Be stronger, wiser, happier
David Beckham Becks-appeal gets our vote
HOME FOR CHRISTMAS? The toxic family survival guide
96 % happier in just 10 minutes
Everyday superhero superfoods LIBIDO WARS
Ways you can both win
HOW TO BE CHARMING
Learn to dazzle and shine without faking it The dark side: charisma or narcissism?
Contents JANUARY 2017
* COVER STORY
EDITOR’S LET TER
9 I’D LIKE TO THANK … 11
2 1 HARRIET MINTER 35 Cover: Kirk McKoy/ Contour by Getty Images
1 16 BOOKS 125
1 30 HAPPINESS BOOK CLUB
22 * PROFILE
David Beckham “I am secure as a person, as a husband and as a dad”
58 * THE DOSSIER
Charmed, I’m sure
Martha Roberts opens the memory floodgates 26 FREE GIFT WORTH
THE GRE AT WAKE- UP!
Readers reveal how they’ve woken up to a happier life 31
SHÁ Á WASMUND 66
KEEPING IT REAL Author Stephen Joseph’s expert advice on finding your true path – and changing your life
CHARM OF THE DEVIL Psychotherapist and counsellor, Ahi Wheeler, sheds light on the darker side of charm
‘I HAVE A HE ADACHE!’
Broadcaster Edith Bowman on music and mindfulness 39 See page 54 for this month’s print and digital subscriptions offers
YOUR SECRET WEAPON IN LIFE
Anita Chaudhuri gets to the root of the charm factor; and how to get it
Expert entrepreneurial advice from our savvy business guru Grace Abelola searches for an answer to mismatched libidos 36
* FRAUGHT FESTIVITIES?
Our expert puts the merry back into Christmas by telling us how to change toxic family dynamics
IF YOU’RE NOT A NATURAL... Three
people’s journey through charm school
WHAT IS YOUR AUTHENTIC ALLURE?
Take our enlightening quiz to identify your unique brand of charm
J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 3
PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
‘I CAN’T STOP OVERTHINKING’
Our award-winning coach Kim Morgan steps in to help a woman crippled by overanalysis 46
Emma Mann’s Victorian seaside villa is filled with love and laughter – and an ever-expanding collection of curios 50
INHERITED LIFE LESSONS
David Bramwell’s 100-year-old ’tache takes him on a magical tour of self-discovery 56
Our wise agony aunt advises three readers on problems ranging from parenting to sexuality
THE RETREAT 110
FESTIVE FIZ Z: IT’S PART Y TIME!
Italian inspiration puts the Spritz into holiday nibbles – for easy entertaining 118
THE ULTIMATE GIF T GUIDE
Sally Brown unwraps perfect presents for all the types of people in your life
THE HOLISTIC GR AIL
Eminé Rushton says let your friends raise you up; and also bring you back to earth 80
THE PL AN
Expert advice in four holistic sections – Mind, Body, Spirit and Gut – for wellness, and pleasure 87
PLEASE RESERVE/DELIVER PSYCHOLOGIES ON A REGULAR BASIS STARTING WITH ISSUE _________ TITLE................ FIRST NAME................................................................................... SURNAME................................................................................................................... ADDRESS....................................................................................................................
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THE KIND MIND
Ali Roff sinks her teeth into the truth about temptation; and enjoys every mincemeat morsel 89
ONE GOOD THING
January’s breath of fresh air is a stellar celebration 91
RE AL BE AUT Y
The looking-good; feeling-great lowdown from Bouclème’s Michele Scott-Lynch 92
RE AL WELLNESS
Eve Kalinik unmasks everyday food superheroes 97
WELL NET WORK
Meet Liz McCarthy, founder of abeautifulworld 98
UGLY TRUTHS ABOUT FACE CRE AMS
Imelda Burke debunks the ingredients list 103 CHIN - CHIN TO GIN
Mother’s ruin? We distil the benefits 10 4 WELL TR AVELLED
Richard Skinner walks the West Highland Way
4 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7
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OUR TEAM Editor Suzy Greaves Managing Editor Danielle Woodward Art Director Heather Heward Art Editor Lynne Lanning Health + Wellness Director Eminé Rushton Picture Editor Laura Doherty Dossier and Books Editor Ali Roff Chief Sub/Production Editor Vee Sey Editorial Assistant Ellen Tout Associate Editors Anita Chaudhuri, Elizabeth Heathcote Thanks to Leona Gerrard, Rachel Woollett, Ali Christie Contributing Editors Wellness Suzanne Duckett, Catherine Turner Health Dr Andrew Weil Living Well Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley Fitness Hollie Grant Spirit Akcelina Cvijetic Mind Suzy Reading Nutrition Eve Kalinik Yoga Kat Farrants Travel Daisy Finer Home Xochi Balfour ADVERTISING & PRODUCTION Commercial Manager Nikki Peterson (01959 543734) email@example.com Advertising Sales Sophie Sharman (01733 353363) firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales Anne Fleming (01959 543716) Production Manager Melanie Cooper (01733 363485) email@example.com Production Supervisor Amy Proud (01733 362317) firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Operations Manager Charlotte Whittaker MANAGEMENT Managing Director Phil Weeden Chief Executive Steve Wright Chairman Steve Annetts Finance Director Joyce Parker-Sarioglu Publishing Director Vicky Ophield Retail Distribution Manager Eleanor Brown Audience Development Manager Andy Cotton Subscriptions Marketing Manager Daniel Webb Brand Marketing Manager Rebecca Gibson Events Manager Kat Chappell
Meet three of the people who have taken part in the creation of this issue of Psychologies
Nutritional therapist Eve is our Nutrition Editor and a member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. She says: ‘I celebrate real foods in their most natural state, some of which might be seen as unhealthy when, in fact, they can be nutritious. Try not to label foods bad or good; adopt a wider, colourful, eclectic plate that includes your basic spud.’ Read more on page 92.
David Bramwell Author
David is a Sony Award-winning broadcaster, Writer and performer. He has hosted TEDx events and presented documentaries for BBC Radio. His book, The Haunted Moustache, began life as a one-man show, named Best Comedy at the Brighton Fringe Festival. This month, for Psychologies, David shares the bizarre story of his inheritance of a century-old moustache, which led him to journey across England. See page 50.
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Writer and counsellor Sally compiled our Christmas gift guide infographic on page 118, and creates our monthly personality tests. She combines journalism with work as a BACP-registered counsellor and therapeutic coach. ‘Being a therapist is all about asking the right questions so people can find their own answers, so it’s not such a big leap to create tests that have the same purpose,’ she says. ‘I have unlimited curiosity about the human mind.’
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Wake up and connect Wake-up calls often happen when things get really bad. Pain motivates us to change, because we rarely make changes when we’re comfortable. That’s why I’ve loved Chris Baréz-Brown’s wake-up column over the last year. It’s been a joyful way to inch out of our comfort zone and try a weekly ‘wake-up experiment’ to make conscious choices about the way we live. If we work on regular ways to stop putting up with what we don’t want and start creating what we do want, we no longer feel disempowered and can be part of the solution rather than the problem. Read how the experiments impacted on our wake-up bloggers’ lives on page 26. Connection is at the heart of the magazine this month. Whether you’re dealing with a toxic family dynamic (page 39) or a haunted moustache (!) (page 50), all roads lead to taking responsibility about the way you connect. It’s all about having an ongoing honest conversation. ‘I realise this whole mission was part of a bigger change for me, about a desire for greater authenticity and satisfaction in my whole life,’ says Grace Abelola on creating more intimacy with her partner (page 32). Our Dossier this month is about authentic charm – which has as much to do with listening as it does about talking. ‘Try to focus on being consistent, gracious, humble and reliable,’ says coach, Annie Ashdown. Wise words to get us through the winter. Finally, feeling like you want to connect with yourself as well as your tribe? Come to our first Stillness Retreat with NOW Live Events, which includes three workshops a day, the opportunity for one-to-one coaching, delicious local food and the unspoilt beauty of nature at West Lexham retreat centre in Norfolk, see page 101. GET IN TOUCH
Join our tribe! Connect with us on our website at psychologies.co.uk and on social media. Share your comments, photos and inspiration on Twitter (twitter.com/ PsychologiesMag), Facebook (facebook.com/ Psychologiesmagazine), and Instagram (instagram.com/psychologiesmagazine).
Suzy Greaves Editor, with Oscar the office dog
Viewpoint Let us know what you think of the magazine and each month we’ll publish the best letters STA R LETTER
THE WRITE PATH Elizabeth Heathcote’s account of publishing her novel, ‘When my dream came true’ (November issue), was a fascinating insight into the long road to literary success. Since I was a child I’ve adored books – the smell of newly printed pages, the words that transport you to faraway worlds. Like many other people, I have dreamed about becoming a writer, but life – two children, a husband and a full-time job – has got in the way. Elizabeth’s article has inspired me to dust off the covers of a creative writing course and restart my own literary journey. Thanks. CJ
PHOTO COMPETITION Would you like to showcase your talents in Psychologies? Each month, we ask you to submit a photo on a theme. We’ll print our winner in the next issue of the magazine and on psychologies.co.uk, plus the winner gets a prize. The next theme is ‘Joy’. Send your photo attached in an email, with your address, to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on 31 December.*
THIS MONTH’S STAR LETTER AND PHOTO COMPETITION PRIZE: Dragonfly Tea’s Tea House collection of 10 teas and a Candle Celebration Gift Set worth £90.80, dragonflytea.co.uk**
THE WINNER THIS MONTH A last-minute stop-off at Westonbirt Arboretum during a return trip from Cornwall was a real treat. Wandering through the heritage woodlands, everything was glowing in shades of yellow, orange and fiery reds, and it epitomised ‘Autumn’. Jess Jukes
EMAIL LETTERS@PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK THE THEME FOR THE NEXT PHOTO COMPETITION* IS ‘JOY’. DEADLINE: 31 DECEMBER 8 PSYCHOLO GIES MAGA ZINE JAN UARY 2017
* FOR FULL T&CS, SEE PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK.**CANDLE CELEBRATION GIFT SET, £40; EARL GREY TEA, £4.75; GENMAICHA AND MATCHA GREEN TEA, £5.30; BAI MUDAN WHITE TEA, £5.30; EASTERN BEAUTY OOLONG TEA, £5.30; DRAGON WELL GREEN TEA, £5.30; ENGLISH BREAKFAST, £4.75; GARDEN MINT AND VERBENA, £4.75; JADE ORCHID GREEN TEA, £5.30;JASMINE PEARLS GREEN TEA, £5.30; LEMONGRASS AND GINGER INFUSION, £4.75
My daughter had been struggling with anxiety and depression for years and I felt helpless. I read the ‘Pieces of me’ feature (November), in which Eminé Rushton shared an experience of a healing retreat. As a consequence, my daughter has seen her GP and been given the referral and hope she needs. Psychologies has such a valuable, lasting impact on its readers. My path, choices and understanding would have been so much poorer without you. I hope this letter gives you an inkling of my huge gratitude. Thank you. Helen
SHORT-TERM SUCCESS Thank you for Kim Morgan’s coaching piece, ‘I’m so stressed all the time’ (November issue). I often feel that, having been told that we could do anything, we have actually convinced ourselves we must do everything; wanting to be the best partner, lover, parent, friend and the most successful in our career. We’ve put this pressure on ourselves, but the stress becomes overwhelming. Kim’s words offered a helpful perspective – I loved the focused, achievable short-term changes and help considering future goals. It’s easy to get swamped by the present and find that the future has become terrifying. I’m going to create my own plan – I want to realise those opportunities, which used to seem impossible. Natalie
This month’s winner
I’d like to thank… To my dear sister, Growing up we were always competing with each other. To others it may have looked as if we were constantly fighting, but there was always a great deal of love and respect between us. Never did I need that love more than in 2011, after losing my job and returning to college. I found it impossible to find a job in the area that I loved and felt passionate about. Lots of people told me that I was foolish to hold on so tightly to my dreams, but you sat with me and told me stories of what my life could be like. You told these stories with such conviction that I began to believe that they were true. These stories told of the lovely apartment I would live in, the job I would love and the friends I would have. Six years later, I am so happy to say that you were right in every respect. My life is, and has been, wonderful, but I’m not sure it would have been if I hadn’t had you to prop me up on those bad days. You have been my rock and my friend. To see how great a mother you are is wonderful and I love you with my whole heart. Thank you.
THIS MONTH’S LETTER OF GRATITUDE WINS… A year’s digital subscription to Psychologies, worth £28.99
IS THERE SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO THANK? SHARE YOUR LETTER OF GRATITUDE BY SENDING IT TO LETTERS@PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK JAN UARY 2017 PSYCHOLO GIES MAGA ZINE 9
Ever so slightly
The Christmas baking range at Lakeland. When it comes to making festive cakes, weâ€™ve broken the mould.
69 stores nationwide lakeland.co.uk
News i Reviews
EDITED BY ellen Tout
Beauty and seduction, I believe, are “nature’s tools for survival, because we will protect what we fall in love with ”
Photograph: Mindy Cambiar. bigchilladventure.com
‘We spend so much time talking about human significance but, when you’re on a glacier and there’s a mile of ice below you and a mile of ice above you, you have no impact. It is so big, stark and beautiful,’ says expert on climate change, Sarah Aciego. She began her career studying volcanoes but, when research took her to Antarctica, she fell in love with the unforgiving, stunning landscape. Aciego co-founded Big Chill Adventures and leads off-the-beaten-track tours, with respect for the environment at their core, to destinations such as Iceland (pictured).
J a n u a r y 2 0 1 7 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 11
the fix Book of the month
Beat the chill with a weepy
A WOMAN LOOKING AT MEN LOOKING AT WOMEN: Essays On Art, Sex And The Mind by Siri Hustvedt (Sceptre, £20) The sheer amount of smartness and passionate enquiry in this collection of essays by the outstanding Siri Hustvedt will leave you beyond impressed, your brain supercharged and your imagination fired up by her worldview. Inspired by her interest in the arts and science, she poses vital questions: ‘What is a person; a self? Is there a self? What is a mind? Is it different from a brain?’ She investigates artists – from Picasso, to de Kooning, to Louise Bourgeois – ponders the nature of perception, discusses her experiences of teaching patients with mental disorders, writes about undergoing psychoanalysis and reveals the way different disciplines – biologists, historians, philosophers and artists – have wildly varied perspectives on the mind and body; and how sharing their knowledge could be revelatory. EF
Pink throw, £56, House of Rym
MINUTES IS THE AVERAGE TIME WE ENJOY PEACE AND QUIET EACH DAY, WITH SIX OUT OF 10 OF US SAYING THIS ONLY HAPPENS IN BED. WHAT A GREAT EXCUSE FOR A LIE-IN!**
Can’t stand the cold weather? Cosy up indoors with a sad movie. Research* suggests that emotional films can actually strengthen our threshold for physical pain or discomfort – and this could help us cope with biting winter temperatures. Apparently, tear-jerkers encourage our bodies to release natural painkillers and a rush of feel-good chemicals. In scientific studies, people were able to endure challenging stretches for 13 per cent longer after viewing, but only if the film was emotive. Saving Mr. Banks and Marley & Me get us every time!
Happy House LED light, £60, House of Clouds
BEAM US UP We smile an average of 13 times and laugh three times every day – spending more than four hours out of 24 feeling happy, according to a new poll†. Despite the grins and chuckles, nine out of 10 Britons think that we should all smile more often. Researchers listed the top 50 things that make us smile; which include waking up to find that it has snowed overnight, making someone else laugh, hearing a nostalgic song and (no surprise) chocolate...
A STUDY HAS FOUND THAT MORNING IS THE BEST TIME TO WORK ON OVERCOMING ANXIETY OR PHOBIAS 12 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7
BOOK REVIEW: EITHNE FARRY. IMAGE: EMOTIONS SERIES; SOUL SEARCHING, ARTWORK BY HOLLY HOLDER. PHOTOGRAPH: GRAHAM CLARK. *R DUNBAR ET AL, EMOTIONAL AROUSAL WHEN WATCHING DRAMA INCREASES PAIN THRESHOLD AND SOCIAL BONDING, ‘ROYAL SOCIETY OPEN SCIENCE’, 2016; **BRITISH GYPSUM AND SOUND SOLUTIONS; †POLL BY TETLEY FOR CHARITY, SMILE CHAIN; ††A MEURET ET AL, TIMING MATTERS: ENDOGENOUS CORTISOL MEDIATES BENEFITS FROM EARLY-DAY PSYCHOTHERAPY, 'PUBMED', 2016. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Out of the dark After working as a make-up artist on film and TV sets for 26 years, Holly Holder’s life changed when she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa – a degenerative eye condition that resulted in her being registered blind. ‘The feeling of loss of control caused a torrent of depression. My art (pictured) dragged me out of it like a medic over a wounded battlefield,’ she says. ‘Blindness has taken away simple pleasures; I can’t cook for my family, I can’t see their faces clearly when they laugh and I can’t appreciate my art entirely. It’s also given me strength: I picked up my make-up brushes, not wanting to throw them in the bin after all the success they had given me, and started to paint. Art was a way of re-establishing my identity.’ hollyholder.com
BOOKS TO SOOTHE THE SOUL WE LOVE: ‘Christmas Stories’
by Alexander McCall Smith Our friends at Radio 4 tell us about a series of specially written anecdotes… The tales, by the bestselling author of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, are each set at Christmas time and feature the giving of gifts. Characters include a dutiful president attending the poor and a hot-tempered Canadian chef discovering humility, as well as an enterprising elderly professor escaping a compassion-free care home and Cousin Grace who, over a dry Martini, shares her adventures in love (just the four marriages, so far) with three rapt young relatives. ‘These stories will charm, delight and provoke,’ says producer, Kirsteen Cameron. ‘And, in the week leading up to Christmas, will provide listeners with the perfect accompaniment to late-night present wrapping.’ Alexander McCall Smith’s ‘Christmas Stories’ is Radio 4’s Book At Bedtime at 10.45pm from 19-23 December. Sign up for the BBC Books Newsletter at bbc.in/1Lk0BAm
BECAUSE LEVELS OF THE FEAR-REDUCING HORMONE, CORTISOL, ARE AT THEIR HIGHEST EARLY IN THE DAY †† J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 13
LAUGHING LOTUS Hasya (laughter) yoga is centuries old and now science proves that laughing during a workout improves aerobic endurance. Scientists say it’s because laughing strengthens and relaxes muscles, which can reduce anxiety, depression and high blood pressure. Ninety-six per cent of people said laughter increased their enjoyment of exercise, which boosted motivation.*
Personalised notebook, £23, Love Give Ink
Sunday Savasana sweatshirt, £65, Hey! Holla
LEARNING TO BE HAPPY
A review*** of brain-training games has revealed that spending time completing mental exercises on our phones or computers only helps us become better at those games (or similar ones). Unfortunately, the research suggests that it is unlikely players would experience an improvement in their performance at work; or the agility of their brains. Reading a newspaper or listening to an audiobook provides more benefits. Someone reading us a story? Now that’s a no-brainer!
Metallic tic-tactoe (noughts and crosses) game, £118, Jonathan Adler
OF PARENTS THINK THEIR DAUGHTERS ARE MORE CONFIDENT THAN THEY WERE AT THE SAME AGE AND 80 PER CENT DESCRIBE THEIR CHILDREN AS MORE CARING AND COMPASSIONATE†
FILM REVIEW: ALI ROFF. *C GREENE ET AL, EVALUATION OF A LAUGHTER-BASED EXERCISE PROGRAM ON HEALTH AND SELF-EFFICACY FOR EXERCISE, ‘THE GERONTOLOGIST’, 2016; **E PEARCE, PARTICIPANTS’ PERSPECTIVES ON THE SOCIAL BONDING AND WELLBEING EFFECTS OF CREATIVE ARTS ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, 2016; ***D SIMONS, DO ‘BRAIN-TRAINING’ PROGRAMS WORK? ‘PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST’, 2016; †CENSUSWIDE AND DISNEY PRINCESS, 2016; ††REST AND WELLBEING SURVEY, DURHAM UNIVERSITY, 2016. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Thinking of studying further? Research** has found that taking part in weekly adult education classes lifts your wellbeing, regardless of the subject that you choose. Following students over seven months, researchers logged improved mental and physical health as well as boosted confidence, more desire to try new challenges and increased motivation to exercise. Creative writing and singing were found to have the biggest impact, seen as therapeutic creative outlets and opportunities to socialise.
OVER TWO THIRDS OF PEOPLE CRAVE MORE REST TIME, ACCORDING TO THE WORLD’S LARGEST-EVER SURVEY ON 14 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7
Film of the month
A United Kingdom Directed by Amma Asante
A real-life fairy tale, this is the true story of ordinary working-class British woman, Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), and African prince, Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo). Set in the late 1940s, the young couple meet in London and fall for each other, oblivious to the trials that await them. South Africa has just introduced apartheid, so when Seretse is called home to Bechuanaland (Botswana) to become king – and brings his new white wife with him as queen – racial and British empiric politics do their best to tear them apart. Director Asante once again tackles meaningful themes about race and politics, and how they affect not only wider society but individual lives. A United Kingdom is a film about freedom, values, justice, independence and love, and which oozes authenticity and truth. AR
SCHOOL OF LIFE LESSONS
‘Unlike the care we show our friends and family, the way we treat ourselves is often laced with criticism, blame and hostility. Exercising self-compassion gives us the courage to engage with the distress we face in life, and also the motivation to reduce it.’ CHRIS IRONS Chris Irons is a clinical psychologist, director of Balanced Minds and faculty member at The School of Life. He leads the Why Compassion Matters class at the school in London on 8 December. For more details, visit theschooloflife.com
THE TOPIC: 58 PER CENT OF US WOULD CHOOSE TO READ A BOOK AND 52 PER CENT WANT MORE TIME ALONE†† J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 15
EVERY MOTHER WAITS TO HEAR HER BABY TAKE THEIR FIRST BREATH. FOR MANY, IT NEVER COMES... There is nothing like holding your baby for the very ﬁrst time. The joy you feel, the love. But too many expectant mothers look forward to this moment, and are met only with heartache and pain.
Worldwide, a newborn baby dies every 34 seconds because of illness or birth complications*. And so many of these deaths are needless.
resuscitator. After ten tense minutes, the newborn started breathing and as he was placed in her arms, Racheal had never felt so happy.
VSO provides vital resources and skilled volunteers to 24 countries around the world. A donation from you today could help provide a resuscitator, like the one that saved the life of baby Andrew, from Uganda.
You can bring that joy to another mother today. A Christmas gift of £25 from you could go towards a baby resuscitator – such a simple piece of kit that can save so many newborns’ lives.
Andrew’s mother, Racheal, had already lost four babies and, when Andrew was born, tragedy almost struck again.
Please give what you can today.
The midwife quickly realised that Andrew was suﬀocating. Together, she and a VSO volunteer doctor began using a baby
You could help another mother take her healthy newborn home this Christmas.
GOES TOWARDS A BABY RESUSCITATOR
1 million babies died on their ﬁrst day of life in 2012, which equates to 1 baby every 34 seconds. Source: Ending Newborn Deaths report by Save the Children, 2014. Names have been changed to protect identities.
WILL YOU HELP A BABY TAKE THEIR FIRST BREATH THIS CHRISTMAS? Here is my Christmas gift of: Title
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Fill in the attached form and send to: Freepost RSYJ-HGEK-RGBX Voluntary Service Overseas, 126 Fairlie Road, Slough SL1 4PY. Alternatively, call 020 8780 7501 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) or visit vsointernational.org/baby
It’s the little things Every month, Oliver Burkeman suggests the smallest change, which will make the biggest impact on the quality of your daily life
The big idea Humans are generally terrible at predicting what will make us happy. You may invest years of your life in getting rich, or finding the partner of your dreams – only to discover that the thrill lasts no longer than a couple of months. Or you relocate to a new city, only to realise you have still got the same problems. Psychologists call this ‘hedonic adaptation’, or the happiness treadmill: we quickly adapt to new circumstances, so they cease delivering pleasure. You then decide you need something else in order to be happy, and the cycle continues. Fortunately, there’s another side to the coin: those tiny things that deliver large doses of joy. Find yours, make them a habit, and you can step off the treadmill for good.
The easy adjustment
Take stock. Run through the last 24 hours. When were you happiest? For the neat freaks among us, cleaning up after dinner is satisfying; for introverts, too many fun nights out are no fun at all. (See Neil Pasricha’s blog 1000awesomethings.com for inspiration). To get scientific, use a smartphone app such as Mood Meter (moodmeterapp.com), which reminds you to log your moods in the day. Remove the barriers. We often fail
to indulge in small pleasures, so figure out what’s getting in the way, and fix it. If it’s time alone you need, make a date in your diary, so you don’t agree to socialise then. If you’re a coffee connoisseur, get the best. It’s worth spending a bit on sources of joy.
Don’t break the chain. The
comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, made sure he kept working on comedy by marking an X on a calendar every day he wrote new jokes, until he got a chain of Xs – and his only rule was ‘don’t break the chain’. Try a similar strategy for your tiny pleasures: resolve to find time for one every day. If all else fails, take the advice of the spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle: stop, breathe, and do nothing except watch for your very next thought, like a cat watching a mousehole. ‘The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking’ by Oliver Burkeman (Canongate, £8.99)
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Running on empty?
We all need certain key vitamins and good sleep to function well during the colder seasons. Formulated by practicing nutritional therapist, Henrietta Norton BSc Dip NT, these FOOD-GROWN® supplements help to support† ‘general living’ for the whole family. Try them now at wildnutrition.com – with 20% OFF* – using code WPM2
*Offer valid only through www.wildnutrition.com by applying the promotional code WPM2 at checkout. Offer applies to Food-Grown ® Vitamin D, Food-Grown ® B Complex Plus and Food-Grown ® Magnesium products only. Offer ends 31.10.16. †Vitamin D and zinc contribute to the normal function of the immune system. Magnesium contributes to normal psychological function and the normal functioning of the nervous system. Vitamin B12 contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Boost your memory 1
Our resident health writer, Martha Roberts, explores three simple ways to improve your memory
PHOTOGRAPH: GALLERY STOCK
Remember the unusual
Are you the sort who forgets a person’s name repeatedly? In Instant Memory Training For Success by Chester Santos (Capstone, £10.99), Santos says it doesn’t have to be this way. Use absurd visualisations. Alice might be a white rabbit, for example.
Use all your senses
As well as visualisations, involve your other senses. For example, do you have strong associations with the smell of objects? Don’t forget taste, touch and hearing when you’re trying to memorise things. Hear the words ‘I’m late, I’m late’ when you see Alice.
Stop relying on technology
We are so reliant on digital devices, we let them remember for us. Practise relying on your memory and not technology. Challenge yourself to remember the telephone numbers of five important people in your life, like we would have done in the past.
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self LESSONS IN ADULTHOOD
“Enjoy the journey” Working up a sweat over pending resolutions? Just relish the experience, says Harriet Minter
PHOTOGRAPH: mark HARRISON. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CAROLINE PIASECKI. STYLIST: KATE ANYA BARBOUR
erhaps it’s not officially recognised by doctors, but New Year Fear is real. It’s a rumbling anxiety that appears in December, generally linked to a deep worry that you haven’t achieved as much this year as you should have. I suffer from it doubly hard as, not only does my birthday fall on New Year’s Eve (nothing triggers life analysis like ageing, New Year and booze), but each year my girlfriends and I revisit ‘The Book’. ‘The Book’ is the place where, every December, we write our resolutions for the coming year. We also score ourselves (points are awarded for effort and achievement), with marks from A* to F. Over the years, we’ve become smarter about the goals we set. We’ve accepted that we’re never going to lose those two stone, that writing a book proposal and letting someone read it counts for ‘write book’, and that ‘find a boyfriend who actually acknowledges that we’re dating’ is less a relationship goal and more a bare minimum. Thirty-five years of birthday resolutions and 15 of ‘The Book’ have taught me a thing or two about New Year Fear and how to set the sort of goals you’ll actually achieve. So, if you’re also a lover of a fresh start and a long to-do list, then here are the rules for beating New Year Fear: It’s not a goal if it doesn’t scare you a little. We all have stuff that’s been on our to-do list for ages, that we know we need to do and put off. If you’re ignoring it because the thought brings you out in a cold sweat, then you can add it to the goals list. If you’re ignoring it because it’s boring, let it go. A simple example of this is: climbing a mountain is scary, climbing a mountain of ironing is boring. If you’re not excited about it, leave it out. Goals might scare you, but they should also enthuse you. As Simon Sinek puts it, ‘Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.’ Write it down. Sometimes the scariest part of a goal isn’t doing it, it’s admitting that we want it in the first place. We fear we’ll be judged for not having it already, for being too ambitious and, perhaps, for failing to get it. Sorry to be tough, but if you’re feeling this, get over it. Start telling everyone what it is that you really want,
even better, commit it to paper. You’ll be too busy going after it to care about people judging you. Reward progress. Promising to treat yourself to a shopping trip when you get that promotion is fine, but don’t forget to take care of yourself on the way there as well. The view from the top of the mountain is great but professional climbers know that looking at how far you’ve come is as important as knowing how far you have to go. There’s success in failure. Goals are great; they help us clarify our dreams and make a plan for achieving them. But sometimes they’re just not meant to be, and that’s OK too. Because, in trying to succeed, you’ll have set out on a new path, met new people, had new experiences, and maybe been on the journey of your life. Want to make 2017 your best year yet? Harriet is running a three-day retreat in December to propel you into next year feeling alive, alert and raring to go. For more information, email email@example.com
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“My family is my greatest achievement
This month, we’re focusing on charm at Psychologies. Who is the most charming man in the world? We chose David Beckham. But why? Katy Regan gets to the heart of ‘Becks-appeal’
photograph kirk mckoy/contour by getty imAGES
t’s 1990 and I am a student at the Laine Theatre Arts stage school, Surrey, where a certain Victoria Adams is my classmate. She’s a sweet, 16-year-old from Hertfordshire, who thinks I’m ‘mental’. My overriding memory of her, when I leave (to become a writer) and she leaves (to become a Spice Girl), is that she is a lovely – albeit very ambitious – person. Fast-forward eight years and Vicky (as she was often called then) is now at the height of her fame as Posh Spice, and going out with Manchester United ace David Beckham. He proposes to her, they get married, and have their first child, Brooklyn. They appear on Da Ali G Show, where Beckham is asked, ‘How many of the Spice Girls turned you down before you got Posh?’ He replies, ‘None. It was only ever this one I wanted.’ For me, the fact that Beckham chose Victoria above all the exotic women who, no doubt, would have fallen at his feet, says everything you need to know about the man; behind the personal fortune and the ad campaigns, and not forgetting the sheer talent, Beckham is the same – an ordinary, grounded, family guy, but with an extraordinary drive to be the best he can be. He is used as an example of Britain’s finest to win us Olympic bids; he has 52 million Instagram followers and a raft of awards: BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime
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Award; various Nations’ Greatest Dad awards, an OBE from the Queen for services to football and, in 2015, he was voted Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine. Obviously, he’s hot, but there are myriad reasons why, here in the Psychologies office, we chose Becks as the most charming man. Charm, in general terms, might be described as the ability to attract people to you, but what is the specific ammunition in his charm-offensive? What is it that turned David Beckham, the Essex boy, into David Beckham, the global megastar?
Family comes first
We all love a man who adores his wife and kids. It’s honourable for anyone to put the people in their lives first but, for someone with so many pressures on their time, it’s even more so. Becks is so famous that taxi drivers in Mumbai recognise him, and yet he makes his children’s breakfast every day, does the school run and watches their football games. When he says that one of his favourite things to do is watch Frozen with his five-year-old daughter, Harper, we believe him. Similarly, when we see pictures of him with his arm protectively around Victoria at an American football game, or at a fashion show; or with their limbs entwined in one of their ‘Intimately Beckham’ fragrance ads, you believe in their love story. And, what’s more, he adores her for the >>>
‘To go from a pop star in the biggest girl band in the world to a respected fashion designer – even I know that’s hard. And she’s a great mum. Everything revolves around the children, as busy as she is. ’ We love Beckham because he grasps the concept that people are the only thing that matters: ‘In my career, there are many things I’ve achieved. But my greatest achievement is my family. What matters is being a good father and a good husband.’ He’s not remotely afraid to shout it from the rooftops, either. Who can forget his Instagram post on Victoria’s 42nd birthday? Underneath a picture of the two of them and ‘loving you more’ spelled out in lights, he posted: ‘Happy birthday to this beautiful passionate woman… In 42 years you have been able to achieve so much and it feels like you’re only just starting.’ We love the way he, literally, wears his heart on his sleeve: ‘The idea [to get tattoos] came to me a little while after Brooklyn was born. I’d finally realised what I wanted a tattoo to represent. Mine are all about the people in my life, my wife and children, who I want with me always.’
Remembering his roots
You would think, with his level of fame and fortune, that Beckham would have long forgotten his humble beginnings as the son of a gas fitter from Leytonstone, East London, who had climbed through a backalley fence at night to practise football with his friends. ‘My parents were very strict. It was all about morals and I try to pass that on to my kids. I was asked what advice I give my boys about women, and I tell them my grandad used to say, “You treat everyone with respect, you behave like a gentleman, especially to women.”’ Ted and Sandra Beckham taught their prodigal son the meaning of hard work, and he has continued this with his kids. (Brooklyn has worked in a coffee shop in London to earn his pocket money.) But this is also a huge part of Becks-appeal: nothing has been handed to him on a plate. ‘I remember being 13 and seeing my mum looking after three kids, then still working until 11pm cutting
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hair,’ he says. ‘My dad used to go out at 6am and come back at night covered in oil stains. They instilled that work ethic in me and I want to do the same for my children.’ It’s well documented that Beckham is polite, talented and moral – posing graciously for photos with children, and never being rude in interviews. Manners – so rare in one so famous – are vital to him: ‘It’s so important to treat people from all walks of life the way they should be treated.’
In his humble opinion
It doesn’t matter how perfect you are, nobody arrogant was ever charming. In fact, you could argue that the epitome of charm is being unaware you possess it. Even if Beckham looks at himself in the mirror and secretly thinks, ‘Yep, fine specimen of a human being’ – the fact that he is modest and humble is an extremely charming trait. You don’t get a much more charming response to Jonathan Ross’s question, ‘Are you aware you’re very attractive?’ than, ‘My mum tells me sometimes.’ A man of many talents, he is also willing to put up his hand when something is not in his skill set. In an interview with Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain, he repeatedly put himself down as an actor, saying that Guy Ritchie gave him too many lines for his liking on his film Knights Of The Round Table, and he has publicly cringed at his and Posh’s past fashion faux pas. ‘There are certain moments, when we both wore matching Gucci outfits. You look back now and think mmm… OK.’ That ability to be self-effacing, to play to one’s strengths, while allowing others to play to theirs, is something Beckham has in spades. And it’s not as though he’s never experienced criticism; Beckham became a national hate figure after his disasterous 1998 World Cup send-off. A lesser man may not ever have come back from that, but he used it as a learning experience, David and becoming obsessed with Victoria at the 2015 watching videos of his crosses British and free kicks, so that he could Fashion Awards perfect them.
PHOTOGRAPHS: REX; GETTY IMAGES
>>> things that really matter: ‘I’m so proud [of her],’ he says.
A fresh-faced David Beckham, in his Manchester United days in the 1990s, celebrating a goal against Newcastle United
With Victoria and children (from left) Brooklyn, Cruz, Romeo and Harper at the Burberry ‘London in Los Angeles’ event in LA
In Swaziland, meeting 14-year-old Sebenelle, who receives life-saving support from 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund
A poster campaign in London for H&M’s David Beckham Bodywear, a range he designed and modelled
Doing the world of good
‘Whatever I do, I want to be the best,’ says Becks, and let’s face it – he generally manages it. It’s sometimes easy to forget that he was also one of the greatest footballers of his generation. Making his debut with Manchester United first team in 1992, aged just 17, he won the Premier League six times, the FA Cup twice and captained England for six years, earning 58 caps. You get the feeling that every single thing he does, he does to the best of his ability and that goes for designing pants (he created and modelled a range for H&M) and working for charity. See, that’s also the thing about Mr Beckham – he genuinely cares about doing good. He has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2005 and in 2015 launched 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund to protect children in danger around the world. He puts his time and money where his mouth is, too. In January 2016, he won the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Leadership Award for his philanthropic projects, and calls his work with UNICEF his number-one priority after his family. Speaking of his 2013 trip to the Philippines, after the typhoon, he said: ‘I’m good at holding it in when I’m there,
but I get emotional talking about it.’ There’s nothing more appealing than a man who really cares.
Growing better with age
There is no getting away from it, the fact that Becks is also ridiculously good-looking helps enormously in the charm rankings. Many of us have swooned over his Giorgio Armani and Adidas photo shoots, and the more recent ones for his range of H&M Bodywear. But, just when you thought he couldn’t get any more attractive, now he’s hit his 40s, it seems that he has! The eyebrows are more smouldering, the crow’s feet add substance and wisdom to his face. And, this is the thing: he is more comfortable in his skin than he has ever been – and what could be more utterly charming than confidence? ‘I’m secure as a person, as a husband, as a dad. I’ve gone past the point of really worrying or caring. When I was 22, it might have affected me differently. But I’m in my 40s, I’ve got four amazing kids, an amazing wife, amazing parents and in-laws, and amazing friends who I trust. It doesn’t matter what people say anymore.’
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the great wake-up experiment
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day… How can you feel more connected, alive and excited by life? Wake up and read on, writes Suzy Bashford
hris Baréz-Brown, the author of Wake Up!, has been writing a column for Psychologies for the last year, setting us weekly wake-up experiments, inspired by the people that he’s met over the years who have had the greatest energy and zest for life. ‘The experiments uncover the mystery of why some people have a twinkle in their eye, a smile on their face and a sense that anything is possible,’ he says. ‘It drags us out of autopilot, where we’re estimated to spend about 80 per
cent of our lives, and helps us feel more connected, creative, happy and engaged.’ We invited a handful of our readers to work with Chris and blog for a year, with astonishing results: 96 per cent of them felt happier doing something differently in as little as 10 minutes a day. Here, they give us their most life-changing experiments – to inspire you to create your own. Chris’s book, ‘Wake Up!’, is available from 1 December (Penguin Life, £9.99; Kindle, £6.49). The wake-up app is available via the AppleStore and Google Play. He’s also running wake-up workshops. For more information, see thegreatwakeup.com >>>
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Vanessa Landreneau The wake-up experiments gave me accountability and a fresh perspective
Tell four different people what you love about them.
‘This challenge is harder for a bloke, especially for one like me, who has grown up in a tough neighbourhood where you fist-fight to make your point. I spoke to a younger man who works for me first. It was incredible. Weird, but incredible. It’s built a bond between us and given us a solid understanding of who we are as men. Then I spoke to my wife, our dog-walker and my mum. It has deepened the connection with them all. It’s so simple, wonderful and rewarding. The experiment gave me the confidence to do a eulogy at my nan’s funeral.’
Stuffocation Don’t buy anything beyond food and water.
‘This experiment changed me the most. I was buying things online a couple of times a week. I realised I was a hoarder. It made me see that by aspiring to have “things” we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I’m much happier now. I’ve moved into a flat that I previously deemed too small, and I live a simpler, fuller life, free from possessions which tied me down emotionally. For the first time, I’m seeing a great future clearly in front of me, and I don’t need to prove anything to anybody anymore.’
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Spend the first 10 minutes of every day outside. ‘What made this experience special was that it offered solace when I needed it, having just lost my beloved cat. I spent this time in the garden, where he and I used to play. I felt his shadow everywhere I looked. It gave me the space to remember him and cry. The fact it was daybreak, which signals a fresh, new beginning, helped. It “awoke” in me a more positive outlook. Now the experiment is over, I still get outside first thing, pulling on my trainers to explore my village, find new routes and keep in touch with nature.’
Revise your usual daily route. ‘I’ve worked in the corporate world for years. In my typical working day, I wouldn’t leave the office. But, as I’d become self-employed, I decided to change this and take walks during my working day. The experiments gave me permission to make the change. While my walks are not strictly “work”, I get a lot of perspective on my work from them. I think about what a client needs. I come up with ideas. Or I just watch nature go by and get fresh perspectives that way. It’s a form of mindfulness that works for me much better than meditation.’
Sarah-Kate Goodwin I was overwhelmed by big ‘life’ questions. I felt zombified. Now I feel happy
Cook with care Only eat food you have prepared from scratch.
‘I’m a self-proclaimed non-cook, so this challenge made me face my demons. My boyfriend usually cooks and I’d always said I didn’t care about this, but it had made me feel rubbish. The joy in cooking for me came from the connection between food and the people I love. The experiments taught me to laugh, have fun and not
panic if things aren’t perfect. Just taking the time to breathe and be thankful. That’s all I need. I’m more at peace with not having fast-track, definite answers.’
Walkie talkie Walk with a friend and talk non-stop for seven and a half minutes.
‘I turned this one on its head. Because I’m a big talker, I decided to ask people to talk to me for seven and a half minutes instead.
Listening to a friend open up, because I was quiet, made me feel I was getting to know her better. My mum started off talking about what she was going to do that week, but then spoke about her feelings. I watched as she expressed fears, sorrow, love and the hope in her heart. In that minute, we were just two women having a chat. A truly special and beautiful moment.’
photograph, previous page: gallery stock
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Mark Cuddy Running a pub is a busy, stressful job, so I wanted to make the best of my time off. The experiments unearthed hidden magic in me
the great wake-up experiment
Follow your own body clock.
‘Work was busy and I had a lot of family commitments too, so I was getting less and less sleep. This challenge was a great excuse to surrender and say: “I’m exhausted.” I started making different decisions, like not to watch a film and to go to bed two hours earlier instead. It felt so indulgent, as did taking an afternoon nap. But I told myself it was OK and that I wasn’t going to get left behind. The wake-up experiments gave me the chance to put away the whirlwind of distractions and feel more present.’
Beauty in everything Slow down for five minutes every day and see the wonder all around you.
‘I live close to some woods, but I hadn’t been there for ages until this experiment. So often we’re wrapped up in work and social media, but this centres you and makes you appreciate the little things. I learned to appreciate other kinds of sensory beauty too, not just visual, like the smells of food or roses, the taste of a hot chocolate, or the sound of chatter and laughter; joys that had slipped by before. This, and the other experiments, have improved my mental health and wellbeing, and helped me re-evaluate.’
Jacqueline Fern I felt fulfilled by my job and family, but had lost myself. The wake-up woke me up Dance, dance, dance!
Fiona Dolben I have gone from someone who had low moods to someone with a spring in her step
Chris Haigh I wanted more work-life balance. Actually, this has energised and inspired me: I’m now doing a Master’s degree as well as my job
Eat when hungry Tune into your body.
Boogie every day for 10 minutes like nobody is watching. ‘I used to dance so much, but in the busyness of life, I’d lost that. I started dancing in the kitchen making tea, and from the waist up in the car heading to work. My daughters say that the wake-up experiments have shown them my spontaneous, giggly, younger side, and shaken things up!’
‘I’ve been eating on autopilot for years. If busy, I’d eat anything, telling myself, “I’ll be healthy next week.” I realised I was eating when I wasn’t hungry. Instead, I was bored. I’m tuning into my body and feel in control, not just having a bacon butty because I’m making one for my boys.’
Excitement and gratitude
‘This gave me a sense of purpose and broke up my life into manageable chunks. When depressed, there were many days when I didn’t want to get up, but I had to because of my son and my job. Back then, I always felt too busy to think about how I was going to change my life – my dreams were lost in a muddle of shopping, cooking and work. This got me thinking about what I really wanted. I’ve now moved in with my boyfriend after 16 years’ living on my own, and I’m doing a degree in acupuncture.’
Start the day by writing down what you’re excited about and end it with what you’re grateful for. ‘It was harder to be excited than grateful, because we have such high expectations. But I realised that excitement can be laughter with colleagues, starting a book, or giving nutritious food to my family. Life might not be all rock ’n’ roll, but there is so much to connect with in the everyday.’
One big thing On waking, identify your one big thing for the day.
other experiments to try
Incorporate these 5 easy steps to a more fulfilled life
Indulge your passion. Wake up an hour earlier each day and do something you’re meant to do. Exercise boost. Every time you go
to the bathroom, do an exercise of your choice. Unplug. Turn off all your usual digital notifications.
Free writing. Journal your thoughts every day. Reach out. Help a stranger in any way, such as offering to carry their bags.
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Cycle India women V cancer 3–13 November 2018
Visit the Taj Mahal | Sleep in Indian Palaces | Finish in the Pink City of Jaipur
Join the next Women V Cancer cycle challenge in India and raise funds to ﬁght breast, cervical and ovarian cancers For more information and to register online:
Registered Charity Nos: Breast Cancer Care: 1017658/SC038104, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust: 1133542/SC041236, Ovarian Cancer Action: 1109743/ SC043478. Women V Cancer is established under the Charities Aid Foundation Charity No. 268369. ATOL protected No 10456. To take part you need to pay a registration fee of £299 and raise minimum sponsorship funds of £3,200.
ction for charity
Too busy to start your own business? You need to stop juggling and focus, says our new columnist, best-selling author and businesswoman, Sháá Wasmund MBE
When did life get so complicated?
PHOTOGRAPH: LOUISE HAYWOOD-SCHIEFER. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: SADAF AHMAD
here comes a point in life when you ask yourself, ‘When did everything get so complicated?’. It seems to sneak up on you from nowhere. One minute it’s all parties, holidays and dreams for the future. Then, all of a sudden, it changes. You feel lost, out of control, and nothing is straightforward. You have too many responsibilities and too many plates spinning in the air. Then you decide you want to start your own business and it gets even more complicated, with even more plates to keep spinning. So, before you embark on any new ventures, you need to get back control and make life feel more manageable and less complicated. But how? First, you’ve got to take stock and stop the downward spiral. It’s time to simplify. Focus on what is truly important to you and leave the rest behind. As each year passes, another responsibility seems to be added to your plate and the weight of responsibility gets heavier and
heavier. But you bring it on yourself. That’s right, you bring it on yourself. I know that sounds harsh, but sugar-coating reality doesn’t help. The most important thing is to start taking action. Write down three areas of your life that are stressing you out the most and be specific. Now think about one thing you can do in each area and add it to your list. What do you need to do to take action on it? Write that down, too. Now do it. Second, you need to filter out what’s important from what’s just creating noise in your head. Do you allow your head to be filled with meaningless chatter? It complicates your thinking and you start to get confused between what you think is important and what is actually important. To combat this, you need to learn to recognise that not all things are created equal. You do not have to do everything or be everything to everyone. You need to focus on what matters to you. Finally, learn how to say ‘no’. Saying ‘yes’ to every single request that gets
put in front of you is a sure-fire way to make your life as complicated as possible. It also makes you perpetually ‘busy’ – never get this confused with being productive. Now is the time to understand what is really important to you and focus on it. It’s time to find the strength to say ‘no’ and then you can say ‘yes’ to creating the life you want and building a business based on your values. No more plate spinning. Just you – back in control. Sháá Wasmund is author of ‘Stop Talking, Start Doing’ (John Wiley & Sons, £9.99) and ‘Do Less, Get More’ (Penguin, £12.99). For more inspiration, join Sháá’s private Facebook group, The Freedom Collective, at shaa.com/freedomcollective
Take action If you just keep thinking about things, but don’t actually do anything about them, nothing will change. It will only feel more and more complicated. Better to start with something really small than do nothing at all.
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Not tonight, darling!
A difference in libido is a reality of many relationships and can cause great conflict. Grace Abelola, who has always wanted less sex than her husband, went in search of a solution
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Duty versus desire
Lousada starts off by reassuring me that our situation is far from unusual. ‘Some would argue that there is always a high-desire partner and a low-desire partner – there’s always an imbalance,’ he tells me. ‘And the point is that neither one is better than the other – no position is right or wrong. But the person who is the low-desire partner generally controls the supply of sex in the relationship.’ The question, Lousada says, is about ‘what kind of sex you want to have’. We talk about my dwindling interest in sex. He says he sees many women in my situation, who have lost their libido within a long-term relationship, and that, when they discuss their sex lives, they say it is all a bit mechanical – the men just want to get on with it. But that is not the case with us – my husband is the one who wants to linger and spend time, I’m the one who is often rushing things along. Letting go is about vulnerability and trust, Lousada says. ‘Very often people
who want to rush are afraid of intimacy. Foreplay is where all our vulnerability comes in.’ We talk about my childhood, which set the blueprint for my experience of love. My father was fairly reliable but emotionally distant, while my mother’s volatile personality meant her needs came first. Lousada points to the fact that I was emotionally self-reliant. ‘You had an experience where love is conditional – you got love if you were a good girl – which means you can’t trust love because it is bought,’ he says.
Respecting each other’s needs
Lousada takes me through an exercise from one of his courses, Know Your Sexual Self. We draw a diagram of an onion and its layers, and use it to unpeel motivations for sex, and the needs that underpin these. He divides motivations into two types – ‘golden’ and ‘shadow’. A golden motivation would be: I want to be connected; I want to feel loved. A shadow >>>
PHOTOGRAPH: GALLERY STOCK
y husband has always been the ‘high-libido’ partner in our relationship. Back in the chandelier-swinging early days, when I was up for it every night, he was still raring to go in the mornings. Now, 10 years married, I love him as much as ever, but our sex life has dwindled, along with my desire. These days, we make love about once a month – and that is with prompting. While I know he is no longer raring for sex on a daily basis, I also know that he is not completely happy with the situation, and neither am I. But what can we do about it? A mismatch in libidos is a fact of life in many relationships, but it is also a prime source of unhappiness and cause of divorce. One partner is unsatisfied, the other feels under pressure – it’s a recipe for resentment. I want to find a better way to deal with it. I am hoping that Mike Lousada, a sex counsellor and psychotherapist, may be able to help.
from a place of fear: it is my duty; if I don’t, my partner will get his needs met elsewhere. ‘But, underneath these shadow motivations, there is still a core quality,’ says Lousada. ‘I better have sex because otherwise he’ll leave me’ is a shadow motivation coming from a needy place but, if that need were to be fulfilled, the core quality would be a feeling of safety and security. ‘The problem is that the strategy we are using to achieve that – sex – is not necessarily a healthy one. It is not that the need is wrong – safety and security are beautiful, and the need is natural and human – but it is better to try to meet it in another way.’ I realise that, of course, Lousada is right. At some level, unconsciously, I see love as a transaction, and sex as a currency. I feel responsible for meeting my husband’s needs, fearing that otherwise he will leave me or have an affair but, at the same time, I know this is impossible while respecting my own needs. And so – inertia.
Keeping it real
So where do we go from here? I need to trust my husband and tell him what is going on, Lousada says. ‘It is about authentic communication. You have a choice – either you can close it down, or you can face it – it’s uncomfortable but what if you stay with it? ‘Ultimately all sexual issues are intimacy issues around the questions: can I really let you see me? Can I just lay myself bare? The more you can stay at that edge of feeling that vulnerability – feeling it in yourself and feeling it with your partner – the more you’ll be able to work through that. It’s like a big bowl of spaghetti – tease out one strand at a time and go, that’s that bit and this is this bit,’ Lousada explains. And so I try. My husband was very interested when I said I was going to see Lousada. I think he liked that I
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At some level, unconsciously, I see love as a transaction, and sex as a currency. I feel responsible for my husband’s needs
>>> motivation, on the other hand, comes
wanted things to be different. Now I talk to him about what has come up and, immediately, it feels as if a wall has come down. We talk frankly and he tells me how much he has missed, not only sex, but also cuddling, touch, feeling wanted and desired. I tell him that I still very much desire him. As the conversations continue, I realise that this whole mission was part of a bigger change for me, about a desire for greater authenticity and satisfaction in my whole life. I want our lovemaking to be heartfelt and never perfunctory. I never want to
have ‘duty sex’ again. This feels almost risqué to say but, for my husband, it is welcome to hear – of course he wants the same thing and this shapes our sex life going forward. Six months on, and the reality is that we are having only a little more sex than before, but the quality is transformed. I have sex only when I really want it, but immerse myself fully in the experience, and we are playing again – it is lovely. In between, I want to please my husband and meet his needs, and I enjoy finding different ways to do so. Any resentment has been replaced with heartfelt goodwill. I recently read that for many higher-libido people in relationships, this is the core issue – it is the endless rejection that pushes them away, not the lack of sex. I hope we have found a way past it – a true compromise where both our needs are met. Find out more about Mike Lousada’s courses at mikelousada.com
“I didn’t feel desired by him”
Nadia Smyth, 30, found the answer to a satisfying sex life was being open with her partner I met Sam in my late 20s and knew he was special. But, a couple of months into our relationship, the amount of sex we were having dwindled. I loved him, but I really wanted sex four to five times a week. I didn’t feel desired by him. So what was the solution? Discussing it with a friend, I realised then that, despite my dissatisfaction, I was rarely the one who initiated sex. So,
feeling nervous, I tried to be sexy. But all I got was a strange look from Sam, who was clearly wondering why I had started draping myself all over him. Then I thought about what he does to initiate sex – he has a caring, unselfish approach, purely focused on the other person. So I thought about what turned Sam on, instead of just thinking about what I like. And, rather than prancing
around expecting him to read my mind, I showed him through touch and words how much I wanted him. I felt powerless before but, now I know I can make the first move, too, there is more balance. I hadn’t considered that a clear, uncomplicated statement of my desire for him might boost Sam’s confidence. We are having sex a bit more often now and I feel better about it.
Join us! In partnership with NOW Live Events, we’re offering two workshops: write a novel with authors Lucy Atkins and Elizabeth Heathcote, and publisher Stef Bierwerth, plus Psychologies’ columnist Harriet Minter takes us from burnout to badass with practical strategies for how to thrive
Write a novel without losing the plot DATE: 7 December TIME: 7pm-8.30pm VENUE: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 4RL COST: £18
Have you always wanted to write a novel but don’t know where to start? Are your doubts and fears holding you back? To celebrate the launch of our new ‘How to write a novel’ column in 2017, we are bringing together two of our favourite novelists, Elizabeth Heathcote and Lucy Atkins, to give us their top writing tips, with publishing advice from Stef Bierwerth, publisher-at-large for Quercus. Psychologies’ associate editor Elizabeth Heathcote was a feature writer and editor on newspapers and magazines for many years before writing her first novel, Undertow. Lucy Atkins is the award-winning, bestselling author of The Missing One and The Other Child, and a literary critic for The Sunday Times. For more about Lucy, go to lucyatkins.com. YOU WILL LEARN: ● Where to find inspiration ● How to plot and create convincing characters ● How to start, keep going and know you’re finished
● How to tackle your inner critic ● How to find an agent and get your novel published
Join us! Buy tickets at nowliveeevents.org/tickets
From burnout to badass: how to shake off the gloom and step into the light DATE: 11 January 2017 TIME: 7pm-8.30pm VENUE: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 4RL COST: £18 Are you always shattered? Feeling unable to handle life’s stresses to the best of your ability? With the high-pressure jobs many of us have, along with our demanding family lives and the perpetual barrage of social media, is it any wonder that so many of us are constantly feeling exhausted, run down and generally burnt out? Journalist and broadcaster Harriet Minter has been there. In this two-hour workshop, she’ll explain what it feels like to be on the edge of burnout and how you can successfully bring yourself back. YOU WILL LEARN: ● Simple strategies for daily self-care that don’t involve spending hours meditating ● A simple technique to improve your health, calm
your mind and add years to your life ● The ultimate key you need to solve the biggest problem you’re facing in your life today
Harriet is a journalist, speaker and advocate for #WomenInLeadership. For more information, follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @harrietminter Join us! Buy tickets at nowliveevents.org/tickets
J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 35
The fresh-faced, effervescent broadcaster talks about the role music plays in her life, what makes her tick and her mindfulness app, Quility INTERVIEW danielle woodward photograph pÅl hansen
I have guilt about how much I work; I need a balance. My sons [Rudy, eight, and Spike, three] are my priority but, if I didn’t work, I wouldn’t be half as good a mum. I can express myself at work, which allows me to do fun things at home. My mindfulness app for mums helps rewire thoughts. It’s helped me create quality time with the kids – not being with them and distracted by my phone but fully present. Quility provides tools to help you connect with your brain before you react. Rather than shouting at your children, you think: ‘I’ll do this instead.’ It also helps me wind down, so I use my brain when I need to, rather than being switched on constantly. I’ve always been surrounded by music. My dad played the guitar and listened to everything from Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra to the Rolling Stones. As a child, I spent weekends with my grandad, and he always sang to me. We were all with him when he died 12 years ago; we played Al Jolson songs to him and it was a great comfort. I try to be myself when I’m working. I remember a listener telling me how she had gone back to her room at uni after knowing she had done badly in an exam. She listened to my show and said it felt as if she had a friend with her. That was the biggest compliment I’ve ever had. I hope people feel like I’m having a conversation with them, not talking at them. There is sexism in the music industry – but I’ve co-hosted many times and it’s all been level-pegging; I’ve never been a sidekick. The conversation shouldn’t be about men and women, it should be about someone’s quality.
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Social media has opened up conversations – but they are faceless. When Lily Allen asked me on Twitter what Lady Gaga’s performance was like, I replied that it was quite self-absorbed. The reaction was as if I’d threatened her life! I thought, ‘Come on guys, there are more serious things to get irate about. It’s just my opinion.’ I loathe people who are rude to service staff because they believe they are above them. I worked in my parents’ hotel and I’ve been on the receiving end of rudeness. It may well be someone’s career choice, so how dare you judge them? I still get nervous when I interview famous people. You never know if they’re going to be interested in talking to you. Sometimes you have to accept that they were in a bad mood or your questions were rubbish. I’d love to interview Madonna, but I’d probably be physically sick. I was anxious before speaking to Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and director, Ron Howard, about The Beatles: Eight Days A Week. Then, Paul told them a story about when I was pregnant that lightened the mood. As I have a heart condition, I had an early scan and bumped into Stella McCartney at the doctor’s. I was interviewing Paul soon after, and he said: ‘I think I know something no one else knows.’ I had to ask him to keep quiet! I’ve told Rudy that ‘Uncle Paul’ knew he was coming before anyone else. I strive for honesty. You get told what people think you want to hear to keep you sweet, but it makes me lose respect for them. I’d rather hear constructive feedback. It’s important to be honest with the kids, too; I need them to know what I’m feeling. If something is bothering me, I try and get it out there; it helps towards a healthy environment.
The Quility app is free on App Store and Google Play; quility.me. Listen to Edith Bowman on Virgin Radio from 6am to 10am and subscribe to her podcast, ‘Soundtracking’, at edithbowman.com
hair and make-up: emma white turle
I come from a very close family. My parents owned a hotel when I was growing up and I remember them working so hard. They instilled a healthy work ethic in me and my brother from an early age – if you work hard, you earn rewards.
Do you have a tyrant, a victim or a drama queen in your family? Many of us will recognise these characteristics in people we are close to â€“ and even ourselves. Martha Roberts explains how to change dynamics, and keep the peace over the festive season >>>
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icture the scene – you’re all out celebrating a family birthday in a restaurant when a waiter brings out a dessert topped with sparklers. The trouble is, it’s not for your table. ‘Where’s my cake?’ your birthday girl rages, and you beckon staff to help before the roof blows off. This is all the more mortifying because, while this birthday girl may be acting like a toddler on the verge of a tantrum, she’s actually 55 today, and she’s your mum. In fact, she was my mum. I loved my mother, who died five years ago, but I have often wondered what caused her to behave this way. Yet, the fact is, many of us have family members who we often find ourselves tiptoeing around; the people who dominate the mood and atmosphere for everyone else around them.
Causes and effects
If this sounds like your family when you all get together, be reassured you are not alone. ‘If you were to ask people, I think about 70 per cent would say their family winds them up more than anybody else,’ says Dr Mandy Bryon, consultant clinical psychologist and head of paediatric psychology and play services at Great Ormond Street Hospital. While it is easy to roll your eyes about the ‘difficult’ family member, Bryon points out that it is never just about them. ‘Behaviour is always a diad or triad; we never do it on our own. We are often very reluctant to include ourselves in that diad as a cause-and-effect scenario, but we definitely have our part to play.’ So as you read on, watch out for behaviours that you recognise in yourself as well as others, and ways that you facilitate other people’s dysfunctional behaviour. After all, as Bryon explains, attempts to change another person are always destined to fail. Instead, you are looking to alter the way you react to them to change the dynamic.
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Controllers use fear or a threatening silence to control people – for example, a passiveaggressive mother who elicits ‘don’t upset mum’ views. ‘Controllers can be subtle or overt,’ says Helen Rice, relationship therapist and love-life coach (belovecurious.com). ‘They work on individuals to sway them to their way of thinking before using that “consensus” to sway others.’
Who they might be:
‘Traditionally this may have been the dominant patriarch, but in the modern family it could be anyone,’ says Rice.
What they are likely to say:
‘You know what you should do’, ‘I’m only telling you for your own good’, ‘I’m just checking in...’
Why they are like this:
‘The Controller is often deeply insecure,’ says Rice. ‘Their unconscious belief is that if they can control those around them, they can avoid having to manage their own feelings.’
What can you do to help them and yourself?
‘It’s often tempting to perceive a Controller as a critical parent and to regress to a childlike status when they try to control us,’ says Rice. It’s vital to stay calm, so rather than losing your temper, take a deep breath and put your own point of view across in a non-aggressive way.’
How can you change the dynamic?
Rice says: ‘Conflict is pretty much guaranteed if you try to challenge their way of thinking head-on. But having an easier life is not about submitting to their will either. The trick is to be assertive in the right way. Have the confidence to trust in your own beliefs, knowledge, values and opinions, and be conciliatory when you can. Don’t sweat the small stuff ! If you can give up the need to argue over point of fact or opinion when nothing major is at stake, you’ll show the Controller that, despite their demanding ways, you are offering them the unconditional love they never had. This will help them to trust you more and eventually loosen their grip.’
The Victim is manipulative and makes you feel like it’s your responsibility to help them. They swing through a range of extreme emotions – tears, fear and anger – and blame everyone else for their slightest misfortune. ‘They exaggerate stories of minor injustices and engage people to rescue them,’ says Hope Bastine, relationship psychotherapist (freshperception.com).
Who they might be:
They may be a child of highachieving parents, or live in the shadow of overachieving siblings.
Tyrants like the sound of their own voice and they have to have the last word. They are bossy and behave condescendingly towards others. ‘They insist on everyone doing it their way – choosing restaurants, organising seating plans and ordering the food,’ says Dr Annie Kaszina, relationship coach and author (anniekaszina. com). They are easily riled and prone to outbursts of fury.
Who they might be:
They use seniority as proof of superiority and could be a parent, grandparent or older sibling.
What they are likely to say: ‘I’m sorry’, ‘I didn’t mean to’, ‘I always get it wrong’, ‘No one understands me’.
Why they are like this:
The Victim may have experienced an injustice but didn’t receive the appropriate sympathy. ‘As a result, they are stuck in that time, subconsciously recreating situations that replicate the original incident in order to gain sympathy,’ says Bastine.
What can you do to help them and yourself?
‘Seek out ways for them to help
What they are likely to say:
‘How could you be so stupid?’, ‘You’re talking rubbish’, ‘How ridiculous – this is how you do it!’
Why they are like this:
They could be the victim of a negligent parent or were bullied at school; lack of control early in life means the need for excessive control later on. ‘Tyrants often mistrust others and feel they can only rely on their own beliefs to be correct,’ says Helen Rice.
What can you do to help them and yourself? ‘Tell them how much you
themselves, instead of doing it for them,’ says Bastine. ‘For example, rather than cooking for an event they’ve organised, you could plan the menu together.’
How can you change the dynamic?
Helen Rice says: ‘Put boundaries in place and set limits on the amount of time you’re willing to spend discussing their woes. Have a look, too, at what you’ve been holding back from them. Explain what it’s like for you being their go-to person – if the relationship is important to them, they’ll respect that.’
appreciate them sharing their wisdom and that you will take what they say into consideration,’ says Kaszina. ‘They need gratification, but don’t let them bully you into behaving like a frightened child.’
How can you change the dynamic?
Kaszina says: ‘It is not a good idea to try to reason with the tyrant. What they respond to best is being told, very clearly, where you stand. Let them know that they can be part of the problem, or part of the solution, as your position will not change.’
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Drama Queens exaggerate life events to get attention. ‘They are usually too busy recounting their latest drama to listen to anything you have to say,’ says Annie Kaszina.
Who they might be:
They are often an only child or a significantly older sibling to a brother or sister whose arrival they took badly... and never got over!
What they are likely to say:
‘You won’t believe what’s just happened’, ‘Why do people always pick on me?’, ‘They hate me’, ‘Bad things always happen to me’.
Why they are like this:
They will do anything within their power to make someone else responsible for their life, either by passive-aggressive sulking, or creating drama. They are needy and feel they don’t have the resources to deal with life.
What can you do to help them and yourself?
‘Tell them how much you believe in their ability to handle a situation,’ says life coach Jo Emerson (jo-emerson.com). ‘Explain that you are right behind them, offering encouragement and support. Remind them what good communicators they are.’
How can you change the dynamic?
Kaszina says: ‘First, try to get their attention. Interrupt their monologue and say, “I want to help you, so let’s see where we can shed a new light on this.” Encourage them to apply their mind by asking, “What one thing can you do right now that will have some effect?”’
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The Denier sweeps family tensions under the carpet and winds up those who want to talk candidly.
Who they might be:
Often an only child, the eldest in the family or the ‘tough/strong’ one.
What they are likely to say:
‘Everything is fine’, ‘I don’t want to hear it’, ‘It’s not such a big thing’, ‘You know they don’t mean it’.
Why they are like this:
‘It’s likely they went through some trauma and dissociated themselves from the experience,’ says Hope Bastine. This may have been a useful survival mechanism at the time, and they carry on out of habit.
What can you do to help them and yourself?
Dealing with a Denier can be frustrating, as they would fight to the death, rather than face the truth. Annie Kaszina says: ‘They need to know that they have your support, especially around the people they tend to withdraw from.’
How can you change the dynamic?
Kaszina says: ‘There is no point in trying to argue with a Denier, because they will cling to their own view. Instead, say, “I understand that this feels real for you.”’
It’s easy to point the finger at others, but ponder the following in your journal: l What role do you play in your family? l What can you do to help yourself? l What can you do to change the family dynamic?
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“ I can’t stop overthinking ”
Our award-winning coach Kim Morgan meets a woman whose extreme overthinking and overanalysing is holding her back
Thinking too much
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She replied: ‘I really want to change. It’s definitely a 10 out of 10 for me.’ She told me she was exhausted, stressed, frustrated and felt completely stuck. ‘It’s making me anxious and I am not sleeping well,’ she added. Fran thought over and over again about things that had already happened, agonising about what she could have done differently. She often believed that she had said the wrong thing to someone and was endlessly reliving the conversation in her mind. Fran also thought about things that hadn’t yet happened. She told me she was still living at home with her parents, because she couldn’t decide whether to move out, to buy or rent a house, or where to live. Fran had split up with her boyfriend, because she couldn’t decide whether he was ‘Mr Right’, and eventually
NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED
Fran told me that her mother had paid for her to have coaching because she was driving her friends and family mad with her endless overthinking and overanalysing of every single aspect of her life. ‘I just think about things too much,’ Fran said. ‘I spend so long analysing everything that I can never actually make a decision. I do plenty of research and talk to lots of people about what I should do but, in the end, I just can’t bring myself to take action.’ I said to Fran that, while thinking is generally considered to be a good thing, she seemed to be saying that overthinking was having a limiting effect on her life. I asked her: ● How was her overthinking affecting her? ● On a scale of one to 10, how much did she really want to change this behaviour? *
ILLUSTR ATION ANDREA DE SANTIS
he had given up on her. She was stuck in an exhausting cycle of rumination, chewing over the past and worrying about what might happen in the future. This had left her in a constant state of anguish and ‘analysis paralysis’. At the end of our session, I gave Fran some homework: to identify a specific time and place for overthinking and limit this to one 15-minute slot each day. If Fran noticed she was overthinking at other times, she should stop and remind herself that she already had a set time for this.
She realised that she was a “people-pleaser who did not want
Formulating a plan
her decisions to upset others
In our second, and final, session, Fran told me she felt relieved to have limited her rumination time. It did not surprise me that, in her 15-minute slot, she had been doing loads of thinking about why she was overthinking! She identified three key factors: ● Looking for the perfect answer – she wanted to be certain that any decision she was making was the ‘right’ one. ● Wanting everyone to be happy – she realised that she was a people-pleaser who didn’t want her decisions to upset others. ● She came from an academic background where thinking was prized, while action was not valued so highly. Fran and I discussed how likely it was that she would ever achieve perfection, and whether she would be able to go through life without making any decisions that affected other people. For the first time, I saw a spark of real energy and decisiveness in her. ‘Worrying excessively has resulted in me being anxious, single and still living at home with my parents. What’s the worst that can happen if I try something new?’ she said. I confess that I felt a bit anxious at this point, as Fran seemed to be moving from one extreme to another very quickly. However, I recognised that my role now was to help her formulate a considered action plan. By the end of our session, Fran had made a list of life goals, with clear timescales. She planned to have left her job within six months to take an ‘adult gap year’, which involved travelling solo around the world. One morning, a few months later, I received a postcard from Fran, sent from somewhere on the Inca Trail in Peru. She said she was learning that life could be messy, unpredictable and uncontrollable, but deeply enriching. For more from Kim, go to barefootcoaching.co.uk
Join the Thought Police
the life lab
Identify the distorted thinking that is determining your behaviour. If you find yourself thinking in any of the following ways, stop and interrogate your thoughts. Are they true? What else could you think that would be more useful to you? ● All-or-nothing thinking. This involves thinking in black and white rather than shades of grey. For example, ‘If I can’t find the one perfect answer, I won’t do anything.’ ● ‘Shoulds’ and ‘musts’. ‘I should be able to find an answer to this’ or ‘I must be certain before I do anything.’ ● Fortune-telling or mind-reading. ‘I know it will all go wrong if I try to do this’ or ‘I know what that person thinks of me.’ LET THINGS GO Let go of the need to control everything and accept that things do sometimes go wrong and, if they do, it will not necessarily be the end of the world. If we worried about falling over when we were babies, we would never have learned to walk. We sometimes learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. Make a list of things that feel scary for you to do – start small and build up to the scariest ones. This does not have to involve skydiving! For you, this might be driving to a new place on your own, or going to a theme park for the first time. It might just be doing something completely unplanned and spontaneous. The courage it takes you to do something new or scary will turn into new confidence. GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD AND INTO YOUR BODY ● Become aware of when you are thinking too much and turn your attention to what you are feeling in your body. ● Ensure you limit your rumination time to just 15 minutes per day. ● Practise mindfulness, yoga or meditation. ● Listen to music. ● Move around a bit more. ● Stop rationalising, justifying, analysing and explaining yourself to others – there’s no need. They will love the change and so will you.
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my home “The entrance hall has a huge impact. We shipped the carved archway back from India after a holiday”
“Clocks and candelabra are two of our favourite things to collect and adorn almost every mantelpiece”
“We’re surrounded by things we love”
A chance encounter led Emma and David Mann to this seaside villa, which is a striking backdrop for their antique collection, as well as a cosy family home
WORDS AMY MAYNARD PHOTOGR APHS RICHARD GADSBY
estled in the pretty coastal town of Hastings, Emma and David Mann’s home is a hybrid of a museum, a curio shop and a relative’s welcoming abode. It’s hard to decide whether to gaze at the objects covering every surface or curl up in front of the fire with a cup of tea. During a spur-of-the-moment visit to trawl the town’s junk shops almost a decade ago, the couple noticed the beautiful houses in the area. Not long after, they swapped their small home in West London for this vast, four-bedroom Victorian villa in the East Sussex town. They transformed it by stripping back
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layers of paint, relocating the kitchen and filling the house with beautiful antiques. Then, in 2015, they turned their passion for collecting antiques into a business and opened a vintage shop on the seafront. Now, the house is a living and breathing storeroom, with pieces constantly coming and going. With paintings, religious artefacts and antique furniture all residing together, the surroundings have become the norm for the couple’s two children, Harvey, 14, and 12-year-old Milly. In fact, their parents’ love of collectables has been woven into the fabric of their lives for as long as they can remember. ‘Most
children would return from a holiday in France with colouring books in their rucksacks, but we made our two carry antique breakables,’ laughs Emma. ‘And, when Harvey was a baby, David made him a mobile from a carved gilt phoenix and Sanderson fabric remnants. Now, he has a 19th-century Breton oak wardrobe in his bedroom, but there’s also Lego everywhere, so it’s very incongruous!’ Despite this, the children remain ‘generally indifferent’ to the activities of their parents. ‘When I eventually roll over, all this stuff will be going to the charity shop,’ laughs David. Jokes aside, the house is obviously a much-loved >>>
The family spend a lot of time in the sitting room, enjoying a roaring log fire almost every day in the winter
LEFT David is a fan of British naval prints, like these ones on the hallway wall BELOW AND RIGHT The kitchen is by Mobalpa at HKS in Hastings and the hanging lamps from a French flea market are almost like an art installation BOTTOM RIGHT A bottle of little bulbs creates a unique feature. A former shop cabinet shows off a collection of vintage beer and wine glasses
â€œThe island doubles as a workspace for my ceramic painting. I can easily spend many hours working awayâ€?
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my home LEFT AND BELOW Emma and David enjoy views over the treetops of the local park from their light and airy bedroom. Vintage floral fabrics alongside
family home for the children, and Emma and David have a relaxed approach to parenting, meaning that they don’t have to constantly tell the children not to touch this candelabra or that painting. Instead, there is a quiet, mutual respect. With various career incarnations under their belts – David was a theatre production manager and Emma a civil servant and teacher – when a black weather-boarded toilet block right by the sea came up for auction, the couple set about realising their dream of running an antiques business. The result is Flushed; a quirky shopcum-café not far from the house. Now, Emma and David have the perfect excuse to spend even more time at auction houses and flea markets, which begs the question: do they end up getting attached to things they’ve bought for the shop? The answer is, of course, yes. ‘We buy stuff to sell at the shop and store it at home. Emma puts a price tag on it and, if I like the piece, I take it off again!’ says David. ‘My dad and I used to read naval fiction; I love the sea and have lots of nautical memorabilia. Among my
French gilt antiques create a feeling of faded grandeur BOTTOM The loo is painted in a hue inspired by shutters the couple saw in Spain
favourites are a collection of early 19th-century engravings of sea captains in the hallway.’ For Emma, her most treasured items are ones from the early days of the couple’s relationship. ‘David recently tried to take an ornamental brass box from the house to sell at the shop, but I wouldn’t let him, because we found it on a trip to India years ago, and every time I look at it I think of that holiday,’ she says. The couple met in London more than 20 years ago, when they lived in adjoining flats. David used to leave flowers (and on one occasion a tarte Tatin) on Emma’s doorstep, and eventually she gave in to his charms, moving across the hall into his place. A discovered mutual interest in interiors, coupled with their creative flair, resulted in the perfect partnership. ‘It’s fortuitous that our passion for antiques indirectly led us to this house,’ says Emma. ‘We love its feeling of faded grandeur and the sense of calm and comfort we get from being surrounded by the people and things that we love.’ flushedhastings.co.uk
J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 49
The amazing haunted moustache A bizarre inheritance took David Bramwell on a magical journey, and taught him how to live
illustration: image source
y great-aunt Sylvia left me a somewhat bizarre inheritance in 1991 – a 100-year-old moustache in a box. People cheekily ask if the moustache actually was Sylvia’s! It wasn’t. It belonged to a Victorian freak-show host called Ambrose Oddfellow, who lopped it off for charity. Somehow, it ended up in my aunt’s house, where it took pride of place on her mantelpiece. Having inherited the ’tash in my early 20s, I made it my quest to find out all I could about its mysterious benefactor. After I moved to Brighton, I delved into the history of Victorian freak shows and, before too long, was persuaded to attend a local séance and spiritual church in an attempt to ‘make contact’ with Oddfellow. While remaining sceptical of an afterlife, my moustache took me on numerous adventures, leading me
to meditate on the objects in our lives and the life lessons they can teach us.
Live in the present
Being in possession of a fine Victorian ’tash, it wasn’t long before I came into contact with Brighton’s most celebrated moustachioed eccentric: Drako Zarhazar. Zarhazar had made films with Andy Warhol, danced at the Moulin Rouge and even modelled for Salvador Dali. Then, in 1991, he lost his short-term memory following a car crash and a spell in a coma. While still able to recall a few long-term events, he had very little short-term memory and never recognised me, no matter how many times I paid him a visit. Rather than appearing bewildered or lost, Zarhazar expressed gratitude for being alive: his mantra was ‘love it all’. He had also made his home a work
of art. The whole flat was a paper forest, dense with mobiles and collages of memorabilia, correspondences, erotica, religious aphorisms, and a reminder to feed his cat. Unable to access the content of his mind, Drako had externalised it. Stepping into his home was like entering another man’s thoughts, defined by the objects that filled it. For him, each object was an access point to fleeting memories, a portal into a distant land. For the rest of the time, he had no choice but to live in the present. Established wisdom tells us that trying to live more in ‘the now’ can help relieve our suffering. Drake – unfettered by regret, unable to dwell in the past and forever wearing a beaming smile – appeared to be living proof.
Find your magic
One of my favourite places in England is the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. >>>
J ANUAR Y 2 0 1 7 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 51
with its gruesome but fascinating collection of shrunken heads – which feature in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials – this gloomy Victorian museum contains a section called ‘Sympathetic magic’. Here, in glass-fronted cabinets of curiosity, lay a bottle for ‘trapping witches’, a sinister voodoo doll full of nails and odd charms for curing warts. We may view such items as arcane superstition, but sympathetic magic is still practised in the 21st century. A modern-day equivalent could be a cabinet containing money, a placebo and a flag. Like the totems of the past, these objects have no intrinsic power or use until we give them meaning. And what a stimulus for the imagination they can be! A placebo is, perhaps, the most powerful example we have of modernday magic, demonstrating that we all have the potential to heal ourselves through our imagination alone. My moustache was, essentially, just someone’s hair in a box but, by investing significance in it, it took me on a journey. This, arguably, is the true essence of magic and it is all around us, in our everyday objects.
are the best “wayStories for us to learn how to live in the world. Through our stories, we have the power to heal ourselves and those around us
Have a story to tell
Another friendship forged through my singular inheritance was with Marty, a retired New York maths professor with a wise and brilliant mind. It was his opinion that my great-aunt Sylvia had bequeathed me the moustache to give me ‘a head start in life’; to set me off on an adventure with a tale to relay. Marty didn’t believe it was the meaning of life we’re all searching for – as we’re led to suppose – but the experience of life. For him, the important thing was to participate in life and have a good story to tell. ‘Stories,’ he told me, ‘are the best way for us to learn how to live in
Explore these questions in your journal l Sympathetic
l Live in the
l Storytelling spark: Experiment
play with the idea of placebo? Can you divest your early morning tea; special necklace or piece of clothing with magical powers? What if they could make you stronger, happier or calmer – or allow you to read minds?
object/s could you adopt, or scatter around your living or work space, to inspire you to live more in the ‘now’? Light a candle when you come in from work? Place pebbles from the beach on your desk?
with telling a new story about how your day went by asking yourself different questions about it. What everyday objects or rituals have charmed, enchanted, delighted or intrigued you today?
magic: How can you
52 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E j a n u a r y 2 0 1 7
the world. And through our own stories we have the power to heal ourselves and those around us.’ In the book, A Journey Around My Room, Xavier de Maistre – under house arrest for a duel and confined to his bedroom for six weeks – applied a spirit of adventure to his predicament and wrote about the objects he encountered as he wound his way around the room, as well as what they meant to him. Like de Maistre, I opened myself to a journey that I eventually committed to print. Marty was probably right about my aunt’s motives for leaving me the moustache; I’ve dined off its story more times than I can remember.
Spark your imagination
As with the coat of a departed loved one, or a house we once lived in, the things around us are haunted with meaning. Any object has the power to ignite an adventure if we allow it; it doesn’t have to be anything as flamboyant as a moustache. Hitchcock famously coined the term McGuffin to describe a plot device around which a story is centred. Sometimes the McGuffin is an object, like the statuette in the The Maltese Falcon. Hitchcock saw the nature of such objects as secondary to the story; the Maltese Falcon could have been a painting or the secret recipe for CocaCola; it was simply a motif around which to wrap a good thriller. Any chance purchase at a junk shop has the potential to take us on an adventure – should we invest it with a little magic and meaning. We might research its history and geography, track down its creators, let it lead us down unfamiliar paths to new people and places and – in the process – allow us time to live more fully in the present. And, like my haunted moustache, if you are lucky, it could even provide you with a story to dine off.
Sleep with Pukka
Let orga anic herbs awaken your morning g glow Disscover more at pukkaherbs.co om
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Our agony aunt Mary Fenwick offers a new perspective on whatever is troubling you
‘‘How can I help ‘‘
My 17-year-old daughter is intelligent and beautiful, but she believes she is ugly. This is not the typical teen having a bad hair or bad skin day – it’s hideous. She feels as though her life is ruined by the way she looks. She has had counselling, but this was no help as she refused to talk about it – she is very private. I have tried to find a specialist in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), but I feel there is nowhere to turn. Her GP has been great, but I have no idea how to help my poor daughter. We even paid for plastic surgery to fix a scar left from chickenpox. I leave work early to drive her to college every day, and I try to be there for her as much as possible, but she leaves the house less and less. I don’t even know whether I am helping or not; my husband thinks I am too soft. My daughter believes more surgery is the only thing that will make her feel better. What can I do or say to help? Name supplied
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My concern is for you, as the mother of a teenager who is unwell at the moment. I have found a number of resources about BDD, but first I want to talk about you. I get an impression of great intensity from your letter, as if what is going on inside your daughter’s head is the dominant force in your household. The condition is interfering with work, school and family life, not just for one person, but at least three. I urge you to take it seriously as a health issue for you, not just your daughter. When my own family was confronted with a mental-health crisis, we had brilliant support from the NHS, but I also decided to seek counselling, in consultation with my GP. I knew that I couldn’t do this on my own. Please ensure your GP is fully in the picture about your challenge as a mother. Be insistent in asking to see a doctor who specialises in mental-health issues. Your role is to retain a calm, hopeful perspective and to challenge the distorted thoughts. Note that you are challenging the thoughts, not your
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 Follow Mary on Twitter @MJFenwick
daughter as a person. The aim is not for you to enter her world, but to help guide her back from that frightening place. The BDD Foundation website (see ‘More Inspiration’, opposite) is explicit on this point: don’t collaborate in trying to find ‘magic solutions’, such as cosmetic surgery. All of the following points are taken from its family-and-friends section: ensure that you carry on doing things that you enjoy for yourself; practise saying no to requests for reassurance; and avoid getting drawn into debates about her appearance. Now that you’ve reached out to me, please keep up your good work. There are many people with vastly more experience in this than either you or me. One or two useful conversations every week will get you a long way.
photograph: victoria birkinshaw
my daughter to accept the way she looks?
the life lab
“My husband doesn’t know about my lesbian fantasies”
I’ve been with my husband for eight years and we have two children. I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people around. My husband is loving and supportive, and he’s always been with me through thick and thin. I’ve never had a sexual relationship with another female, but I’ve always considered myself to be bisexual. However, more recently, I find myself fantasising about other women. I no longer want sex from my husband and, instead, wait until he is asleep to go downstairs and watch lesbian porn to bring myself to climax. I just don’t know what to think or feel any more. What should I do? Name supplied
The fear that I hear behind your words is that, if you are open about your sexual desires, you will lose your husband. For all you know, he could be upstairs dreaming about watching lesbian porn with his wife. The fact that your fantasies are about women is not the central point – if you were in a long-term lesbian relationship, you might be running heterosexual movies in your head, but may not want to act on them. I’m more interested in the issues around trusting your husband (what is thick and thin if not this?), your own shame (a rape fantasy wouldn’t mean you want it in real life) and what your husband
is supposed to do if you have wordlessly decided that your sex life is no longer a source of mutual pleasure. Not having sex, and not being honest about what is going on, is a well-trodden route to divorce. Author and sex therapist, Esther Perel, writes and speaks about sex as a way to connect, not just a means of reproduction. What happens when our need for safety and stability in a long-term relationship clashes with our need for passion and excitement? I suggest that you watch a few of Esther’s YouTube videos (see ‘More Inspiration’, below). The brave thing is not to withdraw from your husband because of these feelings, but to be honest and share them.
“I can’t be honest with my friend about her relationship”
My friend recently got back together with a terrible, terrible ex, who has repeatedly used her and broken her heart. She never seems to learn from her romantic experiences and, while I have been supportive in the past, I no longer feel able to do so. As a result, I have been avoiding her. We were an odd pairing to begin with, with little in common other than our tendency to think too deeply. I have thought about writing to her to explain how I feel, but I don’t want to upset her. I don’t want to cut off all contact either; friends have done these things to me in the past, and it took years for me to get over it. I find conflict terribly difficult to deal with and have great anxiety about it. I can’t see a way out without hurting
her – which I don’t want to do – and I don’t know where to go from here. Name supplied
Sometimes, we don’t quite know how we are feeling until we say the words out loud, write them down, or recognise them in someone else. Perhaps you believe something like, ‘If I take care of this person for long enough, then sooner or later they will take care of me in return’? I have to say that this can be a trap for me, too. We can’t fix things for other people and they can’t fix us. It’s a pattern of behaviour where we act as if our needs don’t matter and it’s all about the other person. If you are interested in background theory about the role of a ‘rescuer’ and
how to transform it into something more useful, then look at the Karpman Drama Triangle and the Winner’s Triangle (see ‘More Inspiration’, below). Please take it from me that you have total permission to limit your contact with anyone who drains your goodwill. I have faith that this mini-crisis will help you learn a lot about setting limits, in the best possible way. More inSPIRATION Read: bddfoundation.org/ helping-you/family-and-friends Watch: Esther Perel’s The Secret To Desire In A Long-Term Relationship, TED Talk, youtube.com Read: coachingclimate.co.uk/ sites/coachingclimate.co.uk/ files/user/drama_to_winner.pdf
J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 57
CHARMED What is charm? A magical aura that surrounds a chosen few? A fake smile and a good storyteller; something to be forged and learned? Or could it be that charm is a unique element within all of us, a resource at our fingertips, just waiting to be unlocked? This month, we share the secret to discovering your hidden authentic charm. From relationships to networking, and everything in between, we discuss how to find your own version of charisma and use it to its full potential for a happier and more successful life. Plus, we look at the dark side of charm, and hear from three people about how they became more charming and now use it successfully in their lives. Enchanté…
“All the diversity, all the charm, and all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade” Leo Tolstoy, ‘Anna Karenina’
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do you have the charm-factor?
Charm; that secret weapon in life that we all wish we had a little more of. But what if a well of unique charm lies within all of us? Anita Chaudhuri investigates how to get in touch with our authentic allure
PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES
harm is a funny thing. Most of us secretly wish we had more of the ‘wow factor’, that magic ingredient that makes small-talk sparkle and fizz like the best Prosecco, dazzling potential BFFs, colleagues, bosses and soulmates with our captivating wit. To this end there are countless books, self-help programmes and TED Talks devoted to the mysterious art of winning people over. Strange then, given all the helpful advice out there, how rare it still is to come across someone who is genuinely charming. We’ve all fallen victim to the smooth-talker – that unpleasant character who is armed with a clear agend a , a pa sted- on sm i le a nd outrageous flattery, which is why, when we encounter authentic charm, it makes such a lasting impression. As a child growing up in Glasgow, I can still vividly recall the first time I witnessed charm in action. My mother had befriended Mary, a local artist who lived in a sandstone townhouse. She had a classic green sports car called Delilah that she never drove but, much to my delight, referred to often as if the car was an actual person. One day, Mary offered to babysit and my mother, keen to make a good impression, dressed four-year-old me in a white dress and white lacy tights for the occasion.
I spent a magical afternoon in Mary’s studio discovering the joy of oil paints and sipping ‘cocktails’ made from lemonade and orange juice. When my mother arrived to pick me up, she exclaimed in dismay: ‘Oh no, your dress!’ Unfortunately, there was now a vermillion hexagon oozing down the front of my frock. I’m sure my mother was furious with Mary, but her friend simply beamed and nodded towards my dress. ‘Isn’t it marvellous? It looks exactly like a map of France! Now let’s go and have some cakes...’ After that, whenever anyone in our family made a mess, we would simply say, ‘Isn’t it marvellous? It looks exactly like...’ That’s the thing about charming people; they can get away with doing pretty much anything and still come up smelling of roses. Writer, Albert Camus, summed it up best when he wrote in The Fall: ‘Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.’ And that’s essentially why charm is so important – a large amount of our lives are taken up with wanting other people to say ‘yes’ in some way or another. True charmers, in fact, are often the ones who can get away with saying ‘no’ to other people. Psychologist, Sylvia Loehken, author of The Power Of Personality (John Murray Learning, £14.99), believes that the words charm and charisma are interchangeable. ‘The >>>
“That’s the thing about charming people, they can get away with doing pretty much anything”
J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 61
Dossier >>> original meaning of charisma is the gift of grace, connoting
the belief that it was something given by the gods. Although we may feel that charm and charisma are qualities that are either inherent or not, that’s not accurate. Anyone can acquire this gift.’ Loehken observes that charm has three ingredients: self-confidence, empathy and presence. ‘The self-confident person walks into a room and gives out the message, “I know who I am and it’s OK that I am who I am.” This allows them to speak with authority and confidence. Empathy – the ability to look at things from the perspective of others – is deeply connected to conveying warmth and expressing genuine feelings towards others. Lastly, presence is the gift of being in the moment, being alert and interested in what others are doing and saying.’ In her coaching work with clients, Loehken helps people understand how they’re currently using this mix of skills, and how they can fine-tune them to communicate more authentically with others. ‘People confide in me that they feel charisma is a gift that you’re either born with or not, and that they don’t feel they have it. But I always give them examples of people who didn’t start out with any natural charm, but worked on it, and turned out to be very charismatic in the end.’ Some notable examples include perhaps one of the most authentically charming people in music, Adele. When she first emerged as an artist, she was made a joke of by comedian impressionists, yet now is adored by millions for her honest songwriting and tendency to tell it like it is. Steve Jobs, when he founded Apple, was a dry and rigid communicator. And Barack Obama: ‘Obama used to be extremely boring. No one in America, an extroverted country, wanted to listen to him. But he started training, working on his communication and speeches, and now he is seen as very charismatic,’ observes Loehken. What’s interesting about all of these examples is that they all succeeded in developing their own brand of charisma rather than trying to copy somebody else. Speaking of American politicians, how about Donald Trump? He certainly has bucketloads of charisma, which leads us to consider that charm is not always positive. ‘Yes, unfortunately, he is quite charismatic. The thing is there’s
no connection between people being willing to listen to anything you say, and the quality of your message,’ says Loehken. So you could be using charm to communicate ideas that are unethical or unpleasant? This surely is where charm gets its bad name, the charmer/conman of countless tabloid headlines and crime thrillers.
practise genuine charm
So how can we use charm to get ahead in an ethical way? Coach and author of The Confidence Factor (Crimson Publishing, £12.99), Annie Ashdown, has some simple, but not necessarily easy-to-follow, advice. ‘Make sure your words match your actions. Many manipulative people use charm to get what they want. Conmen, addicts and players, t h ieves a nd cha ncer s c a n be charming, so the way to use charm to get ahead ethically is to practise integ r it y.’ This sounds li ke a no-brainer but often, when you’re desperate to impress someone, be it a potential employer or partner, that can get lost in a rush of flirty flattery and over-optimistic promises. ‘Try to focus on being consistent, gracious, humble and reliable,’ suggests A shdow n. ‘ Follow throug h on everything you promise, make an effort to remember people’s names, birthdays and anniversaries, send cards, or post that book to the person you met at a party who loves a particular author.’ The latter idea might sound a wee bit far-fetched, almost ‘trying too hard’ perhaps. But I remember a few years ago I interviewed someone over coffee for Psychologies. The article never ran, for reasons I can no longer recall, but some weeks later I received a parcel from the person containing a rare book I’d expressed a desire to read. Bowled over doesn’t even begin to describe how that gesture made me feel.
“Although some of us may feel that charm and charisma are qualities that you’re either born with or not, that’s not accurate. Anyone can acquire this gift”
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surviving social anxiety
What about social events, though, where the only thing you can fall back on is good, old-fashioned small talk? It’s an activity that makes me cringe, particularly at denselypopulated work events. Somehow I am invariably seized by an unhinged need to discuss, in micro-detail, the >>>
Dossier >>> weather or the intricacies of the
“Take the focus off yourself and practise being gracious, kind and considerate. Think about how you can help the other person, without expecting anything in return”
London bus system. ‘Instead of focusing on what you want to get from someone, focus on being of service,’ suggests Ashdown. ‘Take the focus off yourself and practise being gracious, kind and considerate. Think about how you can help the other person and offer to assist them without expecting anything in return.’ I did try this at the next work event I attended and, to an extent, it worked. Instead of worrying that I had nothing to say, I started listening more and talking less. But I still felt really uncomfortable and, because I was paying more attention than usual, I noticed that my body language was affected by the stress. My body was tense and stiff, and the hand that wasn’t gripping a wine glass was making a tight fist. Elizabeth Kuhnke, author of Body Language (Capstone, £10.99), has some great advice. ‘If you want to know and understand another person, and establish a rapport, don’t just plough in there. Instead, take time to observe them. If the person is quiet and cultivated, mirror and match their gestures and volume of speech. Keep looking at them, see how they’re behaving and mirror it back until they look comfortable.’ Kuhnke believes that we can also use the power of touch to our advantage to increase charisma. ‘Touch is such a nurturing gesture. If you want to progress the relationship, particularly with a member of the opposite sex, don’t be afraid to use touch, but always be respectful. Don’t just pounce on them. That’s the fine art of flirtation. Your aim is to make the other person feel good about themselves and, above all, to laugh and have fun.’
This is a good reminder for those of us who dislike enforced socialising, because it’s all too easy to lose sight of the point of it all. It has always puzzled me why I’m not better at this. I’m not an introvert and, in other areas of life, I’m not exactly known as a shrinking violet. Loehken has analysed the different communication styles adopted by introverts and extroverts. She points out that shyness, particularly ‘situational shyness’, which is apparently what I’m grappling with, has nothing to do
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with introversion or extroversion. ‘There are shy extroverts, and socially accessible introverts, who are very good with words and people. We often believe that shyness and introversion are the same thing but that’s not true. Just because someone is shy doesn’t mean they’re an introvert. Rather, to be shy has something to do with fear. When I feel shy, I’m afraid that people will evaluate me or my communication as not good enough.’ So what can we do about it? ‘What I normally advise is for the person to gradually increase social risks. Could I go to that party and talk to just one person and then give myself permission to leave? Start very small and, gradually, as you learn that people are not so frightful, you can slowly increase your threshold of stress step by step.’
beING your TRUE self
Loehken says that people often make the mistake of conflating extroversion and charisma. ‘There are charismatic extroverts, and rather uncharismatic extroverts as well, and the same is true of introverts. Attraction can be a subtle glow rather than a blazing fire. When we talk about self-confidence with introverts, they may also have a great sense of humour. A great example of this is the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. She’s an introvert but she’s famous for her dry sense of humour which has a very charismatic effect.’ In fact, Loehken goes as far as to suggest that introverts are at a personality advantage when it comes to the charm stakes. ‘What people generally want is to be seen, known and understood, and introverts are naturally able to give others warm attention and understanding. Introverts can decode feelings, go deeply into a particular topic and really share ideas with another person. So the question isn’t whether an introvert can be charismatic, it’s how they can express that in their own way. This is not about being artificially chatty, it’s just about being yourself rather than trying to play a role.’ And that seems to really sum up what charm is all about – be authentic. As Oscar Wilde quipped: ‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.’
How to turn up to a party on your own by Sylvia Loehken
Make a plan
Find out who else is attending the event. Contact someone you’d like to meet ahead of time and say you’re looking forward to seeing them there. Even if you don’t know them, you can still drop them a quick email beforehand.
Think about some burning questions you want to ask the person, or a few things you have in common
that you could talk about. Preparation reduces stress. Now you’ve already got at least one person who is expecting you, and you’ve prepared what you might talk about. Of course it’s not set in stone, but it gives you direction. It’s the undirectedness of small talk that can create stress.
UTILISE THE HOST
Once at the party, ask the host to introduce you to someone you like the look
of or have heard about. This is a safe way to create a contact, and the other person will feel flattered to have been approached by the host, who can act as a bridge between the two of you.
If you do know other people at the party, offer to introduce someone you’ve just met to another person who you think they’d find interesting. That puts you
at the centre of social interaction, and you’re doing something nice for someone else, too.
Know how to take YOUR leave
Simply say ‘it’s been so interesting talking to you, I’m sure I’ll bump into you again later’. Never excuse yourself by going to the bathroom or the bar because the person may wait for you, or worse, follow you!
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You littlE charmer
Can you cultivate charm? Three people share what they have learned about charm and how to use it for a more fulfilling life INTERVIEWS RIN HAMBURGH PHOTOGRAPH gareth iwan jones
“If you’re available in terms of your emotions, it makes it hard for people to push you away” Kat Branch, 36, teacher
hair and make-up: jyn san
uring high school I was bullied, so I went on a deliberate charm-offensive. I was about 13 years old and I remember thinking: ‘If I make these people laugh and we can share a moment, they won’t be so horrible.’ They were losing sight of the fact that I was a human being with feelings, so I tried to connect with them. I found that if I used humour and conversation that created a sense of relationship, it would pretty much guarantee that person wouldn’t be bullying me again. Fake charm is all talk; it’s ego-driven and about overwhelming the other person with your personality. If you are warm and apply thoughtful questioning, you can build a relationship with the other person. Real charm is about listening carefully, looking right at people and smiling with your eyes. It’s very hard for people to reject you if you’re showing them that
kind of warmth and interest. And then if you add humour – so that they are having fun as well as feeling listened to – that’s when they start thinking and saying: ‘Oh, she was charming.’ It’s a skill I have continued to use both in my personal and professional life. I worked as a teacher in prisons with young offenders for nine years. Some of these people were extremely violent, but I never saw any of that in my classroom, because the environment was built on respect and caring about each other. It had to be real though. If I hadn’t actually cared about the people I was working with, they would have seen me coming a mile off. If you’re confident and available in terms of your emotions, it makes it very hard for people to be rude to you or push you away. Real charm is actually just showing that you really care with a series of deliberate expressions.
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“You cannot be charming if you are riddled with expectations, assumptions, stress or worry”
JEN WAGSTAFF, 32, SALES TRAINER
hen I started my career, I had no experience in sales, but I kept getting promoted because everyone seemed to think I had potential. By the time I was 26, I was a sales trainer at a large multinational organisation. I was training the 1,500-strong sales force across Europe, the Middle East and Africa – and I was terrified. I never once felt I had the charm, charisma or elegance that the other top performers had. In my opinion, my success was the result of years of ‘winging it’. The tipping point was when I went blank on stage while training 250 sales executives in Barcelona. I was fed up with feeling anxious all the time, so I gave myself three months to make changes or I’d quit. I began studying cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and worked on myself from the inside out. I wanted to be charming and I was determined to learn how. Over the next few years I worked hard to develop this. I had a great coach who showed me how to detach
myself from my ego. I stopped caring about what others thought of me and how I could ‘be the best’, and my intent shifted to how I could help others. I peeled back the corporate role-playing layers and found myself. The problem, particularly in sales, is that trying to be charming is like trying to be cool: the harder you try, the less likely you are to achieve it. That’s because people often use poor techniques, such as drowning themselves in aftershave, laughing too much or giving cringe-worthy compliments, to be ‘charming’ and get what they want. Their intent is all about them. I believe you can only be charming when you are fully present and focused on the other person. Since I’ve developed this mindset of genuine charm, presence and good intent, I feel free. My selling and training has become a pleasure. Not only can I now sell in a feel-good way, I can also help my clients to learn how to sell in a feel-good way. wearecreativemind.com
“If you’re preoccupied with who you think people want you to be, it’s hard to connect”
MARTY DRURY, 35, COUNSELLOR
y friend Graham is one of the most charming people I know. I met him three years ago and, I’ll admit, I was probably a bit unfair to him at first. I’ve met superficially charming people many times before, so I didn’t expect him to be genuine. But he is – though he’d never say so. He’s a real gentleman and is genuinely interested in other people and how they are. He’ll do anything for anyone and there’s no sense of you owing him anything in return. There isn’t a need to be anyone but yourself with him. He accepts you exactly as you are, and there’s nothing you need to do. I’m not naturally at ease when I meet new people. As an introvert, I don’t find the company of other people restful for long. If you’re in a social situation and you’re preoccupied with who you think they want you to be, it’s hard to connect.
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People talk about charm like it’s a skill you can learn, which is something that used to frustrate me. I thought, if only I could ‘crack the code’ then suddenly I’d be the life and soul of the party. I was bullied at school and made to feel like who I was as a person was wrong, so the idea of everybody liking me is appealing. And men, in particular, are supposed to be cocky, confident and charming rather than introverted. So I did try learning charm – or charisma – from various gurus, but it just felt foreign and made me feel anxious. It was either someone teaching me to become like them or to be a person I am not. Knowing Graham has made it clear to me that charm is more about being yourself. He’ll say, ‘Why do you worry about how you come across?’ Because in his head, I’m fine as I am. Through his friendship, I’ve realised that I don’t have to be anyone else – who I am is OK.
harness your authentic appeal Authenticity might be the key to charm, but what is it really, how can you get it and how do you use it once you’ve found it? Stephen Joseph, author of Authentic, shares his advice on finding and using authenticity in your life
understand authentic living
Living a life true to yourself is when you are doing your best to follow the road that is right for you, rather than the road that others want you to go down. To follow your own path in life can sometimes feel frightening, so it needs to be said that the authentic person is not fearless, but is willing to feel their fear to be themselves. The payoff is that you are then able to find ways to use your strengths and talents to their full and, as a result, you become the best version of yourself that you can be. By being creative, energetic and passionate about what you do, you then create happiness and success in your life and in the lives of those around you.
You can get stuck in terms of life success and happiness when you are not sure who your authentic self is. From when you wake up in the morning to when you go to sleep, there will be at least some points in your day when you can truly be yourself, but for many parts of the day, it is like you are wearing a mask. You do not say or show what you truly think or feel. There may be good reasons why you do this initially, such as to help you cope with a difficult situation, but if you
live inauthentically, day after day, month after month, year after year, eventually it is likely to take a heavy emotional toll.
Take OFF THE mask
When what you say and do does not match how you think and feel, it creates an inner psychological tension that can be distressing. You wish to create harmony between what is going on inside you with what you express. In an ideal world, what you say and do would be consistent with what you think and feel, but sometimes it is not easy to take off the mask. You are frightened by the risks that come with being yourself. You promise yourself that one day, you will be more true to yourself, but not today. Time ticks by, however, and the mask eventually becomes the face. You no longer know who you truly are.
LEARN TO Use the formula for an authentic life
There are three things that authentic people do: they know themselves, they own themselves and they are prepared to be themselves. First, authentic people know what they like and dislike; what they are good and less good at; and what they are and are not prepared to do. Second, owning oneself is about
taking responsibility for our choices in life – the authentic person will not let others blind them to their own truth or let others bully them into taking a position that they don’t agree with. Third, authentic people are willing to say what they think and feel, and to act in ways that are consistent with their beliefs and values. In short, the formula for an authentic life is: know yourself + own yourself + be yourself = the authentic life.
RISE TO the challenge
Those who are authentic can be challenging. They won’t let people walk over them, but they can also be charming – not in a narcissistic way, but in a genuine way in which they bring out the best in others. Think about the people who you most admire and respect. Chances are they are highly authentic people. Authentic people are honest, open and assertive, but they are also fair-minded, compassionate and thoughtful. We like authenticity in other people and we want others to think of us as authentic. Ironically, some people will try to fake it, but fakes are soon spotted. Commit to being honest with yourself, and start a real adventure towards living an authentic life. ‘Authentic: How To Be Yourself And Why It Matters’ by Stephen Joseph (Piatkus, £14.99)
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The charm offensive
Can there be a sinister side to a person’s charisma? Psychotherapist and counsellor, Ahi Wheeler, reveals the underworld of charm… What is narcissism?
Narcissism is generally classified as a sense of self love. It comes from Ovid’s Metamorpheses, the Greek myth of Narcissus, which first identified a person being incapable of experiencing love external to themselves because there is such a great degree of self love. It entered the field of psychiatry and psychotherapy as a personality disorder, providing difficulties in functionality across several areas of life. It’s generally thought to first manifest in adolescence, but continues through the person’s life. We all have traits of narcissism in us. We’re born with an instinctive self. If you think of toddler tantrums, this is the ‘id’ trying to make its mark upon the world – it’s a very primal nature. Then we develop the ‘ego’, which is a learned or conditioned self, and it’s this conditioning that makes us fit to live within society. The ‘superego’ is then the higher values that we’re taught by our carers or society; the idea of who you want to be or what you should be like – the idealised version of our sense of self. It will fire off feelings of pride and jealousy, which the ego will then try to make sense of. It also follows values such as telling the truth, not harming others, depending on what our carers taught us. Narcissists are driving from the id, as
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“Narcissists appear confident and in control, but this is actually driven by a poor sense of self – by the narcissistic void” that’s where the hurt lies. Usually, narcissism begins in childhood, as a psychological wound where love or validation was not received. We call this a narcissistic void. Narcissists are trying to satisfy that very primal wound or void within themselves. However, what they carry outwardly is a sense of ego in the colloquial sense – the inflated self. They appear very confident and in control, and that is part of why people are drawn to them. But this is actually driven by a poor sense of self – by the void that made them feel they weren’t good enough. Paradoxically, narcissists have very low self-esteem, although they won’t necessarily realise that this persona they have created is superficial. They appear self-assured and are very driven in order to achieve, but they don’t realise that this comes from a huge degree of hurt and insecurity. This tends to be confronted if someone challenges
or criticises them and then they can fly into a rage. Criticism taps into the heart of that wound and in that moment it feels like a matter of life or death to them. The rage is a way for the narcissist to try to survive this perceived destruction, but is potentially destructive to themselves.
What is it that draws us to narcissists?
Initially, the narcissist’s charm manifests as complete and utter interest in us, because they are trying to get us on their side. Narcissists will make themselves available to us then, once we’re hooked in, they make themselves unavailable. That’s when we become conflicted. They detach because they’re confident that we have ‘bought into’ them. One of our basic evolutionary skills is the fight-or-flight response, but charm is another survival response. Social conditioning is necessary in order to live in a society, and that is part of charm, but we also learn to be charming to avoid being on the receiving end of aggression. So charm is necessary for everyone, but narcissists take it to a level where it isn’t authentic. Likeability is one of the most highly championed traits for all of us, but narcissistic charm isn’t genuine; it’s a game, used as part of a transaction. A narcissist is adept at manipulating
“They feel lost in regard to who they are as a result of not receiving the love they needed as a child” led towards thinking such as ‘I need to make my mark in the world’. There is a narcissistic spectrum. Fictional characters like Dorian Gray, or Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, would be at the extreme end. You’ll see high levels of narcissism in everyday life in sectors such as entertainment and politics. These people are probably along the 50 per cent mark of the spectrum. They often rise quickly in their professions by being able to charm others and create an image that portrays them as very powerful. You’ll also find people at the other end of the scale; who are taken advantage of and exploited because they don’t have that sense of self love, belief or self worth. But the narcissist’s sense of self love isn’t real; it’s created to overcome a deep hurt.
others and targeting vulnerabilities, and good at reading others, and that almost takes us into the spectrum of sociopathy.
PHOTOGRAPH: getty images
Can this psychological wound play out in a non-narcissistic way?
Yes. It’s important to note that not all circumstances of a void of love or validation in childhood emerge as narcissism. We often come across people who can be emotionally unstable in themselves or have a poor sense of selfidentity. They feel lost in regard to who they are or what their preferences are as a result of not receiving the love they
needed as a child. They might become people-pleasers, because they try to avoid conflict, as they don’t know how to survive it. They might also be dependant on others for approval.
How common is it to meet narcissists?
It is thought that about one per cent of the population can be diagnosed with the more severe end of narcissistic personality disorder, but subsequent studies show it’s potentially on the increase, because we have become a more ‘individualised’ society. This indivisualisation means that we are
Is there a dark side to charm in all of us?
I think there is. There’s a saying; there is no selfless act in the world. If you hold a door open for someone, that person then says thank you, and it makes you feel good. This is a feedback system, and our brains have to have a positive feedback system if we’re to keep repeating actions. So charm brings its own rewards. But when we start tipping the balance that we’re doing it for an ulterior gain, that’s when it can become dark. On the other hand, there are people who go through their lives being totally philanthropic, and that’s a different story. Ahi Wheeler is a mental health specialist, psychotherapist and counsellor at Harley Therapy; harleytherapy.co.uk
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What is your authentic charm? Your innate charm is your secret superpower and it can give you confidence in everyday life. Take our quiz to identify and nurture it
A By making them laugh B By being as supportive as you can be C By opening up to them about your own life D By being your usual enthusiastic self
When you mess up, what’s your instinctive way to smooth things over?
A By being honest about your mistake B By throwing yourself into sorting it out C By making light of the situation – there’s always a funny side D By putting yourself in the other person’s shoes
You’re asked to make a speech at a good friend’s wedding. What’s your priority?
A Speaking from the heart, and telling everyone how special your friend is B Making sure it’s funny enough C Finding a way to make it memorable D Thinking about what your friend would like to hear in the speech
What’s your biggest barrier in connecting with someone?
A Sense of humour failure B Feeling you’re overwhelming them C When they’re too closed D Too much cynicism or negativity
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What makes you feel better when you’re down?
A Throwing yourself into a new project B Helping someone in a worse position C Opening up to a friend D Going out and having a good laugh
How would you describe your friendship group?
A A wide mix of old and new friends who share a sense of humour B Old friends, plus new waifs and strays you take under your wing C A core group of close friends D An ever-growing network – you like to introduce people who will get on
You hear that a good friend is facing a setback and needs support. How do you react?
A Ring them straightaway and tell them you’re here if they need to talk B Go round for a cup of tea, some sympathy and to make them laugh C Suggest a weekend away and throw yourself into organising it D Have a frank conversation, and open up about your own problems
Finish this sentence. Life works better when…
A We treat each other with kindness B We all put in a bit of effort C We’re brave enough to be honest about how we feel D We can laugh at ourselves
What’s the one thing you’re confident that you bring to your relationships?
A Getting issues out in the open before they become a problem B Kindness, loyalty, support and understanding C Enthusiasm, an energy for adventure and lifelong learning D Optimism and laughter whatever life’s ups and downs
If you fall out with someone, it’s most likely to be because… A They feel neglected when you have been busy B They took offence when none was intended C They feel you’re not taking their problems seriously D You feel used or taken advantage of
Now, find the scores for your answers below, add them up, and turn the page for insight into your authentic charm:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A 6 8 8 6 2 6 4 4 8 2 B 4 2 6 2 4 4 6 2 4 8 C 8 6 2 8 8 8 2 8 2 6 D 2 4 4 4 6 2 8 6 6 4
WORDS: SALLY BROWN. photographs: AKG-IMAGES
A new colleague has a reputation for being difficult. How would you go about winning them over?
If you scored between 20 and 35
If you scored between 46 and 60
You approach life with curiosity and energy, and the people closest to you, both in your work and personal life, can’t help but be charmed by it. A natural optimist, you have a love of life and tend to see challenges as opportunities to learn. You consider yourself a lucky person, because interesting opportunities come your way, but the truth is that you create your own luck by approaching life with an open mind. What makes your enthusiasm appealing is that it comes from a place of genuine self-confidence – because you like and accept yourself, you’re also accepting of others. The result is an eclectic and wide group of friends and contacts, and a busy social life. There are few times when your natural enthusiasm works against you, but you may have picked up vibes on occasion that more introverted personalities find you overwhelming. You can also be impulsive and rush into decisions. The best way to nurture your natural charm is to spend time with optimistic people, as you can find negativity hard to deal with.
Your sense of humour is infectious and you’ve always had a talent for making people laugh. It may not be something you set out to do, but your mind finds the funny side in most situations, and you’re adept at using humour to diffuse tension. Your willingness to laugh at yourself makes you likeable, and friendships are often fast-tracked, as people feel instantly comfortable in your company. In truth, the quick wit that gets you attention may mask shyness and even insecurity. People may also be surprised to find out that you’re not immune to low moods, and humour is your defence against them. Your charm may work against you if it stops you from being taken seriously – when you feel insecure socially, you can go into self-deprecating overdrive to generate laughs, which may be at the expense of yourself and your image. You may also find it hard to connect with people who don’t get your sense of humour, and sometimes you wonder if you come across as irrelevant. At times you can feel pressure to buoy up the mood of social gatherings – try taking a back seat now and then, letting others set the tone.
if you scored between 36 and 45
If you scored between 61 and 80
There’s nothing calculated about your kindness, and it’s not simply a case of being ‘nice’. You probably never think of yourself as charming, but your open heart makes you an uplifting person to spend time with. You often fall into easy conversation with strangers and have a wide circle of friends. Being there for others is one of your core values and you may find yourself drawn to caring professions. In relationships, you are loyal and forgiving and, at work, you are often the unofficial office counsellor who sorts out everyone’s problems. Your philosophy in relationships is that praise works better than criticism, and you’re good at letting people know what you appreciate about them. But your good nature can be stretched thin by feeling that some people are taking advantage of you. Sometimes you may wonder whether you have people-pleasing tendencies, as you prefer to avoid conflict and hate arguments. The best way to allow your natural charm to flourish is to practise self-compassion, and admit to yourself that sometimes it’s you who needs support – plenty of people would be happy to help if you ask.
Your natural charm is your willingness to be open about your faults and failings, and admit when you feel vulnerable. You make connections quickly and have a ‘life is short, why play games’ philosophy towards relationships. Your willingness to share details of your life is part of your appeal, because friends and family feel part of your life. You have limited interest in small talk, and can seamlessly move the conversation on from the weather to more personal matters, using your natural knack for getting people to open up to you. Underpinning your charm is your emotional intelligence and your ability to put feelings into words. But there’s a fine line between being comfortable with vulnerability, and coming across as a victim, and sometimes you may lose sight of appropriate boundaries with work colleagues. Or you may have fallen out with someone because they have experienced your frankness as rudeness. Choosing to be more selective about who you open up to will protect you, and ensure your honesty remains a positive force for good in your life.
Your authentic charm is your enthusiasm
Your authentic charm is your compassion
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Your authentic charm is your humour
Your authentic charm is your honesty
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have “onlyIf you one smile in
you, give it to the people you love
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PHOTOGRAPH: GALLERY STOCK. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
ast month, I read the lovely words of Lupita Nyong’o, who said in an interview, ‘People who see the best in you bring out the best in you.’ It struck a real chord. Our friends and colleagues can enrich and uplift us, yes, but they can also encourage us to walk a truer line, and guide us back when we begin to lose our way. Consider that beautiful quote from George Herbert, ‘The best mirror is an old friend.’ This year, I’ve made many new friends – most of them through work. After 10 years as a ‘beauty editor’, and countless conversations with our readers (both real and virtual), it felt right to move the conversation (and my job title) away from the positive psychology of beauty, and toward inner bloom, spiritual nourishment, real food and true health: to embrace wellness in all its holistic glory. Creating this new #360me section has been an absolute joy and, since it launched, I’ve had more contact with readers than ever before and I’ve learned so much from our wise, warm and wonderful tribe of Psychologies women. I’ve also had letters that have touched my heart, deeply, and been tagged in
streams of mood-boosting snapshots from your everydays – those moments when you stop, breathe, savour, nourish and cherish. Thank you for sharing. But if, as another year nears its end, you are feeling a little disappointed with the bigger picture, know that it is natural. We are programmed to strive, dream and aspire; to perfect and self-edit and reach that bit further. It’s an admirable instinct – it has sent us up mountains and onto the moon – but we don’t always have to reach for the moon. It’s also perfectly OK to fall onto the sofa and watch the moon through the window; curling up with a mug of hot chocolate, mulled wine, or a perfect G&T (see p103), having cancelled that Psycle class for a night in with a beloved old friend instead. Whatever your uplifting #360me moment may be, be sure to share it – it may just spark a new friendship, or reunite you with your best self; this time, no filter. @psydirector
1 Mauli Reawaken Hand & Body Wash, £23 A wholly natural wash, enriched with coconut oil and an unusual blend of blood orange, grapefruit, rose and sandalwood. 2 Kypris Clearing Serum, £48 For when skin needs clarity and calm. This exceptional serum helps to balance and is great for hormonal breakouts, too.
3 Birch & Brook Evergreen Scented Candle, £38 Ferns, moss and verdant conifers – all conjured by this beautiful candle that celebrates the joy of a crisp winter walk.
4 Weleda Arnica Massage Oil, £13.95 For when the chill sets in, this invigorating oil brings warmth to the muscles and is also ideal for warming down after sports.
5 Supernatural Beauty Salvation Face Oil, £54 Seventeen nourishing and healing oils combine to salve, soothe and calm sensitised skin.
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The plan Every month, the #360me team will be sharing our baby-steps approach to leading a healthier, happier life – expert-endorsed and real-life approved.
Have a healthy festive mindse t pg 87
Wha t is in your face cream? pg 98
Chin-chin to gin pg 103
Space to brea the pg 89
Enjoy our suggestions to help you maintain a healthy body
‘There’s a reason gym memberships spike in January as we all rush to get fit in the new year, and confine ourselves to the four sweaty walls of our local gym. Instead, why not try doing your exercise outdoors – and enjoy the bracing wintry mornings? You’ll save yourself some money, too. Wrap up warm and go for a jog; cycle to local coffee shops on a weekend; or register for your nearest parkrun.’ @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 @psydirector @psychologiesmagazine lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk
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‘British eco-conscious yoga wear company, Manuka Life, has been around for more than 10 years with good reason: styles are timeless, fabrics are snug, sustainable and soft, and the core collections all wash and wear brilliantly.’ Eminé @psydirector
‘Don’t spread yourself too thinly – along comes New Year’s Eve and a list of resolutions as long as your arm. It’s a reminder of all the things we “don’t do well enough” or “fail at”. Try not to give yourself too many objectives for the new year. Maybe choose one that is positive and loving to yourself and focus on that.’ Hollie
BALSA201 gym bag, £130, The Sports Edit
IN THE BAG
“Where our bodies are concerned, we tend to begin the year with a negative mindset focusing on fault. This year, make body positivity a goal, and celebrate your strengths”
PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Fitness Editor, Hollie Grant @thePilatesPT
15mins A quarter of an hour is the ideal nap length to increase our alertness, memory cognition and mood. ‘Naps are good for people because they serve to clean the “inbox function”,’ says sleep scientist, Fiona Kerr, from the University of Adelaide, in Australian documentry Insight. ‘If you have regular naps, you will store, retain and recall information faster and more effectively.’
‘Nothing scuppers fitness intentions faster than having to search the house for your leggings. The antidote? Keep your favourite confidence-boosting gear in your gym bag, and add the new Neom and Sweaty Betty Scent to Power Your Personal Best kit, £30, to get you into the mood, and perfectly wound down afterwards, too.’ Eminé
WEIGH OUT ‘Throw away the bathroom scales. Make this the year you assess your health based on how you feel, what your body can do for you and how comfortable you feel in your clothes. Don’t judge yourself on a number. Scales don’t take into account your mental health, your happiness or the awesome run that you had yesterday.’ @thePilatesPT
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‘Suppose you are offered a cup of fragrant tea. If your mind is distracted, you cannot enjoy it. You have to be mindful of the tea, so it can reveal its fragrance and wonder,’ says Thich Nhat Hanh in Five Steps To Mindfulness on mindful.org. ‘I’ve been putting this into practice with Dragonfly’s Tea House Collection. The Bai Mudan White Tea, £5.30, has a mellow, almost nutty, flavour.’ Eminé
Lift your spirit with these great finds and useful insights
The Aevi Autumn Wellness Box, £120 – for your dearest friends and beloved family, these natural and organic, ritual-led boxes are curated with the utmost care, and make the most thoughtful (and gratefully received) gifts.
360 MOOD BOOSTS Gifts made with love
A HEARTFUL VISUALISATION When we see a ‘road closed’ sign, we find an alternative route. Similarly, when our mind is overloaded, we can find another path by connecting to our heart. Try this: Place both hands over your heart, visualise its shape and colour and connect with it. Ask: ‘My heart, what do I need to know and do to create solutions to the issues I’m experiencing?’ Listen for images, symbols, whispers or feelings. Give your heartfelt thanks for the wisdom.’ Peace Please T-shirt, £30, SeaSoul and Snow
SILENT NIGHT 58 Balancing Hand Wash & Balancing Hand Cream gift set, £40 – from one of London’s leading wellness addresses, 58 South Molton Street, comes 58, a lovely range of all-natural products with mind-boosting scents.
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For those of us who crave a little bit of peace and quiet at this frenetic time of year, this tee is just the ticket. When the Christmas thrum gets too much, wear it like a comfort blanket – just be sure to accessorise with a smile. @psydirector
THE SMELL OF HAPPINESS A surprising new study shows that being exposed to sweat produced when one is happy, can have a positive knock-on effect on those who smell it. Researcher, Gün Semin, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, said: ‘In a way, happiness sweat is somewhat like smiling – it is infectious.’ A good enough reason to skip the deodorant on a good day?
January’s food for thought... Tell us how you get on by using #360me
WELL OILED ‘To stave off that afternoon brain freeze, chase some fresh air with a few deep breaths of clarity-promoting essential oils – rosemary, basil, cyprus and peppermint have been consistently shown to clear the frazzled mind.’ Eminé
PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY. *ONEPOLL RESEARCH FOR BAUSCH & LOMB, 2016. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Fans of Erin Gleeson’s beautifully shot books, celebrating the food she creates in a cabin in the Californian woods, will love this pretty notebook: ideal for recipes; notes on foraged finds; or as a place to jot down secrets and dreams. The Forest Feast Notes Journal (Abrams, £10.99).
“The month of January can feel bleak – so plan a weekly cheer-up activity – anything uplifting, from a meal with a friend to an hour-long massage” Eminé Rushton @psydirector
The amount of extra time a week the average person spends on their phone, instead of with their partner.* ‘If this rings true for you, it’s time to make a change. Use the holiday season to switch off and redress the balance. My advice is to switch off your phone at the same time every night, not just put it to one side. Notice how calm you feel when there are no notifications to tempt you back in.’ @psydirector
Yoga 365, Chronicle Books, £10.99
STRONG MESSAGE A beautiful book providing a thought-provoking paragraph for each day of the year; touching on the themes of resilience, balance and strength, for when the mind seeks reassurance and inspiration.
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The number of tons of manuka honey harvested around the world each year – however 10,000 tons of honey are being sold under the label ‘manuka’. To avoid the honey trap, look for an MGO-rated manuka and choose a brand that independently tests every batch. We like Real Health Manuka Honey, £23.99 for 500g, which is 100 per cent raw and unblended, with a golden, runny consistency.
gut Nurture your gut health for an overall feeling of wellbeing
WINTER WARMERS ‘I live Ayurvedically, and this ancient science has shown that we really do need to eat more during the chilly winter months – both to keep warm and sustain our immunity. I love Emmy’s Dark Cacao Coconut Macaroons (£5.89 for 170g), nourishing hummus on warm roasted veggies, and mugs of piping hot miso to sip on… and to keep that metabolic fire fuelled.’ Eminé
“The experimental leaders in fermented foodstuffs present a delicious, exciting selection of recipes that will have both your gut and taste buds thanking you for it” Nutrition Editor, Eve Kalinik @evekalinik
MAGIC BEANS ‘More cocoa, less sugar, vegan and even sugar-free are available to all in the new Rare & Vintage collection from Hotel Chocolat. The Buffalo Milk variety – from the biodynamic Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire – has my mitts all over it.’ Eminé The Cultured Club by Dearbhla Reynolds (Gill, £24.99)
One of the nation’s favourite chocolate bars plays unlikely inspiration for Qnola Sniqkers (granola made from quinoa), £7.80 for 250g: Raw cacao, organic raisins, toasted peanuts and he shou wu (also known as Chinese knotweed, and used in traditional Chinese medicine as a powerful antioxidant) combine for a tasty blend providing slow-release energy.
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RAISIN THE BAR
aunt renee’s chicken soup
photograpH: Gentl and Hyers. For stockists, see page 125
Julia Turshen serves up honest family grub in ‘Small Victories: Recipes, Advice & Hundreds Of Ideas For Home Cooking Triumphs’ (Chronicle, £21.99) SERVES 6 l1 .8kg chicken, cut into eight pieces l 455g chicken wings l 2large onions, unpeeled and chopped l 4 celery stalks, chopped l 1 head garlic, halved lA handful parsley sprigs, stems reserved and leaves chopped l 1 tbsp black peppercorns l8 carrots, peeled and cut into 5cm pieces l2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 5cm pieces l Handful chopped, fresh dill
In a large pot, combine the chicken pieces, wings, onions, celery, garlic, parsley stems, peppercorns and one tablespoon of salt. Add half the carrots and cover with 2.8 litres of water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for around 25 minutes, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises, until the breasts are firm. Remove the chicken breasts and set aside. Continue simmering the stock for around three hours, stirring every so often and skimming any
foam from the top, until the vegetables and chicken are soft and the stock is a rich golden colour. While the stock is simmering, let the breasts cool to room temperature, discard the skin, remove the meat from the bones and shred. Set aside. Ladle the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot or, if you don’t have another large pot, into a bowl, while you clean the pot you started with and return the stock to it. Discard the contents of the sieve.
Bring the stock back to the boil and season to taste with salt; be bold as it will need quite a bit. Add the remaining carrots and the parsnips, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the reserved chicken breast meat to the soup and let it warm through for a minute or two. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with some of the chopped parsley and dill. Serve immediately, but note that the soup is even better the next day.
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Time to indulge With the hedonistic festive season almost here, might we be able to find balance during our celebrations by truly understanding willpower? Ali Roff unwraps the secrets…
PHOTOGRAPH: LAURA DOHERTY. *M MURAVEN ET AL, SELF-REGULATION AND DEPLETION OF LIMITED RESOURCES, ‘PSYCHOLOGICAL BULLETIN’, 2000; **M OATEN, LONGITUDINAL GAINS IN SELF-REGULATION FROM REGULAR PHYSICAL EXERCISE, ‘HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY’, 2006; ***THE PHYSIOLOGY OF WILLPOWER: LINKING BLOOD GLUCOSE TO SELF-CONTROL, ‘PERS SOC PSYCHOL REV’, 2007
ith the holidays approaching, we may anticipate the indulgence with glee, but fast-forward to 3 January – am I the only one who never wants to see another Toffifee again? Beating myself up with guilt is not how I want to ring in 2017. So, this year, I’ve decided to see the beauty in this ‘season of celebration’ as just that: a celebration! There is an abundance of meaning attached to the feasts we prepare; cosy nights in with loved ones, the clinking of glasses at parties. To deny indulgence at this time of year would be torture. We don’t indulge like this all year round; ‘Christmas comes but once a year’, after all. And research says that, with deprivation, we set ourselves up for failure.
Use it, don’t lose it
Why? Well, it’s all to do with willpower. Studies show that willpower is not limitless, but runs from an energy reserve.* Like a muscle, when we exert it, the reserve becomes fatigued and runs out. When we overuse our self-control supplies, we find it increasingly difficult to say no to temptation and, as the energy dwindles, we give in. This is one reason why the diets I have tried in the past didn’t work – I couldn’t physically keep them up for the long haul. In addition, this energy reserve within is also used for decision-making. Which is why, after a stressful day, it’s tempting to come home, leave our running kits in the cupboard and throw a ready meal in the oven. It’s also why, when we have difficult life choices to make, our healthy
eating and exercise plan is the first to fall by the wayside. I recently had to make decisions about my living arrangements, and it drained my energy reserves to the extent that, before I knew it, I was lying in bed rather than going to the gym, while eating processed food. The good news is that, while our self-control might not be infinite, we can, like a muscle, strengthen it by creating healthy habits. How? Using it often. Employing our willpower every day, flexes and strengthens that ‘muscle’ and, ultimately, we become better at it. I think of my regular gym sessions, yoga practices and the nourishing meals I cook after busy days. Through these achievable daily rituals, I am strengthening my selfdiscipline and good habits – every decision; every act of self-control makes me stronger.** This festive season of indulgence is temporary. Life is about balance. So, let’s enjoy it! This year, I choose to banish guilt and see the lazy, indulgent holidays as a boost to my willpower reserves; a treat for the mind and taste buds; topping up my enthusiasm for ‘clean’ nourishment and healthy movement and getting me ready to face the new year with a surge of energy.
l Avoid ready meals after work by making meals in batches at the weekend, when you have a greater willpower reserve for making healthy choices. Later in the week, when the reserve may be lower, the decision has already been made. l A healthy snack
could not only help you say no to junk food, but yes to a wintry run. Studies show the brain uses large amounts of glucose when exerting self-control and we’re more likely to fail when blood glucose is low.*** l Allow yourself treats. Your reserve will run out if you deprive yourself. Enjoy and move forward with a sense of renewal.
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Breathe in the stars January’s One Good Thing from The Art Of Breathing by Danny Penman Go outside on a starry night. Take off your shoes and socks. Feel the ground beneath your feet. Look upwards. Breathe.
See the stars streaming off in every direction. Not just unimaginably big, but true, never-ending and ever-expanding. Infinity... Focus on your breath as it flows in and out. Feel the soles of your feet touching the ground, the cool night air washing over you.
Feel the stillness, the expectation, infinity itself...
A fluctuation in emptiness. Space and time tore out from this at near-infinite speed. One ‘moment’ there was nothing. The next, everything.
An exhalation, if you like. The universe will begin its end when space and time cease to expand.
Everything will pause for a while.
And then begin racing back to a singularity at an ever-accelerating pace. An inhalation, if you will.
PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKSY. EXTRACT TAKEN FROM ‘THE ART OF BREATHING’ BY DANNY PENMAN (HARPERCOLLINS, £7.99)
Look at the stars as they twinkle. Those twinkles may have taken billions of years to reach you.
Our universe first appeared as a ‘singularity’: a point of infinite energy and density that erupted out of nothingness.
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one good thing
The founder of all-natural haircare range for curly hair, Bouclème, shares her favourite supplements, organic skincare and restorative treatments
Soul & skin food
FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
y skin tends to be quite oily in the summer, but takes a real battering in winter. To stop it drying out, I increase my water intake and take marine-source collagen supplements. I’m also partial to matcha tea, a powerful detoxifier that can help to increase your metabolism. My regular skin foods include avocado – I eat them and blend them into DIY face and hair masks; linseeds, which I grind into a powder and sprinkle over my breakfast; and really dark chocolate, because I always want something sweet after dinner and a couple of pieces satisfy my need, while also containing iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. To maintain my immune health, I like Amazing Grass Raw Reserve Green Superfood, £34.99, a powder containing probiotics, spirulina, chlorella and wheatgrass, which you can add to water, juice or smoothies. I treat my skin with Pai Cream Cleanser, £28, and Twelve Beauty
Ideal Moisture Level Serum, £52, the best serum I’ve ever used; it made my dry lacklustre skin glow! For my body, I always use Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oil, £45 – a little bit of holistic healing heaven in a bottle. In my make-up bag you will find Kjaer Weis Cream Blush, £40, which I’m a big fan of. Ilia Multi Sticks, £30, are a favourite, too; both brands make great colours and the creamy texture means no powdery wrinkles. To keep my hair hydrated, I use Bouclème Curl Cream, £19 – a leave-in conditioner and styler. On my desk, I keep an energising Neom candle burning and use a relaxing one when I am chilling out at home. I rely on Craniosacral Therapy, as I get a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders. My most effective de-stressors are dancing and meditation: one is fun, active and a great release of pent-up tension, while the other is incredibly balancing and helps my body to recuperate.
1 Ideal Moisture Level Serum, £52, Twelve Beauty 2 Curl Cream, £19, Bouclème 3 Cream Blush in Blossoming, £40, Kjaer Weis 4 Cream Cleanser, £28, Pai 5 Bath & Shower Oil, £45, Aromatherapy Associates
FOLLOW US #360me @psydirector @psychologiesmagazine lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk
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The REAL superfoods
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sensitivities. Food intolerances are omnipresent these days and, in some cases, legitimate. But, often, it’s a case of misguided blaming, vilifying and eliminating foods haphazardly in an attempt to feel healthier and improve digestion. The ‘free from’ aisle is bursting at the seams but, with that eschewing of entire food groups, might we be missing out on a whole heap of nutrition by turning our noses up at some of the most basic foods in the neighbouring aisles? Take sourdough bread and unpasteurised cheese, or the humble spud, for example. More to the point, might these ‘free from’ alternatives harbour ingredients that are less healthy than their all-inclusive and usually more affordable originals? First, we have to get a better
What our ancestors “couldn’t eat, they pickled, but it was about cooking from scratch with very little processing
understanding of what has happened to our food in the last few decades. The introduction and widespread use of chemicals, such as preservatives, artificial sweeteners and emulsifiers, so often found in food (both processed and seemingly ‘healthy’), as well as the standard use of pasteurisation, homogenisation and removal of fat from milk, mean that many of the foods we eat are unrecognisable from how they’d occur in their truest sense. This means that often our bodies don’t know what to do with them. As a result, many people are eating a specific type of food – bread, for example – and when this causes an issue, the entire food group, such as wheat or gluten, is blamed. Take sourdough bread – it contains gluten but, because it is made from a traditional fermented process, the gluten has been pre-digested and, as such, makes it more gut-friendly for most people. This is a far cry from commercially available breads (even the gluten-free ones) that contain synthetic chemical ingredients that the body simply doesn’t recognise. The same might be said for milk. Heat-treating via pasteurisation >>>
ood is there to be celebrated. We have access to a variety of produce in its most natural state, and with this gift comes a huge and health-giving host of nutritional benefits. The traditional farming calendar, which includes celebrations around the spring equinox and harvest festivals, champions the humble fruit, veg and grain. We’ve always eaten what the earth gives us – in season, local and fresh. What our ancestors couldn’t eat, they pickled, but it was about cooking from scratch with wholesome ingredients and very little processing. Fast-forward to the modern day and we have created a world that revolves around convenience-based meals and having any food available at any time. Eating a mango in winter, or being able to ‘cook’ a meal in the microwave in five minutes, are the norm. Ready meals, pre-packaged, pre-chopped and pre-washed fruit and veg have brought us to a point where we barely recognise the food we eat. Rather than thinking about the foods themselves and where they come from, there has been an overwhelming trend towards self-diagnosed food intolerances and
Do not believe the hype – when it comes to our food, the simplest and cheapest ingredients, in their natural state, are all you need. Just go with your gut, argues our Nutrition Editor, Eve Kalinik
not only kills off potential pathogens,
>>> but it also destroys the beneficial
bacteria and damages enzymes, such as lactase, that we need to break down the lactose. After that, the mechanical process of homogenisation breaks fat globules into smaller parts to get a more uniform liquid throughout, which some argue could alter how they act in the body. Further to this, is the removal of fat, in the case of semi-skimmed, which means the fat-soluble vitamins are practically non-existent. Ironically, when taken in its most raw state, milk provides an excellent source of enzymes, probiotics, fatty acids, vitamins such as A, Bs and D, as well as calcium, magnesium and vital immunoglobulin proteins – in a form that our body can efficiently absorb. But perhaps it’s about delving even deeper into the gut. It is often the case that bacterial and other imbalances, as well as chronic low-grade inflammation, can drive a lot of the symptoms associated with intolerances and other digestive discomfort. Over time, this type of inflammation can lead to intestinal permeability, where repeated exposure to inflammatory foods, chemical ingredients, overexposure and stress, results in microscopic damage to the gut. This can cause proteins that should normally be kept within the watertight junctions of the gut to escape into the bloodstream and cause an immune response. Symptoms typically include digestive ones, but also headaches, fatigue and skin flare-ups. So, rather than any kind of food or food group being the issue, it’s more about helping to nourish and support a gut that is angry, inflamed and immune-compromised. This has got little to do with isolating one or more foods as the culprit, but everything to do with looking at our diet at a more
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a variety “ofEating real foods that
are organic, local, seasonal and without labels will give you the broadest amount of nutritional value
basic and fundamental level. Eating a variety of real foods that are organic, local, seasonal and without labels will give you the broadest amount of nutritional value and support overall health. We can tend to overthink and overcomplicate nutrition, and believe we have to buy into the most expensive ingredients, or indulge in the latest faddy craze. But, really, it’s about stripping it back to foods in their most natural state. These are the foods that will support you and give your body everything it needs for the long term. It really is that simple. evekalinik.com @evekalinik
REAL FOODS THAT PACK A PUNCH
Always go authentic and natural where you can
l WHITE POTATOES. The
humble spud, when cooked and fully cooled, provides an excellent source of resistant starch that helps to feed the good bacteria in the gut. l APPLES. The saying ‘an apple
a day’ has its merits. Apples are a great source of soluble and insoluble fibre, which support optimal gut health and contain antioxidants that have been linked to cardiovascular benefits. l CAULIFLOWER. This is
one of the best brassicas you can eat, as it helps to support natural detoxification pathways in the liver, which can also aid hormone balance. Add unpasteurised full-fat cheese, and a basic cauliflower cheese dish becomes truly nutritious and nourishing. l ONIONS. These are a natural source of quercetin, the antioxidant that helps to support anti-inflammatory processes, as well as clear histamines, which is useful for hayfever sufferers. A natural anti-microbial, onions also act as a prebiotic food, beneficial in stimulating the growth of good bacteria in the gut. l CARROTS. They are the
highest sources of pro-vitamin A, known as beta-carotene, which is important for immunity and skin health. Eating them with some kind of healthy fat, roasted with organic butter, for instance, will help you to absorb this fat-soluble nutrient.
GOOD Have aMOODday! HRI Good Mood tablets – St. John’s Wort – for slightly low mood and mild anxiety. HRI Good Mood is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of slightly low mood and mild anxiety, based on traditional use only. Available from leading Boots stores and Holland & Barrett. Highest daily dose of St John’s Wort available. Always read the label. www.HRIHerbalMedicine.co.uk
Beautiful skin from th he insid de We all know tthe importance of looking after our skin on the outside. To ac chieve your perfect complexion, you must also support yourr skin from within. Discover skiinadeTM â€“ the skincare drink that nourishes the skin from the e inside for beautiful skin on the outside.
Liz McCarthy CEO and founder of abeautifulworld shares her tips on creating a booming green beauty business online
What made you start a green business?
After graduating, I worked in advertising, on global brands such as TREsemmé and Simple skincare. As I travelled around the world, I began to see the emergence of a new category – natural beauty products that perform just as well as (if not better than) their synthetic counterparts. I set off on a mission to find the world’s best in ‘eco-luxe’ beauty and bring it to the UK.
What advice would you give to others looking to create an online start-up?
Plan it, do it and enjoy it. It took me a year to research the eco-luxe category, and scope out how the business would look in one, three and 10 years’ time. My mission was to establish a dialogue with my customers, and build a network of like-minded people through social media, online reviews, a loyalty scheme and product recommendations.
PHOTOGRAPH: WILL PASCALL. for stockists, see page 125
What is the abeautifulworld USP?
‘Beauty without compromise’. We travel the world to find the latest and greatest in natural and organic beauty. Our products represent eco-luxe at its very best; usually exclusive, super-natural, highly effective ingredients, with a strong ethical provenance, that are benefit-led.
How do you get across a clear message in the non-stop digital age?
Today’s natural-beauty consumer is increasingly a digital native. She harvests her beauty knowledge from a diverse mix of channels: bloggers, Instagram, magazines, YouTube and so on (increasingly all from her mobile phone); and then she buys online, too, without a second thought, again more often than not from her mobile. abeautifulworld has only ever existed in and for this world, and will continue to grow and evolve with it.
How are you helping to transform the beauty ‘landscape’?
The biggest change we are looking for is to coax the mainstream press into covering ‘green’ products without feeling the need to label them as ‘green’.
What are your biggest sellers?
The Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator, £32.50, The Body Deli Living Hair Sprouted Greens Shampoo and Conditioner, £22.95 each, and Chocolate Sun Cocoa Glow, £26.
What’s the greatest sacrifice you’ve made to create a successful business?
I don’t believe in sacrifices; I think that you make choices. By choosing to run my own business, it does mean hard work, but the sense of empowerment I feel, spending time building something that I truly believe in, far outweighs any negatives.
What’s next for abeautifulworld?
We have just launched a new section to the website – abeautifullittleworld. This includes a selection of brands for babies, but also products that we currently stock which work brilliantly for both parents and children. We have also sourced some lovely new baby brands, such as Enfance Paris soaps, Original Sprout shampoos and, new and exclusive to the UK, natural brand, Erbaviva. abeautifulworld.co.uk
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What’s in my face cream?
Imelda Burke – author of The Nature Of Beauty and founder of organic boutique, Content Beauty & Wellbeing – debunks the ingredients list, to help you make a more informed choice
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means exhaustive, but it will provide a strong starting point to get you thinking about what’s in your skincare; and considering if it should have a place on your skin.
THE BASE INGREDIENTS ● Mineral oil and petrolatum
– favoured by the skincare industry for their price, inertness and long shelf life. While they cause few reactions, they are derived from the crude-oil industry so are a nonrenewable source. The ‘cheap as chips’ oil often makes up a large percentage of even the most luxurious skincare products (including a cult ‘herbal’ balm cleanser that costs £85 per 200ml). It crops up in nappy cream, lip balms and ‘everything’ balms. Look for the terms: paraffinum liquidum, petrolatum, petroleum, paraffin oil and mineral oil. The alternatives: Look for a moisturiser that is based on plantderived oils. Natural products will use anything from sweet almond and jojoba oils to the more exotic buriti and tamanu, all of which have nutrients to feed, protect and benefit
the skin. If it’s a body balm or moisturiser you want, look for products made from natural butters such as shea, cacao, coconut, mango seed or cupuaçu. Petroleum jellytype products are mostly used to create a waterproof barrier and to stop chafing. Instead, opt for beeswax-based balms – nature’s waterproofing alternative.
THE FOAMING AGENTS
● Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and
sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) – used as detergents and emulsifiers, they can upset the protective layer of oils on the surface of the skin and make it more permeable. While SLS is approved under the COSMOScertification standard, SLES is not approved under any certification, as it is made using ethoxylation, a process which can produce small amounts of 1,4-dioxane – a known carcinogenic compound. ● Ethanolamines – also used as foaming agents and emulsifiers, the most common being cocamide DEA. In studies, it has been shown to cause the formation of nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens. The
PHOTOGRAPHS: ‘The Nature Of Beauty’ BY IMELDA BURKE. styled by louise dartford, copyright of mike blackett
hen trying to decide whether you want to use a product, all the information you need is on the label – but not always where you might think. The product description, which most of us refer to first, should really only be viewed as advertising copy. The information you need to take notice of is the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) list, otherwise known as the ingredients list. Here you will find all the components, from the highest percentage to the lowest, the type of ingredient (natural, derived from nature or synthetic) and any known allergens – and often whether it is organic, wild-crafted, biodynamic, and more. All these ingredients are approved for use in products but, for those who like their ‘skin food’ to be derived from nature where possible (like the food that they may eat; whole and organic), reading the ingredients list is the only way you’ll really know how much of your product is natural. To get you started, the list below features the ingredients I avoid and the alternatives I favour. It is by no
washes are thought to have been made from herbs mixed with soapberries, named because they have a naturally occurring lowsudsing detergent called saponins. These are now being used in natural body washes and shampoos.
THE PRESERVATIVES ● Methylisothiazolinone (MI)
For those who like “their ‘skin food’ to be derived from nature, the ingredients list is the only way you’ll really know
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists cocamide DEA as a possible carcinogen. Look for these other terms on the label: triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA and TEA-lauryl sulfate. The alternatives: We have been conditioned to expect foam with body wash and shampoo, but neither needs to be filled with bubbles to do the job. Your natural shampoo and body wash will most likely have a gentler
alternative to SLS and SLES, and be derived from nature rather than an extract derived straight from a plant. Common replacements include coco glucoside and cocamidopropyl betaine, but traditional ingredients are also finding their way back into products. The first examples of
and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) – two synthetic preservatives in skincare. As skin sensitisers, they’ve had much media attention since 2013, when UK doctors considered them the trigger for one of the worst skinallergy outbreaks they had ever seen. ● Parabens – synthetic preservatives deemed ‘safe’ but have been shown to have a mildly oestrogenic effect (which could potentially disrupt physiological functions); and may also cause topical skin reactions. Look out for these terms: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and heptylparaben; or ‘anything’ paraben. ● Formaldehyde – now banned from cosmetic usage and never knowingly added, but some synthetic preservatives have been found, under certain conditions and when combined with other ingredients, to release small amounts of it. Longer storage times and higher temperatures have been found to increase the likelihood of its release. Ingredients that may release it include quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2nitropropane-1,3-diol and glyoxal. The alternatives: Preservation is a worthy cause; it keeps a product free from bacteria and the ingredients stable. It is possible to create 100 per cent organic and natural oil-based products without the common preservatives; however, water-based products are different. Bacteria love >>>
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>>> water, so preservation plays an
THE EMULSIFIERS AND HUMECTANTS ● Propylene glycol (PG) and
polyethylene glycol (PEG) – PG is known to cause skin reactions such as hives and eczema, however PEGs are used as penetration enhancers. Look out for: PEG (followed by a number which denotes molecular weight), propylene glycol, PG/propanediol. The alternatives: Some brands use organic milk emulsifiers, but the most common are cetearyl alcohol (a plant-derived wax), glyceryl stearate and lecithin. For humectants, look for honey, glycerin, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA. There are two glycols approved for use: propanediol and pentylene glycol (made from corn cob or sugar cane stalk pulp).
THE PLIABLE PLASTICS ● Phthalates – compounds in
plastics to make them soft. They were commonly found in nail polish but were banned from cosmetics in 2005, except for diethyl phthalate (DEP), which is widely used in fragrance products in the EU to render alcohol undrinkable. Phthalates can act as oestrogens once ingested or absorbed, interfering with hormonal function and metabolism. Look for: dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethyl phthalate
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If your cream “claims that it is
preservative-free, it should have a shelf life of around six weeks
important role in the formulation of water-based products for safety and shelf life. Natural products may use alcohol, radish root ferment, vitamin E, rosemary and essential oils (among others), as preservatives. Packaging (airless and Miron glass) may also help preserve a product, but natural brands may use a select few synthetic preservatives even under natural and organic certification. If your cream claims it is preservative-free, it should have a shelf life of around six weeks or state that it requires refrigeration.
and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP); or ‘anything’ phthalate. The alternatives: There isn’t really a natural or organic nail polish. Some brands talk about being a ‘percentage natural’ – which tends to mean they are naturally derived with more than a few chemical reactions between plant and paint. It is unlikely that any natural ingredient is getting from the field to your nails with the plant benefits intact. If you need products to be food-state or organic, nail polish won’t make it – but you can avoid the synthetic ingredients: toluene, dibutyl phthalate (banned in Europe), formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor. To avoid diethyl phthalate in perfume, stick to brands that use organic grain alcohol as the base.
THE SMOOTHING AGENTS
● Silicones – used to hold make-up
in place and, in skin, hair and body products, to give that ‘smooth as silk’ feeling. Some brands use them in
make-up to stop creasing and improve longevity but, personally, I don’t like the feel of them; they are occlusive (they block pores and don’t allow anything to permeate). Plus, it’s just cheating the skin, and you, with a false sense of smoothness. Look for: cyclomethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, phenyl trimethicone, dimethicone, trimethylsiloxysilicate and polymethylsilsesquioxane. The alternatives: When silicones are used in make-up to give staying power, the only real alternative is to use a mineral setting powder to help natural products stay put. The thing with natural make-up is that you will simply have to get used to touching up. Without silicones, you’ll find natural foundation or tinted moisturiser goes on better when worked in with warm fingers. In hair products, where silicones give shine, look for the lightweight but nourishing oils, jojoba and argan. Another is crambe abyssinica oil, which smoothes without being oily. In skincare, silicones are often used in ‘oil-free’ products for combination skin. Instead, look for linoleic-rich oils, which still nourish but are absorbed quickly and don’t leave skin oily. Try watermelon, red raspberry and rosehip seed oils. The skin is your largest organ and reflects how you feel and your internal health. When you learn what it needs to function optimally, you can decide what you want to put on it – and, for many, that means looking to nature.
The Nature Of Beauty by Imelda Burke (Ebury Press, £20)
NOW Live Events, in partnership with Psychologies & West Lexham, invite you to join us for a weekend of complete relaxation of mind and body
his Stillness Retreat, taking place between 17-19 February, includes three workshops a day at West Lexham retreat centre, where you can follow the wisdom of our stillness experts to reclaim a sense of wellness and connection in your life. Dr Tamara Russell is a neuroscientist, author, clinical psychologist, martial arts expert and leading mindfulness trainer. She has helped people all around the world to transform their lives using her groundbreaking techniques. Her book, Mindfulness In Motion, is a guide to integrating mindfulness into every moment in life. Chris Connors is a meditation teacher, coach, creative director and motivational speaker. He is the founder of Modcon, a curated platform exploring the mindful, innovative and graceful. Chris inspires people to improve their lives, and ignite passion and purpose
through entering a state of stillness. As well as being editor of Psychologies, Suzy Greaves is also a coach and author. Hailed as one of ‘the top 10 gurus to change your life’ by the Daily Mail, she has written the best-selling Making The Big Leap, named one of the top 10 life-changing books of the year by The Independent On Sunday. Suzy will explore how we can give attention to space and quiet by creating a regular practice.
Accommodation & food
There is all kinds of accommodation on offer at the beautiful West Lexham in Norfolk, from en-suite rooms in the main barn, to holiday cottages and treehouses. Fresh meals will be served three times a day, with a focus on optimum nutrition for any type of diet.
The retreat includes: ● At least 3 daily workshops
between 1.5 to 2 hours each ● Morning meditation sessions ● Learning to meditate, if this
is new to you ● Tai chi and movement sessions ● Creative sessions, including
writing and dance ● Coaching sessions* (in small groups) ● Fresh, locally sourced, nutritious food ● An opportunity to experience stillness
in beautiful natural surroundings ● Ample free time to rest, or enjoy the
gardens at West Lexham ● Accommodation in a stunning setting ● Being part of a growing
community of like-minded people Additional one-on-one sessions with facilitators available (booked separately)
Prices for the weekend start from £375 pp for twin/ double occupancy. Early-bird discounts are available, starting from £360. To book, visit nowliveevents.org/ retreats, where you can find a link to westlexham.org
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AWARD WINNING GIN FROM THE SILENT POOL IN SURREY Now available at Majestic and Waitrose stores nationwide. www.silentpooldistillers.com
Gin yummy The iconic G&T may well be a mainstay of your Christmas festivities, says nutritionist Eve Kalinik – but there’s more to the affectionately termed ‘Mother’s Ruin’ than meets the eye
in seems to have originated in Holland, but found its real status in London in the late 18th century, with distilleries all over the city. Originally, gin emerged as more of a medicinal tonic thought to alleviate circulatory issues and, later, the notorious G&T found a place in warding off malaria for soldiers during colonial times – attributed more to the quinine in the tonic, but the gin could have helped, too. Back then, gin was a far cry from the artisan botanical blends that are now available, but one of the original ingredients, juniper berries, still remains a key flavour in today’s drink. In fact the word ‘gin’ derives from the Dutch word for juniper – jenever. These small and mighty berries provide antioxidant benefits that help prevent damage and ageing to cells, as well as being linked to reducing inflammation. Because of their natural bitter flavour, juniper berries can also aid digestion by supporting the increase of digestive enzymes and gastric-juice secretion to optimise the breakdown of food and prevent issues such as bloating or reflux. Since the berries act as a diuretic, they can also help to prevent water retention.
Hepple Gin – co-founded by chef Valentine Warner and mixologist Nick Strangeway, Hepple Gin uses juniper and herbs from the local hills of Hepple. hepple-gin.com
Gin: The Manual by Dave Broom (Mitchell Beazley, £14.99) – if you really want to know your juniper from your sloe then this book is for you.
With the choice of blends now weaving in a multitude of herbs, spices and floral extracts, the botanical flavours of gin make this a superior choice. However, the key mantra here is, of course, moderation – it’s best to stick to one measured glass and avoid the sugary mixers and cocktails. Tonic, for instance, can have some artificial ingredients, so opt for one that is more akin to the original – my preferred make is Fever-Tree. The higher-quality distillers recommend serving your shot neat over ice to fully immerse yourself in the beautifully complex flavours. So sip your gin wisely, savour the unique flavours and let it be a cause for celebration (and not ruin!). evekalinik.com @evekalinik
Silent Pool Distillers – try this classic gin that combines no less than 24 botanicals with clear spring water from its namesake Silent Pool. silentpooldistillers.com
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Walk the line Following the death of two loved ones, novelist and poet, Richard Skinner, set off on a fundraising pilgrimage along Scotland’s West Highland Way, to allow himself to heal and grieve
uring the holidays after my A-levels, I worked as an aeroplane cleaner at Gatwick. I found many things on planes that summer, but what would turn out to be the most significant was a small book called Of Walking In Ice by the German filmmaker, Werner Herzog. While in Munich during the winter of 1974, Herzog learned that Lotte Eisner, the famous German film critic and writer, was dying in Paris. ‘Es muss nicht sein [It must not be],’ he said. Taking out a map, he drew a line from Munich to Paris and made a pledge to walk the line in order to keep her alive. It took him 21 days to complete and the book is a record of his journey. (Interestingly, Eisner survived for another nine years after Herzog’s pilgrimage.) Fast-forward to 2015, a year which saw the deaths of two people very close to me – my brother-in-law Pete Massey and my good friend and Goldsmiths colleague Bart Moore-Gilbert. Pete died of Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) skin cancer in August 2015. He endured years of terrible pain with great strength and stoicism. He was a hero and I was in awe of him. Then, in December
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2015, Bart died suddenly after a short battle with kidney cancer. He stayed alive just long enough to see the birth of his son, Luke, and died a few days later. As many who have likewise lost loved ones to cancer will understand, both Pete and Bart’s battles left me feeling helpless, and I felt I wanted to do something to address this. I have loved fell-walking from a very young age and have walked extensively in the Lakes, Skye, Iceland and the Alps. Walking was something I knew I could do. I chose the West Highland Way in Scotland and decided to walk it to raise money for Cancer Research. Much like Herzog, I would ‘walk the line’ for Pete and Bart.
THE PILGRIM’S WAY The West Highland Way is by far Scotland’s most popular long-distance walk and is included in the top 20 of the World’s Best Hikes in National Geographic’s Traveler magazine. Stretching 96 miles from Milngavie (pronounced Mull-guy), just outside Glasgow, to Fort William in the north, the walk takes in the entire eastern shore of Loch Lomond, then into the
well travelled #360me
In partnership with Rickshaw Travel
In partnership with Rickshaw Travel
>>> Highlands of Rannoch Moor and Glencoe before descending
into Fort William, at the foot of Ben Nevis. I wanted it to be a pilgrimage, so decided to walk on my own. I was apprehensive about this, but I needn’t have been. The walk is well travelled and there’s usually someone else within sight. I quickly got into a rhythm with the walking and soon became addicted to the relentless sense of forward movement, an urge that pulls you very strongly, regardless of the terrain. After the 15-mile days, I would arrive at my destination utterly exhausted and yet, after a hot meal and long sleep, I woke each morning raring to go. Any stiffness from the day before was gone again after 10 minutes’ walking. I befriended many people along the way, crossing paths with them again and again. They were all pilgrims like myself, some also doing it for charity, and all with their own stories. While stopping in a coffee shop in Balmaha, one fellow traveller happened to notice a photograph on the wall. He looked at it closely for several moments before pointing to it and shouting that the little boy in the photograph was him. It turned out that the photograph was of his primary school class. Why it was on the wall nobody knew and the man had grown up miles away and had no connection at all to Balmaha. What are the odds? Another man told me in The Drovers’ Inn in Inverarnan that he had brought his two children there to show them where he and their mother, who had recently died, had shared many happy memories. Mostly I was on my own and happy for that. I wanted the eight days to give me time to reflect, to switch off and allow for unconscious processes to take over. The link between walking and thinking is an old one. Thoreau, Benjamin, Nietzsche and Wordsworth were all inveterate walkers for whom walking was a form of creativity. I believe all writing already exists inside one’s self, in a preverbal, rhythmic, motor place in the body. The trick is to find a way of tapping into it. When I can’t find the words, a walk helps to free them from their underground chamber. As I walk, wild thoughts appear. They fly ahead of me and I have to follow them to understand what they are saying. Then there is the scenery. The further north I travelled, the greater the sense I had of being cast adrift in immense, magnificent landscapes. There are no words to describe how staggering Glencoe is. Only on foot can you get so close to the water, the land and the clouds. I felt I was disappearing
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT A crofter’s cottage nestles beneath snow-covered hills at Glencoe; the highland wildlife roams the lochside glens along the Way; sturdy walking boots and a love of the great outdoors are a must for the near-100-mile trek between Milngavie and Fort William; a gently babbling stream is the perfect mindful stop-off point
into the landscape every day. For me, landscape is one of the sources of art. In Latin, ‘inspiration’ means breathing life into something, while the German word beseelung means to give soul to something. My task on the West Highland Way was to immerse myself in the environment, attune myself to my surroundings and listen to the silence of the place so acutely that it might reveal its melody to me.
A walk to remember By the end of the walk, I was in great shape. The blisters I had picked up on the tough days along the shores of the loch had all healed and I had walked myself into the week. In fact, I could have gone on for another week. On the last day out of Kinlochleven and into Fort William, I started so early that I didn’t see another soul all day. I sang to myself. One of the things that Bart had asked me to do while he was in hospital in the summer of 2015 was to make him some compilation CDs, which I did. I still had them in my iTunes library, so I played them and sang along as I walked and remembered him. During the week, I thought a lot about the phrase ‘walking the line’. What kind of line was I walking? A tightrope? A tether? A ley line? A songline? Ariadne’s thread? Perhaps a little of all of those things. Herzog’s walk was an act of shamanism, a trial by ordeal that Herzog endured, survived and recounted in his book. Ever since finding it that day, my copy of Of Walking In Ice has become my talisman, not because of what it is, but because of what it stands for: decision, resolve and tenacity in the face of adversity. It bothers me, niggles me, like a stone in the shoe. It remains in my body, and it has taught me that books can matter, so much so that they can potentially keep a person, or at least the memory of them, alive.
“Only on foot can you get so close to the water, the land and the clouds. I felt I was disappearing into the landscape every day”
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The West Highland Way starts at Milngavie railway station and finishes in the centre of Fort William. For more information, visit west-highland-way.co.uk. For help organising a self-guided walking holiday, visit the Walkers Ways website at walkersways.co.uk. You can also donate to Cancer Research through Richard’s JustGiving website at justgiving.com/fundraising/Richard-Skinner2016
photographs: previous page, paul greeves/GETTY images; istock
In partnership with Rickshaw Travel
The world is at your feet
Lace up your walking boots and brace yourself for a breath of fresh air, immersed in nature, with an exotic selection of meaningful holidays for travellers with a conscience
rek between towering, snowy peaks; journey through tropical rainforests; hike to the summits of volcanoes; or amble through lush green rice paddies... A walking holiday with Rickshaw Travel provides unparalleled freedom to embrace rugged wilderness, exotic wildlife and the stillness of faraway places – and even meet remote mountain tribes en route. Being up close and personal with your destination is a sure-fire way to soothe the soul, as you truly appreciate the beauty of the world. Choose from following in the footsteps of an ancient Peruvian people on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu; being absorbed by the mystical Nepalese Himalayas, with prayer flags and sweeping views; or lose yourself in the rural landscape of Myanmar, far from the madding crowd. Discover secret waterfalls cloistered by dramatic Andean peaks; or circle mountain lagoons along Patagonian glaciers under Argentinian skies – Rickshaw offers a sacred place for every walker. So, summon your spirit of adventure and prepare to have the time of your life.
To find out more about Rickshaw Travel’s meaningful walking adventures, visit rickshawtravel.co.uk/trekking; chat to the team on 01273 934822; or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Retreat p110 Feasting Italian aperitivo / p116 Books Love, death and freedom / p118 Gift guide Find the perfect present
not go where â€œtheDopath may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail
Photograph: gallery stock
ralph waldo emerson
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Buon happy-tito! It’s party time
Easy nibbles and tantalising treats washed down with a cocktail or three… get into the spirit of celebration with these Italian aperitivo ideas
Recipes liz franklin Photographs mowie kay Edited by danielle Woodward
ood writer and cookery school teacher, Liz Franklin, was inspired by a trip to Venice to write her book, Cicchetti, about the snack-size portions of food served in bacari (wine bars) alongside a glass of ombre (literally meaning ‘shadow’) – the local vino, so-called from the days when wine merchants used to store their barrels in the shadows of San Marco’s bell tower to keep them cool. Italians may not consider snacking on cicchetti anything particularly extraordinary – it’s usually considered aperitivo, a pre-dinner nibble with wine and a catch-up with friends – but the dishes also lend themselves well to festive parties and special occasions, when you want to serve easy-to-make, yet impressive, celebration food, together with refreshing, Venetian-inspired cocktails (see recipes on page 112). Convivial and hospitable Venetians love to linger a while, enjoying these wonderful morsels, so be inspired by the feelings behind the food, embrace the simplicity of the dishes, and gather your loved ones together to see in the new year with a bit of Italian spirit. Felice anno nuovo!
Aubergine and tomato toothpicks This is my adaptation of a simple cicchetto I had at Cantina Do Mori. It’s a lovely place – and supposedly the oldest bacari in Venice. If you can’t find baby aubergines, choose one that is longer rather than very round. MAKES 20 10 baby aubergines (or 1 long,
thin aubergine) l
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
20 bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
Salt and black pepper, to season
Fresh basil leaves, to garnish
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE l
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400g ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
100ml white wine
1 tsp white sugar
A small handful of torn fresh basil
1 Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F)
gas mark 5. If you are using baby aubergines, simply cut them in half. If you are using a large aubergine, cut it in half lengthways, then into wedges that create small ‘boats’. You will have to cut a little from the top of each
wedge to create a flat surface. Score the surface without the skin of each with a criss-cross pattern. 2 Brush the aubergine with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, scatter with thyme leaves, then sprinkle over the Parmesan. Arrange on a baking sheet and cook in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until the aubergine is soft and the skin is crisp. 3 Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low-medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for about 15 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the cherry tomatoes and wine. Stir in the sugar, season with salt and pepper and let the mixture bubble gently for about 20 minutes. Add the basil, and leave to bubble for another 10 minutes or so, until the sauce is thick and sticky. 4 Spoon a little of the sauce onto each piece of aubergine, top with a bocconcini ball and garnish with a small basil leaf, securing everything with a cocktail stick. Serve at once. >>>
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It is said in Venice that the Spritz isn’t just a drink, it’s a way of life. Use either Aperol or Campari for a classic Spritz – Aperol is slightly sweeter and less alcoholic, while Campari gives a drier result. Campari-based drinks make great ‘aperitivi’ and are ideal for parties – the slight bitterness stimulates the appetite. Gin fans should watch out for the Negroni, as it is very addictive! The delicious pomegranate-spiked Tintoretto is a pretty cocktail from the legendary Venetian institution, Caffè Florian, in St Mark’s Square.
Tintoretto MAKES 4 l
140ml pomegranate juice
Pour the pomegranate juice into four chilled Champagne flutes, then top up with Prosecco. Serve at once.
Negroni MAKES 4 l
200ml Campari (or Aperol)
600ml Prosecco (or white wine)
60ml Cinzano Rosso
300-400ml sparkling water
Orange slices, to serve
MAKES 4 l
Put lots of cubed (never crushed) ice into four large, chilled wine glasses. Divide the Campari (or Aperol) and Prosecco (or white wine) between the glasses, then top up with sparkling water. Serve immediately.
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Fill four long glasses with crushed ice. Divide the Campari between the glasses, then the gin. Add the Cinzano Rosso and stir. Drop a slice of orange into each glass and serve.
reader offer Cicchetti: Small Bite Italian Appetizers is available to Psychologies readers for the special price of £7.99 (RRP £9.99) including postage & packaging by calling Macmillan Direct on 01256 302699 and quoting the reference HS5. Offer is subject to availability.
FRIed stuffed olives Mild, jumbo green olives are often filled with a meat mixture based on the recipe for olives all’Ascolana. A mild olive also balances this alternative dish, stuffed with a tomato sauce, with almonds and the delicious, salty ham, speck. MAKES 30
FOR THE PASTELLA (BATTER)
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 egg whites
1 white onion, finely chopped
60ml sparkling water
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
60g self-raising flour
400g ripe cherry tomatoes,
roughly chopped l
100ml white wine
1 tsp white sugar
Salt and black pepper, to season
A small handful of torn fresh basil
50g ground almonds
50g roughly chopped speck 30 jumbo-size mild green
olives, pitted l
3 tbsp plain flour
120g panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 To make the tomato filling, heat
the olive oil in a large frying pan over a low-medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for about 15 minutes, until softened but not coloured. 2 Add the tomatoes and wine. Stir in the sugar, season with salt and black pepper, and let the mixture bubble gently for about 20 minutes. 3 Add the torn basil and leave to bubble for another 10 minutes or so, until the sauce is thick and sticky. If it
looks dry, add a splash of water. 4 Remove from the heat, stir in the ground almonds and leave to cool, then stir in the speck. Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle and pipe the filling into the centre of each pitted olive. 5 For the pastella, beat the egg whites until light, then stir in the sparkling water. Slowly add the self-raising flour and mix until smooth. Roll the stuffed olives in the plain flour, dip into the pastella and then coat in the crumbs. 6 Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or deep pan to 190°C (375°F). Fry for 2-3 minutes, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and serve.
Great for puds or savoury creations. Star ramekins, £20 for two, Le Creuset
Add a touch of gold. Whisk and turner, £9.50 each, Marks & Spencer
Warm up with a non-alcoholic fruity tipple. Mulled Winter Punch, £3, Belvoir Fruit Farms
Copper is the shade of the season. Mini casserole dish, £19.50, Marks & Spencer
The perfect gift for a keen baker. Fruit apron, £16.95, Macmillan
Enjoy a wintry morning cuppa. Robin mug, £9.50, Sarah Boddy
Say goodbye to the old and ring in the new, surrounded by those you love, with enough food and fizz to see you through to the new year. For unique ideas when planning your festive party, take a look at Gizzi’s Season’s Eatings: Feasts And Celebrations From Halloween To Happy New Year (Mitchell Beazley, £25), by chef Gizzi Erskine. Or try the goddess of entertaining, Martha Stewart’s website (marthastewart.com; search ‘New Year’s Eve’) for a host of planning advice, to ensure your gathering goes off with a bang.
Drinks , mixers and treats for a special celebration 4
1 Pomegranate cordial, £4.99, Elderbrook 2 Christmas Hot Chocolate, £9, Hotel Chocolat 3 Volksfestbier, £1.79, Aldi 4 Chocolate Gold Reindeer, £2.99, Lindt 5 Nyetimber Rosé NV, £42.50, Fortnum & Mason 6 Gusto Cola, £1.19, Ethical Superstore
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Claire and Lucy are two sisters who set up crumbsfood.co.uk, a foodie resource ‘saving your sanity, one meal at a time’ – just what you need to hear at this time of year! The blog is for anyone who likes eating but doesn’t want to spend ages cooking, and is packed with ideas for feeding a crowd. You can also watch the sisters cook (and bicker with each other) on their entertaining YouTube channel, Crumbs Food.
PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKSY. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Dry dishes with a festive cloth. Holly tea towel, £6.99, Woodland Trust
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Warmth in a stark winter This monthâ€™s roundup of books celebrates life in all its harsh reality, from desolate icy weather to the flip side of the American dream
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Under A Pole Star
The Easy Way Out
by Stef Penney (Quercus, £18.99)
by Steven Amsterdam (Riverrun, £12.99)
In this gripping tale, the setting is the forbidding Arctic, and the qualities needed to endure the freezing temperatures and the landscape’s scant resources are grit, perseverance and luck. Add in overwhelming curiosity, and you have a portrait of heroine Flora Mackie, the Snow Queen, who loses her heart to the region – and to fellow scientist, Jakob de Beyn.
Evan is a nurse – a suicide assistant, helping terminally ill patients take control of their dying. He’s moved in with his mum, who is succumbing to Parkinson’s, but is determined to maintain her contrary way of living. So, it’s no wonder he’s starting to question everything, including the meaning of life and the idea of a ‘comfortable death’ in this thought-provoking novel.
The Underground Railroad
The Wangs Vs The World
by Colson Whitehead (Fleet, £14.99)
by Jade Chang (Fig Tree, £14.99)
The Underground Railroad is a razor-sharp story of slavery and escape. At the heart of the tale is Cora, who is subjected to relentless violence at the hands of her owners, but whose spirit remains undaunted. Stealing away from the Georgia cotton plantation, she heads along on the tracks and tunnels of the underground railway and encounters all kinds of hell on her journey to freedom.
Charles Wang has lost everything in the financial crash. Determined to return to China to claim back his ancestral lands, he heads across America in his maid’s car, with his second wife, son and youngest daughter, en route to see his oldest child, the disgraced art world ‘it’ girl, Saina, who has enough troubles of her own. This brazen comedy reveals the downside of the American dream.
‘Caterpillars? Easy, thinks Katya. Even these, thick-clustered, obscuring a tree from bole to crown and shivering their orange hair. Caterpillars she can deal with’
MAIN REVIEWS: EITHNE FARRY. PHOTOGRAPH: PAUL VIANT/GETTY IMAGES
From Nineveh by Henrietta Rose-Innes (Aardvark Bureau, £8.99)
The book that made me Donal Ryan on a Roald Dahl classic
I already loved Roald Dahl when I was given The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar And Six More by my parents, aged nine. Up until then, he’d only ever made me laugh and cheer the good guys on to their ineluctable victories. Then I read about a boy who seems too kind for this world, and another who’s bullied close to death. And, suddenly, the certainty of good’s triumph was gone; here was cruelty without its gargoyle mask of wicked comedy. Add in a first look at the great man himself – being beaten at school; flying and crashing fighter planes; accidentally becoming a writer – and this book, though full of hard truths, brims with joy and magic, and changed the way I saw myself, and the world. Donal Ryan is author of ‘All We Shall Know’ (Doubleday, £12.99)
The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar And Six More, Penguin Books, £6.99
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“It’s just what I wanted!”
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Take a bow as the queen of thoughtful presents with our insightful guide, created by Sally Brown, who shows us how to find the perfect gift for all the individual personalities in our lives illustrations smartup visuals/illustration ltd
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Sudoko-style wooden puzzle, puzzle £17.50, notonthe highstreet.com
Beautiful notebook; inspiring science book; grown-up logic puzzle. Philosophers are inventive and creative but, above all, logical. They love puzzles and to debate ideas with like-minded people. They’re Pencil case, £11.50, Mibo often drawn to creative or academic jobs and have a thirst for knowledge. At their best, they are open-minded, imaginative, original and honest, but can come across as shy, withdrawn and Nail varnish highlighters, a tad absent-minded.
One Year Wiser: A Gratitude Journal by Mike Medaglia, £11.99, SelfMadeHero Bella Origami notepaper, £9.75, Lollipop Designs
Bright Ideas journal, £10.99, Chronicle Books
Original sketch or print; unusual jewellery; scented candle. Idealist poets look for the best in people. They can seem shy as they often take an observant role in social situations, but people who take time to get to know them find them joyful and inspirational. Stimulated by beauty, they are drawn to creative careers.
Bar ring, £19, Sparkling Jewellery All I want for Christmas is a Moment of Calm set, £15, Neom Organics
Make Today Ridiculously Amazing clock, £27, Art Rookie
Derwent Academy Art Pencils Wooden Box Set, £26.25, Hobbycraft
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English Heritage Tudor Rose collection, from £9.99 for a room fragrance, Woods of Windsor
Handcrafted recycled key box, £15, Traidcraft
gift guide Wild and Wolf 746 phone, £49, Red Candy
Stylish tech; subscription to The School of Life or similar; inspirational biography. They’re born leaders and their drive to succeed, confidence and charisma, mean they tend to do well at most things. They thrive on challenges and are committed to personal growth and self-improvement. At their best, they are energetic and inspiring, but can also be stubborn and impatient. Peak laptop stand, £11.94, DaWanda
Bright Idea laptop light, £9.99, Totally Funky
In the Garden desk jotter, £10.99, Galison
What Should I Do With My Life? card game, £10, The School of Life
Merci Maman stainless steel personalised 16GB USB drive in silver, £39, John Lewis
Spiritual self-help book; unusual weekend bag for festivals or lastminute trips. Curious and always looking for deeper meaning, they are sociable and can be the life of the party. They crave freedom rather than security and are often in the spotlight. Charming, independent, energetic and compassionate, free spirits can feel crushed by routine.
PHOTOGRAPH: ISTOCK. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Cross Body Fringe Santa Catarina Palopó handmade bag, £375, MARIA’S
Tropical Flamingo passport holder, £6.50, Sass & Belle
Zodiak silk eyemasks, £35 each, Yolke
Woodland medium sewing box, £18, Hobbycraft
Happiness Black Cat mug, £12.25, Repeat Repeat
Be Here Now wrist watch, £37.20, Zazzle
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Personalised rose gold-plated necklace, £89, Merci Maman Cashmere beanie, £115; gloves, £52, both Brora
Something that nurtures them, such as a gorgeous wrap or blanket; lovely slippers; Himalayan bath salts. Super compassionate and sociable, defenders are drawn to the caring professions, and take responsibility seriously. They can be shy and prefer to stay out of the spotlight, but love people and make great friends. They have a tendency to put themselves last and need a nudge to take care of themselves.
Personalised cushion, cushion £35, notonthehigh street.com
Fir Tree Knitwear wool socks, £28, Etsy
Rose and vanilla bath salts, £18, Hopscotch London
Selection salted caramel 1kg panettone, £24.99, Selfridges
Women’s microlight alpine jacket in berry, £180, Rab
Outdoorsy stuff: GPS watch; backpack; hiking boots. They’re drawn to a life less ordinary and love beauty, spontaneity, originality and pushing the boundaries of social convention. They’re often at the centre of social groups, but need time alone to recharge. They take risks and push themselves – whether on a solo hike or trying canyoneering.
Polaroid Snap instant print digital camera, £99, QVC
Ultimate Travelist Colouring Book, £9.99, Lonely Planet Vintage Map Adventure hip flask, £7, Sass & Belle
Women’s Clifton 3 running shoe, £111, HOKA ONE ONE
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Illustrated Amsterdam city globe, £5.99, notonthehigh street.com
Luxury personal organiser; great handbag with lots of compartments. Executives love tradition and order. Honesty and dedication are their core values and they do well at work. In their spare time, they are drawn to community initiatives, uniting people and making change happen. Saffiano rose gold organiser, from £34, Filofax
Forest Rose scallopededge umbrella, £30, Cath Kidston
Dollies bag, £55, Dune London
Red satchel, from £125, The Cambridge Satchel Company
Snowy Arctic foxes iPhone case, £19.99, Papio Press
Sharpie set of 23 markers, £15, Hobbycraft
Pineapple cocktail shaker, £34, Oliver Bonas
FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Stylish vase or picture frame for home; anything luxurious such as fab shoes or lipstick. Entertainers love the spotlight, and can be natural comedians and storytellers. Every event feels like a party when they’re around. They love fashion and their homes and wardrobes are filled with beautiful things. They’re naturally curious and love everything new. At times, they can seem chaotic, as everyday responsibilities don’t even enter their radar but, somehow, life always seems to work out for them.
Star Baker apron, £13, Debenhams
Damn Rebel Bitches vegan perfume, £75, perfume REEK Perfume
Prosecco tote shopping bag, £25, notonthe highstreet.com
Milky Mischief cocoa-dusted truffles, £4, Monty Bojangles
Black truffle and Chablis mustard; Black truffle cep and Chablis mustard, £29 each, Maille
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Next month in
Visionboard your life
The new way to make your dreams come true
Emotional first aid
‘No relationship? No problem!’
Yoga travel special
Bandage your heart, patch up your painful spots and restore your mind
Forget stereotypes – all the single ladies really are as happy as their married counterparts
The ultimate roundup of the best retreats to suit every budget
Don’t miss the February issue – on sale 30 December
Find out where to buy the products featured in this month’s issue
abeautifulworld abeautifulworld.co.uk Aevi aeviwellness.com Aldi aldi.co.uk Aromatherapy Associates aromatherapyassociates.com Art Rookie artrookie.co.uk
Belvoir Fruit Farms belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk Birch & Brook birchandbrook.co.uk Bouclème spacenk.com Brora brora.co.uk
The Cambridge Satchel Company cambridgesatchel.com Cath Kidston cathkidston.com Chronicle Books chroniclebooks.com
DaWanda dawanda.com Debenhams debenhams.com Dotcomgiftshop dotcomgiftshop.com Dragonfly Tea amazon.co.uk Dune London dunelondon.com
Elderbrook elderbrookdrinks.co.uk Emmy’s Organics emmysorganics.com Ethical Superstore ethicalsuperstore.com Etsy etsy.co.uk
Fever-Tree fever-tree.com 58 South Molton Street 58lifestyle.com Filofax filofax.co.uk
Hey! Holla heyholla.com Hobbycraft hobbycraft.co.uk HOKA ONE ONE hokaoneone.eu Hotel Chocolat hotelchocolat.com/uk House of Clouds houseofclouds.co.uk House of Rym houseofrym.com Hopscotch London hopscotchlondon.com
John Lewis johnlewis.com Jonathan Adler uk.jonathanadler.com
Kjaer Weis net-a-porter.com Kypris cultbeauty.co.uk
Le Creuset lecreuset.co.uk Lindt lindt.co.uk Lollipop Designs lollipopdesigns.co.uk Lonely Planet shop.lonelyplanet.com Love Give Ink lovegiveink.com
Macmillan shop.macmillan.org.uk Maille maille.com MARIA’S mariasbag.co.uk Marks & Spencer marksandspencer.com Mauli maulirituals.com Mibo mibo.co.uk Monty Bojangles montybojangles.com
Neom neomorganics.com NotOnTheHighStreet notonthehighstreet.com Nyetimber nyetimber.com
Ocado ocado.com Oliver Bonas oliverbonas.com
Pai paiskincare.com Papio Press papiopress.co.uk
Qnola qnola.co.uk QVC qvcuk.com
Rab rab.equipment/uk Real Health boots.com Red Candy redcandy.co.uk REEK Perfume reekperfume.com Repeat Repeat repeatrepeat.co.uk
Sarah Boddy sarahboddy.com Sass & Belle sassandbelle.co.uk SeaSoul and Snow seasoulandsnow.com The School of Life theschooloflife.com/shop SelfMadeHero selfmadehero.com Selfridges selfridges.com Sparkling Jewellery sparklingjewellery.co.uk The Sports Edit thesportsedit.com Supernatural Beauty supernaturalbeauty.co Sweaty Betty sweatybetty.com
Totally Funky totally-funky.co.uk Traidcraft traidcraftshop.co.uk Twelve Beauty twelvebeauty.com
Weleda weleda.co.uk Woodland Trust woodlandtrustshop.com Woods of Windsor woodsofwindsor.co.uk
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essentials YOU CAN LIVE A LIFE YOU LOVE
GIVE THE GIFT OF FLAVOUR WITH FOOD AT HEART
TAKE BACK CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE, YOUR HEALTH & YOUR HAPPINESS. Raw Horizons & Dr Claire Maguire offer exclusive Women Only wellbeing retreats. - Relax in beautiful, peaceful luxury - Learn to feel good about your body - Overcome exhaustion and gain control - Build self-esteem & have conﬁdence in yourself Learn easy ways to follow your dreams & emerge empowered with energy, inspiration and a new sense of happiness. Our transformational retreats combine yoga, life coaching and healthy food to help you reshape your body, reframe your mind and transform for a happier you. FOR MORE INFORMATION: Raw Horizons Retreat Split Farthing Hall North Yorkshire Tel: 01845 597 041 Email: email@example.com Web: www.rawhorizons.co.uk
BLENDING THE CALM OF YOGA WITH THE CRAFT OF A COOKING CLASS
EXPLORE WHAT MATTERS. FEEL GOOD, THRIVE GOOD LIVING IS ALL ABOUT TIME AND BREATH. SLOWNESS AND SPEED. WHO YOU WANT TO BE AND HOW YOU WANT TO SPEND YOUR TIME. JOIN US FOR AN URBAN CURIOSITY THRIVE RETREAT TO: ● get clear on your business, people, priorities, and projects for 2017 ● explore creative tools to live with creativity and joy
Meredith Whitely created Food At Heart for people who enjoy experimenting with recipes and feelgood ﬂavours, but also want to pursue a more conscious way of living and eating. Food At Heart reﬂective cooking events mix fun and focus. Explore seasonal and sustainable foods, from delicious dark chocolate to nourishing organic salads. You’ll taste with awareness, experiment with ﬂavours and create delicious food. It’s not about good versus bad foods, but listening to your body and deﬁning your unt own sense of balance. £5 disco Food At Heart’s new gift pack includes an event voucher and surprise ﬂavour sachet with tasting notes (e-vouchers also available).
ologies for Psych ith code w s er d rea C PSY H5
FIND OUT MORE ● Email: contact@foodatheart.
● Web: foodatheart.co.uk/
THINKING SPACE BY THE SEA FOR WOMEN IN PROGRESS Come and explore whatever’s important to you. There’s time for solitary reﬂection, lively discussion, guided activities and one-to-one coaching – all in a captivating environment where you can just come as you are, focus on YOU, and leave with a clearer head.
● cultivate your intuition ● learn how to unplug and be more mindful
At The Brudenell Hotel,
● discover how to tackle overwhelm and take back time
● engage in thrilling conversations with other writers, artists,
freelancers, alternative health practitioners and creative entrepreneurs
● relax in a beautiful island, forest,
lake, coastal or city spa
● nourish your body with gourmet
wholesome food and drinks.
FIND OUT MORE ● Email: clare@urbancuriosity.
count 15% dis ologies ch sy for P readers (expiry: 17) 05/01/
Dates for 2017: 17-19 March, 7-9 June, 17-19 November ● www.sea-change.me
● Web: www.urbancuriosity.org/ retreat-psychologies
TO ADVERTISE IN ESSENTIALS PLEASE CALL 01733 353363
Health, happiness and wellbeing, empowering you to live well. A selection of products and services to improve your month. TODAY’S CHOICE IS TOMORROW’S LIFE
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A NEW SATISFYING CAREER? IMPROVE CHILDREN’S LIVES AND CHANGE YOUR OWN! TRAIN AS A REGISTERED PLAY THERAPIST OR PRACTITIONER IN THERAPEUTIC PLAY SKILLS The UK needs an estimated 22,000 therapists to work with children. There are less than 3000 at present. PG Certiﬁcate and Diploma courses run over ﬁve three day weekends. 13 convenient venues throughout the UK. The only courses that qualify for the Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists managed by Play Therapy UK and accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. Find out more - attend our: One-day Introduction to Play Therapy course. Phone for 28 page career and training guide FOR MORE INFORMATION: ● Contact: Penny Milne, APAC ● Tel: 01825 761143 ● Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ● Web: www.playtherapy.org.uk ● Web: www.playtherapyregister.org.uk
A unique one day certiﬁcated teachers workshop with Buddhist monk Ven. Lama Ngedon Drime (shri sadhu dharmavira) This unique workshop contains all the relaxation techniques needed to experience the wellbeing that comes through a life that is stress and anxiety free. This course was created for those who wish to teach others to be stress free. But, anyone who would like to attend for their own personal wellbeing, is very welcome. Booking now for workshops in London and York. To ensure quality teaching, workshops are limited to a maximum of 6 participants To receive full details about the workshop and its beneﬁts, please telephone: 01723 862 496 (calls taken between 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week)
CREATIVE APPROACHES TO THERAPY AND WELLBEING EXPERIENCING ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, LOW SELF-ESTEEM? Creative approaches offering a holistic therapy to resolve and overcome problems, heal symptoms, and support positive change. Elizabeth Heren is an Integrative/Transpersonal Psychotherapist and Counsellor, registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, offering one-to-one psychotherapy and counselling, drama and movement workshops for wellbeing, and clinical supervision. Experienced in treating people with a wide range of problems and life issues, creative approaches such as visualisation, movement and breath work are incorporated within talking therapy when words are not enough. Movement & Story Workshops use movement, story-making and play to access the imagination and body for wellbeing, improved self-esteem, and creativity. FOR MORE INFORMATION ● 0773 213 1062 ● www.elizabeth
heren-psychotherapy.co.uk ● eh@elizabeth
TO ADVERTISE IN ESSENTIALS PLEASE CALL 01733 353363
essentials FUSION BREAKTHROUGH™ COACHING Do you want to feel your best, be your best and live your best life? Do you want a rewarding career which will give you the professional tools to help others do the same? The STOPGO™ Coaching System combines the best of counselling and coaching with really effective skills to really help people. Study for the prestigious NCFE accredited fast track diploma or distance learning skills certiﬁcate with psychotherapist Frances Masters. Book a Fusion Breakthrough™ Day for your own personal development or ﬁnd out how to become a Fusion Breakthrough Trainer. Book now or to ﬁnd out more.. FOR MORE INFORMATION: ● Web: www.thefusionmodel. com ● Email: www.integrated
YOGA & WELLNESS HOLIDAYS LANZAROTE, CANARY ISLANDS NEXT RETREAT: 5 - 12 NOVEMBER & 12 - 19 NOVEMBER It’s time to pamper your body and mind, de-stress and relax on the sunny island of Lanzarote. You will learn how to practice yoga, meditate, treat your body to rejuvenating massages and reset your internal batteries in our boutique spa. Our luxury all-inclusive retreat is perfect if you’re new to yoga or always wanted to give it a go. You will re-balance the connection between your body and mind and enjoy delicious nutritious food. We will take care of you from the moment you land so you can spend your time fully immersing yourself with relaxation and enjoy the all year round sun that Lanzarote has to offer. FOR MORE INFORMATION: ● www.yogaislandretreats. co.uk ● relax@yogaislandretreats.
co.uk ● 020 8123 3163;
0756 2122 462
MINDFULNESS BASED RETREATS AND THERAPEUTIC PROGRAMMES WITH HORSES ARE YOU LOOKING FOR MORE THAN JUST A HOLIDAY BREAK? DO YOU WANT TO LEARN NEW SKILLS IN MINDFUL COMPASSION? Mind-Reframed retreats on the picturesque and welcoming island of Gozo in Malta invite you to take steps towards living with an awakened mind, open heart and relaxed body and give you skills to continue this work after returning home. Our equineassisted therapeutic programmes can help you move one step further towards living in the present, healing some of the wounds and heart-breaks of the past and perhaps understanding your relational patterns in greater depth. code 2017 DATES: 21-27 March off. Use ies g (special offer for Mother’s lo o h c Psy Day) to claim 23-29 May (falls on Spring Bank Holiday) FOR MORE INFORMATION: ● Web: www.mind-reframed. com/retreats.
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Having a coach by your side can give courage, conﬁdence and belief, keeping you focused, on-track and motivated. GET IN TOUCH FOR A FREE CONSULTATION. ● Email: bronwyn@
magicroundaboutcoaching. co.uk ● Web: www.
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If you’ve enjoyed reading our magazine this month and you feel inspired to be proactive and make a change in your life, these coaches will be your guide… Whatever you are facing, it’s good to talk, especially to a trained listener. At Psychologies, we believe in the power of therapy and coaching to help you see things differently and to heal. What is always guaranteed is that, if we keep on doing the same old thing and thinking and feeling the same way, we’ll keep on getting the same results. Talking therapies allow us to press pause and become an observer of our internal soundtrack, so we can find new ways to move forward. Good luck on your journey! Editor
TO ADVERTISE WITHIN OUR COACHING DIRECTORY, PLEASE CONTACT: SOPHIE SHARMAN ON 01733 353363 OR EMAIL: SOPHIE.SHARMAN@KELSEY.CO.UK
NADIA WYATT, GOALS SOLUTIONS As a CBT counsellor, hypnotherapist, EMDR therapist and life coach, I am able to draw from all or some of these therapies to help clients with any struggles and difficulties they may have. I specialise in anxiety and depression, from borderline to severe. I work with adults, couples and children and have clinics in Billericay, Essex, and Marbella, Spain. ● For more information, visit goals-solutions.com,
email email@example.com or call 07799 778886
SARAH MEGARITY, PERSONAL COACH Sarah is a private coach, based in London. No matter what your goal is, no matter how far away it seems, Sarah can help you get there. Sarah specialises in personal development and relationship and crisis-management coaching. Confidentiality is the most important part of her practice, and she conducts her work in a judgement-free environment. ● For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
KIKI IORDANIDOU, CHARTERED COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGIST Life can be difficult. You might be struggling in your personal, professional or social life. In any of these cases, your sleep patterns may be interrupted. I’ll help you find the answers, and give you practical advice and emotional support. With commitment, we can resolve your problems and help you build the confidence to become your own therapist. For more, see harleystreet-psychologist.co.uk, email email@example.com or call 07557 470056 ●
ISABELLA S TRIMBLE, TRANSFORMATIVE HYPNOTHERAPY Isabella specialises in dealing with anxiety and stress, eating and self-esteem issues, insomnia, smoking cessation and creative expression. ‘My two-hour session with Isabella was very intriguing… If there are any blocks in your life, hypnotherapy may work when traditional avenues haven’t.’ Annabelle Harrison, The Kensington & Chelsea Magazine. ● For a free consultation, visit hypnotherapybook.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07874 893322 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 129
HAPPINESS BOOK CLUB
FIND YOUR STAYING POWER This month, Vanessa King from Action for Happiness recommends Grit – The Power Of Passion And Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
happier life includes not only pleasure and enjoyment, but also a sense of deeper fulfilment from making the most of our potential. This involves hard work and repeated practice – grit. Duckworth defines grit as ‘passion and perseverance for long-term goals’; the ability to stick at something over time, learning from failure, so we gradually get better. We often put the exceptional performance that we see on the sports field and stage, or in the artist’s studio and science lab, down to talent alone. But Duckworth argues that, while talent counts, sustained and deliberate effort; grit, counts for more. It helps us to focus and sustain our efforts, leading to greater satisfaction longer term.
ILLUSTRATION: LESLEY BUCKINGHAM/CENTRAL ILLUSTRATION
Knowing your ‘north star’
Being clear on our abiding interest, and why this matters to us and others, are key ingredients for grit – a north star to guide where we focus and help keep us going. Have a look at your list of immediate and longer-term goals. For each one, ask yourself why it’s important. If it’s a means to an end, ask why that’s important. Keep asking why until you get to an answer along the lines of, ‘Well, it just is.’ Duckworth suggests this points in the direction of your ‘top-level goal’, which your other goals should help serve. Her own is, ‘Using psychological science to help people thrive.’ Taking on the challenge of writing this book (her first) clearly does this. It’s an approachable and engaging exploration of why grit matters and ways to develop it. Next month, we are reading ‘Originals: How Non-Conformists Change The World’ by Adam Grant (Ebury, £15.99)
130 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7
Questions to discuss at your book club
● Looking back over your life to date, what’s a common thread to what really interests you? To what extent are you pursuing this currently – inside or outside of work? ● When in your life have you really persevered to get better at something? What enabled you to keep at it and learn? ● Looking forward, what’s the passion you’d like to pursue?
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supermarkets,pharmacies,health stores and www.vitabiotics.com
*Source:Nielsen GB ScanTrack Total Coverage Unit Sales 52 w/e 18th June 2016.
HOW TO BE 18-PAGE DOSSIER CHARMING Everyday superhero superfoods PROFILE LIBIDO WARS Learn to dazzle and shine without faking it The dark si...
Published on Dec 24, 2016
HOW TO BE 18-PAGE DOSSIER CHARMING Everyday superhero superfoods PROFILE LIBIDO WARS Learn to dazzle and shine without faking it The dark si...