In this issue: Are you secretly hiding? – Moments of distraction – Live and learn – In praise of melodrama – Take a seat – Small changes, big results – Signs of the time – Magic touch – Great expectations

Everyone’s different. It’s a common refrain. And it’s true, every one is different. A combination of background, life experience and natural brain variation inevitably influences a person’s perception of the world and how they interact with those around them.

Yet when challenging feelings emerge, the advice is often the same – square in the face is the way to go. Don’t avoid them, they’ll only fester and, potentially, become more problematic. And, again, there’s a lot of truth here. But sometimes, and for some people, it’s also okay not to confront difficult emotions straightaway. It’s all right to put them on the backburner for a while and focus instead on a much-loved activity, such as reading or listening to music, or an inessential task – an untidy kitchen cupboard can come in so handy.

Sometimes there’s a need to move away from a challenging emotion and find space. It’s also natural to seek respite at those times when the worries of the world are felt solely and heavily or life has dealt a harsh blow or painful loss. This doesn’t mean ignoring the situation full-stop. Whatever the reason for the emotional turmoil, be it grief after the death of a loved one, fear that a personal ambition might never be realised or anxiety about a friend’s controlling behaviour, part of a long-term solution involves exploring and understanding what’s going on and finding ways to manage it.

It’s often useful to take a moment’s distraction, to know a problem or emotion needs attention but consciously leave it until later. If that later seems to be forever slipping further into the distance, however, it might be time to put down the book, switch the music off, close the kitchen cupboard. Everyone is different and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but don’t struggle with challenging emotions in silence – ask for help.

Cover Illustration: Kristin Bere