Self / 16.03.2015

Slow down, chill out, stop moaning: The New Health Rules for happiness

By Roisin Dervish-O'Kane
What we learned about feeling good and keeping balanced from Gwyneth Paltrow's doc

Young woman enjoying sunlight in canola fieldHappy and healthy: get these down and you’ve got the whole life thing nailed. But while we’ll guzzle green juice and throw on our sports bras to get our bods looking their best, our poor heads rarely get such attention.

But according to Dr Frank Lipman, author of The New Health Rules (Artisan Books, £14.99), making small changes to sort our heads out could be the key to reaching optimum health. And he’s worth listening to; Gwyneth Paltrow and Huffington Post editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington are just two of his famous clients.

Read more: Why it’s time to address your stress

We grabbed the Doc for a telephone consultation to learn how we can feel a little bit better, every day.

‘In our culture it’s all push, push, push. We wear being too busy like a badge of honour,’ explains Lipman. ‘And living in New York for 30 years, I’ve seen how crazy people can get when they stress so much and burn out.’

Read more: The busy woman’s guide to me-time

Where those trendy New Yorker’s have lead, we appear to be following. Recent research by Ofcom shows the average UK adult now spends more time per day using their smartphones or iPads than they do sleeping – with many of us firing off work emails when we should be losing ourselves in Downton – or feeling the pressure to tweet round the clock.

And it’s making us miserable: one in five of us feel anxious or depressed on a regular basis, and on the UN’s list of happiest nations, we rank a limp 22.

‘When I go back to South Africa [Lipman’s home nation], I see how happy the kids are, not moaning and complaining, like many of the upper-middle class people I see,’ he says. ‘We complain about so many things we should be grateful for.’ True say, Doc.

We quizzed Dr Lipman for his essential new health rules for mental wellbeing and we’ll be sharing one a day with you all this week. Hopefully they’ll have you perked up just in time for the International Day of Happiness on Friday 20 March.

What’s your no.1 rule for keeping balanced and happy? Tweet and tell us @healthymag.

Slow down, chill out, stop moaning: The New Health Rules for happiness
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Slow down, chill out, stop moaning: The New Health Rules for happiness
According to Gwyneth Paltrow's doc, sorting our heads out is key to reaching optimum health. Here, he shares his new health rules for mental wellbeing
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