Hilda Burke in the Press

 

Brainy First Borns

 

The most wonderful time of the year

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Katherine Jenkins and June Sarpong talk charity

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Katherine Jenkins and Giovanna Fletcher talk motherhood

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Katherine Jenkins and Anita Rani talk self-confidence

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Get more joy out of shopping and spend less

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The new badge of honour: why you should make it your mission to get a hobby

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Nature’s Playground

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How to lose weight as a couple (without putting your relationship at risk)

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Take a day off from your life

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Antonio Horta-Osorio, and why married men go for a lookalike lover

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War and Peace

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Overwhelmed by crammed cupboards, flaky friends and a limp love life? Declutter your life with these tips

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From Weight Gain to Memory Loss: How Your Tech is Slowly Killing You

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Lunch for one again? Stylist investigates the rise of work loneliness

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Cheating with robots and modern day affairs

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Why crafts like knitting can boost happiness and ease anxiety

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How breakups became a spectator sport

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Is your arguing getting out of hand?

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Would you holiday with your ex?

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Is living in Plymouth bad for your health?

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Are we becoming numb to terrorism from hearing about it too much?

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Most of us have empathy but we can’t spend all our emotional energy (on terrorism) because we need to retain something for ourselves, because of the challenges we’re facing in our own personal lives.

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Nostalgia on social media: why it’s time to quit our constant backwards glances

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The fact that most of our memories are now documented and stored digitally definitely has an impact on how we view past events but also how much we’re actually ‘present in the present’.”

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Best ways to rebound after a break up

Hilda Burke, integrative psychotherapist, couples therapist and life coach:

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“What do you find is someone’s biggest concern after they’ve broken up with a partner? Most people want to avoid the pain of a break-up, so they try to numb it and forget it as swiftly as possible via sedation (drink/drugs), oblivion (a new lover), or denial that their ex ever meant that much to them. The latter is the most ineffectual approach and the most damaging, as the heart only ‘feels’, it cannot understand or be taken in by these words we try and deceive ourselves with.”

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Feeling Brexit anxiety? Step away from the screen

“The news cycle can affect people in different ways”, says psychotherapist Hilda Burke. “When it comes to Brexit, Burke says she’s seen a range of emotions from clients including feeling overwhelmed, powerless and despondent.”

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“It’s like a divorce, similar to what people might experience with the death of a relationship,” she says.

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Did I inherit my disordered eating habits from mum?

“Children soak up their parents’ neuroses at an incredibly young age,” says psychotherapist Hilda Burke. “There is a temptation to mimic mummy, particularly amongst girls.”

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“If mum is encouraging our healthy, growing appetites but we see her nibbling on a Ryvita herself, the inconsistency between what she does and what she says will be picked up by us,” confirms Hilda.

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Making the connection

“The internet is a gateway that helps us find like-minded people.”

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We’ve always found ways to get together in groups, and whether it’s bingo and bowls or CrossFit and Zumba, the underlying aim is the same.

“A desire to come together is in our DNA,” says Burke. “As hunter-gatherers, we were safest when with others and in more danger out on our own. That doesn’t apply anymore, but we still feel safer in a group.”

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Why are we so scared of turning 30?

According to psychotherapist Hilda Burke, milestone birthdays such as 30 can turn even the most chilled among us into quivering wrecks thanks to the significance our culture has placed on them.

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“We have deeply ingrained cultural norms surrounding ages. Milestones such as 30 are significant because we have collectively endowed them with certain meanings and achievements.”

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Millions of children are missing out on traditional family lifestyles because they spend 32 HOURS a week in front of a screen

“It is no surprise that very high digital usage in adults is reflected in children.

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“However, if we adopt healthy boundaries around digital devices – such as letting our children see us switch off and put away our phones when guests come for dinner. They will learn valuable lessons about how there is a time and a place to use our devices and that it’s up to us to regulate our usage.”

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How anxiety became a modern epidemic greater than depression

Everybody feels anxious at some point in their lives; starting a new job, trying to impress a date, sitting an exam, we expect to feel agitated and nervous, the butterflies fluttering in our stomachs.

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Therapist Hilda Burke reports that people can also end up simply ‘fearing the fear’. She’s seen this with clients who are doing well with their therapeutic treatment but can’t stop themselves thinking: what will happen if the anxiety returns? ‘This type of anxiety is actually the most threatening of all because it often appears when everything seems positive, and as such it can be extremely destabilising.’

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Should you move in with someone just to save on rent?

“When my clients talk with longing about doing something radically different – taking a sabbatical, going back to university, changing career or indeed leaving their partner – the number one reason they give for holding back is ‘I couldn’t afford to’.

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“Dig a bit deeper, however, and often what’s at the root of their inertia is a lack of confidence or a fear of the unknown.”

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How to spot depression

So how exactly can you express your concerns if you suspect a family member or close friend may be depressed?

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“I think it sometimes helps if you don’t use the word ‘depression’,” says integrative psychotherapist Hilda Burke. “Unfortunately, for some, this term still carries some stigma and people can end up feeling judged if they’re described in this way.”

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Social media, smartphones, Google, just a few reasons why we can’t remember anyone’s name

But then there’s the theory that we’ve all secretly suspected but hope never applies to us – that we forget the names of people we’re just not that interested in.

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“The truth is we remember people who have made an impact on us or, Machiavellian as it may sound, who may be of benefit to us,” says psychotherapist Hilda Burke.

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#Friendingnow

While close connections are as important as ever, at the same time we’re becoming increasingly discerning, says integrative psychotherapist Hilda Burke.

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‘We’ve come to a second phase of social media. Facebook was never meant to be for best friends. I think we’re now using it in the way it was intended. I had my bike stolen and put up a Facebook post asking if anyone could lend me one. If I was dumped by my boyfriend, would I ask for help in a status update? Probably not. People are starting to differenciate between friendship and social ties.’

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How to love yourself

A compliment is a lovely gift,’ says Burke. ‘When you dismiss it or scoff at it, you’re throwing the gift back in the giver’s face.

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Accepting it and thanking them does not mean you agree that your coat is really flattering. It’s not self-aggrandising; it’s about graciously accepting the gift.

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Oh, those, summer nights

Hilda Burke says: “Most of us exhibit both extrovert and introvert traits – sometimes we’ll seek out the company of others, revel in being around people whereas at other points we just crave some time alone.

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However, generally we will have a default mode that we gravitate towards. We can tell what our natural state is by asking ourselves what we do when we hit a crisis – do we want to retreat or do we want to summon our friends and family and share the pain?”

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Are you suffering from compulsive career disorder?

“Not everyone who overcommits recognises they have a problem, often placing the “blame” for their obsessive behaviour on work being stressful, there being so much to do or their boss being so demanding.

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“The reality is ‘work worryaholics’ tend to be like that in every job, every career they pursue,” finds Burke. “Ultimately, it’s their self-esteem on the line, so if they don’t perform and give everything they can to their jobs, they’ll feel bad about themselves.”

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When friends divorce

So your friend is getting divorced – but you’re close to their ex-partner, too. Is it time to pick sides, or can you maintain friendships with them both?

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But how hard is it to remain neutral? “All you can do is try to make it clear to them both how much you value each of their friendships, and how much you hope to maintain them,” says Burke. “These boundaries should serve you well if one of them starts dating again.”

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How much sex is enough?

Lack of sex Is most likely the effect, not the cause of a problem.

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“I would say that infrequent sex might indicate that all is not well within the relationship,” says Burke. “Perhaps once per week is a sort of maintenance level for couples, although this is pretty arbitrary; for some it might be less, for others more.

“Usually, when couples are in severe crisis, generally speaking, the sex stops. So the link the study makes between sex and wellbeing possibly isn’t down to the sex itself being responsible for the wellbeing of the couple, but that fact a couple is having fairly regular sex indicates that they’re probably not in severe crisis.

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Is 30 the new midlife crisis?

Midlife crisis was once the preserve of middle-aged men mourning their lost youth but, according to stats released this month, almost half us brits have either had or are going through a life crisis, questioning everything from career prospects to significant others, and panicking that we’re on the wrong path.

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‘Comparing ourselves to others inevitably make us feel miserable,’ says Burke. ‘Bring the focus back to what would make you happy rather than getting locked in with where you “should” be.’

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Are long weekends better for you than a two week holiday?

That holidays can be good for us both professionally and personally is a fact that’s long been established, but what’s remained a bit murkier is the kind of holiday that’s best for us.

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‘Irrespective of how long or short our holidays are however, the the most important thing is just to be ‘present’.

‘Many of us fret about our ‘beach bodies’, but what about our beach brains and minds? If we're worrying about what we've left behind at work, or what we have to face when we get back home, then are we really 'on holiday' at all?’

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Why gardening therapy is being prescribed by doctors

Hilda Burke, Psychotherapist, says that gardening is an activity that seems to help a lot of people get into a ‘flow’ state. This means that you don't notice the time passing, aren't simultaneously thinking over other things, making plans or rehashing the past. As such it helps people both to switch off to other stuff and switch on to the present moment. In other words, to be more mindful.

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‘What makes gardening unique and sets it apart from other activities such as baking say or knitting is that it quite literally connects us to the earth. Working with soil, planting things, being patient, nurturing our seedlings offers a valuable lesson for our personal lives.’

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Long live clutter

Having stuff is a touchstone for ourselves – it represents what we’ve done and whom we’ve loved.

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‘The stuff we gather and keep gives clues as to our identity. From this others make deductions about us – how wealthy we are, how cultured we are, how well travelled we are. Having stuff is a touchstone for ourselves – it represents an accumulation of what we’ve done and whom we have loved. It reinforces what we would like to think about ourselves.’

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Tapping into therapy: could apps really improve our mental health?

Could apps be the answer to our mental health problems? It’s a tempting thought, and one that’s occurred to many developers.

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‘There’s no substitute for being in the same room with a therapist. The reservation I have about apps is this: when I work with a client, the actual words they say are less than half of what they are telling me. Usually I’ll know how they’re feeling before they utter a word, perhaps by their body language, eye contact or lack of it, or their posture. I don’t think your smartphone can replace that physical closeness.’

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How to handle envy

Think everyone else is having a better time and far more luck than you?

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'Ask yourself what this envy is telling you,' suggests Burke. 'If a friend has just landed a wonderful new job, maybe this highlights the fact that you're unhappy about being stuck in the same position for the past 25 years. So rather than resenting your friend, be honest with yourself about why you haven't tried to move on. It's never too late to retrain completely or simply update your CV and start applying for new, more interesting roles.'

It’s also important to look at your life in the round. 'Sometimes we feel envious about just one aspect of someone else's life,' says Burke.

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Why gardening is good for the soul

Relaxing, refreshing and rewarding - gardening is great therapy.

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‘Gardening teaches patience and resilience, which helps us cope with life’s ups and downs,’ explains phychotherapist Hilda Burke. ‘By observing the circle of life - some plants suceed, others we have to let go – we accept that things cannot always come up roses for us.’

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5 tips for pre-race stress

If you find visualisation a struggle, consider creating a real-life vision board. ‘I encourage my clients who are aiming to do something they feel is a stretch to put together a collage of inspiring images,’ says Burke.

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‘So for a jobseeker it could be a pastiche of desired workplace images or outfits that they could see themselves wearing in their dream job. It's a good idea to do some meditation first (to clear the mind of clutter), then a short visualisation.’

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Millennials have taken the heartbreak out of the long distance relationship

Apps, social media and gadgets are helping to bridge the miles.

Mashable app

For non-long-distancers, movie dates might just be an average Friday night activity, but the nature of long- distance relationships can preclude an impromptu curl-up on the sofa with popcorn and a movie. While a physical movie date might not be possible, a virtual one is quite simple.

Couples counsellor Hilda Burke recommends an app called LetsGaze, which allows you to see your partner's face as you watch the same film.

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Binge-watching your favourite TV series is a guilty pleasure, but it may not be good for you

But can binge-watching really make you miserable? Psychotherapist Hilda Burke thinks it could be a risk.

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“Like any addiction, the harm ultimately lies in what it’s taking you away from. A lot of these shows are extreme, escapist stuff, so they can stop you living in the moment. Twenty years ago, you committed a time to watch TV; now shows drop multiple episodes, which enables addiction and forces you to rely on self-discipline.”

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Why are we all so prickly nowadays?

Snapping at our significant others, elbowing fellow commuters, sending tetchy emails to colleagues: our days are increasingly filled with prickly moments. When did life get so spiky?

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“If you blow up in self-defence, ask yourself: was the attack real or imagined? Listen to what people actually say, rather than what you think you hear and you’ll probably find most perceived criticisms are in your head.”

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Baking, crying and meditation

Having a good cry, throwing a party or baking biscuits could ease the pain without the need for pills.

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“Anyone can meditate,” says integrative psychotherapist Hilda Burke. “Start small. Set your alarm for one minute and focus on your breathing, taking long, deep breaths, creating stillness within yourself. When you get distracted, just keep focusing on the breath, letting the thoughts drift by you.”

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Passive aggressive?

Think you can get your point across by dropping indirect hints? Here’s why passive aggressive behaviour never works – plus how to handle it in other people.

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Even if you recognise a pattern of passive aggression in yourself, it can still be difficult to break. “Because it was learned in childhood, it’s likely to be deeply entrenched,” Hilda Burke explains. “Whenever we express our true feelings by way of indirect hints, we’re essentially being passive aggressive.”

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Meet the Baby Boomer mothers living the good life and their daughters struggling to make ends meet

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“People in their mid-40s to late 50s have a lot on their plates. This age group is probably still grasping for things: a bigger house, more money, a better life for their children. Grasping for more – whatever those things are – is generally fraught with anxiety.”

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Ask an adult: why is the grass always greener?

Integrated psychotherapist Hilda Burke says idealising alternatives could be a sign that we’re a little lazy about making changes in our own lives.

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“Part of the attraction of thinking that the grass is greener on the other side is that it lets us off the hook about tending to our own garden. Imagining that another relationship, another job, another city will make us happier implies that there is not much point investing in what we already have to make it better.”

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How to handle a narcissist

More than half the battle lies in realising you’re dealing with a narcissit. “It’s hard to build a friendship with a narcissist as they are hyper-sensitive to anything that might be perceived as criticism,” says Hilda Burke.

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“They will tend to either devalue or idealise you – both of which can be difficult to deal with. Narcissists find it hard to express remorse and gratitude because the former implies some sort of personal defect and the latter indicates a kind of neediness, which threatens their own sense of highly independent self.”

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Are You Secretly Competing With Your Partner?

“Work through a competitive relationship by acknowledging that one partner may outshine the other periodically, and remind yourself that difference is healthy,” says Hilda Burke.

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“Often, feeling competitive stems from insecurity. If there’s something you feel jealous of, it might be something you’re unhappy with in yourself, so focus your energies on working on that.”

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This is the secret to a happy relationship

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Psychotherapist Hilda Burke adds: “Often many people’s happiness relies solely on their partner, which isn’t healthy. Depending on another person to fulfil all of our needs can often mean setting ourselves up to feel disappointed and resentful.”

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Adults wearing pyjamas in public: what does it really say about us?

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“It probably depends on the type of work that you do but, as in a school, there are certain standards and codes that authority figures rely on in the workplace,” says Hilda Burke. “It’s possible they fear that if people don’t dress properly for the office, standards might slip.

“The legal profession is one of the last that goes for very formal attire, and there could be a psychological link between what you’re wearing and upholding the rigours of the law.”

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How to discover your domestic inner calm

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Relaxation time shouldn't have an agenda - for each person, it will be something different - from meditation to dancing, walking the dog, reading a good book, watching a movie, or simply taking a bath.

Often, the challenge for a lot of people in indulging in enough relaxation activities is that we feel guilty for taking time out for ourselves.

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Are you living with low-level sadness?

Burke says she sees it more in her female clients, but whether this is because women tend to verbalise their emotions more, she doesn’t know.

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“Men will often react by keeping busy to distract themselves from their feelings,” she says. And unlike depression, you can have “high functioning sadness” and simply carry on as normal, despite feeling slightly sad all the time.

“It’s possible to hold down a job, a social life and maintain a relationship while still feeling this way,” says Burke. “But if left unchecked, low-level sadness can be harmful to your long-term emotional health because it can drain your emotional resources, which makes the sadness worse.”

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Why we need to balance out the happiness equation

The truth is, we’ll never be happy by trying really hard to be happy (studies have even found that the greater value we place on happiness, the more lonely we actually feel). So sometimes, it’s just best to relax and turn our attention elsewhere.

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“Happiness is often a by-product of other things in our lives,” says Burke. “It can be elusive – try and hunt it down and it evades us. However, when we forgot ourselves, pursue our passions and engage fully with the world around us, it often sneaks in the back door without us noticing.”

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New Year’s resolutions: 9 ways to stick to your exercise regime

Be Accountable: Working with my clients who are trying to break old habits and mould new ones, I find something that really helps them is ‘checking in’ on where they are on a weekly basis in our sessions.

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This external accountability can really help people to keep on track. Obviously, not everyone has access to a psychotherapist, but stating an intention to a good, trusted friend who you know is supportive towards your goal can really help. Verbalising an intention alone can help make it feel more concrete.

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Why you should never dial your ex to ask: What went wrong?

Psychotherapist Hilda Burke has encountered many women who have an insatiable curiosity about their past relationships.

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You may have defriended each other after the relationship ended, which means you are looking at his friends’ Facebook posts. Pictures of events and holidays can prompt fantasies of how it would have been had you still been together.

All of this can stop you moving on, as it keeps you stuck in what might have been.

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Brits are not getting enough ‘me time’

One in five UK adults are missing out on a potential 88 hours of relaxation every week

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Speaking about the importance of relaxation time to personal wellbeing, West London based integrative psychologist, Hilda Burke, said “So many of us are held hostage by our to-do lists to the neglect of just doing things that we enjoy and that relax us. Relaxation time shouldn't have an agenda – for each person, it will be something different – from meditation to dancing, walking the dog, reading a good book, watching a movie, or simply taking a bath. Often, the challenge for a lot of people in indulging in enough relaxation activities is that we feel guilty for taking time out for ourselves.”

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4 tech therapies to help ease anxiety and depression

Computer says yes to treating mental illness

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Unlike physical illnesses you can't plaster yourself happy or self-medicate at your local Tesco.

Seeking guidance and therapy is the first real step to combating these diseases, but only 15% of people who might benefit from talking therapies are actually receiving treatment for mental health. “There’s nothing that can substitute being physically present with another human being, not least in the therapeutic space,” says psychotherapist Hilda Burke.

That said, there’s a growing amount of research that suggests using the right applications can help reduce stress and increase our self-care.

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What to say to a hypochondriac

While it may take time and effort for a GP to recognise health anxiety in a patient, it may take even longer for the individual themselves to acknowledge the real problem. So is there a “polite” way for friends and relatives to steer them in the right direction without causing offence?

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‘Most instances of hypochondria have their roots in emotional issues,’ says Hilda Burke. ‘The technical term is “somatisation”, which is when we feel an emotion physically in our body. The pain is real to the person who’s experiencing it – so first and foremost, I would encourage them to get it checked out.

‘Once it’s been ascertained that there’s definitely no physical problem, simply ask them how they’re doing emotionally. Some won’t be prepared to go there.’

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The secret to a happy relationship has been revealed – and it may surprise you

Hint: it’s not exercising, cooking or cleaning together

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Psychotherapist Hilda Burke agrees, saying: “No relationship is perfect, but in order to grow and develop as individuals it’s crucial that we respect our partners friendships and individual interests.

“Often many people’s happiness relies solely on their partner too, which isn’t healthy. Depending on another person to fulfil all of our needs can often mean setting ourselves up to feel disappointed and resentful.

“Besides, a person’s independence and the fact that they have different tastes and interests is often what attracted us to our partners in the first place.”

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Don’t get hot under the collar

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A new study proves that the angriest people are more likely to die sooner

The next time that a cold caller or traffic jam gets your blood boiling, take a deep breath and try to relax. For getting angry can shorten your life, according to a study. Using more than three decades of population data, researchers found that men who had admitted they had a short fuse when questioned around the age of 35 were more likely to be dead 35 years later than those who were less quick to anger.

It’s also important to distinguish between types of anger, according to psychotherapist Hilda Burke.

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Being grumpy can shorten your life

Angry when stuck in traffic or when there is a problem of work?

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Research shows that if anger continues to occur, it could cause IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular health problems.

Hilda Burke, London-based psychotherapist, states, anger can be calmed by taking some deep breaths in and out. Breathing works to relax the body.

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Having a quick temper can double the risk of dying early

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Road rage and other angry outbursts can drastically shorten your life, according to a study.

“Studies have shown that stress maintained over long periods can negatively impact on health, with the risk of irritable bowel syndrome or increased strokes and cardiac problems.”

West London based psychotherapist Hilda Burke said: “Anger, such as being sacked without compensation, can propel us to confront the issue and fight for a severance package.

“Blind rage we feel in a traffic jam is simply not worth the fight.”

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Angry people die younger – this is how to combat the rage when it arises

The angriest 25 per cent had a 1.57-fold increase in their risk of dying early compared to the calmest 25 per cent, researchers discovered.

It’s also important to distinguish between types of anger, according to psychotherapist Hilda Burke, based in West London.

Personal anger – such as that caused by being let go from work without compensation – can be useful as it can propel us to confront the issue, and fight for a severance package, for example.

But when it comes to impersonal anger – the ‘blind rage we feel when we’ve been cut off in traffic’ – it’s simply not worth the fight, she said.

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How to ace the 40s friendship shift

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Friends for life

What also impacts on friendship is when our life moves at a different speed to those of our friends.

‘I see this all the time with my clients,’ says psychotherapist Hilda Burke. ‘The lifestyle choices we make in our 30s – whether we settle into a long-term relationship, having children or not – tend to come home to roost in our 40s.’ With the most recent Office for National Statistics figures showing that childlessness is on the rise – one fifth of women are childless by the age of 45, compared with one in nine women born in 1940 – and numerous studies confirming declining rates of marriage, we are now very likely to have single and/or childless friends. Or, indeed, we may be that friend ourselves.

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Pay Attention. Is This The Simplest Relationship Key?

“The best relationships continue to thrive because each person makes their partner's needs just as important as their own.”

Wise words, but focusing 100% on your partner can be a serious, and potentially, risky relationship investment psychotherapist Hilda Burke explains.

“If you really listen to someone and discover what they’re about, you might learn that you’re incompatible,” she observes. “Authenticity always encompasses risk.

“But I would argue that finding this out early can save us a lot of heartbreak in the long run…”

Happily, connecting with your partner will almost always bring you closer together, rather than driving you apart, she adds.

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Could Being More Spontaneous Change Your Relationship?

The funny thing about falling love is that the act is probably one of the most spontaneous things you’ll ever do in your life.

You’ll spontaneously surrender your privacy, offer to share your home and promise another person ceaseless emotional support – all in the name of love.

Yet, as relationships progress we often find ourselves losing that spontaneous spark.

Our mutual love of snuggling on the sofa eating Thai takeaways and watching the latest boxset, becomes a dull habit rather than a delightful shared interest.

West-London based integrative psychotherapist and life coach Hilda Burke points out that if we thought about it logically, would many of us even be in our relationship?

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Is sleeping with someone else the best way to move on?

New study shows more than half of people rebound from their former partners in just one month

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New research found 58% of people will rebound in a month after breakup

Those who had been dumped often viewed the fling as ‘revenge’

They were more likely to carry on being promiscuous

But experts say rebound sex often won't mend a broken heart

There has been much written about how to cure a broken heart from movie nights with your friends to drowning your sorrows. But new research suggests that more than half of us get over our old partners by sleeping with someone else.

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15 steps to getting over a break up in your late 20s and 30s

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6. Be honest with yourself

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston who were once married.

Psychotherapist Hilda Burke says: “People adopt many different strategies following a break up – sedation via drink/drugs, oblivion via a new lover, or denial that their ex ever meant that much to them, hoping that they will convince themselves that they never really loved them anyway.

“The latter is the most ineffectual approach and the most damaging as the heart only ‘feels’, it cannot understand nor be taken in by these words we try and deceive ourselves with.”

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CCD: The Constant Comparison Disorder

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‘A certain amount of competition between women (and men) is natural,’ explains psychotherapist Hilda Burke. ‘It’s human nature. But people with CCD often choose to compare something they’re already feeling down about – a job they hate or a tough relationship, so they’re basically setting themselves up for a serious blow to their self-esteem.’

And this was certainly true for Olivia. ‘My whole life revolved around comparing myself to other women,’ she tells Look. ‘The only way I knew how to evaluate my self-worth was to compare myself directly to others. I was skint, so I’d spend hours poring over friends’ endless holiday photos, wondering why I was stuck at home, and I had constant wardrobe envy of my wealthier mates.

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Retouched celebs: a virtual reality too far?

How do retouched images make women feel?

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So why is this important? Do these pictures really make a scrap of difference to our lives?

To answer this, we need to be clear about one thing: body image, particularly for women, is a huge issue. New figures realised by the 2014 British Social Attitudes survey reveal that only 63 per cent of women aged 18-34 and 57 per cent of women aged 35-49 are satisfied with their appearance. Meanwhile, a study from TODAY/AOL found that the average woman spends two weeks a year obsessing over her appearance.

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Are you a cyberchondriac – always checking health symptoms on websites?

Everyone gets the odd ache and pain now and again, but if you constantly turn to the internet for a diagnosis you could actually be suffering from a type of mental illness – cyberchondria.

Counsellor and therapist Hilda Burke believes the cause can be extremely deep rooted. She says, 'One factor is somatisation (to do with the body) of a psychological problem. That is when a person feels something emotionally and wishes to make it physical. Another reason may be the person wants to feel part of something, despite the fact that the common denominator might be perceived as negative, such as an illness. Hypochondria is nothing new. Before we had widespread access to the internet there were home medical books to get people in a panic. Now we can go online the condition has become much more pervasive.

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Analyse this… Three ex-girlfriends, an ex-wife, numerous women friends

…Going into therapy is like going travelling – a gap year, or years in some cases, in which to discover yourself.

The young therapists I’ve met all see it this way.

Hilda Burke is a transpersonal therapist in her early thirties who used to work in PR. “At first I wanted to understand myself better by understanding my dreams. I began to read Jung, and then I saw a Jungian analyst to find out more. It was then I decided to become a therapist.”

No doubt some therapists are idealists who want to do good, others are fascinated by themselves.

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