doherty Dossier and Books Editor Ali Roff Chief Sub/Production Editor Vee Sey Deputy Chief Sub Editor Leona Gerrard Digital Editor Katherine Weir Editorial Assistant Ellen Tout Associate Editors Anita Chaudhuri, Elizabeth Heathcote Thanks to Becky Brannigan, Justine Graham, Ali Christie, Georgina Probert Contributing Editors Wellness Suzanne Duckett, Catherine Turner, Elizabeth Bennett Health Dr Andrew Weil Fitness Hollie Grant Spirit Akcelina Cvijetic, Annee de Mamiel Mind Suzy Reading Nutrition Eve Kalinik Yoga Kat Farrants Garden Paul Rushton ADVERTISING & PRODUCTION TigerBee Media, Commercial Director Nikki Peterson (020 3510 0849) email@example.com Commercial Manager Sadie Mevlit (07850 291941) firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager Melanie Cooper (01733 363485) email@example.com Production Supervisor Dionne Fisher (01733 363485) 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 Acting Publishing Director Andrew Davies Retail Distribution Manager Eleanor Brown Audience Development Manager Andy Cotton Brand Marketing Manager Rebecca Gibson Events Manager Kat Chappell SUBSCRIPTIONS 13 issues of Psychologies are published per annum ● UK annual subscription price: £50.40 ● Europe annual subscription price: £63.99 ● USA annual subscription price: £63.99 ● Rest of World annual subscription price: £69.99 ● UK subscription and back issue orderline: 01959 543747 ● Overseas subscription orderline: 0044 (0) 1959 543747 ● Toll-free USA subscription orderline: 1 888 777 0275 ● UK customer service team: 01959 543747; email@example.com
Meet three of the people who have taken part in the creation of this issue of Psychologies
Fiona Cowood Journalist When Fiona discovered the term ‘body neutrality’, she was inspired to write about how it changed her outlook (page 46). ‘One of the experts I spoke to works with women of all ages trying to overcome their body shame,’ she explains. ‘A 93-year-old woman had enrolled on her course, which is amazing but also really sad. Imagine reaching later life and realising you’ve spent so much precious time worrying about your body not being perfect.’
Lisa Jackson Journalist, author and hypnotherapist Lisa is author of three bestselling books, and went from editing articles about complementary therapies to becoming a hypnotherapist herself. With her 50th birthday looming, she took a shamanic retreat to see if it could offer insight for her future path. ‘The weekend taught me that the answers to life’s questions really do lie within – we just have to allow ourselves to listen to what our inner self is trying to tell us,’ she says. See page 52.
Eve Kalinik Nutritional therapist Eve edits our nutrition content and this month celebrates the launch of her first book, Be Good To Your Gut (Piatkus, £20). Her passion for healthy eating comes from a true love of food – dishes packed with vitality to change the way you feel, think and look, from the inside out. ‘My book is not a diet book – nothing extreme; no quick fixes, but offers positive, long-term changes, and dishes you can come back to time and time again.’ Try Eve’s recipes on page 120.
Find subscription offers on our website: shop.kelsey.co.uk/psy Manage your subscription online shop.kelsey.co.uk/site/loginForm DISTRIBUTION & PRINTING William Gibbons, 28 Planetary Road, Willenhall, Wolverhampton WV13 3XT; 01902 730011; williamgibbons.co.uk Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9PT; 020 7429 4000; seymour.co.uk Psychologies is published under licence from Psychologies Magazine France. Psychologies Magazine is a registered trademark. Copyright ©2002 Psychologies Magazine is a registered trademark and is published monthly by Kelsey Media 2017 © 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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6 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 7
Fill your cup If you’re feeling depleted, out of sorts and ready for a holiday, then this issue is for you. Our 18-page Dossier (page 58) on how to renew your strength sets out the tenets of our latest book, Real Strength: Build Your Resilience And Bounce Back From Anything (Capstone, £9.99). Learn the scientifically proven ways to fill up your tank and keep it full, like learning to stop ruminating – the biggest predicator of anxiety and depression – and start developing coping mechanisms. ‘If you can try to imagine your mind as an orchestra, you would go to the past for what worked, and the good stuff you did, to the future with a crystal ball to focus on the outcome you want – without catastrophising about what could go wrong – but be aware that it’s in the present moment that you have control,’ says Liggy Webb, author of Resilience: How To Cope When Everything Around You Keeps Changing (John Wiley & Sons, £12.99). If you’re hitting the beach but want to revolutionise the way you see yourself, read the moving article by Fiona Cowood on body neutrality (page 46). Do you want to step out of your comfort zone and shake things up? Enjoy ‘My inner big cat’ (page 52) about Lisa Jackson’s shamanic retreat, where she learned how to ‘forge connections with, and listen to, nature and her self’ – and discover her inner jaguar! Yes, you can train your brain to think differently but we also invite you to sing, dance and play (see ‘The fun factory’ by Lizzie Enfield on page 26 for ideas). Why? Because not only is it great for your soul, it’s great for your health. Daisy Fancourt tells you how the arts can help you live a long, happy life on page 92 – but let’s start how we mean to go on with a long, happy summer!
GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF MONTHLY INSPIRATION FROM PSYCHOLOGIES THIS SUMMER Subscribe today and save up to 50% plus we’ll send you a free L’Occitane Relaxing Duo worth £53. Pay from £12.60 for six issues. Subscribe on page 38, at shop.kelsey.co.uk/ pyy or call our order hotline on 01959 543747.
PSY_SEPT_eds letter.indd 7
Suzy Greaves Editor, with Oscar the office dog
Let us know what you think of the magazine and, each month, we’ll publish the best letters STA R LETTER
FOND MEMORIES When I sat down to enjoy your August issue, my eye was caught by the feature about Jo Scofield’s renovation of her home and garden cabin. It turns out her property is my grandparents’ old home – a place I spent many happy years playing in the garden, picking apples and running around. The article’s description vividly brought back so many memories that I was almost brought to tears! It’s wonderful to know that another family is enjoying the home in which my grandparents spent almost their entire married life. Katie
PHO T O COM PET I T ION
Win! A yogawear
set, including sports bra, top and leggings worth £79 from MAGIC Body Fashion – designed by women, for women. Would you like to showcase your photography talent in Psychologies? Each month, we ask you to submit a photo on a theme. We’ll print our winner in the upcoming issue and on psychologies.co.uk, plus the winner gets a prize. The next theme is ‘Circles’. Send your photo attached in an email, with your address, to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on 20 September.*
THE WINNER THIS MONTH PRIZE
For more information see magicbodyfashion.com
NEXT MONTH’S PRIZE An Alto aroma diffuser with Bluetooth speaker worth £79.99, from madebyzen®
I took this picture from a hilltop bordering Lake Atitlán, which sits in a volcanic crater in Guatemala, after having met the fisherman on the water earlier that morning. For me, his small boat surrounded by an expanse of beautiful, deep blue water perfectly embodies your theme of ‘Escape’, both in a physical and emotional sense. Amy Dunn
EMAIL PICTURES@PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK. THE THEME FOR THE NEXT PHOTO COMPETITION* IS ‘CIRCLES’ – DEADLINE: 20 SEPTEMBER 8 PSYCHOLO GIES MAGA ZINE SEP TEMBER 2017
feedback This month’s winner
LIVE YOUR OWN STORY I loved the July issue’s focus on ‘rewriting your story’. Stories are everything; once we accept that we are all authors and are responsible for our own scripts, amazing things can happen. We can write the life we want, because the beauty of stories is that they are never finished. We can unpick and rewrite awkward bits, craft and redraft until we have written something of which we are truly proud. Stories are our life’s work, constantly evolving – but if we find our true voice, it will always inspire and the ending will be a happy one. Thanks for reminding me of this. Jennie
FOR FULL TS&CS, SEE PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK
JARS OF JOY Thank you for the lovely idea of a ‘happy days jar’ project, as described in your May issue’s ‘Quit the chaos’ Dossier. I liked this idea so much that I created one as part of my wedding present to my son Leo and his partner Louise, who married recently. They decided to make their wedding their first memory contribution to the jar. I love the thought that in a year’s time, on their first wedding anniversary, they will open the jar and uncover a year’s worth of happy, handwritten memories as part of their celebration! Anne
I’d like to thank… Every stranger I’ve met in the UK Be it treating me to sticky toffee pudding, giving me warm gloves or taking me to see snow for the first time, you have all made me immeasurably happy. I have been given helpful directions while lost, been introduced to the best of British film and television, and presented with tonnes of your sweets, which are my favourites! Your everyday acts of kindness have made my three years of university welcoming and safe. Moving to a new place always involves sacrifice. As an international student from India, I’ve crossed oceans to come and study here. This was my first time living away from family and a major transition. At first, it was isolating and unsettling. I wondered if the UK would ever feel like home. It has meant everything to me to meet people who are kind, pleasant and friendly. Homesickness and drastic changes in weather, food, clothing and social norms have required so much adjustment. But these hardships have been eased by the courtesy and kindness of everyone I’ve met. I’m happy to say I have found a second home. When I go back to my family in India, I’ll carry fond memories. The kindness of strangers certainly makes new places less scary.
Naomi 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 2017 PSYCHOLO GIES MAGA ZINE 9
Summer is calling New plump summer raspberry could be the answer
bottlegreen, for the curious
News I Reviews
EDITED BY ELLEN TOUT
Nature does not “ hurry, yet everything is accomplished ”
PHOTOGRAPH: MATT MUNRO/LONELY PLANET FROM ‘WHERE TO GO WHEN’ BY SARAH BAXTER AND PAUL BLOOMFIELD
This is the Rocca Maggiore fort in the pilgrimage town of Assisi in Umbria, captured at sunset. This rural region is featured in Where To Go When by Sarah Baxter and Paul Bloomfield (Lonely Planet, £13.99) as one of their recommended August getaways. All the Italian food and culture you could yearn for, without the crowds. But you needn’t rush to book a summer break – the guide reveals the prime seasons to experience destinations, with 30 suggestions for each month, and advice to create a lifetime of journeys. S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 11
PSY_SEPT_The Fix Opener-LLindd.indd 11
the fix Tray table, £215; trays, £45 each, Lisa Todd Designs
OF YOUNG PEOPLE SAY THAT DANCING LIFTS THEIR MOOD AND WELLBEING, AND 76 PER CENT SAY A BOOGIE BOOSTS THEIR ASPIRATIONS FOR THE FUTURE* Children’s dance jumper, £14, M&Co
Designer Lisa Todd is a firm believer in the positive impact that colour can have on our mood. She was a working mother and interior designer when an accident left her with cervical dystonia and she had to retire. In the face of adversity, Todd rediscovered her love of painting and launched her homeware brand, Lisa Todd Designs. ‘Art is my salvation,’ she says. ‘It helps me leave the four walls of my house and has improved my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It brings me a huge sense of achievement.’ lisatodddesigns.com
READING THE FUTURE
Planter bookends, £15, Red Candy
A study** found that toddlers learn more when reading e-books instead of print books. Experts monitored parents reading digital and print titles about animals to their children. The adults engaged more with the print books, but the opposite was true for their children – and those who who read e-books were better at identifying previously unknown animals afterwards.
* L MANSFIELD ET AL, A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF SPORT AND DANCE PARTICIPATION IN HEALTHY YOUNG PEOPLE TO PROMOTE SUBJECTIVE WELLBEING, WHAT WORKS CENTRE FOR WELLBEING, 2017; **G STROUSE ET AL, PARENT–TODDLER BEHAVIOUR AND LANGUAGE DIFFER WHEN READING ELECTRONIC AND PRINT PICTURE BOOKS, ‘FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY’, 2017; †A OSSOLA, YOUR BRAIN TREATS A BLINK LIKE A TINY NAP, ‘NEW YORK MAGAZINE – SCIENCE OF US’, 2017. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
WE SPEND 10 PER CENT OF THE DAY WITH OUR EYES CLOSED, DUE TO BLINKING WE BARELY NOTICE. EXPERTS SAY 12 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 7
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Film of the month
The Big Sick
FILM REVIEW: ELLEN TOUT. AUDIOBOOK RECOMMENDATION BY ELISE ITALIAANDER, CONTENT MANAGER AT AUDIBLE
Directed by Michael Showalter
An unlikely, but uplifting, romance revolving around a medically induced coma, The Big Sick will move you to laughter and tears. Based on the real-life relationship between comedian Kumail Nanjiani and writer Emily V Gordon, the film is co-written by the couple and also stars Nanjiani. The pair meet in a bar when student Emily (Zoe Kazan) heckles Kumail during his regular stand-up routine. Despite their intentions for a one-night stand, and expectations from Kumail’s traditional Muslim parents, Emily and Kumail are drawn together. When Emily falls ill and is in a coma for 12 days, Kumail is left to justify their relationship to his disapproving family and win over Emily’s parents. Their love story is an honest, feel-good journey. ET
AUDIO BOOKS TO SOOTHE THE SOUL WE LOVE:
I Can’t Believe You Just Said That by Danny Wallace
Our friends at Audible tell us why you’ll enjoy listening to this witty exposé In this self-narrated audiobook, comedian Danny Wallace investigates whether society has become increasingly rude. Navigating pet hates, such as road rage and queue jumping, as well as more serious themes, Wallace provides an accessible approach to the psychology of our culture, delivered with his infamous wit. Wallace’s interest in the subject was sparked after a waitress refused to serve him. He travelled the world to interview observers, from psychiatrists and psychologists to cabbies and bin men, to reveal the hidden truths behind how we speak to each other. Entertaining and eye-opening. ‘I Can’t Believe You Just Said That’ by Danny Wallace is available now for £19.99 or free with a 30-day Audible trial. See audible.co.uk
TIME PASSES THREE TIMES FASTER WHEN OUR EYES ARE CLOSED, AND BLINKING GIVES THE BRAIN A RESET OR NAP† S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 13
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If your attic is full of stuff you never use but can’t bear to part with, new research** may have the answer. A study found that people are more willing to get rid of unneeded, sentimental items if they photograph them first. The researchers say that while we’re happy to give away the physical items, it’s their associated memories and sense of identity that we’re afraid to lose – but photographs help to preserve these.
46% Extreme sports could actually be good for us, suggests a study.* After trying activities such as skydiving and abseiling, people describe them as ‘spiritual experiences’ during which time slows down; that they feel closer to nature and themselves, beyond the initial adrenaline rush. Participants say that the sports enrich their opinion of their own potential, leaving them feeling more creative, humble and inspired.
The best way to deal “with the fear of rejection
is to reveal it honestly and calmly. We should develop courage to be vulnerable without resorting to withdrawal or aggression RAUL APARICI Raul Aparici is a consultant, coach and faculty member at The School of Life. He leads ‘How To Make Love Last’ at the school in London on 28 September. For more, go to theschooloflife.com/london
E BRYMER ET AL, EVOKING THE INEFFABLE: THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF EXTREME SPORTS, ‘PSYCHOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS’, 2017; **K PAGE WINTERICH ET AL, KEEPING THE MEMORY BUT NOT THE POSSESSION,‘JOURNAL OF MARKETING’, 2017; †G GARRETT ET AL, CALL CENTER PRODUCTIVITY OVER SIX MONTHS FOLLOWING A STANDING DESK INTERVENTION,‘TAYLOR & FRANCIS ONLINE’, 2016; FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Art & Design
IS THE BOOST IN PRODUCTIVITY OF WORKERS USING A ‘STANDING DESK’ FOR SIX MONTHS†
Mountain pines table lamp, £117.46, Indie
Anne-Claire Petit crochet camera bag, £94, Amara
A POLL REVEALED THAT 35 PER CENT MORE PEOPLE CHOSE TO EAT HEALTHY DISHES IF THEY WEREN’T HIGHLIGHTED 14 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 7
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31% OF BRITISH ADULTS THINK THEY APOLOGISE EXCESSIVELY.†† WE’RE SORRY TO HEAR THAT! STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL We all have secrets, but scientists say how you hide them could affect your happiness, or make you feel inauthentic. Surprisingly, actively concealing a secret, or lying about it, didn’t have a negative impact on wellbeing – but when people weren’t interacting, they thought about their secrets twice as much, with a negative impact on their happiness and health. If you must keep a secret, stay mindfully busy to avoid dwelling or blurting it out, suggest the researchers.‡
ILLUSTRATION: EMMANUELLE WALKER, FROM ‘GOOD NIGHT STORIES FOR REBEL GIRLS’. ††J MCCABE ET AL, GENDER IN 20TH CENTURY CHILDREN’S BOOKS,‘SAGE JOURNALS’; †UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON; ††YOUGOV, 2015; ‡WHY IT’S SO HARD TO KEEP A SECRET,‘SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN’, 2017; ‡‡B TURNWALD ET AL, ASSOCIATION BETWEEN INDULGENT DESCRIPTIONS AND VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION,‘JAMA INTERNAL MEDICINE’, 2017
Vintage vanity case, £45, Tatty Devine
Only 31 per cent of children’s books have a female protagonist†† and just 14 per cent of books have a non-white main character† – something that businesswomen Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo are determined to change. Their book, Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls (Particular Books, £14.99), tells the stories of 100 real women from around the world, from Sylvia Earle, the first woman to set foot on the ocean floor, to peace activist Malala Yousafzai, animal rights campaigner and scientist Jane Goodall (pictured) and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. The book represents and inspires women everywhere, teaching girls to aim higher and boys to expect them to.
AS SUCH. INSTEAD, DINERS WERE DRAWN TO SIMPLE FOOD WITH HONEST, PLAIN NAMES, SUCH AS ‘SWEET POTATOES’‡‡ S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 15
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Sustainability may not sound so exciting. But it’s floated Egil’s boat for 40 years. Egil became a ﬁsherman when he was 15, enticed by the adventure and excitement. But like all Norwegians, he soon got very serious – particularly about sustainability. 40 years on, it means he can still provide UK ﬁsh & chip shops with a steady supply of delicious cod and haddock, which he freezes at sea on his ship Ramoen to lock in the Arctic freshness. Egil Skarbøvik, Skipper, Ramoen
mind tricks HOW TO…
Be happy with enough
When instant gratification is king, it can be difficult to be content with ‘enough’ or to even know what it is. Author Anna Brones explores living lagom, a new Scandi trend
Take a ‘fika break’
Embrace being ‘good enough’
Learning this way of being is inherent in lagom; it is about understanding the cost of our decisions and being happy with that. For example, do we want to be freelance and have financial insecurity but creative freedom? Or do we want a traditional job and fewer money worries but less flexibility? Being good enough isn’t about being the best, it’s about identifying our strengths and desires, and allowing ourselves to be satisfied with the outcome.
Learn how to mend
We live in an age when we buy cheap clothes, and then discard them – the antithesis of how our grandparents lived. The lagom way is to buy quality first-time around, second-hand where you can, and to repair things when they become worn or broken. Brones says, ‘There is a small mending revival, encouraging people to fix their worn clothes, instead of dumping them.’ ‘Live Lagom’ by Anna Brones (Ebury Press, £9.99)
WORDS: MARTHA ROBERTS. PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKSY
For generations, Swedish workers have understood the importance of factoring fika into their working day. Fika is the Swedish coffee break, both mid-morning and early afternoon. Brones says, ‘It’s a moment to take a step away from work, socialise and be present.’ Even if you are not in a workplace, take a fika break on your own, getting away from the computer for a few minutes, while you drink your coffee or tea.
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 17
self LESSONS IN ADULTHOOD
Go on, retreat yourself Switching off doesn’t have to involve an expensive yoga break or lots of planning. Here’s how you do it, writes frazzled ‘diva’ Harriet Minter
put it on silent. If you can’t do that, put it in a box, hand the box to a trustee and tell them not to return it to you until the time has elapsed. If you’re planning a mini-retreat that lasts days rather than hours, let people know – nothing kills the zen like the police knocking down your door because your mother hasn’t heard from you for 24 hours. Then, decide where you want to go. ‘Bed’ is a legitimate answer. In our sleep-deprived lives, it’s fair to consider heading for your bunk to be the ultimate luxury. Just ensure there isn’t too much going on in your bedroom to distract you – and I don’t mean that! Personally, I like a bit of fresh air. Nature helps us reconnect with ourselves so, if you can find a way to spend time by the sea or in the woods, go for it. Now comes the important bit. You’re not retreating so that your mind can run itself into the ground with worry. If you feel a problem surfacing, say, ‘I’m going to give myself the space to let the answer come to me when it’s ready.’ Take a deep breath and, as you exhale, imagine blowing out your troubles. Enjoy the space you’ve created – read, paint, walk, meditate, stretch, or just sit and be. It’s your time, enjoy it. For weekly wisdom from Harriet, sign up for her newsletter at tinyletter.com/ harrietminter. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @harrietminter
PHOTOGRAPH: MARK HARRISON. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CAROLINE PIASECKI. STYLIST: KATE ANYA BARBOUR
y best friend sent me the text, ‘Are you having a Jane Austen moment?’ the day after I had a mini-meltdown on our WhatsApp group chat. The combination of being stuck on a train for four hours, difficult clients and hormonal grumpiness had led to tearful pleas for help. I was tired, stressed and in need of a break. My mates rallied around offering comfort but that didn’t work – so I headed to the coast for a walk in the rain, alone. I also filled my Instagram feed with snaps of me doing so, which might have been what sparked the literary heroine reference. I didn’t mean to be dramatic (OK, maybe a little), I just needed to get away from it all – my own mini-retreat. Generally, when we talk about a retreat, we envision a week of yoga and pampering, with a pool and an Ayurvedic chef. Traditionally, however, a retreat was the religious practice of taking time away from normal life to reconnect with your god. I’m not sure my version meets the original criteria, but it helps bring me back down to earth when I’m having a ‘diva day’. It’s a way of reconnecting with what’s important to me. If you find yourself in need of a mini-retreat, here’s how to do it. The first thing is to decide how long you are going to retreat for, and then turn off your phone. If you can’t do that,
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But I want it now! Oliver Burkeman tells us how to prioritise when everything feels urgent
Alternate minor jobs with hard work: Begin with a small task that will feel satisfying to cross off, then spend some time tackling the big project you’ve been avoiding, then another small task… this way, you are effectively using one kind of task as a reward for the other, keeping your motivation high. Aim for ‘two awesome hours’: In his book Two Awesome Hours (HarperCollins, £15.99), neuroscience writer Josh Davis argues that it’s best to give up trying to be ultra-productive all day. Instead, aim for two hours, ideally in the morning, when you’re rested and won’t be interrupted. Do what matters most, then keep lesser tasks for when your energy is fading.
Admit defeat: Depressing as it sounds, it’s actually hugely empowering to face the truth: there definitely won’t be time to do everything you’d like to get done. Dropping a couple of balls isn’t a crime; it’s inevitable. Accept that, and you’ll be far better placed to decide which ones you can afford to drop.
Oliver Burkeman is author of ‘The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking’ (Canongate, £8.99)
It might just be the oldest time-management tip in existence: to get the right things done, learn to prioritise. Label your to-do list with As, Bs and Cs, or use coloured felt-tip pens to separate the must-dos from the maybes… but it’s not always this easy to prioritise. Too often, everything feels important and, if you’ve simply got too much to do, prioritising won’t magically make things better. Above all, we are emotional beings, with energy levels that ebb and flow. So, when it all seems urgent and you can’t decide what to do, use these more human rules of thumb instead.
How to make it happen
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“I love that I have the opportunity to portray such powerful women”
Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson on navigating fame, playing dynamic but vulnerable roles and how her new film, The Glass Castle, helped her move on from her past
a poverty-stricken upbringing with deeply troubled parents (Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson), expanding into a more conventional and glamorous adulthood. It highlights the thrilling highs and devastating lows that come from growing up in an unstable environment… a father, for instance, who would disappear for days at a time, returning on a whim to uproot his brood, always hiding the brutal reality of his problems from his children by promising one day to build them a glass castle – the blueprints of which he has on hand. Walls eventually ran away from her family and became a successful journalist in New York. Larson, too, experienced hardship in her youth: following her parents’ divorce, aged seven, she moved to Los Angeles with her mother and sister. The actress has said in the past how the three of them would sleep in one bed in a studio apartment but, in spite of the >>> PHOTOGRAPH: CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES. *‘PEOPLE MAGAZINE’
hen journalist Jeannette Walls’s acclaimed 2005 memoir The Glass Castle was released, Paramount snapped up the film rights. Yet, even though it has taken more than a decade to get this vibrant drama about a dysfunctional family made, Walls doesn’t seem disheartened. In fact, this lengthy period enabled film-makers to employ the person she believes is the ideal embodiment of herself: the talented Brie Larson; an actress who, serendipitously, would not have landed the coveted role when the book was released. ‘I wanted Brie Larson to play this part even before I knew who she was,’ Walls said in an interview.* ‘She understands how to be strong and vulnerable at the same time… she knows what it’s like to fight and be scared.’ Emotionally charged and highly topical, the film explores
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>>> challenges, it was a happy time, thanks to her mother’s fierce
desire to protect her children from the pain of poverty. ‘It’s great when films represent a sort of a homecoming in terms of the timing of the role and the poignancy of the story,’ says Larson. ‘You always want something that feels accessible from within.’ These days, Larson’s life couldn’t be more different. She lives in the Hollywood Hills with fiancé Alex Greenwald – former front man for the rock band Phantom Planet – and her spectacular rise continues with the upcoming Captain Marvel production, along with her first foray into feature-length directing in the comedy Unicorn Store. Although she’s had to work hard and wait a long time for success, struggling to get noticed has awarded Larson a wealth of experience to draw on as a performer. It’s also made her gracious, fearless and confident enough to head up her own stand-alone film franchise in Captain Marvel, plus a potential second Oscar for The Glass Castle.
“While shooting ‘Room’, I felt more connected to my past. It taught me how we need to be more forgiving of ourselves” beauty of being a 20-year ‘overnight’ success is that I’ve had a lot of time to have a very clear understanding of what I’m interested in and why it fulfils me.
You’re going to be the star of your own superhero franchise You’ve been travelling the world a lot lately with your jungle in Captain Marvel. Is it important to be part of a major epic Kong: Skull Island [Hawaii, Australia and Vietnam], studio film like that? then shooting Free Fire In Brighton in England, and I think it’s vital that women are presented in a more positive The Glass Castle in Montreal. and serious way. Society has changed That’s just how it goes. It’s usually dramatically and women are finding their a couple of months in one spot, way into all levels of business, and becoming THE GLASS CASTLE: which is enough to get a handle leaders in so many fields. Movies need to MEMOIR VS MOVIE on a place. I love that I’ve worked reflect this, as well as the skills we have that set us apart from men. Playing Captain in so many locations. But, because Jeannette Walls’s memoir provides Marvel gave me a chance to portray a we are always moving around, a haunting and emotive platform dynamic and powerful woman, who will there are certain moments, like for Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew inspire people in the same way that male attending a banquet or an awards Lanham’s screenplay, and critics have superheroes have done in the past. ceremony, that are amazing. It’s said that the two complement each like having a reunion. other beautifully. In Kong: Skull Island, you also play a rather The most notable shift in Apparently, you had a pleasant determined woman. perspective sees the original author’s It goes beyond being tough; it’s about relating surprise while filming The Glass first-person account moved into a to women in an unusual way and not simply Castle in Montreal. standard unnarrated format. This Yes, Jennifer Lawrence was also replacing a male character with a female structure is perfect for allowing shooting there, so we spent our one. You need to get into the sensibility and the viewer to decide whether the weekends together. We were like, sensitivity that women bring with their way unconventional, rustic and rural of seeing the world, and that’s one of the ‘How could we be so lucky?’ You upbringing styled by her father, things I loved about Mason [in Kong] and get used to being on your own and Rex, is admirable or naive; whereas what I’d like to bring to Captain Marvel. meeting new people all the time, in Walls’s original, you are guided very so it’s such a treat when there’s early by a sense that all is not right. You’ve been quoted as saying that you had a friend there. Both the memoir and the movie a challenging time while promoting Room, are deep, detailed and elegantly Has success changed you in any – and with all the publicity that came presented, offering layers of love, significant way? from winning the Oscar. passion and art to what is essentially I’m quite a private person; so much This job can be really draining on one side, a story about hardship and frustration. of my day-to-day is the same. The because you have to give so much. You’re
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Larson plays Jeannette Walls in the upcoming American biopic The Glass Castle
Alongside Amy Schumer in the 2015 comedy hit Trainwreck
WORDS: INTERVIEW HUB. PHOTOGRAPHS: REX
giving emotionally when you’re playing a character, and you’re giving emotionally when you are doing interviews, and meeting fans. It’s an act of service. You have to find a way to balance it with things that are for you and that fill you back up again. I feel as if I’m still learning about that balance, because the output is more than it used to be – however, my overall life is the same. Like many actors who find success, there must be a sense of relief in not having to worry about paying the bills and being able to work regularly? It makes your life much easier on a practical level. Not that I’ve changed my spending habits dramatically or live differently now from the way I used to, but at least I don’t have to worry about money any more. It’s not pleasant having to live under that pressure when you’re trying to find good roles and wanting to prove yourself. I guess that, on an artistic level, I still worry about the kind of work that I’m doing and whether I’m living up to my
As Joy Newsome, who is held captive with her son, in the critically acclaimed Room (2015)
In Kong: Skull Island Island, Larson portrays gutsy photojournalist Mason Weaver. Left, at the film’s première earlier this year
own ambitions. I don’t think that will ever change when it comes to how I approach things. Room resonated deeply with audiences. Do you still think about the experience and emotions that came with telling that story [about a kidnapped woman and her son]? While we were shooting it, I felt more connected to my past. We had a pretty tough time after my mother, my little sister and I moved to Los Angeles. I remember calling my mum in tears and telling her that I understood at last how many sacrifices she had made for me. She was crying, too, during our conversation, and she apologised for all the difficulties that we went through. It taught me how we all need to be more forgiving of ourselves. How do feel about your life these days? I feel extremely lucky to have some wonderful friends and a good partner. And I love my dogs! ‘The Glass Castle’ is in UK cinemas from 6 October
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fun factory The
We were born to make the most out of life, says Lizzie Enfield, and for those who have forgotten how, here’s a good-time guide
y mate thinks I’m a bit of a lightweight,’ I say, to another friend. We’re discussing someone fairly serious in her attitude to life. ‘Well,’ replies my friend, ‘if she does, it’s only because she lacks a capacity for fun.’ My cousins introduced me to some pals a few weeks ago: a couple I took an immediate liking to. We didn’t have much in common, disagreed on quite a few issues, yet spent a great evening together. The secret ingredient? They were fun! What more could one want from friends? And yet, a sense of fun seems to be becoming increasingly rare, even in the young. I was recently walking by a river with my nephew and son. My nephew kept picking up sticks and lobbing them into the river. ‘Why are you doing that?’ my son asked. ‘Because it’s fun,’ he replied. My son joined in, repeating ‘fun’ so often I worried that I’d gone wrong somewhere. He was behaving as if this was a novel concept! I am not alone. Writer Katrina Onstad, author
of The Weekend Effect: The Life-Changing Benefits Of Taking Two Days Off (Little, Brown, £14.99), realised there was something seriously amiss when her 12-year-old son began asking if the Saturdays and Sundays spent dashing around had been a weekend? ‘People used to feel low on Sunday evening because they’d had a good weekend, but nowadays Sunday-evening syndrome is filled with regret that we never had a weekend at all,’ says Onstad. ‘Technology is a major factor and has led to our work and private selves being more entwined than ever.’ We seem to have become obsessed with being busy. Competitive tiredness is practically a national sport and we appear to have lost the knack of having fun. Everything in life must have a purpose. Heaven forbid we do anything utterly pointless simply for the hell of it. ‘We’re living in very uncertain times,’ says Eve Menezes Cunningham, chair of BACP Coaching and author of 365 Ways To Feel Better (Pen & Sword Books, £12.99). ‘The >>> idea of playing and having fun when we
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Roll with it
When my daughter was younger, she spent a lot of time rolling: down sand dunes or around the living room. In the absence of a friend, she sometimes asked me if I wanted to roll. Rolling is fun! Admittedly, lithe childish bodies are better suited to it than adult ones, and you get a little dizzy, but it’s a great antidote to worrying about the mortgage. Having fun has a direct effect on our brains, explains Tony Cassidy, professor of child and family health psychology at Ulster University. ‘When we are enjoying ourselves, the brain releases chemicals, including endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. Dopamine activates the reward system and is associated with positive emotions, exuberance and desire.’ Certain groups are better at fun than others. Look at the newly in love, skinny-dipping in cold seas and dancing as they wash the dishes. Or youngsters, prime examples of funsters, yet even they, says Cassidy, often suffer from a dearth of fun. ‘Children find joy through play but child play has become restricted over the past 30-plus years.’ The negative repercussions are numerous: it leads to stress, exhaustion, lack of productivity and creates a fractured society in which we don’t come together to indulge in leisure pursuits. On an individual level, we all know what too much work and no play makes us. ‘People don’t seem to see this as a problem,’ says Onstad. ‘They say they love their work but they often don’t realise, until too late, that it might be an issue for their family and friends. If it goes on for too long, they’ll end up isolated and lonely.’ Fun was once thought to be a product
Certain groups are better at fun than others. Look at the newly in love, skinny-dipping in cold seas and dancing as they wash up of human leisure time but, recently, studies have shown that animals have a capacity for pointless pleasure-seeking, too. Crows in Russia were observed ‘tobogganing’ down a snowy roof. Swans surf on the crest of a wave and lions roll in the dust with their young. Scientists have asked whether there are tangible benefits to these types of animal play and concluded not. Often animals play simply because it’s enjoyable.
We can learn from them, says Onstad, who makes a conscious effort to carve out downtime at the weekend. ‘Often this involves our family dog. Animals draw you into repetitive activities, like throwing a ball, which puts you into a calmer psychological state.’ ‘Something I love is underwater handstands after my swims,’ says Menezes Cunningham. ‘It has no real
purpose but it makes me smile and reconnects me with my inner 10-year-old. We humans are inherently playful and by making time to energise this aspect of our personality, we’ll naturally find more fun things to do. I’ve noticed that it’s often those whose lives aren’t very easy who have a great capacity for fun. A friend who has a son with severe learning difficulties spends a lot of time jumping on bubble wrap because he enjoys the sensation. I still remember the slightly scornful way the lifeguard asked, ‘Are you having fun?’ when I went to the beach with a friend whose mum had just died. It was a cold, rainy July day. The beach was empty, bar the lifeguard huddled under his pop-up shelter, his private reverie disturbed by two middle-aged women allowing themselves to be repeatedly knocked off balance by the waves. ‘Yes,’ my friend replied, beaming, a prime example of someone whose enormous capacity for fun helped her get through her mother’s long illness and subsequent death. I recently discovered that there’s even a Scottish word for what we’d been doing – ‘jirble’, which means to play joyfully in and around water. So, put on your dancing shoes, unroll the bubble wrap, head for the beach, see if you can still do a handstand or cartwheel – or simply get down on the ground and roll. It might be pointless, but it’s fun!
How to have a blast
Rediscover your fun streak, learn to let go and just play!
Make sure there are times when work cannot interfere with your home life: turn off the Wi-Fi and abandon your phone.
Take note of children and reconnect with your inner 10-year-old. Whatever
you enjoyed doing then, try it again now.
Shrug off self-consciousness. If you want to do a handstand or a cartwheel, just do it.
Don’t give in to pressure to be
busy all the time. It won’t benefit you and is likely to bore others.
Enrol a friend. Fun shared is more enjoyable. Savour the moment. Don’t spoil the fun by worrying.
PHOTOGRAPH: GALLERY STOCK
don’t know what’s going to happen politically, globally, environmentally and economically, can feel frivolous. Yet, when we build this capacity, we’re better able to access our resources and handle life’s challenges.’
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Join oin us!
In partnership with NOW Live Events, we invite you to master the art of everyday mindfulness with neuroscientist Tamara Russell, plus learn how to celebrate the simple joys of life with hygge expert Charlotte Abrahams
Master the art of micro mindfulness
Exploring hygge: celebrating the simple pleasures in life
DATE: 6 September 2017 VENUE: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 4RL TIME: 7pm-8.30pm COST: £18 This event will take you on an exploratory journey through the fascinating world of mindfulness. No matter what your experience, you will gain a deeper understanding of what it means to live mindfully. It will become clear that although ‘micro’ mindfulness can help with the management of daily stressors, the deeper work of mindful living has the true potential to transform our lives. This means learning to live in a way that is more aware, connected and contented. Demystifying the confusion that often gets in the way of mindfulness training, Tamara Russell will help you get to grips with mindfulness, and to put it to optimal use straight away.
YOU WILL LEARN: ● What mindfulness really means, and its benefits ● Where the practice originated, and its evolution
● How to get the most
from mindfulness ● Key tools to foster mindfulness in your life
Tamara Russell is a clinical psychologist, martial artist and neuroscientist, who brings a unique perspective to mindfulness. She is director of the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence in London and a visiting lecturer at King’s College London. She is a consultant, trainer and speaker, and author of ‘What Is Mindfulness’ (Watkins, £7.99). #whatismindfulness Join us! nowliveevents.org/tickets
DATE: 10 October 2017 VENUE: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 4RL TIME: 7pm-8.30pm COST: £18 Hygge has become a hot lifestyle trend, with a philosophy based on kindness to self, cherishing time with loved ones and finding ways to enjoy simple things. Denmark is consistently ranked as the world’s happiest nation, and hygge is an integral part of its culture. Charlotte Abrahams, author of Hygge: A Celebration Of Simple Pleasures. Living The Danish Way (Orion, £20), will explain why she thinks happiness and hygge are connected, and share her thoughts on how focusing on uncomplicated joys can help us live more contented lives. YOU WILL LEARN: ● How to bring hygge into your life without giving up anything or taking a course ● How to think positively about your
downtime, so that you really notice it ● Why being kind to yourself and considering your own happiness is important, and not self-indulgent
Charlotte Abrahams is a highly respected writer, editor and curator, specialising in design and the applied arts. She trained at Central St Martins and has written features, columns and profiles for national newspapers and magazines. Join us! nowliveevents.org/tickets
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Are you ready to move forward? Reconnect with yourself and be inspired to take the next step in life, with NOW Live Events and West Lexham retreat centre
hat do you need to let go of, accept or forgive in order to move forward? This retreat invites you to take stock of where you’ve been and where you are now, and to redefine where you’re going. Get ready to be inspired, so you can embrace the opportunities and challenges of life with renewed vigour and perspective. Be energised by daily workshops with Psychologies Editor and acclaimed life coach Suzy Greaves and neuroscientist and coach Magdalena Bak-Maier in a stunning location. The Moving Forward retreat includes three workshops a day, delicious local food and the unspoilt beauty of nature at West Lexham – the perfect setting to slow down and revitalise. We invite you to come and spend time with ‘your people’, and become part of a growing tribe in which you can connect deeply with yourself and others in nature. DATE: 8-10 September 2017 VENUE: West Lexham Manor, near King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE32 2QN TIME: From Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon COST: From £325 Book now. Join us! nowliveevents.org/retreats
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Bestselling author, speaker and entrepreneur Sháá Wasmund MBE on tenacity versus playing the long game in business
Wait it out, but don’t let go
PHOTOGRAPH: LOUISE HAYWOOD-SCHIEFER. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: SADAF AHMAD
or great success in life and business, we need both patience and perseverance – just not always in equal measure. Sometimes people confuse the two but, when it comes to business, there is a big difference. The easiest way for me to differentiate between them is that one is active (persistence) and one is passive (patience). Of course, there are times when you need to sit back and, as 50 Cent says, be ‘patiently waiting’ but most of the time, especially when it comes to business, we need persistence a little bit more than we need patience.
Just keep swimming
The dictionary definition of persistence is ‘firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition’. The truth is things rarely go to plan in business and if I had given up at the first, second or 29th hurdle, I wouldn’t have a business. I had to dig
deep, find my courage and be persistent. That doesn’t mean pushing forward aimlessly and there are times when the best thing we can do is admit defeat, but equally there are many more times when what we really need to do is change course a little. Think about the story of the Post-It note. An engineer was working at the 3M manufacturing company trying to create a super strong adhesive for use in the aerospace industry but, instead of a powerful adhesive, he accidentally managed to make exactly the opposite. He formulated an incredibly weak, pressure-sensitive adhesive that, after being stuck to a surface, could be peeled away without leaving any residue – and it was reusable. Despite these innovations, no one wanted it. The engineer persisted for many years and, finally, a use was found for his Post-It note. Be patient and don’t expect things to happen overnight, but be persistent
when things don’t work out as you expected. Sometimes, the twists and turns create something even better.
So what if it’s challenging?
Most of us give up too easily. We start life’s journey anticipating plain sailing; whether it’s a relationship or business. The truth is often different – there are dark clouds, rain and even storms. In the moment, we think, ‘This is too difficult; it’s too much work. It would be easier to walk away.’ However, if we give up too soon, we’ll never know what we can do. We must mix patience, to help us prepare in the face of adversity, with persistence, to ensure we don’t give up too easily, to give us the strength to fight for our dream. Have your goal in sight and set your sails. When it feels too slow or too tough, stop and rechart your course. Persist. Sháá Wasmund is author of ‘Stop Talking, Start Doing’ (John Wiley & Sons, £9.99) and ‘Do Less, Get More’ (Penguin, £12.99). Join Sháá’s private Facebook group at shaa.com/freedomcollective
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The musician and radio and TV broadcaster talks about what’s important to her, and the inspiration behind her upcoming festival, The Good Life Experience INTERVIEW DANIELLE WOODWARD
I’m lucky because I don’t think of my radio show as work; it’s more of a pleasure than a chore. I choose all the music and guests – people who are passionate about something are the best to talk to, as they always enthuse and inspire. One person who was particularly fascinating was composer David Amram, who was friends with Allen Ginsberg and the Beat poets in the 1960s; I could listen to him talk all day.
Memories are what make life worthwhile. From childhood, I remember splashing in the sea; cooking the fresh fish you’ve caught; preparing a meal from plants you’ve foraged… my best memories are to do with spending time in nature.
I prefer interviewing people who have been around a while and have experience. I love getting a glimpse into their lives and their wisdom. I can handle any subject as long as the person is passionate about it – the world is an interesting place.
I’ve always been curious; as a child I was constantly kicking against the system and questioning. I grew up in the 1980s, when the boys did woodwork while the girls did sewing and, even at the age of six, I knew that I wanted to do woodwork and play football. My parents were bemused by me.
The reason you live is to learn, and to learn is to live. That’s the thinking behind The Good Life Experience [the three-day festival co-founded by Matthews]; it’s for those who are curious about life. I wanted to put a festival on the map that inspires and gets people using their hands – an antidote to a scheduled life of school and work – where you meet chefs, authors, musicians, handicraftsmen; axe makers from Manhattan and denim makers from Shoreditch, so you can experience something new. We were enthusiastic about giving the natural world a voice in the modern world. My husband [Steve Abbott], Charlie and Caroline Gladstone and I felt there was no festival that combines the feel of the Great British Bake Off with Bear Grylls, and The Tube music show, which was all about quality. There’s no VIP area; it’s all about inviting everyone to be part of the story, rather than just a consumer.
The simple things make me happy; I’ll put on a bit of jazz and light a fire, have family around or get together with neighbours, a real mix of generations, and if someone picks up a guitar and we sing, that gives me an inordinate amount of pleasure. Lack of common sense, bureaucracy and wasting time make me angry – we’re engaged in politics, but we know it’s going to take years to work through. Nobody tells the truth as it’s not going to be in their political favour, so the truth gets pushed down. It makes my blood boil; I want things sorted yesterday. Negativity hurts, but the best way to deal with it is to not read it in the first place. On Twitter, I go back to the person to ensure they know there’s someone on the other end of that conversation and usually, they apologise. Most people are kind. We need an open society in which we can talk about difficult subjects without getting angry. The worst thing is not being able to talk without people jumping at you. There are difficult conversations to be had, but we must have them. The Good Life Experience is from 15-17 September on Hawarden Estate, Flintshire; thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk. Cerys is on BBC Radio 6 on Sundays from 10am
PHOTOGRAPH: VICKI COUCHMAN/THE TIMES/NEWS SYNDICATION
I’ve always believed there’s a chunk of us who are curious and able to choose from what’s on offer; who can discern differences for ourselves and don’t want to be spoon-fed the middle ground. I’ve broken every radio programme rule in the book [by choosing an eclectic range of music and people], and I’ve got a massive share of the UK radio audience on Sundays.
You can’t start things scared of the outcome. You have to go into things because you believe in them.
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“I am not my emotions” Our feelings can guide us, and fill our lives with warmth and colour – yet some negative emotions bring little else but pain. Here, three writers search for the meaning of – and the antidote to – envy, guilt and resentment
Danielle Woodward takes a reality check with the green-eyed monster While visiting friends recently, I had a serious case of house envy. On my tour around their new loft extension, an adults-only retreat from their children’s chaos, I sighed as my feet sank into the luxurious carpet and I took in the sleek, relaxing decor. ‘What do you think?’ my friend asked, beaming joyfully at the renovation. ‘It’s lovely,’ I replied through gritted teeth, trying to ignore the sinking feeling in my stomach and the urge to scream, ‘It’s not fair – I want this, too!’ ‘The tendency to feel a pang of envy at another’s good fortune is universal,’
says psychotherapist Patricia Polledri, author of Envy In Everyday Life (Clink Street Publishing, £9.99). ‘And it is so unpleasant and negative that we would rather not think about it.’ That is true; I had to hide the sting of shame attached to my gut reaction of envy behind a smile. In these days of carefully edited social media posts that show an ideal fantasy life, it’s taboo to admit to harbouring such emotions. Instead, we dress them up behind fake smiles and compliments, delivered with a passive-aggressive backhand.
Break down the negative
I spoke to Lucy Sheridan, the Comparison Coach, for tips on how to deal with these feelings: ‘Envy brings along its friends, self-doubt, bitchiness, procrastination
and self-criticism,’ she says. ‘It takes time to reduce envy’s destructive influence, but it is possible. We need to replace envy with support for another person, or even indifference. ‘Remember, success is not a zero-sum game – your friend adding a beautiful extension to her home does not mean there is one less extension for you to have one day. Be grateful for what you have so, for example, you could say: “I am thankful for the reminder that I want to have a beautiful home, too.”’ Luckily, I managed to get a hold on my feelings of envy before they got a hold on me. As Polledri says, ‘Facing the green-eyed monster tells us that we need to change; to use envy to improve your situation instead of allowing it to intensify your hatred.’ >>>
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>>> Sheridan agrees: ‘Action cuts off envy
and comparison’s oxygen. When we feel a forward motion towards our own wants and desires, it hugely decreases our capacity for envy. Do something in support of your own goals.’
The social-media trap
‘When we are envious, we are also feeling vulnerable and insecure and it is important to practise self-care and self-compassion,’ says Sheridan. ‘Key to this is managing what you consume on social media – if you need to unfollow people who are keeping you in an envy spiral, then so be it.’ So, I can’t afford a loft extension at the moment, and my children will have to share a bedroom for the foreseeable future – but it’s a ‘first world problem’. I also realise that there may be aspects of my life that my friend might be envious of – my interesting job, a husband who doesn’t go away to work for long periods and actually does the washing up without being asked. In conclusion, I quote a wise woman of our times, Oprah Winfrey, who said: ‘Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.’ proofcoaching.com
Action cuts off envy’s oxygen. When we feel a forward motion towards our own wants, it decreases our capacity for envy. Do something in support of your own goals
Lisa Buckingham forgives herself – 22 years after her ‘misdeed’ When I was 17 years old, I lived with my grandmother while she had Alzheimer’s. I adored her. She went into residential care when it became untenable for her to be at home and died six months later. I’m 39, but I still live with the nagging guilt that I didn’t look after her well enough; I should have stayed at home more, listened more patiently as she recited poems from her childhood – but I was a teenager, caught up with my studies and friends. I know there is nothing I can do to make amends, so I can’t help but think: is there a point to guilt? Psychotherapist and bereavement counsellor Joshua Miles says there is – sometimes. ‘Guilt helps keep people on socially acceptable paths,’ he says. But it becomes unhealthy when it forms a pattern and you feel
guilty about every little thing or start avoiding situations because you anticipate feeling guilty.
Around in circles
‘It’s also unhealthy when it’s misplaced or false guilt about something over which you have no control. That can be linked with anxiety and lead to ruminative, circular thinking, when you go over and over the same thought. Ask yourself: am I really feeling guilty or am I actually anxious?’ The line can be blurry, so to help recognise the difference, Miles explains, ‘Anxiety is a state of psychological nervousness or apprehension, but guilt is a responsibility for wrongdoing. Think carefully about whether you actually did something wrong or whether you are anxious about guilt that doesn’t belong to you. Consider what you are holding onto and why.’ It’s also crucial to separate guilt from shame, which can feed off
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If you learn to “forgive, it brings
Lauren Kearney frees herself from the confines of a grudge
guilt and is seen by psychologists as a negative and unproductive emotion. ‘Guilt is when a person feels they did a bad thing; shame is when they feel like a bad person,’ says Neil McLatchie, a psychology lecturer at Lancaster University. ‘A guilt-prone person would think, “I wish I hadn’t acted in a jealous way,” whereas someone prone to shame would think, “I wish I wasn’t such a jealous person.” Feelings of shame can lead to a sense of worthlessness and unhappiness.’ So, what do I do with my guilt? ‘You can’t change the past, but you can learn to forgive yourself and develop as a person,’ says Miles. ‘If we manage our guilt and understand its origins, we cultivate resilience and grow.’ Forgiving myself is no easy task, but it’s a cathartic step. As I move towards it, I see that my guilt has no point. It’s better to reflect on what I’ve learned and how much I’ve changed since I was 18. It’s like being slowly unshackled and I’d highly recommend it.
Two years ago, somebody ran over my cat, Scarlett. Doses of antibiotics and a leg amputation later, she has recovered. Still, my jaw clenches every time I think of the person responsible. When I see Scarlett struggling, I feel anger towards the driver who deprived her of the ability to walk, play and wash normally. As a devotee of the Dalai Lama, I’m aware that harbouring a grudge drags you down, but forgiveness isn’t always as easy as it sounds. A grudge is defined as ‘a strong feeling of anger and dislike for a person who has treated you badly’ – and we’ve all held one. The question is, why do we hold on so tightly? ‘When someone hurts you, it creates a wound of injustice and our natural response is to strike back,’ says Loren Toussaint, professor of psychology at Luther College in Iowa. ‘If you can’t hit back with action, you might find a cognitive or emotional way of holding your ground.’ And a grudge is born.
back your power and has health benefits, including better sleep and reduced stress
Whether you strike back or hate, both ‘trap you in continued hurt’ says Toussaint. ‘You remain engaged with the offender and give them the keys to your happiness.’ Instead, he recommends forgiveness. If you learn to forgive, it brings back your power and has many health benefits, including better sleep and reduced stress. But what happens if you’re not ready to bury the hatchet just yet? ‘Remember that forgiveness is not reconciliation and making friends again, nor forgoing justice and letting the offender go free without penalty,’ says Toussaint. ‘It is simply letting go of your desire for revenge.’ Don’t overlook the grudges that you bear against yourself, either.
Easy steps to forgiveness
A sure-fire guide to letting go of hard feelings l Write about
the incident or wrongdoing that annoyed or hurt you. l Focus on how you have grown as a result of it. l Accept that people are not perfect. l Commit to improving yourself as a person. l Try to become
a forgiving person – of yourself and others – and hold onto your desire to lead a forgiving life.
Loren Toussaint says: ‘Life throws challenges at you all the time. If you face them head-on and find something positive in them, the healing powers are
unbelievable. It breaks my heart to think that someone could have run over a harmless animal but it was probably by accident and they feel terrible. ‘Lauren can’t change the situation but she can accept it, learn from it and even grow from it. What use is a grudge, really?’
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“I was taught to use pattern, colour and scale to best effect. The same principles apply when designing a garden”
“The inside and outside are one continuous element to me”
“I feel so lucky to be doing what I love” For garden designer Butter Wakefield, bringing nature indoors is the key to a happy home
WORDS DANIELLE WOODWARD PHOTOGR APHS AND STYLING ANNA BATCHELOR AND TAMINEH DHONDY
merican-born garden designer Butter Wakefield has lived in her Victorian villa in west London for 25 years. ‘The fact that the house was on a quiet street with a west-facing garden sold it to me. Also, the gardens in the street were orchards centuries ago, and each has a craggy ancient pear, apple or plum tree. Knowing it had that history and potential made me desperate to bring the plot back to life.’ Wakefield grew up on a farm near Baltimore in the States and moved to London to raise her family with her British now ex-husband. ‘There’s so much I appreciate about England; I love the
individuality of London. I remember one summer, at a café, seeing an old dear in her tweed suit, complete with handbag and hat, in the sweltering heat enjoying her tea… As an outsider, I have the ultimate excuse – I don’t have to do anything the way someone else does it. I don’t like to draw attention to myself in my work, but I like to do things my way.’ Wakefield trained as an interior designer at Colefax & Fowler before finding her niche transforming gardens. ‘I was taught how to use pattern, colour and scale to best effect. The same principles apply whether you are designing a room or a garden; I see the
inside and outside as one continuous element. From a mental health point of view, it’s healing to be in nature and I want to bring as much of it indoors as I can.’ Having gone through a difficult few years when she got divorced, Wakefield decided to focus on herself and sharpen up her skills by doing a course at the London College of Garden Design. ‘I felt I was too old to learn new things, but I was wrong. I had practical experience and plant knowledge, but there were topics I had to learn about, like construction.’ The study paid off, as Wakefield recently received the Gold medal and People’s Choice Award for her first show >>>
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PSY_SEPT_MY HOME .indd 40
my home Inspired by the history of her garden, Butter Wakefield has nurtured a beautiful plot, filled with colourful wildflowers, roses, geraniums and foxgloves, all framed by evergreen shrubs
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“It ’s healing to be in nature and I want to bring as much of it indoors as I can”
ABOVE AND RIGHT The bright kitchen and conservatory overlook the garden and the window seat is Wakefield’s favourite spot in the house to relax RIGHT The leafy ‘Palm’ Cole & Son wallpaper contrasts well with the striking black-and-white striped stair runner FAR RIGHT Pretty china, colourful paintings and needlepoint creations all liven up the pale backdrop in the kitchen
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“Being outside and tending the garden is my meditation”
the Belmond Enchanted Gardens, at RHS Chatsworth, earlier this year. ‘Belmond is renowned for its practical planting with heritage produce, herbs, vegetables and flowers, and I wanted to create a space of adventure, reflection and celebration,’ she says. ‘It was a great sense of achievement and a long-held ambition for me.’ Wakefield also finds her work as a garden designer immensely satisfying. ‘If you look properly at a garden, you can spot plants that need help. Maintenance is the hardest thing to get right; people just “mow and blow” [mow the lawn and blow the leaves] without thinking about how to prune. I’m mentoring people just starting out in the business which is great, too; I feel lucky to be doing what I love and to pass on my knowledge and experience.’ Nothing is perfect first time, when creating a home to live in or bringing a garden to life. ‘I never give up until it’s right,’ says Wakefield. ‘There have been times when I first look at a garden and
have lots of ideas, then realise I got it all wrong. Setbacks are part of the process.’
Shades of nature
As might be expected, the colour green is dominant in the house, with a blanket of forest shades complemented by flashes of pink and purple in the china and artwork. A leafy wallpaper by Cole & Son brings the hallway to life, while the black and white kitchen floor is echoed in the striped runner on the stairs. Wakefield loves to relax in the conservatory, where the window seat overlooks the garden. ‘Being outside and tending the garden is my meditation. If I can’t be outside for whatever reason, I love to be indoors and gaze outside. I used to do needlepoint and paint when the children were younger,’ she says, ‘but I find it hard to sit still and do that now. Instead, I go for walks with my dog, which is crucial for my wellbeing.’ butterwakefield.co.uk; @butterwakefield
ABOVE A set of retro prints and natureinspired cushions completes the restful scheme in one of the bedrooms
Monochrome and green sit well together on this chest of drawers, echoing the colour scheme elsewhere
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“I keep choosing the wrong men”
Our award-winning coach, Kim Morgan, gives a woman advice on how to improve her dating strategy and bring a loving relationship into her life
constantly put me down in public because I had gained a few pounds, and then dumped me by text after a serious two-year relationship. My friends say I go for “lost sheep” and try to rescue them. I’ve tried to understand where I am going wrong, but can’t work it out. I had a stable upbringing and would love to be happily married for the rest of my life like my parents.’ I commented that although Ellie was telling me about being badly hurt, she did it with a smile on her face, and I wondered what she did with her anger. She was confused by this question and immediately started to explain and excuse her previous partners’ behaviour. For homework, I gave Ellie permission to imagine being someone else looking at her past relationships and to experience what an observer might see, think and feel about how she had been treated.
NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED
“My last boyfriend put me down in public after I gained a few pounds”
Ellie* entered my office like a ray of sunshine. She was bubbly, considerate and positive. She spent the first 15 minutes asking me about my work, with genuine interest. I had to remind Ellie that she was paying for my time so that she could devote a few hours to talking about her life. As a coach, it is interesting to take note of how a client behaves with you, as this gives an indication of how they are with other people. If Ellie’s behaviour with me was typical, then I imagined that she spent most of her life making other people feel good about themselves. I wondered if she showed herself as much kindness and consideration. When Ellie finally got around to talking about herself, she said that she wanted to work out why she selects unsuitable partners. ‘I have had a few relationships that have all ended with me being let down, cheated on or mistreated. My last boyfriend
ILLUSTR ATION ANDREA DE SANTIS
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Identifying a critical truth
Ellie told me that she had found her homework difficult to do, but it had made her realise that she always saw things from other people’s points of view and never from her own. Thinking back over her relationships, Ellie realised that she had never actually chosen her partners, but had allowed herself to be picked by the wrong people, because she couldn’t say ‘no’ to them and didn’t want to hurt their feelings. ‘I know it is pathetic, but that is the truth,’ said Ellie. ‘I then put all my energy into trying to change them and, of course, never succeeded.’ I told Ellie that I had once been to a talk by a relationship expert who said, ‘Do not have relationships with people based on their potential. What you see is what you get.’
the wrong people, because she didn’t want to hurt their feelings COACHING SESSION
Over several months, Ellie and I worked out that there were several factors that had contributed to her poor relationship history. Her protective upbringing had not prepared her for the fact that not everyone is well-intentioned, and she just expected everybody to be lovely. Ellie had also learned to put the needs of others before her own. She wanted to help people and was sure that with enough love, time and attention, she could change them. Even our most admirable qualities, when overdone, can be weaknesses. Ellie was excessive in her optimism and care for others, without developing any ability to discern when she needed to take a different tack, such as being angry, for example. Ellie learned to recognise her core values and which of those she was not prepared to compromise. She started to make choices based on her own needs and began saying ‘no’ to things that she didn’t want to do, so her self-esteem improved. When our sessions ended, Ellie was like a different person – still funny, warm and considerate – but also a woman with strong boundaries, who respected herself and knew what she wanted. I don’t know whether Ellie eventually met someone new – but I feel confident that she would have entered a fresh relationship from a position of strength and high self-worth, which would give it a greater chance of success. For more from Kim, go to barefootcoaching.co.uk; @BarefootCoaches
She realised that she had “allowed herself to be picked by
Exercises to improve your judgement
the life lab
LETTER FROM THE FUTURE Imagine yourself as an old person, reflecting on your life. Write a letter to a friend telling them the lessons you learned, the positive changes you made and the incredible things you did. Tell them how you achieved happiness and confidence. Share some of your wisdom and experience about living life to the full. Don’t plan what you are going to write, simply start writing and don’t delete anything. Address it to a friend or family member you respect and trust. It is important to have a real person in mind, although the letter is for you and not to be sent. Read it again and note the kind of person you would like to become, and how you want to live your life. Consider the way that you are living now, and ask yourself: ‘What changes do I need to make to become the person I want to be?’ RELATIONSHIP CHECK There are several reasons why we end up in difficult relationships. Look at the checklist below and give yourself a score between 1 and 10 (1 being ‘it doesn’t apply to me at all’ and 10 being ‘this has got my name all over it’). If you have any high scores (more than 6), consider some personal development work to improve your self-esteem, assertiveness and confidence. l I don’t value myself, nor believe that I deserve love l I am uncertain about what my values are l I fear being alone: ‘anyone is better than no one’ l I tend to think I can change or ‘fix’ someone l I put other people and their needs before my own l I don’t really believe that happy relationships exist DETERMINE YOUR DEAL-BREAKERS It’s important to decide what behaviours or character traits are deal-breakers for you in a relationship. If you have a history of destructive relationships, this is a crucial exercise. It will enable you to be clear about what is unacceptable. If you find it difficult to value yourself, write down your answers to the following: l I deserve the following treatment from a partner l These are the reasons I deserve respect, support, love and kindness from a partner l This is what my partner gets from me l I will not tolerate the following behaviour l How would I feel if a friend was treated badly by their partner? What would I say to my friend? Keep your answers and look at them regularly.
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Me, my body and I Watching her young daughter start to worry about her weight was the tipping point for Fiona Cowood. She discovered the philosophy of ‘body neutrality’ – and made peace with herself at last
itting on the beach this summer, there’s a game I will refuse to play. It’s been a personal favourite for years and the rules are pretty simple: it’s me versus every woman in my line of vision, and the question is, ‘Fatter, thinner, or the same?’ Frankly, it’s rubbish – but I suspect that I’m not the only person who’s wasted precious hours playing it. The last time I felt truly good about my body was when I was on honeymoon. In 2011. Like many brides, I’d taken the prospect of a wedding – potentially a simple and beautiful thing – as a cue to go crazy. I faffed over the details, stapled fake grass to the table plan at 2am and rose at dawn regularly so that I could vibrate myself thinner on a Power Plate machine before work. I became fluent in grains, pulses and Reformer Pilates. When I finally made it to a sunlounger in Las Vegas as a married woman, I was exhausted but,
by God, I was thin – and I had a suitcase of ridiculous bikinis to prove it. Until then and ever since, I’ve been an embracer of the one-piece and a wizard with a sarong. I didn’t hate my body but I certainly didn’t love it and, as a journalist working on various women’s magazines, I had bodies coming at me from all angles.
The ugly truth
I wrote about eating disorders, fattism and body positivity. I interviewed brave women who stripped naked to show their ‘flaws’ in glorious acts of ‘body love’. I helped write diet coverlines to sell magazines. I wrote about abortion and people trying to limit women’s power over their own bodies. I looked at cosmetic surgery and tried to figure out whether a woman choosing to change her body was empowered or a victim. I realised that I was one tiny cog in >>>
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a miraculous entity that takes you where you want to go, that has bones as strong as granite; skin as soft as lace
a machinery of industries that profit from maintaining women’s bodies as war zones. A personal war zone – requiring creams, lotions, diets, injections, irrigations, therapy and stitches – and a political one. I felt bad. I also felt bad that I couldn’t join the liberation that was springing up in the shape of the ‘body positive’ movement. I loved the mould-smashing ‘real beauty’ soap adverts that appeared in 2004, and I could see the value in a growing number of bloggers and Instagrammers shoving a flag in the ground, and shouting, ‘This is me!’ next to a picture of their Caesarean scar – but I was not inclined to join them on their #selflove mission. Two pregnancies had left me with fresh hang-ups about my floppy stomach and its silvery stretchmarks. I was sticking with my one-piece and pointing my camera at the children instead of myself.
Clean slate every day
Then, I came across an article that explored the phrase ‘body neutral’. Its author, American feminist writer Melissa Fabello, wrote, ‘Body neutrality is waking up in the morning and simply asking yourself, “How do I feel in my body?” It’s figuring out what you need in order to feel good, whether that be pancakes or oatmeal for breakfast… or rolling over for more sleep. Body neutrality is picking your outfit for the day based on basic concepts, such as
comfort, appropriateness and expression. Body neutrality is freedom from the obsession with our bodies. Body neutrality is a blank slate.’ Imagine that? A blank slate. A body seen, appreciated and enjoyed for what it is; a miraculous entity that takes you where you want to go, that has bones as strong as granite, skin as soft as lace and a gut that curls inside itself when something doesn’t feel right; a being that will keep running for as long as you keep it ‘serviced’ just like a car or boiler. Body-neutrality expert Anne Poirier runs treatment programmes at Green Mountain, a retreat centre in Vermont that helps dozens of women throughout the year. ‘When women come to us, they are often experiencing self-hatred, “body disgust” and “body despair”. The idea of loving your body that society promotes is so far away from this hatred that it doesn’t even seem fathomable to them. Body neutrality bridges the gap from self-hatred to self-love,’ says Poirier. ‘We don’t talk about you having to love your body; we talk about respecting and honouring the body you’re in today.’ As a parent to two daughters, I realise that the thing I like most about body neutrality is that it embraces an inward, quiet acceptance. Being body neutral means blocking out the snide comments from the body haters who lurk in our media and social media, and tuning out the thrum of the body ‘champions’, or experts, because really, both sides are preoccupied with our bodies. If all that white noise was muted, it could be replaced with music, conversation, ideas, plans, secrets and riddles. It could be replaced with living. How do you achieve this? Clinical psychologist Lauren Callaghan says it’s not a switch that can be flicked easily. ‘Body image, our beliefs about ourselves and our relationships with our bodies and appearances have developed over decades,’ she says. ‘They’re full of cultural, societal,
family and media influences. You’re not going to be able to wake up one morning and step away from that.’ But, you can start that journey by cultivating what she calls ‘self-compassion’.
Smiling in the mirror
For me, that started with catching my reflection in the mirror after a shower and refusing to look away. It meant standing square on, letting the towel drop and paying attention to the monologue that would start to roll in my head, ‘Urgh, that stomach!’ and so on. It meant taking note of how my eyes would automatically lock onto my ‘flaws’ with sniper speed. It may not sound body neutral, granted, but Poirier insists that you can’t tune out until you’ve tuned in – you have to recognise the criticism that you level at yourself in order to challenge it, and banish it. As someone who has always sniggered at the idea of repeating well-meaning mantras, it felt weird to peruse my body and praise its best bits. But, starting small and simply looking and smiling at what I could see in the mirror felt empowering – taboo, even. How crazy that smiling back at your hard-working body should feel so illicit and good. The second move I made was to actively try and take the emotion out of my relationship with food – to adopt a kind of ‘food neutrality’. According to the team at Green Mountain, this
scanning “theWhile fridge, I asked,
‘What are you looking for right now?’ Eight times out of 10, I wanted a distraction from my to-do list
PHOTOGRAPHS: GALLERY STOCK
is seen “andA body appreciated as
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Baby steps to body neutrality
Anne Poirier shares her advice for putting yourself on the body-neutral path ● Look in the mirror and think about what your body can do, instead of what it can’t do. Begin the conversation with yourself from the opposite perspective. That will probably mean starting with physical function. So, if you look at your thighs and don’t like what you see, ask yourself what they can do… They can take you for a walk; they can lift you up; they are strong, important limbs. ● Tackle negative self-talk and become aware of your inner critic – that gremlin who speaks to you. Notice her tone and begin to work on changing it. Create a calmer, more compassionate voice for her. So many of us are so mean to ourselves. Recognising that inner saboteur is a really important first step to body neutrality.
means eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re satisfied, rather than full. Sounds simple, right? But it’s amazing how our habits, rather than our genuine hunger cues, have us reaching for that mid-morning rocky road. The only way I could unpick my habits was to stop myself at the fridge while scanning its contents before 11am and ask, ‘What are you looking for right now?’ Eight times out of 10, I was after a distraction from my to-do list. Others might be seeking solace or stress-relief. The third phase was to unravel the voice that’s often wittering in my ear as I get dressed in the morning. My choices are usually guided by what looks good – and by good, I mean flattering, not fun, colourful or on-trend
– just what makes me look slim. A body-neutral approach to getting dressed is simply matching your day to some appropriate, comfy clothing. Again, almost idiotic in its simplicity.
My turning point
In the beginning, all of this felt like the very opposite of body neutrality. However, it only took a few days of tuning into the script I have with myself surrounding my body to make me realise that I wanted that story to end. A few weeks in, and it’s as if my ‘rewiring’ is almost complete. Scrutiny is being replaced by self-compassion. What brought me here? Recently, my four-year-old daughter looked in the mirror and asked me if she had a
‘fat tummy’. The realisation that such concerns are already creeping in stunned me. I may not be able to mute the millions of body-related messages heading their way but, as the number-one woman in my girls’ lives, I can set a better, healthier, happier example. Step one? Swapping my one-piece for a bikini this summer – because how can I make my daughters see their bodies as wondrous machines if I won’t even let mine see the sun? How can I expect them to believe me when I tell them their bodies are beautiful just as they are, if they see me hiding mine? The sarong has to go, too. ‘Body Image Problems And Body Dysmorphic Disorder’ by Lauren Callaghan, Annemarie O’Connor and Chloe Catchpole (Trigger, £14.99). fitwoman.com; themindworks.co.uk
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in partnership with UKCP
Do you need a therapist?
Our new psychotherapy service helps you match up with your ideal therapist to support you through life’s ups and downs
‘Psychologies’ and the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) are committed to raising awareness of the transformative power of psychotherapy. Every month in the magazine, we’ll look at different types of therapy, and how they can help you navigate life’s challenges. The UKCP has high standards of training and regulation, and all its therapists have a minimum of four years’ training. Our collaborative service will help you get to know each therapist via our Life Labs site, so you can make an informed decision about which one to choose. Editor
I am so self-conscious about my size that I don’t want to go out. I can’t stop looking at social media and all the images of the ‘perfect body’. I feel so depressed and binge-eat every day. I feel ashamed and disgusting. Chiara, 24
Mary Wood, a psychotherapist specialising in disordered eating, says: ‘There is increasing pressure on women to look a certain way. This emphasis on our bodies and appearance encourages us to forget who we really are. When we are fixated on constantly comparing ourselves with the images on our screens, we don’t look at the emotions that trigger bingeing and cravings. Bingeing has become your default strategy
for coping with feelings of shame and lack of self-worth. Being caught in the ‘starve binge shame’ cycle sabotages every good intention to eat healthily. Many of us get caught in a binge-guilt cycle. We can break it by recognising our emotional and environmental triggers, and social media is one example. Emotional triggers include feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, depression, boredom and loneliness. Often, these feelings have a root cause associated with trauma, stress and low self-esteem. Finding the right professional help can be a turning point. A therapist will help you reveal underlying emotional triggers and also provide practical skills to cope with everyday situations. This could include finding an enjoyable physical activity to help you regain body confidence. You need to rebuild your relationship with food so that it is no longer a source of stress. The reward for undertaking this journey is greater vitality and resilience.
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I have been promoted and am taking on more responsibility from my boss. I feel as if I am drowning under the volume of work and deadline pressure. No one else in the team seems to work as hard or as fast as me. I know I’m a perfectionist but how can I push back when it’s my boss demanding that things get done? Sue, 42
Noel Bell, an integrative psychotherapist, says: ‘You may feel that sharing your stress and vulnerability is a sign of weakness and could harm your career and reputation. However, it is more likely to be a sign of strength to be able to communicate the limits
of your capacity, and to manage the expectations of your team, including your boss. This is called being assertive. An effective and efficient worker is one who knows their limits. The more senior you are in your career, the less likely it may be that you have someone to talk to at work. Therapy offers you the opportunity to have someone listen to you and also to explore the origins of your perfectionism. Is there something in your past that contains a negative self-limiting belief about having to get things right, for example? What about being able to say no? A therapist can also help you develop techniques and discover tools to help with time management, prioritising workload, and taking responsibility for your own self-care.
About the UKCP and how to find a therapist l The UKCP is the leading body for the
education, training and accreditation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Its membership includes more than 8,000 therapists and 70 training and accrediting organisations. Individual members work privately, in public health or third-sector organisations, offering a wide variety of psychotherapeutic approaches for individuals, couples, families and groups. l To find the right therapist, log on to
psychologies.co.uk/findatherapist and look at our Life Labs channel of experts who may be able to help, or log on to psychotherapy.org.uk/find-a-therapist to locate a therapist near you.
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My inner bıg cat The ancient spiritual tradition of shamanism connects us to nature’s forces, and those lying dormant deep within us. Lisa Jackson signed up for a retreat – and awakened her sleeping jaguar self
that no matter how young I still feel, I’ll be entering what may prove to be the final third of my life. I thought this retreat would be a great way to take stock of the past 50 years, but also give me an insight into how I should approach the future.
Healing and wholeness
Knowing almost nothing about shamanism – except that it could encompass ‘near-death experiences’, such as spending a night buried in the ground with only a 5cm breathing hole – I was a little nervous. However, I’d met one of the retreat facilitators, Christa Mackinnon, a university lecturer and psychologist turned ‘reluctant shamanic apprentice’, while I was studying hypnotherapy, so I knew that I was in safe hands. Shamanism is an ancient spiritual tradition that’s been practised in indigenous communities worldwide for millennia. ‘Shamanism stems from our tribal ancestors exploring and
connecting with the forces within and around them, and utilising these links for the benefit, health and harmony of the community,’ says Mackinnon. ‘In its many contemporary forms, shamanism provides us with a wealth of skills to find healing and wholeness, mainly through connecting with deeper layers of ourselves, and wider external forces – the different planes they call “spirit worlds”.’ Both the inner and outer worlds are accessed through drumming, trance dance, ritual and ceremony, mind-altering plants, connecting with nature, meditative exercises and journeying, she explains. The aim of the jaguar exercise is to find out who we really are, deep down, when we’re not adopting the different personas that society dictates. I take the discovery that my Authentic Self is a large predator and not a small animal, as I’d thought, as a sign that I should stop hiding my light under a bushel and dream big; that I have >>> ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK
hile a drum beats in the background, a jaguar stalks majestically through the jungle, its powerful muscles rippling. It emits a throaty growl before ambling playfully over and lying down at my feet. ‘It’s far too big and mighty – this can’t represent my Authentic Self,’ I think, desperately trying to conjure up more appropriate, less ferocious animals. How about a tortoise? As a slow marathon runner, I am convinced its ‘persistence pays’ persona is more me. Or a raucous macaw, embodying my fondness for chatting? But no, the jaguar keeps returning until, eventually, I am forced to acknowledge it as my Authentic Self. I signed up for the Celebrating Life and Being Alive Retreat, which promised all manner of shamanic rituals, because I’ll be turning 50 later this year. Although I feel that having lived for half a century is cause for celebration, I was sad too, knowing
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the drive and will to make a success of a new idea that I’ve been toying with – to branch out into conducting wedding ceremonies, in addition to my hypnotherapy practice. But, to me, the frisky playfulness of the jaguar is also a sign that I shouldn’t live to work; that I have a fun-loving side that doesn’t come out nearly often enough.
Marching to our own beat
One of the activities I enjoyed most was a drumming circle led by Heike Jenkins. At first, I felt self-conscious but, encouraged by Jenkins’s cheerful enthusiasm, I soon got the hang of it. ‘That’s the joy of drumming – anyone can do it!’ says Jenkins. ‘I attended my first drum circle when I was 52 because my life didn’t have sufficient fun in it. We don’t just need to be consumers of music, we can enjoy making it too and, in so doing, connect with others.’ Besides making me smile, I found the hypnotic sounds created ‘head space’. I thought about my career goals, but also of ways to inject more laughter into my life, such as making contact with old friends. Another uplifting activity was Sally Free’s gong baths, where we lay huddled
The sounds were “otherworldly, like
swimming in caramel, and the tinkle of koshi chimes was, as a fellow participant put it, ‘like being showered with unicorn poo’
under blankets while four huge gongs, crystal bells and singing bowls were struck and stroked to cleanse and rebalance us. Free, a former nurse, explained that it’s not as ‘out there’ as I had thought: ‘Doctors use ultrasound to break up kidney stones and gong baths are a way to remove blockages using vibrational energy,’ she says. The sounds were truly otherworldly, like swimming in swirling caramel, and the tinkle of koshi chimes was, as a fellow participant put it, ‘like being showered with unicorn poo’. I felt revitalised. One of the final exercises involved ‘being seen by Mother Nature’. We were
sent to find a quiet spot outdoors and to allow her to ‘look at us with love’, while paying attention to any thoughts or feelings that arose. Gazing at a towering plane tree, I felt a groundswell of energy, and a realisation that I already had everything I needed to achieve my goals, as long as I stayed focused. This – and the three shamanic journeys we took (one of which introduced me to my jaguar) – all produced the same answer: don’t be afraid of your power, chase your dreams with the single-mindedness of a stalking jaguar, and have more fun. I left intrigued by shamanism, and inspired by its philosophy of forging connections with, and listening to, nature and my inner self. I feel more jaguar-like: aware that my Authentic Self is not only stronger than I thought, but a lot more carefree. She needs to be allowed to bang bongos and sing and laugh as often as possible. The looming big five-oh? It won’t just be a case of ‘life beginning at 50’, but my second childhood, too. The biggest gift I’ll be giving myself? Fun! Christa Mackinnon holds training courses for therapeutic professionals and hosts shamanic retreats based on her book, ‘Shamanism’ (Hay House, £8.99). For more, go to christamackinnon.com
Me and my shaman
‘Psychologies’ Editor Suzy Greaves worked with a shaman to help her overcome her grief connecting with the divine; with the “all that is”,’ she says. ‘Much of shamanism is about communing with nature, and when you learn to draw from that energy, you are divinely inspired, and can heal from your past and find the guidance you need to make the right decisions in your life.’
MacEwan takes her clients to ancient sites of pilgrimage and encourages them to answer
the big questions: How can I heal? Why am I here? What is my purpose? She also conducts ‘inner pilgrimages’ via Skype. I signed up for a course of sessions and journeyed through my own inner landscape in an attempt to soothe my grief. Sitting with my eyes closed, headset on, MacEwan took me on guided journeys into my imagination, where I set free a terrified bird that symbolised my anxiety. I discovered that shamanism
doesn’t have to be complicated or dressed up in mystical language. ‘We can all answer the call of the wild by going out into nature for five minutes a day and taking deep breaths. Bring your attention to your heart, feel the breeze against your skin, activate your senses and be open to aligning your energy to nature. You’ll soon feel that we are all connected, and to something greater than ourselves,’ says MacEwan. michellemacewan.com
ive years ago, I encountered shamanism for the first time when my divorce came through, swiftly followed by the loss of Paula, my beautiful sister-in-law, to breast cancer, aged 41. I was blind sided by grief, and a friend recommended that I work with her ‘shaman’, Michelle MacEwan. ‘In a world in which we have turned away from organised religion, shamanism is our way of
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Trek Cambodia 2-10 November 2018
Trek Cambodia and visit Angkor Wat to raise funds for the cancer charity or hospice of your choice For more information and to register online:
www.actionforcharity.co.uk 01590 646410 | firstname.lastname@example.org @DreamChallenges
Our agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, offers a new perspective on whatever is troubling you
My friend’s ‘‘ partner is the man
I struggle with the phrase ‘the love of my life’, and prefer to change the first word from ‘the’ to ‘a’. The idea that there’s just one chance here – blink and you’ve missed it – sounds like
MARY FENWICK is a business coach, journalist, fundraiser, mother, divorcée and widow GOT A QUESTION FOR MARY? Email email@example.com, with ‘MARY’ in the subject line
a cruel, rather than romantic, fairy tale. Two hours is a long time at a party, but some GCSE exams last longer, and you want at least that level of knowledge about your potential partner. I’m not keen on email in these circumstances, because it’s quite a limited form of communication, without any of the non-verbal clues, such as tone of voice and body language. I would also question why you have this intense feeling and that it’s all up to you. Is this a story where you know something and he doesn’t? Here’s one idea – invite both of them to another gathering; you could do this on social media, so it’s a completely open invitation. Their responses, individually or together, will give you another major clue. It’s intriguing that his girlfriend waited so long before intervening in the intense conversation you were having; she could either be very confident, or quite casual about their
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connection. However, her attitude is not the nub of the issue here. I’m interested in exploring more about yours. I’m sure you’ve heard – and I believe – that you need to fall in love with yourself before you do so with someone else. Professional love mentor and dating coach Elizabeth Sullivan (see ‘More Inspiration’, right) uses an image that I really like. She says that a successful relationship is balanced – you think he’s amazing, just as much as he thinks you are. It’s like a see-saw: if your whole perspective is looking up at him, then by definition you are putting yourself down and those ‘am I worthy?’ thoughts will creep in. That feeling of ‘the big click’ is incredible, but ‘slow burn’ is another option, as is ‘the friend I didn’t notice’. Wishing you the best of luck in your romantic endeavours.
PHOTOGRAPH: VICTORIA BIRKINSHAW
I recently met a friend’s new boyfriend at a party and we clicked in an incredible way. I really had an overwhelming feeling that I had met the love of my life. We started talking and didn’t stop for more than two hours – until my friend came over and ushered him away. Now, I can’t stop thinking about him. They have only been together for a few months, and she is not a good friend – an acquaintance, really. I feel that if I don’t do something, I may be missing the opportunity of a lifetime. Should I send him an email? Name supplied
of my dreams
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the life lab
“I’m dreading returning to work and want to raise a family”
As a single parent in my 20s, I decided to pursue a career in nursing. I found I adored the academic study, but loathed the practical placement, which was both physically and mentally exhausting. During this time, I met and married a wonderful man and I took some time out of my studies. I’m lucky, in that my husband is fairly wealthy and he wants me to do what makes me happy. I yearn for more children and to be a stay-at-home mum. I am due to return for my final stage of training, but I dread going back. My parents constantly remind me how hard I’ve worked and that I shouldn’t throw away the last five
years of study. They do not want me to have more children. Name supplied
Your letter almost sounds like a movie script: your husband is playing the good guy; your parents are playing the slightly scary background music. I think of this metaphor partly because your feelings about that earlier time are so strong – dread and loathing – and I wonder whether you are suffering from a form of post-traumatic stress. I have the impression of you physically shuddering at the thought of going back. At the same time, your parents can’t help worrying what might happen if the man on the white horse bolts. My wish for you is to feel safe, dial
down the drama and regain faith in your own judgement and power. Please read what I say in the other letter about the see-saw of relationships – the choice to be a stay-at-home mum is appealing now, but it’s also physically and mentally exhausting unless you see the value in looking after yourself as well. Your training so far makes you a valuable asset – perhaps you could look at using the academic side which you adored? The NHS website says there are more than 350 different careers (see ‘More Inspiration’, below) in health, and they offer exercises to help with your decision-making. I’m rooting for the ending where the heroine realises that, no matter what, she will make life work on her own terms.
“My sister’s constant remarks are getting me down”
My sister and I are quite close, but she can be a bit snipey and it upsets me. For example, recently we were arranging to meet with a couple of friends and when I said I didn’t want to go to one particular place, she kept bringing it up in front of the others, saying it was a shame I wouldn’t go, and that it would be perfect. I feel that if I say anything I will come across as oversensitive, so I just let it go, but recently I have started to think it undermines my self-esteem. Any tips? Name supplied
Your final comment holds part of the answer here. If you can stand up for yourself in a calm and positive way, you’ll be building your
own self-esteem at the same time. This type of straightforward communication can be practised (see ‘More Inspiration’, below), and since you are generally close to your sister, it could be a good opportunity to try it out. The key steps are: choose a good time; remind her of the situation using non-emotional language; say how you felt; ask how she felt. In this case, a good time would mean fairly soon afterwards, while it’s fresh in your minds but you are both feeling more relaxed. A possible script would be, ‘You know when we were talking about where to meet? I felt it was a bit tense between us and I’d really like to understand how you were feeling.’ It’s possible that your sister won’t rise to the challenge of being open if she struggles to put her own feelings
into words. Another option – perhaps in parallel – is to talk to one or two mutual friends. Ask them to keep an eye out for times when you might be feeling attacked, and step in to support you. This is something I recommend to women at work – to speak up if they see another woman being talked over – and I know that my daughters use it within their friendship groups.
MORE INSPIRATION Visit: lovementor.com See: healthcareers.nhs.uk/ career-planning/planning-yourcareer/decision-making Browse: skillsyouneed.com/ps/ assertiveness.html
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Renew your strength Do you feel as if things are piling up on top of you and, while you can handle one problem at a time, you don’t have the strength to tackle multiple issues? Your energy is sapped, your resilience is petering out... You often feel this depletion before a holiday, as everything comes to a head and you crash onto a sunlounger, desperately trying to regain your strength before the cycle starts all over again. This summer, we’ll help you use your precious downtime, even if it’s a Saturday afternoon by the seaside, to retreat, recuperate and recharge, to face life anew – stronger, more resilient and with practical tools to cope; a fresh outlook, forever. Welcome to the strength spa.
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When you’re not strong… If you feel battered and bruised from a tough or tiring few months, how can you best use the slowness of summer to recuperate? Anita Chaudhuri investigates how to regain your strength and come back fighting…
upcoming Psychologies book Real Strength (John Wiley & Sons, £9.99). ‘Real strength is about self-belief. It’s about having that appreciation that we are such incredible human beings, acknowledging that we choose how we respond, no matter what ’s happening. It ’s about empower ing you rsel f to produce intelligent responses, rather than relying on what you have always done. It’s about having the confidence to believe that you can get through stuff.’ Webb observes that one of the problems when we go away, or take leave, is that we spend a lot of time not being on holiday. ‘The first thing I’d suggest is to start preparing before you leave the office. Laptops and phones are wonderful, but they are not our friends on holiday. Either tell everyone you’re having a techno break or, if that’s not possible, set a daily limit on the time you will spend online while you’re away.’ Webb also advocates using time off to break out of the norm. ‘Discipline yourself to do different things. Going away is great for exploring but you can do it at >>>
“Real strength is about self-belief. It’s about having the appreciation that we are such incredible human beings”
PHOTOGRAPHS: PLAIN PICTURE; PREVIOUS PAGE, PLAIN PICTURE
or months I had been fantasising about my annual creative retreat to Paris. What I was going to wear, who I was going to see and, most importantly, what I was going to eat. Once I was actually on holiday though, I discovered that I couldn’t switch off. I’d spent much of the year tuned to rolling news channels, so hyper-alert and frazzled that I’d forgotten how to empty my mind. Worse still, I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to. It’s a feeling that will doubtless sound familiar to many. We want to take time out to recover our strength and optimism. If we have been through some life challenges, it’s a chance to take a step back and reflect. Yet, once we actually arrive at our holiday destination, we discover that hitting the reset button isn’t as simple as we imagined. In search of advice, I turn to Liggy Webb, behavioural consultant, author of Resilience: How To Cope When Everything Around You Keeps Changing (John Wiley & Sons, £10.99) and one of the experts consulted in our
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Dossier >>> home, too. Every day, try to absorb yourself in one new
thing. Go for a walk somewhere you’ve never been or go to the cinema in the afternoon, if that’s something you’d never normally do. We all get into a rut, thinking about the same old things. Holidays are about exciting ourselves again and replenishing the spirit.’ But what if you have faced some difficult life events over the past year? The annual holiday may be the first time you’ve had to properly decompress and process what you’ve been through and its impact on your life. A chance to retreat and recuperate is both welcome and daunting. Sometimes, it can be easier to run from one’s inner world and block it out with social media and a packed diary, rather than taking time for quiet reflection and meditation on the way life is.
TO BROOD OR NOT TO BROOD
This instinct to avoid dwelling on unpleasant experiences is actually well-founded. Psychological research now supports the idea that ruminating on one’s problems is not good for us. For example, one study by BBC Lab UK together with psychologists at the University of Liverpool, devised an online stress test: 32,827 people from 172 countries filled in the test, which found that ruminating – brooding on our problems and self-blame – is the biggest predictor of depression and anxiety and determines the level of stress people experience. The research even suggests a person’s psychological response is a more important factor than what actually happened to them. ‘We found that people who didn’t ruminate or blame themselves for their difficulties had much lower levels of depression and an xiet y, even if they had experienced many negative events in their lives,’ says Peter Kilderman, who led the study. However, there’s a difference between destructive rumination and beneficial self-reflection. Webb knows a thing or two about this, having coached staff at the BBC and the NHS, and worked as a consultant for the UN for 11 years. ‘There is a phrase in military vocabulary, “living in a VUCA world”, which means a world that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. My work focuses on how to turn this type of stress into a positive VUCA where Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Agility prevail. Whatever is happening to us, we need to develop
coping mechanisms and become proactive. I’m a believer in creating strategies, which clarify and simplify the actions we have to take.’ As the book Real Strength reveals, developing resilience is a skill we can nurture with a little conscious effort and practice. The key is in being aware that the brain’s limbic system works like a sort of inner car alarm, alerting us to any threats to our wellbeing. Every time we experience something threatening, it gets stored in our mental database for the rest of our lives. That database contains a large number of situations that cause the ‘fight or flight’ response, even if they are inappropriate and outdated. In order to thrive during difficult or uncertain times, we need to challenge this. You can become more resilient as you age, not less – it’s just knowing how. One strategy Webb uses is to focus on how we can use the lessons from past experiences to help us address difficulties in the here-and-now. ‘A healthy approach is to balance the past with the present. Think of a similar situation you’ve been in? What did you do well then and what didn’t you do well? How did you get through it? Don’t get dragged down by all the negative things. When we are faced with a problem, we tend to go into one of three different mind zones – the past, the future, or the present. If you can, try to imagine your mind as an orchestra, you would go to the past for what worked and the good stuff you did, go to the future with a crystal ball to focus on the outcome you want (without catastrophising about what could go wrong), but be aware that it’s in the present moment that you have control. Above all, we need to rein in our minds. Resilience is about being calm and relaxed enough to cope in the moment.’
“People who didn’t ruminate had lower levels of depression, even if they had experienced many negative events in their lives”
HONING YOUR COGNITIVE DEXTERITY
Consultant psychologist Michael Sinclair believes that the key to developing real strength is learning how to develop psychological flexibility. ‘It’s the ability to contact your present moment experience, without defence, as fully as possible as a conscious human being. To change or persist in behaviour so you can move towards the stuff you really care about in life; what you value. To be mindfully aware of thoughts and >>> feelings, and to commit to value-based living.’
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He observes that when we’re faced with a challenging situation, most people get caught up with trying to problem-solve their way out of the predicament to avoid painful experiences. ‘Our ability to fully attend to the present moment is diminished. Consequently, we fail to take in new information about the circumstances around us, and can also lose sight of what is really important to us. Developing skills in “psychological flexibility” keeps us resilient; we are better able to adapt to stressful situations and their f luctuating demands on a moment-by-moment basis. We retain clarity of mind, can shift our perspective, respond to our thoughts and emotions more skilfully, and behave in effective ways to manage and recover from setbacks in a way that feels meaningful to us.’
COMFORT IN THE ROUTINE
I’m not! Come on! No, I’m useless... The battle is endless, as there is an infinite number of black and white pieces, so it goes round and round.’
PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
He’s right. This does happen and it’s exhausting, particularly if you’re lying in bed trying to get to sleep and stressing yourself out. What can we do? ‘Imagine t hese pieces a re you r t houg ht s a nd you a re the chessboard. The board has endless room for the thoughts, but it’s firm and stable and it doesn’t get involved in the battle; it just allows those pieces to pass over it. This is a helpful way of looking at our thoughts. We are more expansive than them; they exist in the context of us. We are not our thoughts. By standing back f r om t hem a nd ga i n i ng perspective, we realise that they are separate from us. We can just let them glide over us.’ The great benef it of ga ining perspective is that we can begin to adopt a more optimistic mindset. ‘The other word for resilience is recovery,’ says Webb. ‘Recovering our sense of optimism is key.’ There are a lot of misconceptions about optimism in the face of adversity, for example, that optimists are deluded, living on Planet Polyanna instead of facing facts. However, in a study by psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, it was found that resilient people reported the same amount of anxiety as less resilient people when talking about a problem they were facing in their lives. So it wasn’t that they saw everything through rose-tinted glasses; they were just more optimistic about their ability to overcome the problem. ‘Optimism isn’t about saying “ooh, everything’s great”. Life can be crap. Some pretty horrible things happen,’ says Webb. ‘It’s about the choices you make and taking time to develop realistic optimism.’ There’s a quote from writer Anne Lamott that beautifully sums up the journey to resilience. ‘Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a couple of minutes – including you.’ Developing real strength might take a bit longer than a few minutes, but making a commitment to unplug is a great goal for this summer.
“Optimism isn’t about saying, ‘ooh, everything’s great’. Life can be crap. It’s about the choices you make and taking time to develop realistic optimism”
If you’ve been through a turbulent time recently, or are still dealing with one, it can help to keep as many familiar things as possible around you, says Webb. ‘We are creatures of habit. Ninety per cent of what we do, we do habitually. The familiar is comforting. So, if there are specific routines you have got in your life, be it making a particular type of breakfast, a morning meditation, a walk with your dog before work, or meeting certain friends on a night out, it’s a good idea to ring-fence those things. It’s easy to get knocked off track and stop doing them.’ As a starting point, Webb suggests making a list of your daily ‘sanctuary moments’. These can be as small as ordering a coffee from your favourite café or calling a family member at a certain time. This is a helpful idea, but what if your mind continues to revisit unhelpful scenarios? There’s only so much meditation and mindfulness a person can do. Sinclair advocates treating your thoughts like a game. ‘Imagine coming up against adversity like playing a game of chess: picture the black and white pieces on the chessboard; the black pieces are negative thoughts and the white pieces are positive thoughts. We move a negative thought forward and put a positive thought in its place, but then a negative thought very soon replaces that and on it goes. If we’re not careful, we get caught up in this battle between negative and positive thoughts: I’m useless, no
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How to go from a fixed to a growth mindset From giving effective praise to seeking out positive people, happiness expert Tamara Lechner suggests the following tips on flexing your psychological muscles
PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
CHOOSE YOUR LANGUAGE CAREFULLY
The language you use when praising someone can make the difference between developing a growth or a fixed mindset. When you praise someone for a characteristic or strength, for example, ‘you are so flexible’, it teaches a fixed mindset. Whereas if you praise for effort or strategy – ‘you worked so hard at that painting’ – it teaches a growth mindset and reinforces the individual’s role in the successful outcome.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE
It’s pretty obvious, but the attitude of those around you can really affect your own mood and outlook. By surrounding yourself with ‘can do’ people who believe that with passion and persistence they can achieve things, this growth mindset becomes the norm and rubs off on you, helping you to aspire to the same goals.
BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR THINKING
Becoming less rigid in your thoughts and actions allows resilience to blossom, simply because flexible people don’t see problems; they see opportunities for growth and learning. When every challenge is met with a level of creative thinking, you feel more capable and confident, and this all breeds resilience. For more happiness coaching from Tamara Lechner, visit ahamoments4u.com
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Strength sappers Take a timeout to ponder what’s siphoning off your strength day by day, in an effort to recognise and pre-empt your pitfalls, become aware of negative mindsets and bad habits, and kickstart your revival
Perhaps you’ve always had an idea of the ‘perfect’ life: an amazing partner, two children (a boy and a girl), a big house, fantastic holidays... Then, life throws you a curveball: an injury forces you to rethink your career, or your partner develops depression. Perfectionists struggle: ‘How can I go forward with this less-than-perfect life?’ With this mindset, seeking perfection keeps us in a state of paralysis, the opposite of real strength, which is about growth and progression. Perfectionists may appear to be productive characters, but sometimes you can fail to fulfil your potential in the pursuit of perfection. This is because you’re too scared to give things a go, in case you’re not good enough. Failure is a crucial part of building resilience. A good start is to ask: ‘Where can I find the compromise?’
Being a catastrophist
it’s a way of shirking responsibility: ‘It’s a nightmare! Of course we can’t sit down and be strategic!’ Often, when we say, ‘It’s so unfair, I’m always missing trains,’ what we actually mean is, ‘I’m so annoyed with myself. I need to leave more time for my journey.’ When we take responsibility for a situation, we feel better because we’re in a place of acceptance, not resistance, and can find a way out of it.
Dwelling and ruminating
Rumination is, basically, trying to solve problems. It’s either worrying about the future: ‘How will I cope if things don’t improve?’; or regretfully focusing on the past: ‘Why did I let this happen?’ We are fooled into thinking that worrying and ruminating is productive, because we are thinking about the problem, but it can become circular – we aren’t going anywhere psychologically, and so it undermines our resilience and confidence, and leaves us feeling vulnerable, stuck and helpless. When it comes to rising above adversity, the only place we can make changes is in the present. Mindfulness practice can help bring our attention and focus to the present moment, thus opening up a calm space for us to form a perspective on our ever-changing thoughts and feelings. From this vantage point, we have greater choice about whether or not to engage with certain thoughts. Mindfulness helps us to turn on our ‘being’ mode, rather than our ‘doing’ mode, and in ‘being’ mode, we are able to think more clearly and function better while we make wiser choices about how to respond to and improve the situation.
“You can fail to fulfil your potential in the pursuit of perfection as you’re too scared to give things a go”
‘Catastrophist’ describes a person who has a tendency to see everything that happens to them as either a catastrophe or a potential catastrophe. For example, ‘We’re going to miss the flight, and if we do miss the flight we’ll never get another one!’ Catastrophists are fans of absolutes: ‘I’m always missing trains; I’m always being let down by people.’ Where managing adversity is concerned, the problem with living in a black and white world is that life is full of grey areas; of possibilities and alternatives. Resilient people are able to rise above their worries and see these grey areas and, if they can’t see them, they’re able to find them. Catastrophising limits our ability to bounce back because
PHOTOGRAPH: PLAIN PICTURE
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It’s perfectly natural to feel sorry for ourselves when we are going through a difficult time. The trick is to avoid staying in that state for too long. It’s a position of powerlessness, and the longer you stay in the ‘poor me’ space, the longer you put off doing something about it. Not doing anything to help yourself in an adverse situation, because past experience has told you there’s no point, is learned helplessness – and it’s a barrier to real strength. Psychologists have found that persistent learned helplessness and victim mentality – believing that we have no control over the outcome of situations – is a leading cause of depression. Interestingly, the way we view negative events that happen to us has a big impact on whether we feel helpless or not. Psychologists call these patterns of thinking ‘attributions’, and there are certain types that cause learned helplessness. They are ‘internal’ attribution: perceiving that the cause of the negative event is within you; ‘stable’ attribution: believing that this cause is a permanent state; and ‘global’ attribution: the belief that the factors affecting the outcome apply to a large number of situations, and not just one of them. If learned helplessness and victim
mentality are caused by these patterns of thinking, and we challenge our thinking and change it, we won’t fall prey to helplessness nor victimhood.
The sapping of our strength is about being emotionally ‘stuck’, or our unhelpful reactions. The phrase, ‘These things are sent to test us,’ is true – setbacks challenge our strength, but it’s our reaction that counts. Below are some common ways we get ‘stuck’, which stop us thriving. l Stuck by your expectations: The more fixated you are with how life should be, the more disappointed you’ll be if it’s different. Manage your expectations. l Stuck with rigid thinking: Freeing yourself from this is about having a growth mindset or lateral thinking: ‘What other options do I have to deal with this?’ By giving ourselves a calm space to think (using mindfulness techniques), we can ‘loosen’ our thinking, learn and grow. l Stuck comparing yourself to others: Social media is especially dangerous for this, as people only post their highlights. We forget this, and instead feel inadequate or even bitter and resentful, and these feelings drain our strength.
“Perceived helplessness, believing we have no control over situations, is a leading cause of depression”
Adapted from ‘Real Strength’ (John Wiley & Sons, £9.99)
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Meet the real superwomen Like superpowers, strength can appear in many different forms. We meet three women who went from deep, dark lows to sky-scraping highs, cultivating resilience along the way INTERVIEWS RIN HAMBURGH PHOTOGRAPH SEAN MALYON
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“I think this has happened to give me a greater depth of vulnerability, and skills to do my job even better” KIM INGLEBY, 38, MIND-BODY COACH
y passion and purpose have always been to help people unlock their potential, let go of their fears, follow their dreams, and feel well and healthy. I founded my mind-body coaching business in 2004, and have worked with everyone from Team GB athletes to Strictly Come Dancing individuals. But four years ago, while doing a swim during training for a triathlon event at the European Championships, I contracted Weil’s disease, a life-threatening bacterial infection. That in turn led to secondary encephalitis, a rare but serious condition where the brain becomes inflamed. For the next few months, I couldn’t do anything. I was so fatigued I could barely move; I had these involuntary body movements, kind of like seizures. So many parts of my body were affected, from my liver to my kidneys, my nervous system and the frontal lobe of my brain.
HAIR AND MAKE-UP: JYN SAN
Out with the old, in with the new
After a year of setbacks, I decided to stop the treatments and get my mind and body working in the best way possible, with fitness, nutrition, lifestyle and mindset choices. It has been a long journey and I’m not fully recovered, but I’ve finally accepted that this may just be how it is, and that’s OK. I feel incredibly lucky. Falling ill so suddenly has given me great empathy, allowing me to connect with people compassionately and help them find strength. Whatever you’re going through and however hard it is in the moment, if you work with the struggle and the fear, I believe you can get through it and live again. Before, being strong was about having to show that I was always fine. But now I’ve had to show that I’m not. This has given me a greater depth of vulnerability and skills to do my job even better. Today, I see real strength as knowing yourself; knowing that you need to look after yourself, knowing what your purpose is, and knowing it may evolve. It can be easy to suddenly lose your strength if something life-changing happens, and that’s OK but, when it does, give yourself space to reclaim your spark to live again. >>> energisedperformance.com
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“Real strength is knowing what makes me happy”
CLAIRE STONE, 43, NUTRITIONIST
y boyfriend of seven years broke up with me in 2001. We got together at university, so he was my first adult boyfriend; we’d gone through university together, moved to Edinburgh together and then to London, and all our friends were the same. So, even though I knew the relationship wasn’t going to last, it was sad. I’d read about a course where you could learn to become a snowboarding instructor in Mammoth, California. When we broke up, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. On paper, it was a pretty stupid thing to do. I had no money, I’d injured my back to the point where I could barely walk, and I was a terrible snowboarder. But I just had this lightbulb moment of ‘this is what I need to do’. The minute I got there, I knew it was the right thing. Most of the people there were on a gap year, or just out of university, and it was energising to be around them. Plus, snowboarding helped my back get stronger. Every morning, I would jump out of bed at 5:30am and spend
the day on the mountain being active. It was as if I had found my spiritual home. I ended up doing three more ski seasons over the following three years; it was hard work, but I loved every minute of it. Since then, I married an amazing man, had two children and set up my own business as a nutritionist, something I got into through one of the jobs I had back home between snowboarding seasons. Everything I’ve achieved has been down to the confidence that those seasons gave me. They helped me realise that I enjoy public speaking and can explain things in a fun but clear way. To me, real strength is knowing what makes me happy, knowing it doesn’t rely on others, and also that I’ve got the courage to do something that may not be an easy option. Despite all the challenges I was facing when I went on that snowboarding instructor course, I passed my exams, got a job, and ended up winning Snowboarding Instructor of the Year. I’m glad I just did it. claire-stone.com
“My ability to survive has been my strength”
AMY TREVASKUS, 37, WRITER
hen I found out that my dad had a progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare brain disorder, I threw myself into researching all I could about it. I created a Facebook page for PSP sufferers and their families, and raised £7,000 doing an Arctic dogsled ride with my husband. Then, in 2010, I gave up my job so that I could help my mum and my sister care for him. For the next few years, we just went through the motions. People would say, ‘I don’t know how you do it’ – and I didn’t know either; I just got on with it. But often, on the way home from his house, I’d stop off in a field and scream. During this time I had two miscarriages, which added to the strain. I had my son Finn in November 2012 and Dad died four months later. I just kept going, but nothing gave me joy. All the things I’d enjoyed doing before, like writing, had been pushed into the background while I was taking care of Dad. The following August, my mum and sister staged an intervention, and I was signed off from work
with depression for three months. I felt guilty because I wasn’t functioning, but also relieved because I knew that I needed to take time and build myself back up again. As Christmas approached, I began doing things such as making jam and fudge as presents, because I wanted Christmas to be nice for everyone. At the same time, I started having ideas for stories again. I ran some of them past a TV producer I knew and he said they were good, which gave me a real boost. I felt as if I was achieving something. I hadn’t felt like a proper human being for a long time. I thought, ‘Is this who I am, this non-person? Or do I want to contribute something to the world?’ Looking back and seeing all that I’ve been through and survived has made me feel strong. I was doing it before but I didn’t give myself any credit; I would only look at the negative parts of who I was. Now I’m able to acknowledge that I’m doing well and have confidence in my ability as a person and as a mother. I had that strength all along.
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Know your strength
When strength reserves dwindle and energy crashes, life can feel hard to handle. But what if you had the secret ingredient that meant you were resilient in your own authentic way? This fifth book in our series has all the answers for a strong, successful you…
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN FEELING LATELY?
● Like you are facing challenges you don’t know how to cope with ● Drained of energy ● That you are putting on a brave face ● Lost or overwhelmed ● Pessimistic ● As though you aren’t on the right path
DO YOU WISH YOU WERE ABLE TO…
● Face adversity without collapsing into it, but feel confident that you can handle anything by looking within for resilience? ● Work out why your strength has gone, and how to build up your reserves again? ● Discover your own version of strength and what it means to you?
REAL STRENGTH, COMING SOON
‘At Psychologies, we believe that ‘real strength’ is not about powering through a crisis with a stiff upper lip and putting on a courageous face. It’s about using life’s challenges to reset your course, for you to be able to admit vulnerability, then find a way to move forward,’ says Editor Suzy Greaves. Using the latest research, and advice from experts in fields of wellbeing and resilience, Real Strength aims to help you define your own brand of resilience and develop the skills to tap into it. If you can do that, you’ll uncover immense joy, and it’s likely that you’ll come to see the hardship you’re going through as the greatest gift you were ever given.
Our fifth book in the Psychologies series, Real Strength (John Wiley & Sons, £9.99), is out now. Pick up your copy at WHSmith.
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What do you do when the going gets tough?
Let’s face it, life isn’t always a walk in the park, but there is something to be said for the role adversity plays in revealing our true strengths when things get difficult. Are you a ‘tough gets going’ type or do you grin and bear it? When bad things happened during childhood you tended to:
A Have a tantrum and create a scene B Retreat to your room C Plaster on a smile and get on with it D Escape into a fantasy world
When you think about challenges ahead, you:
A Feel yourself shrinking inside B Would rather not think about it C Wish you could run away D Start to feel hot and bothered
People know you’re under pressure because you:
A Eat or drink more B Start talking about holidays C Flare up at the drop of a hat D Become quieter than usual
Stress has the biggest impact on your:
A Peace of mind B Relationships C Social life D Health
When you’re under pressure, help from other people:
A Can make things easier, if they don’t wind you up
B Is appreciated, but you tend to sort yourself out C Is unusual, because you look like you’re coping D Can make you feel guilty, as though you’ve failed
At work, you’ve got a reputation for:
A Keeping your head down and getting on with things B Being relentlessly upbeat C Always planning your next holiday D Being prepared to fight your corner
You can cope with most things, as long as you:
A Can convince yourself that everything’s OK B Have something to look forward to C Get the help you need D Have time alone to think things through
You would feel upset by people thinking:
A You’re flaky B You can’t cope C You’re boring D You’re a bully
You are involved in a minor car accident that isn’t your fault. Your first instinct would be to: A Give the other person a hard time B Get home so you can calm yourself down C Reassure everyone that you’re completely fine D Think about buying a new car
Which of these emotions and habits most undermine your wellbeing? A Rumination B Thinking you’re invincible C Catastrophising D Losing your temper ADD UP YOUR SCORES FROM EACH ANSWER USING THE TABLE BELOW, THEN TURN THE PAGE TO FIND OUT HOW YOU DEAL WITH ADVERSITY:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
2 4 6 8 2 4 6 8 2 4
B 4 6 8 2 4 6 8 6 4 6 C 6 8 2 4 6 8 2 4 6 8 D 8 2 4 6 8 2 4 2 8 2
WORDS: SALLY BROWN. PHOTOGRAPHS: PLAIN PICTURE
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IF YOU SCORED BETWEEN 20 AND 35:
You deal with adversity by
Anger is your defence against adversity – when you feel attacked, you fight back. You may be prone to anxiety, or live in a state of permanently raised stress. It might have caused you relationship problems in the past, because you tend to blame others for your issues. Try the STOP system next time you feel like lashing out: Stop, Take a breath, Observe what is going on for you, then Proceed in a way that supports, rather than undermines, you. IF YOU SCORED BETWEEN 36 AND 45:
You deal with adversity by
Your instinct is to shy away from conflict, and deal with challenges by retreating into yourself until you can make sense of them in your head. Loved ones know when you’re stressed because you go quiet. You’re self-contained and good at managing your emotions, but internalising your problems impacts on your mood and resilience, especially if you have a tendency to ruminate. Try this experiment: when someone who cares about you asks how you are, don’t say ‘fine’ – tell them how you really are.
IF YOU SCORED BETWEEN 46 AND 60:
You deal with adversity by
pretending everything’s OK
You may have been brought up to ‘not make a fuss’ and believe putting on a brave face is a commendable character trait. But denial or disassociating from your feelings never leads to real strength. Instead, it creates a flimsy façade that can crumble, so you rely on addictive behaviour such as binge-drinking or eating to help numb your feelings. Your first step to building real strength is to get in touch with your emotions, rather than rejecting them.
IF YOU SCORED BETWEEN 61 AND 80:
You deal with adversity by
As an all-or-nothing thinker and a catastrophiser, you can be convinced there is no other option but to walk away from your problems and start again. But by abandoning that difficult relationship or job, you never get the chance to properly process and understand your emotions. It’s time to trust your ability to survive difficult times so you can learn from your experience, and prove to yourself that you can deal with adversity.
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s book as a loving me i h t f ssage nk o i h in a b t ‘I ottle – e a s t e o h t w o a t s n h up di tosse at the feet of someone in ne ed’ CatHy ReNtzeN bRiNk
‘Generous, honest and uplifting. People need this book’ NiNa Stibbe
Available now in hardback, ebook and audio at your local or online at Waterstones.com
autho r the
‘A wise, clear and warm friend to help you through times of great sadness... This book should be available on prescription’ Sali HugHeS
#360me p78 The Plan / p85 Holistic Skin Clarity on pigmentation / p87 Feel Beautiful Our Wellness Director’s top picks / p91 The Kind Mind Ali Roff’s healthily ever after / p92 Main Wellness The creativity cure / p97 Ask The Doctor Tooth and gum care / p99 Real Nutrition The coconut craze / p100 Well Travelled Finding self in the Lost City EDITED BY EMINÉ RUSHTON
mundane to find the marvellous
is “Creativity piercing the
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PSY_September_360me opener-LL.indd 77
The plan bo
Ask the doc tor abou t too th care pg 97
are intertwined and it’s vital to remember this when aiming to improve your fitness.
how bettering your mental health can help you become fitter, stronger and healthier. The plan will educate you on topics such as sleep, anxiety, mindfulness and nutrition, and you will have access to personalised
The Lost Ci ty pg 100
HIIT and Pilates videos, tailored to your goals and fitness levels. Check it out at themodelmethod.co.uk.’ Hollie Grant, Fitness Editor @ThePilatesPT
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 @eminerushton @psychologiesmagazine psychologies.co.uk
Jungle palm leggings, £65, Born Nouli; Ab Crunch tee, £50, Sweaty Betty
PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY. *MEDICALNEWSTODAY.COM/ ARTICLES/317958.PHP. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Online plan The Model Method teaches
Don’t be coconu t shy pg 99
FIT FOR PURPOSE ‘Mental wellbeing and physical health
Crea tive healing pg 92
body Enjoy our suggestions to help you maintain a healthy body
Every month, the #360me team will be sharing our baby-steps approach to leading a healthier, happier life – expert-endorsed and real-life approved.
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I GIVE ME MY WORD ‘My top tip to ensure that you stay disciplined is to make a commitment to yourself. Decide if you’re going to practise daily, and for how long, and then write down that promise, and make it public in some way, perhaps on social media or by buddying up with an ‘accountability pal’. To prepare, decide the evening before what time you want to practise, or which class you want to attend, so everything is ready to roll. Another trick is to not make too many new vows at once. If you also pledge to give up coffee, try that additional habit in a different month!’ Kat Farrants, Yoga Editor @MFML_
d to health is paved “ Thwite roa h good intest ines!
Researchers have found that a half-hour bout of physical exercise can make women feel stronger, and more content with their bodies overall. The American study compared the physical self-perceptions and body images of women who exercised moderately for 30 minutes with those who sat down and read a book for the same amount of time. The women who worked out improved their body image significantly, compared with those who did not take any exercise.*
GIULIA ENDERS, SCIENTIST AND GASTROENTEROLOGIST, AND AUTHOR OF ‘GUT’ (SCRIBE PUBLICATIONS, £9.99)
GLOW GETTER ‘When my face is feeling a bit dried out by summer’s harsh rays, I have found that rosehip, sea buckthorn and jojoba oils are extremely effective in replenishing lipids. Happily, all three glorious oils are found in Clean Beauty Co’s Rosy Glow – a super nourishing elixir which happens to smell like rose-tinted heaven, too.’ Eminé Rosy Glow face serum, £35, Clean Beauty Co
“The balmy evenings of late August are the perfect time to venture outside after school or work, and get the blood pumping. Slow yoga is my restorative staple, but I’ve recently rediscovered the thrill of a pumping heart during short cross-country sprints and tennis games with the family. Let’s try to embrace these last summer days before autumn has its blustery way and we all retreat back inside!” Eminé Rushton @eminerushton
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spirit Lift your spirit with these great finds and useful insights
MOOD-BOOSTING STRETCHES It’s well known that stretching can make us happier. Suzanne Wylde, founder of movingstretch.com, talks us through three blissful moves
Happy sweatshirt, £49.50, SeaSoul & Snow
“I’m reading ‘The Law Of The Five Elements’ by Dianne M Connelly**, a simple and yet detailed account of this beautiful Eastern wisdom, written in a way that can be understood and appreciated by the Western mind” Akcelina Cvijetic, Spirit Editor @Akcelina_Health
hese stretches are great for mood because they open up the body. When we do them, we give ourselves a chance to feel more hopeful and ‘expanded’, changing our frame of mind through our bodies, instead of our minds. Stretching makes us feel more alive, freeing up energy for inspiration and motivation.
KNEELING QUAD STRETCH. Kneel with your hands on your heels and sit on your heels with your shoulders forward. Tense the front of your hips, abdomen and chest as
you sit up, pushing your hips forward and your shoulders back, always keeping your hands on your heels. Do 7-10 stretches in a set. You may find it more comfortable with something under your knees to cushion them.
OVERHEAD SHOULDER AND CHEST STRETCH. Grip a yoga strap, belt, or towel above your head firmly in both hands. Your arms should form a ‘V’. With your hands continuously pulling apart from each other to create tension, move your hands back behind
you, keeping your elbows straight. When you have gone as far back as you can comfortably reach, return to the starting position to complete one repetition. Do 5-7 repetitions in a set.
SIDEWAYS REACH. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, rest one hand on your hip. Raise your other hand above your head, keeping it slightly bent and out to the side. Tensing the muscles of that side, push your arm over your head as you lean to one side.
PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY; ISTOCK. *PROJECT HAPPINESS; **‘TRADITIONAL ACUPUNCTURE: THE LAW OF THE FIVE ELEMENTS’, (CENTRE FOR TRADITIONAL ACUPUNCTURE, £21.91); † J ENDERSBY ET AL, DATA-POWERED HEALTH, HOW TECHNOLOGY IS RESHAPING THE NATION’S ATTITUDE TO HEALTH, ‘OPINIUM’, 2017. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
‘In a study* of sleep-deprived students, 81 per cent recalled negative words, such as ‘cancer’, from a presentation, while only 31 per cent remembered positive words, proving sleep is crucial for optimism.’ Eminé
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mind This month’s food for thought... Tell us how you get on by using #360me
Life-enriching reads, recommended by our Wellness Director ENLIGHTENMENT IS YOUR NATURE by Osho (Watkins, £12.99) ‘A wonderful take on enlightenment, removed from spirituality and religion, in which the central argument is simply: take responsibility for your life.’
MIND BODY CLEANSE by Chris James (Vermilion, £14.99) ‘A 12-day rejuvenation plan to help you embed an energising yoga practice, with spiritual guidance.’
THE SUPERMUM MYTH by Anya Hayes and Rachel Andrew (White Ladder Press £12.99) ‘Mothers are expected to be all things to all people, and have a fab career. Read this and bust that myth!’
“There’s an extra season in Chinese medicine called ‘late summer’, from the end of August to the autumn equinox, when the earth is lush and ready for harvest. During this transition, we can suffer from fatigue, so allow yourself proper rest and best nutrition” Annee De
Mamiel, Spirit Editor @ademamiel
23% That’s the number of people who say that they use health apps at least once a week to manage their health and wellbeing. Growing in popularity, 42 per cent of people believe that these apps support them in feeling more dedicated to achieving their goals, and 35 per cent say that they help them to feel more aware.†
MINDFUL MASSAGE ‘Starting a busy day with self-massage is a wonderful way to centre our minds, as well as moisturise our skin. At the moment, I’m using the delightful Inlight Body Oil with Arnica, £39, a powerful artisan oil created by homeopath Mariano Spezia. It contains raw plant ingredients blended to maximise their phyto-nutrients, and is super softening with a delicate aroma of geranium and patchouli.’ Catherine Turner, Wellness Editor @Catherineyogi
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gut Nurture your gut health for an overall feeling of wellbeing
THINK VARIETY + DIVERSITY ‘Rather than trying to get a certain number of fruit and veg into your diet every day, think more about the variety of what you are taking in. Ideally, you should try and eat across the broadest range of foods you can, in order to increase nutritional diversity. This also supports a more diverse gut microbiome, and that leads to a healthier gut, too.’ Eve Kalinik, Nutrition Editor @evekalinik
“When it comes to buying meat that is ethically sourced, you can’t beat Coombe Farm Organic. They ensure they implement the best standards of animal welfare, which means all produce has a higher nutritional content, too” Eve coombefarmorganic.co.uk
Scientists have found that eating a handful of walnuts (approximately 28g) could suppress hunger and make you feel fuller for longer.* The nutritionists identified that the high amount of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) in walnuts caused a decrease in the hormone that increases appetite, and a spike in the hormone that encourages satiety. Other foods rich in PUFAs include oily fish and corn, grapeseed and canola oils.
Wild Fizz Kombucha, £3.60 each, Planet Organic
WHIZZPOPS ‘In our gut section, we talk a great deal about fermented foodstuffs to get those natural good bacteria stores flourishing. Wild Fizz Kombucha comes in three unusual and refreshing flavours – jasmine, ginger and lavender – and with lots of healthy probiotic poke.’ @eminerushton
Microcosmic bars (9g), £3.50 each, ZenBunni
CHOC FULL ‘ZenBunni use the best biodynamic cacao – hugely rich in antioxidants – in their lovely, unusually flavoured tiny raw bars of chocolatey goodness. There is also drinking chocolate for when the nights draw in.’ Eve
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COCONUT BIRCHER MUESLI WITH BERRY COMPOTE I love this breakfast in summer, when hot porridge doesn’t feel right, says Leah Vanderveldt in ‘The New Nourishing’ (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99). Bircher muesli is a mix of oats, fruit and liquid that’s been soaked overnight. The addition of berry compote makes it extra special, and it’s easy to make from frozen berries at any time of the year SERVES 2 l 95g rolled oats l 235ml coconut or almond milk l 1 medium-sized sweet apple (such as Honeycrisp or Pink Lady), grated l 1 tbsp flax seeds l 1 tsp maple syrup l ¼ tsp ground cinnamon l 1 tsp lemon juice
(I love a mixture of raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries) l 1 tsp maple syrup l Pinch of ground cinnamon l 1 tsp chia seeds (optional, but reduce the cooking time if used, as the seeds will deterioriate if boiled for too long) OPTIONAL TOPPINGS nuts and seeds l Toasted coconut flakes l Hemp seeds l Almond butter l Yogurt l Toasted
to a boil over a medium heat, then stir in the chia seeds (if using). 4 Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 7-8 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is ‘jammy’ in consistency. If you are not using the chia seeds, the mixture will need cooking for about 10-13 minutes. Allow to cool, then place in the fridge overnight with the oats. 5 Serve the bircher muesli layered with, or topped with, the berry compote and any additional desired toppings.
PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY; ISTOCK; ‘THE NEW NOURISHING’ BY LEAH VANDERVELDT. * TELEGRAPH.CO.UK/NEWS/2017/06/16/DAILY-HANDFUL-OFWALNUTSCANSUPPRESS-HUNGER-STUDY-FINDS. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
FOR THE BERRY COMPOTE l 300g mixed fresh, or frozen, berries
1 Sterilise two medium-sized Kilner jars, with lids, for storing. 2 In a medium bowl, mix together the muesli ingredients until well combined. Divide between the two jars, cover with their lids and refrigerate overnight. This gives the oats plenty of time to soften and soak up the flavours. 3 Make the berry compote straight after preparing the oats. Combine the mixed berries, maple syrup and cinnamon with 120ml water in a small saucepan. Bring
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Oskia Renaissance Brightlight Intensive Pigmentation & Dark Spot Serum, £85
How can I treat my pigmentation?
Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub, £65
Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, £22
Gary Goldfaden shares his tips on preventing and treating sun damage, age spots and acne scarring
PHOTOGRAPH: GALLERY STOCK. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
ur skin cells contain melanocyte cells, which produce melanin, a chemical that gives skin its colour. Too much melanin leads to hyperpigmented skin, which includes freckles, darkening of the skin in patches, and age spots. While hyperpigmentation is not a serious medical condition, it is one of the most common skin conditions and arguably the hardest to treat and correct. Hyperpigmentation is defined as any spot on your skin that’s dark enough to effectively stand out against the surrounding area. It is usually the result of your skin’s efforts to protect itself from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light, and it occurs when overexposure to sunlight causes the melanocytes in the deeper layers of your skin to produce cells that contain a skin-darkening pigment called melanin. However, it can also be caused by trauma to the skin, hormones and birth-control pills or certain drugs.
The types of hyperpigmentation can be broken down into four categories: age spots or sun spots (caused by sun damage), melasma (caused by pregnancy, hormones and some birth-control pills), post-inflammatory (temporary pigmentation caused by acne scarring) and scarring (post-inflammatory pigmentation that lasts longer than 12 months). Darker skin types are more prone to hyperpigmentation because they have larger-sized melanocyte cells. To prevent pigmentation, it is key to protect your skin from the sun. Make sure you wear a non-chemical mineral SPF, sunglasses, sun protective clothing and a hat when exposed to the sun. As with everything, prevention is the best cure – but products that contain vitamin C, glycolic acid, alpha arbutin, and kojic acid, and professional microdermabrasion, can really help, too. @GoldfadenMD
Wild Nutrition Skin Hair & Nails, £30
TWELVE Beauty Ideal Brightening Corrective Serum, £68
‘I had no sign of pigmentation before I reached my mid-30s, at which point the unknowing damage I’d done in my youth began to surface. I’m a bit stricter with my SPF application these days. I’ve found TWELVE Beauty and Oskia serums to be the most effective at giving skin that brighter, clearer quality, as well as Pai BioRegenerate Oil for improving skin quality and tackling sun damage and scarring.’ Eminé Rushton Follow our Wellness Director @eminerushton for more holistic tips
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Measure the difference with Water Balance
HRI Water Balance tablets for the relief of water retention HRI Water Balance is a traditional herbaal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of mild water retention, based on traditional use only.. Take at any time excess body ﬂuid causes a problem, either whilst slimming or before or during menstruatiion to maintain a normal, healthy balance. Available from Holland & Barrett, Boots,, Superdrug, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons stores. Look for the THR symbol – your guarrantee of safety and quality. Certiﬁcation mark
Always read the label
feel beautiful Face: Honey + Coconut Mask, £42, Earth TU
GOOD AND NATURAL
Beautiful ‘Garden of England scents’ and botanical packaging, all-natural formulas and utter affordability (products start at just £3 for the 50ml travel sizes) – hurrah! We have a new set of bathroom staples, which include my favourite: this brilliant shine-inducing shampoo with notes of lemon, mandarin and rosemary.
Shampoo with Lemon, Mandarin & Rosemary, £12, Bramley
If you want to go 100 per cent natural in your make-up choices, it’s not easy to find a foundation that ticks every box: comfort, hydration, imperceptibility, coverage and durability. This is the one I reach for most often; a good shake first dispenses a light cream, which leaves skin glowing, even and comfortable.
Certified Organic BB Cream, £27.50, Inika
Fresh and light Eminé Rushton shares her favourite natural products for easy, breezy beauty
I remain confused as to why this natural homespun recipe (raw honey, coconut oil, organic sugar, and rose petals) has the seemingly magical ability to noticeably improve my skin’s condition – yet, it does, every time. It’s hydrating, soothing and softening – and the best bit is
when you lick your lips and realise it’s as delicious as it sounds!
Coconut & Pear Lip Balm, £3.99, Burt’s Bees
I’ve been ‘oil pulling’ for some time now – swilling a spoon of coconut oil around the inside of the mouth every morning just seems to leave things healthier and feeling cleaner (coconut oil is, after all, naturally antibacterial). A hint of spearmint adds to the pleasure with an enlivening rush of minty freshness.
Bless Burt’s Bees for taking their passion for our busy little comrades to the next level by pledging to plant 5,000 bee-friendly wildflower seeds in partnership with the British Beekeepers Association for every person who purchases a Limited Edition Coconut & Pear Lip Balm, or uploads a #selflessselfie to Instagram – at last, some real
Here at ‘Psychologies’, we “ believe that how we feel is more important than how we look
FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
social media buzz!
Raw Coconut Mouth Rinse with Spearmint, £16, Sister & Co.
FOLLOW US #360me @eminerushton @psychologiesmagazine lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk
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You can get your life back Addiction therapist John McKeown, founder of Ibiza Calm residential rehabilitation centre, advises a distressed reader on how to help her mother, who is drinking too much
Addiction can have a devastating effect on your life, whether you are battling your own addiction or trying to cope with a loved one’s problem. A dependence on alcohol or prescription drugs, or an addiction to gambling or sex, and the psychological issues that come with it, can make you feel as if you will never find healing, strength or peace again. But, what if there was a path back to health and happiness?
Regain your freedom
John McKeown is clinical director at Ibiza Calm, a residential rehabilitation clinic that treats alcohol and drug addiction, and the psychological problems that they bring. He believes that, with help, it is possible to be happy, healthy and free again. McKeown trained in London as an addiction counsellor and clinical psychotherapist at Guy’s and St Thomas’s and King’s School of Medicine, and is registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy. He has worked in the addiction and mental health fields since 1987. McKeown was instrumental in setting up the first drug and alcohol rehabilitation projects in British prisons, and ran a private practice in London’s Harley Street, providing treatment for Premier League football players. He has also provided education programmes on addiction. In his new column, we’ve invited McKeown to be agony uncle to those affected by addiction.
My mother never drank when we were children but my dad died five years ago and now she drinks all the time, and on a few family occasions, she has started to slur her words. I’m really worried about her. If I ever say to her, ‘Mum, you’ve had enough,’ she gets defensive and angry. What’s the best way to approach this? Janet, 48
It seems that there are a few issues at play for your mother, and possible reasons why she may be drinking. Grief is a difficult process, and a lot of people turn to alcohol to ease the pain, as it suppresses the feelings and, I suspect, the loneliness. Sadly, it doesn’t take long to become reliant on it. There’s a fine line between abuse and dependency and the fact that your mother never drank earlier in her life does not mean that she cannot become an alcoholic now. Addiction is using a substance or behaviour despite negative consequences. Ask her about her pattern of drinking: how much, when and what. Has she tried to stop without success? Does she drink even when she has vowed not to? She might not realise how much she is drinking and how it’s worsening. As you may know, more than 14 units (one unit is a medium glass of wine) a week is harmful for the body and leads to organ damage and addiction, especially in the latter part of our lives. Do not buy the argument that ‘it’s all I have left to enjoy’, which is a common response from individuals with dependency. Suggest that she sees a counsellor who could help her with her grief and alcohol abuse. There are also support groups that you can contact. Offer to go with her and do not take no for an answer. cruse.org.uk; alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
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in partnership with Ibiza Calm
LEFT The retreat is housed in a rustic farmhouse, providing the perfect space to reflect and recover
BELOW In addition to therapy, yoga, nutrition and exercise are key elements to Ibiza Calm’s programme
“The property features beautifully styled bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a swimming pool, gym facilities, and expansive gardens that are ideal for relaxing under the Spanish sun”
Bespoke treatment Ibiza Calm is a unique rehabilitation clinic that fuses modern medical treatments with therapeutic expertise. Whether it’s for addiction or a related issue, Ibiza Calm’s team of health, wellness and medical professionals invite you to take part in a bespoke recovery
experience. To book your stay, call 020 3868 5710 or +34 97119 7010 (Ibiza), or visit ibizacalm.com. To watch our Editor, Suzy Greaves, interview John McKeown about how to tell if you’re an addict, visit lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk/ channels/670-addiction
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the kind mind
Healthily ever after What’s the secret to having a healthy lifestyle and finding happiness along the way? Ali Roff rounds up her year of committing to healthier living
PHOTOGRAPH: LAURA DOHERTY
Tune out that inner critic
I still have days when I feel ‘fat’ and my inner critic makes me feel awful all day. But, more recently, I also hear another small voice simultaneously saying, ‘you are beautiful just as you are’ – and I try my best to listen to it. I am finding it easier and easier to remind myself of the journey that I’m on, and to send myself love, rather than panic as I would have done in the past, while writing a list of foods that I mustn’t eat, as well as a ridiculous exercise regime I must follow in order to be skinny – all in an attempt to find some control. I’ve proven to myself that when I do indulge on holiday and feel uncomfortable in my own skin and clothes after I get home, all I have to do is focus on eating simple, delicious
Perfection doesn’t exist. “There is only ever the best
version of ourselves we can be
here is a Sanskrit word I love: santosha. It has no direct English translation, but it means ‘to practise contentment in accepting things the way that they are’; essentially, to find joy in the journey. I had already come a long way on my own healthy lifestyle journey when I started writing this column, but having written in detail about it over the past 12 months, I can see how much I have grown in that time, and equally, I can foresee that the journey doesn’t end here. From spending hours researching the psychological worlds of habits and willpower, to learning about my own and others’ values and the way our bodies and minds work, I now have some incredible practical tools for living a healthier life more easily, and I also have a new insight into the reasons why I, and others, want to do that; to feel better in our own bodies, and to live stronger, longer lives, (rather than simply to ‘be skinnier’, which had always been my starting point in the past). I now believe that being healthy means nourishment, not punishment, of body and mind.
unprocessed foods and enjoy some glorious exercise, and I’ll be back to feeling my best in no time. Just like the weeks, months or years it might take to be able to achieve a certain flexible pose in yoga, or the training involved in running a marathon, the miracle isn’t in the pose or the marathon itself, but every day spent moving towards your goal, and finding the joy within it. We know that if we commit to a healthy lifestyle, our bodies and minds will feel (and often look) better for it. But worrying, punishing, and hating ourselves daily until we reach ‘perfection’ isn’t a way to live a happy life. Perfection doesn’t exist. There is only ever the best version of ourselves that we can be. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t mean we never get to indulge or treat ourselves – the 80-20 rule works for me! It’s about having the faith within our own mindsets that we have the power to choose; to commit to the version of the consciously healthy lifestyle that we want, and to use that faith in our choices, to fuel our santosha. It’s about finding acceptance in who and where we are today, and always finding joy and miracle in the journey.
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creativity cure The
Psychologies Editor Suzy Greaves introduces scientist Daisy Fancourt, author of Arts In Health, who documents how the arts affect wellbeing – and how you can go about forging your own cultural revolution
y teenage son always rolls his eyes when I say that creativity saved my life. But it’s true. From writing short stories to get me through the storms of my childhood to learning how to create a new script to live my life by, creativity is one of my highest values and most treasured of skills and has helped me to heal both physically and mentally from life’s slings and arrows. But, sometimes, the idea of the healing power of creativity can sound too woo-woo for those who do not believe anything other than what has been backed up by a double-blind placebo trial. That’s why I love Daisy Fancourt’s new book, Arts In Health: Designing And Researching Interventions (Oxford University Press, £34.99), which explores the many and various studies showing that the arts do and can heal. ‘Given that there is so much evidence around the impact
of culture and community engagement on psychological, social and behavioural aspects of health, as well as a wealth of data showing the cost-effectiveness of creativity in health programmes, it is really important that people get a sense of how this works. The use of the arts in health can sound a bit fluffy, but the reality is that the programmes being developed are much more sophisticated than many appreciate,’ says Fancourt. ‘A lot of people out there use the arts because they find them fun and enjoyable, but I don’t think they realise that, if they’re feeling low or anxious, going to a gallery or a concert, or joining a book club, are all ways in which they can support their own health. If they knew this, they might be able to make more use of the resources that are already available around the UK.’ Here, Fancourt writes about how we can all find our unique creative cure… >>>
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It’s a wonderful work of art…
Going to a gallery, learning magic tricks and singing in a choir… creativity has the power to heal, says Daisy Fancourt
he job I have is very unusual. I’m a research scientist, working in a university health faculty, who looks at the impact of the arts on our lives. In my daily world, the creativity of culture collides with the rigour of medicine. I’ve been lucky enough to work in hospitals and witness, first-hand, the uplifting impact that arts programmes can have during some of the darkest moments of people’s lives. The first pieces of art ever found, dated by archeologists to around 40,000 years ago, appear to have been produced directly for use in healing and fertility rituals. So, far from being new, the marriage of the arts and health has ancient roots. Of course, even when something has a long history, scientists are trained to be cautious, but the data emerging from all over the world about the effect of the arts on our health is undeniable. For example, lullabies have been shown to help premature babies to gain weight. This might, on the surface, sound far-fetched. But, in fact, there are some intricate mechanisms at play. The relaxing effects of listening to music can help reduce stress in babies, including lowering levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol. The regular beats and calming repetitive patterns of lullabies can also slow down babies’ heart rates, so that they are less distressed in the alien environment of the intensive-care unit. This means that they can lie more calmly, expending fewer calories, and feed better, helping them to gain weight. Another wonderful example of the use of the arts in health, is practising magic tricks. This can help children with one-sided paralysis (common in cerebral palsy) to improve the use of their hands. For these youngsters,
intensive hand therapy is recommended, but it can be hard to engage them with repetitive exercises. So, the Magic Circle teamed up with clinicians in London to turn each exercise into a magic trick. Children with one-sided paralysis can now attend camps where they learn how to become young magicians. Not only is this programme just as effective as regular hand therapy, but it also has a transformative effect on the self-esteem of those who attend the lessons. A growing body of studies, involving tens of thousands of participants, shows that being engaged in artistic and cultural activities in our local community can reduce the chance of dying prematurely, even when other factors, such as socio-economic status and medical history, have been taken into account. One of the reasons for this effect is that creativity provides social support to individuals and reduces loneliness. Statistically, loneliness is as much of a risk factor for dying prematurely as smoking. Joining a creative circle gives us a social identity; we become part of something bigger and benefit from the solidarity, team spirit and morale we gain from the other members. This shared identity can help us to become more resilient in the face of challenges and support our wider health, even encouraging us to lead healthier lifestyles. But, in our fast-paced lives, taking part in cultural activities can become sidelined. We think that we’re too busy, and see creativity as a luxury that we envy in others who have the time for it. But research suggests that we have our priorities wrong. By making the time to take part in something creative, we can help ourselves to flourish and take care of our health.
engaged “inBeing artistic and
cultural activities in our local community can nearly halve the chance of dying prematurely
PHOTOGRAPHS: GALLERY STOCK
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Rediscover your artistic side
Do you want to make the most of the arts for your own physical and mental health? These simple steps will help you to become more creatively engaged …
Revisit your long-lost creative dream. Have you always wanted to be a photographer, write a novel or play the piano? Indulge your creative spirit. Sign up to a photography course. Challenge yourself to write three pages a day, so you get used to putting your thoughts on paper. Or set your alarm five minutes earlier and start each day with a short burst of piano practice.
Use the arts to connect with others.
have been lucky enough “toIwork in hospitals and witness, first-hand, the uplifting impact that arts programmes can have during some of the darkest moments of people’s lives
Join a local choir, book group or cinema club. Not only will you enjoy having regular time set aside away from daily stresses, but you will meet more people in your area and unlock those social benefits.
Explore your local cultural scene.
Check out what’s on at your local theatre
or film club, or look out for new museum exhibitions. Even if it’s not normally ‘your type of thing’, find a friend who’ll go with you and set aside one ‘cultural evening’ a month for a new experience.
Put your own creative skills to good use.
Do you have a talent for embroidery, dance or painting? Set up an informal group. If you’d like to start a project with a hospital, nursing home or community health centre, my new book has seven simple steps to beginning a targeted arts programme that will meet real healthcare needs. It also guides you through how to engage healthcare partners, find funding and follow important protocols when working in this field. For more about Daisy Fancourt’s Tenovus Cancer Care Sing With Us research project, go to psychologies. co.uk/health-benefits-singing
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START YOUR STORY TODAY
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ask the dr
How can I look after my teeth and gums?
PHOTOGRAPH: PETER DAZELEY/GETTY IMAGES
Each month, leading integrative health expert Dr Andrew Weil gives his definitive answer to a medical question
roblems with teeth and gums can have wide-ranging effects on the body. For example, low-grade inflammation associated with gum disease (gingivitis or, in its more severe form, periodontitis) may play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes and even some forms of cancer. Good oral hygiene contributes towards good overall health, starting with brushing twice a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, be gentle and don’t forget to clean your tongue, either by brushing it or using a tongue scraper. Bacteria that hide in the tongue’s crevices can contribute to tooth decay and bad breath. Electric toothbrushes may do a better job of removing plaque than manual brushes. Fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash can help prevent cavities and strengthen enamel. Fluoride is only toxic in large doses and is safe when used topically. I recommend using toothpaste that contains fluoride, as well as myrrh (a natural antibacterial) or chlorine dioxide (a germicide) – they can be found in health food shops and online. You should also floss at least once a day. Flossing helps to remove plaque and debris from between your teeth and under the gum line. People with gum disease might benefit from massaging a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into their gums once a day. Leave the paste on for a few minutes before rinsing. Small clinical trials suggest that taking coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) could also prevent gum inflammation. Liquid or chewable forms of vitamin C may erode enamel and
damage teeth. The best way to get rid of stains is to have teeth professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist, but rinsing your mouth with water after drinking tea, coffee, cola or wine can help keep teeth free of discolouration. Whitening agents work best if your teeth are yellowed. Some of these products can induce sensitivity, but it’s short-lived. Most people experience tooth sensitivity at some time in their lives under ordinary circumstances. If it persists, see your dentist to uncover and treat the underlying cause, such as the presence of a cavity. Sugary foods do contribute to tooth decay but you need not fear them – just don’t eat too much of them. Contact your dentist about any significant changes that you notice in your mouth, such as persistent pain, swelling, or if you detect a mass or an ulcer that won’t heal. Honey, molasses and maple syrup, my personal favourite, often stick to your teeth, so be thorough but gentle when brushing after enjoying them. Finally, see your dentist every six months so that any problems can be detected and corrected early. While you’re there, ask the dental hygienist to show you the best ways to brush and floss. drweil.com; @drweil
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Loco for coco Has our love of the tropical stuff gone too far? Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik fleshes out the story of our favourite drupe
PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKSY. *VALID UNTIL 31 AUGUST 2017
he world has gone coconut crazy. From its naturally that, ironically, protects against heart disease. It also contains medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are metabolised sweet water to the oil and creamy flesh, every part rapidly by the liver for instant energy, rather than being stored of it is eaten and it seems we cannot get enough as fat. One of these MCFAs is lauric acid that has antifungal – but what is the real deal when you crack the surface? and antimicrobial properties, which can support the gut Coconut can be consumed in various ways and its different microbiome and gut health. So, the moral is: don’t take parts have varying nutritional benefits. Firstly, there’s the ‘flesh’ or ‘meat’, which tends to be more abundant in a mature things on face, or as the case may be fat, value immediately. Nevertheless, that’s not to say we should be spooning in coconut, as opposed to the younger ones that generate extra or swigging back tons of coconut water. The meat is typically blended milk or oil, even the water is with the water to create coconut milk l MILK – DIY this at My pretty high in natural sugar and, depending on the number of psychologies.co.uk/ coconut content, but it’s like everything times it’s strained, can have a thicker wellness with my recipe, hits when it comes to food – a little or thinner consistency. The meat and or try delicious rice-blend overall and as part of a diverse milk provide good sources of iron, PLENISH coconut m*lk (sainsburys. and inclusive approach to diet. selenium, magnesium, phosphorus co.uk). Psychologies readers get 10 per Coconut has been a mainstay and potassium, as well as a bank cent off all orders, plus a free coconut in Eastern cuisine and, when you of B vitamins, fibre and healthy m*lk, at plenishcleanse.com by using the look at how it has been consumed saturated fats. These nutrients code PSYCHOLOGIES10 at the checkout.* in these cultures – as the base help to support energy levels and of a fragrant soup or curry with l BUTTER – An awesome alternative nourish the lining of the gut. its milk, oil to heat, or water to to nut butters. Check out Biona Organic However, it is the high saturated rehydrate – let’s remind ourselves Coconut Butter (ocado.com). fat content that has made coconut oil that we can continue to enjoy somewhat controversial with regards l KEFIR – The milk can be fermented into its taste and health benefits, to cholesterol. The point is that kefir, which supports the gut. I love Rhythm mindfully and delightedly. coconut oil increases HDL, which Health’s range (rhythmhealth.co.uk). evekalinik.com; @evekalinik is the ‘good’ type of cholesterol and
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Found in the Lost City The ancient ruin of an abandoned outpost was not the only spiritual treasure to reveal itself on Lydia Bellâ€™s 30-mile trek through the unforgiving Columbian jungle PHOTOGRAPHS RAMA KNIGHT
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hen I was commissioned to trek into the Colombian jungle to reach an ancient abandoned city, I jumped at the chance. What could be more romantic than a solitary contemplative odyssey into a mystical mountain territory? I would emerge from the jungle fighting fit and imbued with new wisdom, any issues troubling my life resolved. The destination was Ciudad Perdida, which means the ‘Lost City’, a settlement that was deserted after the time of the Spanish conquest and only re-emerged from the undergrowth in the 1970s. Deep in the heart of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, it is only accessible on foot or by mule, on one of Colombia’s most thrilling hikes. ‘A magical constellation of 170 stone terraces, structures and stairways; Colombia’s answer to Macchu Picchu,’ I was informed. ‘Ciudad Perdida cascades off a 1,300m ridge in the upper Río Buritaca valley.’ I was sold, even though I’d heard the hike was >>>
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>>> tough and the conditions basic. However, on arrival at the
travel company’s headquarters in the coastal city of Santa Marta early on the morning of departure, it became apparent that my vision of being alone – with only a guide and my friend Rama who was taking the pictures – was a delusion. The room was heaving with backpackers and a flurry of gear. I had flashbacks to enforced group-travel trips in my youth. Most people here were in their 20s and looked extremely fit. In fitness and age terms, I was a very average 40. We were squeezed into a minibus for the 90-minute drive into the foothills (three hours as it turned out, as we had to wait for a broken bridge to be fixed), during which time I sulked inwardly. The walk kicked off in a village called El Mamey, where a series of restaurants feeds hikers both leaving and arriving. While we were eating lunch, one group of ‘finishers’ straggled in. For each one, a cheer went up as we watched, bemused. Then off we trotted, fresh faced and clean, while returnees traipsed past us, sunburned, bitten, with glazed expressions, and the occasional passerby muttering: ‘Good luck!’ in what I felt were grim tones.
‘Green hell’ full of gold
– the Kogi, descended from the Tayrona – are gaining a livelihood from backpacker tourism. You must travel with a guide in a small group for the four- to six-day hike to the ruins and back. (The six-day hike is not longer, you simply walk in a more leisurely fashion; we did the hike in four days.) Over those four days, we only walked about 30 miles, but in very challenging conditions – massive humidity, relentless hills, persistent mosquitoes, burning sun and nights in hammocks.
A shock to the system
The first day was indeed an endurance test. After we left El Mamey, we trudged uphill in the burning sun for what felt like an interminable period (too long for one woman who stormed off back down the hill, and appeared later grimacing astride a mule). Then, the jungle thickened around us and the path sloped downwards. At the moment I breathed a sigh of relief, the heavens opened, turning the path into a river of sludge. We were sliding around, constantly losing our foothold and for the last half hour, we walked in the dark. I felt the day would never end. Finally we arrived at the campamento, and were greeted with rows of mosquito-net-strung hammocks in an open-sided shed. I queued for the bathroom, then climbed into one. As I lay awake all night, and felt the elbow of a Russian walking companion poking into my calf, I realised that this was going to be less spiritual awakening, more an endurance test I would have to grit my teeth to get through. At five o’clock, in the dark, our guide came calling: ‘Buenas dias, chicos. Vamonos.’ I peeled my cold, wet clothes from the washing line and we trudged out of the camp, our crocodile quickly elongated into disparate groups as the competitive raced ahead. The first day was the worst, because it was a surprise. Over the following days, we dealt with pernicious mosquitoes, breath-devouring uphill slogs and punishing sun, with nights spent bundled together with fellow walkers at trestle tables >>>
“By the 1970s, the city had been discovered by local guaqueros – grave robbers – who began fighting over the booty”
The tale of the Lost City is a sad one. Before Christopher Columbus changed the face of Latin America irrevocably, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta was a flourishing hive of indigenous life, the focus of an advanced culture with an architecture based on sophisticated engineering knowledge. From about the 5th century AD, the kings among the native communities were the Tayrona people. Their heartland was these northern reaches of the Sierra Nevada and here, they built many villages and towns. Ciudad Perdida was probably their capital, but there are about 300 others lost under dense vegetation. The Spanish encountered the Tayrona here in about 1499, and were taken aback by the intricacy of their gold work – and of their culture. But the incursion of the Spanish sounded its death knell. Less than 100 years after the Spanish intruded into the Sierra, 75 per cent of Tayrona had been wiped from its face. Those that remained fled higher, towards the peaks, and Ciudad Perdida was abandoned, swallowed up by jungle. By the 1970s, the city had been discovered by local guaqueros – grave robbers – who began fighting over the booty. They called the Lost City ‘el infierno verde’ – the ‘green hell’. Spats evolved into violence and to stem casualties, the government sent in troops in 1976. Awe-inspired archaeologists followed hot on their heels. At least the local people who now occupy these mountains
PREVIOUS PAGE The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is an isolated mountain range in the Colombian Caribbean. Peaking 5,700m, it is one of the world’s highest coastal ranges OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT A Kogi village deep in the mountains; late arrivees at the camps sleep in hammocks; the sun-dappled path that leads to the Ciudad Perdida is trickier to navigate than it looks; the Kogi shaman and his young son
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>>> eating Colombian ‘country’ food. Luckily, I didn’t have to sleep
in a hammock again as I was able to get a bunk in an open shed. The Sierra Nevada are the world of the Kogis. Soon after leaving La Mamey, the clang and clamour of 21st century Latin American life receded. Signs of human habitation petered out, and nature became all enveloping. The only village we passed was a Kogi one, with pointed thatched roofs from which thin plumes of smoke emerged. Skinny-limbed children in white tunics appeared on the path. Kogi men passed with their mules along the way, bringing in supplies for the camps, driving the animals with constant shouts of ‘Mulaaaaaa!’ A diffident people, they were clearly ambivalent about the presence of tourists on this sacred route, our proximity probably a reminder of what was lost when this place engaged with the outside world. On the day we reached Ciudad Perdida, slogging up 1,260 mossy, slippery, rock steps to get to the first terrace, its beauty did not disappoint. The top deck occupies a high, bright plateau that looks down on the dazzling emerald jungle. There were a few impossibly youthful Colombian soldiers guarding the summit (a British tourist was kidnapped here in 2003 when the area was still guerilla-infested). Then we were brought to another terrace to meet the shaman, the spiritual guardian of the place. We found him next to his thatched hut, his young son standing by his side, quietly munching on coca leaves – they cut them with a roasted seashell powder to activate the ingredients, chewing them for up to half an hour to produce a high believed to impart spiritual knowledge and insight.
Buritaca that we waded through every day. I was grateful for the walking stick someone had left behind in the hotel in Santa Marta, for the showers of tepid water streaming weakly from a tube, and for any stretch of flat earth. I was very thankful for my good-natured friend, Rama, who waited for me, brought me drinks, handed me food to eat and never complained or put himself first. I was grateful for other small acts of kindness, too – an American girl’s clean, dry yoga bra; a German medical student’s administration of antihistamine pills when I broke out in a hideous rash caused by excess sunscreen and toxic insect repellent. Despite walking and sleeping in a group, there were many moments of aloneness. At those times, I was in awe of the soft earth supporting my feet, the sunlight pouring through the canopy, the gentle, healing breeze on my hot skin, and the epic, spiritual greenness enveloping me, sometimes breaking out into big blue skies traced with expressive clouds. Walking had its meditative rhythm. Forget thinking about the answers to vexed questions. Somehow there was no space for that whirring of the mind. This was a sure-fire way to do that thing we are always told to do – just be. On the final day, I was the last to arrive in the restaurant back in El Mamey, the same one that we started in. I walked inside – well, more of a stagger as, by this point, my feet ached and I had blisters the size of £2 coins. Led by Rama, everyone cheered – aged 38 and with something to prove, he had raced off that morning, desperate to pip the 20-something Germans to the post. He bounded up to me and gave me a huge hug, and I surprised myself by having to hold back the tears. I was just so ridiculously relieved to not be walking any more. I had earned that moment – and I was profoundly grateful.
“Forget thinking about the answers to vexed questions. This was a sure-fire way to do that thing that we are always told to do – just be”
Bad news and gratitude
We were asked to pose questions. Some asked about the Kogi way of life, but one person asked the shaman what he thought of the modern world and whether he felt we were destroying the planet. ‘Mother Earth is tired,’ he said quietly, chewing. ‘We’ve got 100 years left.’ On that bombshell, we were told it was time to plough on, back to the camp for lunch. As I lumbered back down the slippery staircase, my knees turning to jelly, I reflected that the raison d’être of this journey was not what I had expected. The solitude I imagined never panned out. But the trek would have been worth it even if I had not had the Lost City as a focus, despite – or perhaps because of – its challenges. This had been an experience teaching me, very precisely, gratitude. I felt grateful for a bed, not a hammock, for the wasp-covered fruit handed out on pit stops in the jungle, for the icy Gatorade to drink and the bone-cold water of the Río
Amakuna offers a seven-night ‘Trek to the Lost City’ holiday from £1,890 per person. This includes two nights bed and breakfast in the colonial city Santa Marta, the departure point for the trek, three nights full board on the Lost City trek, and two nights full board by the beach in Tayrona National Park. The price includes all domestic flights, guides, transfers and most meals, based on two people sharing. Direct international flights with Avianca start from £600 per person return. For more information, contact Amakuna on 020 7193 7582; amakuna.com. For more information about Colombia, visit colombia.travel/en
OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT The high green terraces of the Ciudad Perdida; horses and mules carry all food and camp supplies for the walk in and out of the Sierra; the trek to the ruin involves crossing and recrossing the Río Buritaca, while bathing in the river’s cool waters at the end of a day is a delicious treat; one of the Kogi guides on the four-day hike to the mysterious Lost City
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Wander with wonder the wisdom “weOften search for is right in front of us, literally under our noses looking back at us. But we are too busy to see it
treet Wisdom is a not-for-profit social enterprise, now in 30 countries and counting. Based on the simple – but powerful – proposition that the environment and people around us are full of wisdom we largely ignore. A three-hour guided immersive urban walk, using a mix of psychology, mindfulness and cognitive science, will teach you how to use the city streets to find fresh answers to important life questions. It’s compelling, simple and free. Founded by bestselling author, speaker and business innovator David Pearl, Street Wisdom has become a global phenomenon, bringing people life-changing results. The movement is run by volunteers, affectionately known as Street Wizards. By following a simple guide, they learn how to read
the streets, set up a Street Wisdom event in their city or town – and pass on their skills. In this accessible way, Street Wisdom wants to bring inspiration to every street on the planet, in the hope that, once we have all learned how to slow down and find the answers to the questions on our own doorsteps, the earth will be
Join us! a happier, healthier place for everyone. This autumn, we want to go really ‘global’ and stage the inaugural Street Wisdom World Wide Wander with the help of Psychologies readers. The more people we involve, the more positive energy it will create, and we will feel like we are part of something bigger, together. Join us on either 8, 9, or 10 September 2017 – where you will be able to attend an existing Street Wisdom session or run your own. It’s for everyone – any time, any place, anywhere. All you require is a street! We’ll supply everything you need to help get you up and running – or should we say wandering? To register your interest and find out more details, see streetwisdom.org/world-wide-wander-Sept17; @street_wisdom; @davidpearlhere
The world is an increasingly confusing and chaotic place in which to live, and sometimes it can be hard to find clarity. Let’s get together for the Street Wisdom global event coming to a street near you…
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096_PSY_SEPStreet wisdom.indd 106
The Retreat p108 The Words Celebrating the unputdownable novel / p112 Living Go for the modern retro look / p120 Feasting Be inspired by our Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik’s new cookbook
Keep knocking and the joy “inside will eventually open
a window and look out to see who’s there
PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY OF SAINSBURY’S HOME. DUCK EGG HERRINGBONE THROW, £15; GEO GLASS VASE, £10; MUG, £3.50; TABLE, £25; PRINTED CIRCLE CUSHION, 50 X 50CM, £14; ZIGZAG CREWEL CUSHION, £12, ALL ETHEREAL RANGE, SAINSBURY'S HOME. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
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How to write a novel
Pause, reflect and start anew
So, how’s the novel coming along? If the answer is ‘it’s not’, don’t panic. Award-winning novelist Lucy Atkins explains why taking a step back can help
he creative world is littered with half-written, stalled or abandoned novels, some of which would be works of genius if only the writer had actually finished. But how do you finish when your plot flatlines, your characters refuse to come alive and you are overcome with a self-doubt so profound that you feel the whole endeavour is pointless? The first thing to know is that every writer goes through this. I’m not really sure exactly what makes us continue; it might be grit, or bloody-mindedness. For me, it was that, plus a slightly hysterical feeling that this was what I was born to do.
the benefit of that break I found that I could see what was wrong. I did a complete rewrite and The Missing One eventually sold. Now, I’m not saying you should take a year’s break when your writing feels a bit hard going. But stepping away when it feels flat, rubbish and stale can be valuable. It is incredibly tempting to rush to the finish because you can’t wait to get published. But this, in fact, is the quickest way to not get published. Good novels take time and some of this time may feel ‘unproductive’. If you think you are catastrophically stalling, it might be valuable to refresh your skills with a creative writing course, or join a local writing group for some honest feedback (friends and family will never tell you the truth, despite what they promise). Or you may need to fully step away, recharge, and do something different for a month or so. Don’t beat yourself up about a break, but do be disciplined and make yourself come back. When you’re back, be prepared to radically change things, slash and burn, or completely rewrite if it will be better that way. Your book may feel calamitous right now. It might well be dire. But a dire phase isn’t the end, it’s part of the process. And if you can navigate your way through it, you’ll find yourself in a far more rich and interesting place.
It is “incredibly
tempting to rush to the finish
I abandoned two novels before I was published. And I came very close to abandoning the one that was published, too. As I pressed on with it, I had a growing sense that I was writing on the surface, forming lovely sentences without truly inhabiting this strange new world. I brushed that gut feeling aside, ‘finished’ the book, and showed it to a literary agent. She liked the style, setting and concept, but not the book itself, and asked if I’d consider writing something new. At that point, I totally hit the wall. I abandoned novel writing completely, moved to Boston, and wrote another non-fiction book. This was epic quitting and I was miserable. After many months, I crept back to my shameful, abandoned novel. With
Lucy Atkins is author of ‘The Night Visitor’ (Quercus, £14.99), out now. lucyatkins.com; @lucyatkins
Book of the month
MY ABSOLUTE DARLING By Gabriel Tallent (4th Estate, £12.99)
Damaged 14-year-old Turtle is resourceful, fearless and resilient; qualities that she needs to survive life with her charismatic but abusive father Martin, who believes that the apocalypse is on the horizon. Sequestered away on the North Californian coast, in a bare-to-the-bones house, Turtle can strip a gun, cruelly reduce a classmate to tears and navigate the beautiful, bountiful nature on her wanderings around the woodlands and tidal pools. But when she meets Jacob, a sweet, sunny neighbour, she begins to fully realise the desperate wrongness of her situation, and plots her escape in this fierce, insightful and gorgeously written debut. Outstanding.
LOST IN TRANSLATION
Language: Japanese Meaning: An escape from your everyday routine
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There’s something wonderful about an irresistible page-turner; the kind of book you just can’t put down, that makes you miss your stop on the train, or stay up way too late for just one more chapter…
Cat Eye sunglasses, £12, Next
When faced with loss or grief, write to propel yourself into the future. Create a journal entry 365 days from today’s date. How will you feel on the other side of your grief in a year’s time? Imagine the changes you desire have transformed your life.
EDITED BY ALI ROFF. MAIN REVIEWS: EITHNE FARRY. PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKSY. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Jackee Holder is an author, coach and facilitator. jackeeholder.com; @jackeeholder
This is the trouble with history. You can’t see what’s not there. You can look at an empty space and see that something’s missing, but there’s no way to know what it was NAOMI ALDERMAN, THE POWER
What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky By Lesley Nneka Arimah (Tinder Press, £16.99) This dazzling trilogy of sly, subversive stories, set in Nigeria and America, features headstrong, complicated and contrary heroines. Whether in warring relationships with parents and siblings (Wild), living in the future where flying is possible (What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky) or mythical goddesses dealing with rivalrous gods (What Is A Volcano?), the heroines are tenacious and ready to do battle with an unpredictable world.
The Watch House By Bernie McGill (Tinder Press, £14.99) Set at the end of the 19th century, Nuala Byrne is living on the isolated Irish island of Rathlin. Her family has emigrated and she’s left behind in her haunted, storm-battered home. Unsure of her future, she marries a much older man for security. But when wireless telegraphy engineer Gabriel arrives, a wider world opens up as Nuala acquires new skills and knowledge, and finds her emotional world turned upside down in this brilliantly foreboding tale of love, loss and ghosts.
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WORD OF THE MONTH
Language: English. Meaning: Someone who reads in bed
Want to write a novel?
Here’s your opportunity to have your psychological thriller published as an ebook with Quercus
Have you always wanted to be an author? Do you have a novel languishing in your beside drawer? This is your chance! Quercus, publisher of the international bestseller The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, has teamed up with Psychologies to find a gripping new original thriller to publish as an ebook. The winner will receive a publishing contract with Quercus and representation by the agency David Higham Associates. The competition will be judged by a panel of experts, including Editor of Psychologies Suzy Greaves, Lizzy Kremer
from David Higham Associates (agent to Paula Hawkins of The Girl On The Train fame), Quercus editors Stefanie Bierwerth and Cassie Browne, and authors Lucy Atkins and Elizabeth Heathcote. To enter, you must submit, by post, the first 5,000 words of your novel, alongside a 1,000-word synopsis. You must also include a completed competition coupon (below). Please submit your entry as a word-processed document, doublespaced with a font size of at least 11 point. For more information, visit crimefiles. co.uk/ebookcompetition
Complete this form and attach it to your typed document, which should include the first 5,000 words of your novel, plus a 1,000-word synopsis. Send your entries to: Psychologies Writing Competition, Quercus, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DZ. Closing date for entries is 6 October 2017.
TITLE OF YOUR BOOK.............................................................................................................................................................. NAME........................................................................ ADDRESS.................................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................................................................................................................... POSTCODE............................................. EMAIL ADDRESS...................................................................................................................
By Fiona Melrose (Corsair, £16.99) Fiona Melrose’s delicate yet devastating second novel is an homage to Virginia’s Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway. It’s set in South Africa on a single day, 5 December 2013, the date of Nelson Mandela’s death. Gin, a brittle, anxious artist has flown home from New York to throw a party for her difficult mother, 80-year-old Neve. During her visit, she must also negotiate the plight of a local homeless man who is fighting for justice. Melrose beautifully captures the simmering, shimmering city and the vivid characters that walk its tense streets.
Stories are compasses and architecture, we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and our prisons out of them...
Mora Flora stationery, from £6, Paperchase
REBECCA SOLNIT, THE FARAWAY NEARBY
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Next month in
Are you ready to change your life?
Permission granted to chase your dreams!
It’s never too late
Why learning new things as an adult is so rewarding
‘I have to get it right!’
ILLUSTRATION: GETTY IMAGES
How overcoming perfectionism can bring happiness
It’s time for an adventure
Escape with our active travel special
Don’t miss the OCTOBER issue – on sale 8 September
Not everything has to match, but a common colour scheme can help pull together different elements. This dining room has an earthy quality and everything is linked with the warm brown, russet and orange hues
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MODERN RETRO Choose your decade and be inspired by its iconic elements to bring a touch of nostalgia and character to a contemporary setting EDITED BY LUCYINA MOODIE PHOTOGRAPHS LAUREN BAMFORD
Hunt down vintage or quirky one-off pieces that add flair when placed next to basic, flat-packed or budget furnishings
This squishy sofa is a reissue of a classic ’60s design. It’s layered up with sheepskins, folk art rugs and kilim-style cushions to maximise the hippy vibe
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hether it’s the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s or ’80s, the book Modern Retro Home by Jason Grant (Hardie Grant, £25) is all about being inspired by iconic design decades and styles. It looks at weaving colour palettes, architecture, furnishings and decorative touches into a contemporary setting for today. ‘There are no hard and fast rules,’ Grant explains. ‘There will be times when you decide to overhaul your whole look; other times it might be the tiniest of changes, such as moving furniture around or adding a new rug.’ Grant says, ‘It’s fun to see how people put together both the necessities of daily living and treasures that they love. Decorating your home is personal and should reflect who you are, and how you like to live. I’m a fan of relaxed, laid-back comfortable homes – I like things to be lived in and eclectic.’
The kitchen can be so much more than just a practical space; white walls make the perfect backdrop for key pieces of art that add a splash of colour to the retro cupboards and flooring
All the natural materials and soft, subtle colours in this serene bedroom echo the leafy view of nature beyond
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the retreat Tom Tailor cozy kilim rug, £109, Modern Rugs
Blue and amber stoneware jar, £237, iDecorate
Rope pendant, £80, Abigail Ahern at Debenhams
Xavier Pauchard Tolix-style stool, £45, Cult Furniture
Rhonda round dining table in oiled oak, £695, Cuckooland Recycled bottle vase, £45, Abode Living
Juniper white bucket chair, £375, House of Fraser
Create your own The ‘modern retro home’ is a blend of old and new, practical and personal. The style references elements of classic design eras, while also letting your personality shine through. No matter the size of your budget or living space, whether your belongings are sourced from eBay and junk shops or high-end vintage stores, the tips in this book will inspire you and can be applied to create your own unique style.
Dallas three-seater sofa in outback tan, £1,399, Made
Bone inlay lotus flower stool, £293, Sweetpea & Willow Faux fur cushion, £17, Sainsbury’s Home
Black and white printed cushion, £8.99, H&M Home
READER OFFER Psychologies readers can buy Modern Retro Home for the special price of £20, including p&p (RRP £25), by calling 01256 302699 and quoting reference MG4.
FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Artificial green amaranthus, £25.95, MiaFleur
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ABOVE A domed sun hive in the Weleda garden; but friendly bees are not the only venomous visitors at this time of year RIGHT The Weleda gardeners will harvest nettles for insect bite spray
“Innocuous-looking aconite may be a toxic foe in its raw state, but it ’s a friend in homeopathic healing”
Sting in the tail
At summer’s pinnacle in sultry August, the Weleda gardeners are harvesting the annual nettles that, paradoxically, soothe insect bites when used medicinally – and Kentish allotmenteer Paul Rushton reflects on nature’s potential hazards
other Nature loves symbols – and I love all that is symbolised by growing a garden of fruit and vegetables and healing, nourishing, herbs, flowers and plants of efficacy: the nurture and investment, the freedom and self-reliance. It brings gardeners control over their family’s herbal healing, and the food that we put on the table every evening. We support our plants with pea sticks, beanpoles, canes and care at our little allotment in Kent. In the Weleda gardens, the many subtle biodynamic forces are balanced and
painstakingly administered to, in support of the plants and soil; and, in turn, we are supported by them: symbolism and symbiosis.
Growing, however, is not all blooms, butterflies, bounty and benevolent bees. There are also barbs, and plants that pack a sting, or even poison. At this time of year, for all the flutter-bys and pretty dragonflies; the wasps, horseflies, ants and midges are also drawn to the garden. Gloves prove their mettle against the nettles and prongs of blackthorn, hawthorn, Scotch thistle
and milk thistle, the seeds of which will be hard won later; perilously winnowed from the fearsome seed heads collected and dried in the autumn. August, the height of summer, heralds Weleda’s urtica urens harvest, the annual or small nettle used to produce their insect bite spray. Nature has a great sense of timing. The tradition of using nettles in Western herbalism has endured, and it remains highly valued in natural medicine as a treatment for skin rashes and itchy conditions such as prickly heat. The biodynamic nettle extract is combined with anti-inflammatory organic arnica
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the retreat living well
In partnership with Weleda LEFT Poisonous henbane is in the nightshade family RIGHT Vibrant Scotch thistle
extract to tackle the painful irritation of insect bites and stings. Nutrient-rich stinging nettles improve the health of the garden in various ways, including as a nourishing component in compost, or infused in rainwater as a green manure or fertiliser. Nettle roots break up the soil beautifully and the plant entices butterflies, the tortoiseshell in particular, for whom it is a favourite food source, and a rendezvous point.
PHOTOGRAPHS: WELEDA; ISTOCK
Hurt and heal
That which is peril or poison on the one hand can be remedy on the other. Plants such as rhus tox, or poison ivy, ruta, aconite, henbane and belladonna can be irritating and venomous in their raw state, but are well used in homeopathic healing. Belladonna, also called deadly nightshade, and a relative of those other nightshades – the spuds, tomatoes and
“ LEFT Thorny milk thistle has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Do not blame the thistle that you see no beauty
JONATHAN LOCKWOOD HUIE
Product of the month
Gloves prove their mettle against nettles and prongs of blackthorn, hawthorn and Scotch thistle
RIGHT Poison ivy, that ‘villain’ of the garden
The annual nettle makes short work of soothing itchy insect bites peppers we are pulling from our veggie plots – is thought to be the poison that gave Shakespeare’s Juliet her death-like appearance. In Renaissance Italy, it was an instrument of seduction, dropped into ladies’ eyes to dilate the pupils, which gained its other name, ‘beautiful woman’. The inky, swollen berries have proved seductive as well as fatal. Belladonna is explosive, both in its vigorous growth and the feverish intensity of its poison – yet, conversely, this hints at the symptoms it can be effective in treating homeopathically; its love of shade is also interesting, as it’s sometimes prescribed for conditions in which there is sensitivity to light, or for symptoms worsened by the sun. We must take the rough with the smooth as we become familiar with the complexities of Mother Nature, who grows even more mysterious with each season, and miraculous. weleda.co.uk
‘With urtica urens and arnica, the all-natural Weleda Insect Bites Spray, £6.25, takes the sting out of a sting in moments. I give it a gentle shake, then spray directly onto the area, letting it air dry. It’s great for reducing swelling and soothing tots bitten by mozzies. It’s a must-remember travel companion.’ Eminé Rushton @eminerushton
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Good enough to eat Psychologies Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik has written the ultimate guide to gut health with recipes for body and mind in her new book, Be Good To Your Gut WORDS AND RECIPES EVE KALINIK PHOTOGRAPHS NASSIMA ROTHACKER
here is nothing more fulfilling than enjoying a plate of good, honest, delicious food with great company and a drop of natural red wine on the side. I’m passionate about how eating well can make such a big difference to our health and wellbeing. We’re only beginning to gain some understanding of the true complexity of the gut and why it is of such paramount importance in our overall health. That vital, underpinning role kind of makes sense, given that there are more bacteria than human cells in the body. Recent figures put it at a 1.5:1 ratio, and when you consider that most of these bacteria reside in the gut, it provides more than a little food for thought. That’s why I wrote this book: to help you reconnect with your gut and all that it can do for your health, and to empower you to be able to make the necessary changes, as I once did.
MARGARITA CAULI PIZZA
I created this for a vegan friend of mine who was diagnosed coeliac and desperately missed pizza. Entirely unimpressed by a lot of the gluten-free versions, I’m happy to report that she gave this recipe a resounding thumbs-up.
SERVES 4 l
½ medium-large cauliflower, cut roughly into florets
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
50g ground almonds
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp mineral-rich salt
FOR THE CASHEW CHEESE l
65g cashews, soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
Generous pinch of mineral-rich salt
Juice of ½ lemon
120ml filtered water
FOR THE TOPPING l
1 tbsp ghee or organic unsalted butter
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
10-12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Basil leaves, roughly torn
1 Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F) gas mark 6 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine rice-like texture. 2 In a large bowl, mix the ground flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of filtered water to get a sticky texture. Add the almonds, dried oregano, garlic powder and salt, along with the cauliflower, and use your hands to mix together and create a ‘dough’. Spread this on the baking sheet to form a circle that is about 5mm thick and place in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool and crisp. 3 To make the cashew cheese, put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a smoothish texture. 4 For the topping, heat the ghee or butter in a frying pan and sauté the onion until soft. Add the tomatoes, then the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the basil leaves. To assemble, spread the cashew cheese over the pizza base, then add the tomato topping. Finish with >>> a generous pinch of mineral-rich salt. S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 121
This taco recipe was inspired by my vegan friend who’s obsessed with Mexican food but wanted an alternative to beef tacos. To create the ‘mince’, I’ve used walnuts with sun-dried tomatoes and spices. Walnuts are one of the best sources of polyphenols, and it’s good to be mindful of your meat consumption in general. This is a great light lunch, and I often double or treble the quantities to entertain friends and family.
8 small romaine lettuce leaves
1 avocado, cut into 8 slices
Fresh limes, cut into wedges
FOR THE CASHEW SOUR CREAM l
30g cashews, soaked for 2 hours
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of mineral-rich salt
50ml filtered water
FOR THE TACO FILLING l
40g sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained weight)
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes (I like chipotle best)
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp garlic powder
Pinch of mineral-rich salt
1 For the cashew cream, drain the nuts and rinse well. Put all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and place in the fridge. 2 To make the taco filling, place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until they have a texture resembling minced meat. 3 Wash the lettuce leaves and pat dry. Divide the avocado slices and the taco mix among the lettuce leaves and drizzle with the cashew cream. Serve with fresh lime wedges.
READER OFFER Psychologies readers can purchase Be Good To Your Gut (Little, Brown, £20) for the special price of £15* including p&p. To order, call 01903 828503 and quote reference PIA 208.
OFFER VALID FROM 1 AUGUST TO 31 DECEMBER 2017, SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY
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BEETROOT AND GOAT’S CHEESE STACKS WITH HEMP PESTO AND BUTTERBEAN MASH Unpasteurised goat’s cheese is packed with natural probiotics; it goes beautifully with the sweet taste of beetroot, which is a great source of fibre and antioxidants that support the beneficial bacteria in the gut. SERVES 2 (WITH EXTRA PESTO)
½ tsp onion powder (or 1 finely chopped spring onion)
2 medium beetroots
50g unpasteurised soft goat’s
4 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
cheese, cut into thin slices
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Herbs, to garnish
Pinch of mineral-rich salt
FOR THE HEMP PESTO l
65g cashews, soaked for 2 hours
Handful of fresh basil leaves
25g shelled hemp seeds
50ml extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
Pinch of mineral-rich salt and black pepper
FOR THE BUTTERBEAN MASH l
150g cooked butterbeans
¼ tsp garlic powder (or ¼ clove fresh garlic)
1 Wash the beetroot and place in a steamer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until cooked through. Remove from the heat, leave to cool slightly, then peel away the skin. Slice into 1cm slices (each beetroot should make around six slices) and put to one side. 2 While the beetroot is cooking, make the pesto and mash. Drain the soaked nuts and rinse with filtered water, then place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until
blended but not too smooth. Put into a sealable glass or ceramic container. Rinse the processor. 3 To make the butterbean mash, put all the ingredients in the food processor and blend until you have a mash-like texture. 4 To assemble, start with a beetroot slice, add a thin slice of goat’s cheese and a generous teaspoon of pesto; stack another beetroot slice on top and repeat the process, finishing with a slice of beetroot. There you have your stack. Repeat this process to make more stacks. Serve a generous dollop of the butterbean mash alongside. Finish each stack with a drizzle of olive oil and garnish with fresh herbs.
the retreat Banish cooking odours in the kitchen. Francis and Tabitha scented candles, from £9 each, Prude
Are you queen bee? Placemat, £12.50 for two, Marks & Spencer
Add colour. Matthew Williamson measuring spoons, £12, Debenhams
Cute and quirky. Salt and pepper lovers, £5.99, Prezzybox
Cook your loved one breakfast. Heart frying pan, £3.99, Find Me A Gift
Keep your fruit fresh. LSA fruit salad bowl, £70, Black By Design
Here’s to health As Psychologies Nutrition Editor, Eve Kalinik has written informative, inspiring columns on how everything, from beer and wine to chocolate and cheese, makes up part of a healthy, balanced diet – it’s all down to being informed about your food choices. Eating healthily doesn’t have to cost the earth if you plan ahead; take a look at the Food and Wellness channels on psychologies.co.uk for inspiration from Eve’s wide range of articles and start to think differently about food.
Fill your cupboards with these good-for-you choices
1 UniqueItalia Courgetti Nests, £1.75, Sainsbury’s 2 Tenzing Natural Energy drink, £1.49, Tesco 3 Emily Veg Crisps: Crunchy French Bean, Sugar Snap Peas and Black Edamame, from £1.19, Ocado 4 Belazu Zhoug spice paste, £3.99, Ocado 5 Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Boost Ball, £1.79, BoostBall
Amy Taylor blogs at iprefercooking. co.uk, where she shares simple, straightforward recipes and ideas to prove that cooking and eating healthy food shouldn’t be expensive or difficult. In fact, all the recipes on her blog cost under £1.50 per plate. Find inspirational ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and sides, such as Strawberry Breakfast Thins, Tortilla Calzone, Cauliflower Burger Buns and Vanilla Protein Balls.
PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKSY. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Drizzle olive oil over everything! LSA oil/vinegar bottle, £27, Black By Design
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Find out where to buy the products featured in this month’s issue
Abode Living abodeliving.co.uk Amara amara.com
H&M Home hm.com House of Fraser houseoffraser.co.uk
B Black By Design black-by-design.co.uk BoostBall boostball.com Born Nouli bornnouli.com Bramley bramleyproducts.co.uk Burt’s Bees burtsbees.co.uk
C Clean Beauty Co cleanbeautyco.com Cuckooland cuckooland.com Cult Furniture cultfurniture.com
D Debenhams debenhams.com
E Earth TU aeviwellness.com
F Find Me A Gift findmeagift.co.uk
G Goldfaden MD cultbeauty.co.uk
I iDecorate idecorateshop.com Indie Art & Design indie.com.au Inika lovelula.com Inlight Beauty inlightbeauty.co.uk
L Lisa Todd Designs lisatodddesigns.com
M M&Co mandco.com Made made.com Marks & Spencer marksandspencer.com MiaFleur miafleur.com Modern Rugs modern-rugs.co.uk
Pai paiskincare.com Paperchase paperchase.co.uk Planet Organic planetorganic.com Prezzybox prezzybox.com Prude prudecandles.co.uk
Ocado ocado.com Oskia Skincare oskiaskincare.com
Red Candy redcandy.co.uk
S Sainsbury’s sainsburys.co.uk Sainsbury’s Home sainsburyshome.co.uk SeaSoul & Snow seasoulandsnow.com Sister & Co. sisterandcompany.com
Sweaty Betty sweatybetty.com Sweetpea & Willow sweetpeaandwillow.com
T Tatty Devine tattydevine.com Tesco tesco.com TWELVE beauty twelvebeauty.com
W Weleda weleda.co.uk Wild Nutrition wildnutrition.com
Z ZenBunni aeviwellness.com
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A HEALTHIER HAPPIER YOU
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›› Available in all good bookstores and online
HAPPINESS BOOK CLUB
Our brain and belonging This month, Vanessa King of Action for Happiness and author of 10 Keys To Happier Living, recommends The Brain: The Story Of You by David Eagleman
ILLUSTRATION: LESLEY BUCKINGHAM
he most complex thing on the planet is between our ears – our brain. Billions of cells and trillions of connections between them govern everything we consciously see, hear, feel, say and do, and a lot more we’re not conscious of – and it’s the things we have less conscious control over that Eagleman shares in this ‘beginners’ guide’. Our brain needs other people around to function at its best. Connecting and collaborating conferred survival value as a species, so we evolved to come together in families, tribes and groups and, when we feel cut out, it activates our brain’s pain matrix just as when we experience physical suffering. Our instinctive drive to form groups has a dark side. Our brains have evolved to judge who is a likely friend or foe. This unconsciously impacts our behaviour. Scientists have found that our brain’s social network, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), is active when we interact with people who are in our group and less so with those ‘not like us’. In an experiment where participants were shown pictures of social ‘out’ groups, such as homeless people or drug addicts, the mPFC was found to be only as active as when we look at an inanimate object. At its most extreme, says Eagleman, this facet of our brains has led to genocide and other atrocities. Without awareness of how our brains work, he says, we are easily manipulated. It’s only by educating ourselves about our neural drive to form ‘in’ and ‘out’ groups, and the tricks extremist propaganda groups use to exploit it, that we can we hope to interrupt this and realise that we are more alike than we are different.
Questions to discuss at your book club ● What different social
groups are you part of? ● Think of a time you’ve felt
like an outsider – what was that experience like? ● What is a simple action you can take to connect with someone who is outside one of your groups? In what ways are they are just like you?
The Brain: The Story Of You by David Eagleman (Canongate, £9.99)
Next month, we are reading ‘The Future Of Happiness’ by Amy Blankson (BenBella Books, £16.99)
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