Simple steps to a healthier mindset

autumn girl

Last week saw the launch of the latest edition of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible, the seventh book in the series by Jo Fairley and me. Beauty isn’t just about products: it’s about a healthy body, a calm mind and taking joy in life. There are lots of strategies we have found over the decades.

  • Be loving to yourself. Relying on others for your self-esteem and making decisions based on other people rather than what you really want can cause grief all round. Tell yourself you are a good person, not perfect – no one is – but you try your best. Then give yourself permission to get things wrong, acknowledge it and move on.
  • Count your blessings before bed. Think of three nice things that happened today. They can be as simple as seeing the sun rise, receiving or giving praise at work, or a great cup of coffee. You will sleep sweetly.
  • Don’t ponder problems or make decisions in the middle of the night. Your brain can’t process things then. Write a reminder for the morning, then do this breathing exercise.
  • Inhale for a count of four, hold for seven, then exhale very slowly to a count of eight. Repeat four to six times, feeling your breath going in and out of your body.
  • When you wake, decide that just for today you’ll be as happy as you can. Whatever happens. This doesn’t mean you won’t notice difficulties but that you’ll live in the solution, not the problem.
  • Never lose hope. If it seems to be slipping away, phone a supportive friend and share the problem. But don’t dwell on it afterwards.
  • Make things fun. Wear bright colours, put on make-up, do your hair, play music during tedious chores, reward yourself with flowers or a movie.
  • Examine any wobbles. If you have done something wrong, put it right. Take a few drops of Bach Rescue Remedy and count up the positive things in any
    situation. If the wobbliness persists, consider talking therapy or homeopathy.
  • Reach out to other people. Be nice, pay compliments. Listen, really listen.
  • Cultivate peace. Ask yourself what makes you feel peaceful and do more of it. Remember: it may be a case of ‘being’



Several readers have written with queries about intractable warts. These small rough lumps, which are caused by a virus but are usually harmless, can occur anywhere, but mostly on hands and feet. They usually disappear of their own accord, but it can take a year or more, so doctors sometimes freeze them off with liquid nitrogen or a cold spray. Pharmacist Shabir Daya has a natural approach that has helped numerous people. ‘ Apply Bye Wart cream which contains natural antiviral ingredients. Massage in, then cover with a waterproof plaster. Also take L-Lysine, an amino acid that blocks arginine, which the virus requires to multiply.’ Bye Wart by DS Healthcare, £9.95; L-Lysine by Lamberts, £8.50; both from Victoria Health.


A reader who suffered from persistent cystitis emailed me to ‘shout from the rooftops’ about the benefits of a natural product called Waterfall D-Mannose. ‘I tried repeated courses of antibiotics and also over-the-counter remedies [in vain]. Since taking this treatment, my life has been transformed. I now only need to take a couple of tablets when I suspect the first signs.’ Waterfall D-Mannose by SweetCures, £21; from Victoria Health.


With Back Care Awareness week starting tomorrow, computer users will find the British Chiropractic Association’s advice on working at a screen useful (go to the section marked For You, then click on Mind Your Posture). Take time to adjust your chair so your feet are flat, thighs sloping up slightly, back straight, eyes level with the top of the screen, and no slumping at the shoulders. You can find a registered chiropractor on this site too: my visits to Dominic Cheetham in London have made a huge difference.

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