Our families disapprove of our relationship

Our agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, offers a new perspective on your challenges and problems

20 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

My boyfriend and I have been going out for four years; we are very much in love, and have been talking about getting married.

However, we have different faiths and my family has made it perfectly clear that they will never accept our relationship. My boyfriend told me that his family has given us their blessing, but he has now decided that he is not in favour of a civil ceremony, mainly because he thinks it likely that my family will harm his family if he marries me in a ceremony that is not religious.… More

What kind of learner are you?

Studying for that exam or learning your presentation can be hard work at the best of times. But are you learning in the most productive way for you?

19 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

Graham Allcott, author of How To Be A Knowledge Ninja explains how to find out how you learn best…

Visual You are at your best when you can ‘see’ what you are learning. You like visual aids, graphs, drawings and symbols, and often learn by memorising where you see things.

Auditory You learn best by listening, to lectures or in discussions. You might remember things by saying them out loud, or memorising them to songs.… More

What do people find attractive?

Every month, Sarah Abell invites you to try a 30-day experiment to improve your love life

3 FEBRUARY 2015 by Psychologies

The project

Do you want a second date or to maintain a long-term relationship? Then forget about bragging – research shows both men and women are attracted by ‘humility’ in a prospective or long-term partner.

The aim

If you want to find or keep love, humility is a trait worth cultivating. Most people prefer someone who sees their strengths and weaknesses accurately, doesn’t hog the limelight and treats others well.

The theory

Have you ever fallen for an arrogant rogue or self-absorbed prima donna?… More

Embrace a joyful life

In the final part of our Balancer series, Eminé Ali Rushton looks back on what she learned by teaming up with Grace Belgravia for a holistic approach to health and happiness

18 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

This month’s column marks the end of the wonderfully fruitful collaboration between ourselves and the world-class wellbeing destination that is Grace Belgravia.

Looking back on our six months, I can see that I’ve come a long way. I’ve met some extraordinary experts – people who’ve coaxed the lazy, demotivated me out of my tired shell, showing me that a good night’s sleep isn’t always the golden ticket.… More

How to find love online

Sarah Abell invites you to try a 30-day experiment to improve your love life

18 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

The project

Ever spent hours creating the perfect online dating profile? Did you airbrush your best photo and carefully craft an amazing description? You might have been wasting your time. According to research, most people are looking for the perfect match – but not a perfect person.Successful, humble and real scores better.

The aim

To attract a potential mate online, the best thing you can do is be yourself and have a realistic, balanced profile.

The theory

Researchers at the University of Iowa set out to discover how people who use dating sites respond to different ways people present themselves online.… More

When your family grows up

Penny Mansfield, director of One Plus One, explains how to reinforce your connection as a couple

1 JULY 2014 by Psychologies

When your children become older and need you less, it’s not uncommon to feel a vacuum has been created that is difficult to fill, and that as partners you are losing the glue that has bound you together. Often a couple find they have become a parenting alliance, rather than a partnership where there is intimacy.

Here are three top tips to restore intimacy to your relationship:

1. Share with each other

The qualities that make you good parents – working together, not undermining each other, a strong sense of sharing – also make you good partners.… More

Five ways to help your loved one keep their cigarette cravings at bay

Has your loved one given up smoking? Here are five points in the day when their cravings could be at their peak and how you can help them cope

15 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

Many successful ex-smokers say quitting is the hardest thing they ever did, while nearly 70 per cent of people who currently smoke in the UK say they want to stop. If this applies to your partner, then you can play a vital role in supporting them on their journey.

Anyone who has smoked for a long time will associate certain activities and times of the day with cigarettes.… More

‘The better I feel, the less I dwell on what others think’

Our resident image expert Mandy Lehto talks to musician Hattie Briggs about dressing to be happy and using music as a muse..

15 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

Hattie Briggs, 21, dropped out of her Russian language course at university to pursue her passion of singing and songwriting. Last year, she was nominated for the Radio 2 Young Folk Award. Hattie describes her music as a mix of mature pop and catchy melody. ‘It’s fairly relaxed and quite personal,’ she says. I ask if the same is true of her style. ‘My style is a blend, like my music. I have a lot of individual pieces with a distinctive feel – retro, vintage, folksy, sporty, modern.… More

Why aren’t I happy?

Patricia Furness-Smith’s ‘Well-being – A Practical Guide’ tells us how to embrace humour

3 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

They say that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and there is an abundance of evidence to support this claim.

Laughter is therapeutic because:

-It facilitates cardiovascular activity by increasing blood flow, and it improves blood vessel functionality, all of which protects the heart.
-It improves muscle relaxtion by releasing muscle tension in the facial, abdominal and back areas, and this in turn reduces the stress signals sent to the brain. So, you will always feel more supple after a hearty laughter workout!
-It inhibits the release of stress hormones (for example, adrenaline and cortisol) and increases the number of antibodies (for example, T-cells, Gamma-interferon) released, which will boost your immune system, making you more resistant to disease and infection
-It causes the release of endorphins – your body’s feelgood chemicals.Endorphins… More

How can I get on with my sister?

Our agony aunt Mary Fenwick offers a new perspective on your challenges and problems

13 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

My twin sister and I are about to turn 30, but we don’t get on. She thinks I’m demanding and that I hate pretty much everything about her. I think she’s self-obsessed and creates too much drama. We can’t even seem to have a conversation without it erupting into an argument because there’s too much history of resentment.

I’ve tried to let it go and start afresh, but her constant bad behaviour towards our family makes it impossible. She ignores me every time I try to suggest that we go to counselling together.… More