Icelandic surfing, enabled by the new Land Rover Defender
| Artisanal globe-making in London with Bellerby & Co
| Gallery of stunning drone photography
| Author Helen Russell explores the meaning of happiness
| Exclusive short story by Jean Macneil
Wabi-sabi centres on the
Wabi-sabi centres on the acceptance of transience and imperfection, banishing all ideas of ‘perfect’ ‘simplicity’ and sabi, meaning ‘the beauty of age and wear’, this is a world view centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. It’s an appreciation of things the way they are and a revelling in the texture and complexity of real, messy life – banishing all ideas of ‘perfect’. A sage move, since perfectionistic tendencies have been linked to depression, anxiety, anorexia, bulimia, OCD, PTSD, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, indigestion and early death. The Japanese also have kintsugi: the ancient art of repairing broken ceramics with metallic lacquer so that the cracks, far from being concealed, are highlighted in pure gold – a refreshing way of looking at the world, since we all have scars of one kind or another. Happiness research increasingly points towards acceptance as a cornerstone of emotional wellbeing as well as emphasising the importance of expanding our emotional bandwidth. Cue lesson three. Joy through suffering The Portuguese term saudade describes a feeling of longing, melancholy and nostalgia for a happiness that once was – even a happiness you merely hoped for. It’s a concept so central to the Brazilian psyche that it even gets its own ‘day’ on 30 January every year. Scientists have found that, counterintuitively, this temporary sadness makes us happier, providing catharsis, improving our attention to detail, increasing perseverance and promoting generosity. In Arabic culture, tarab is a word used to describe the euphoria and heightened emotional effect induced by certain types of music. Studies have long shown that music can alter our mood; listening to live music has added benefits, reducing stress and promoting group bonding. Tarab music has been proven to foster a sense of belonging, give us identity and even help us heal. A 2012 study found that mice that were played Verdi’s La Traviata during recovery from a heart transplant lived almost four times longer than mice who were denied their fill of opera. Feeling – even when it hurts – is what makes us human. The alternative of repressing our emotions has been proven in numerous studies to lead to misery. In Māori culture, strength and showing emotions are one and the same and the goal of the famous haka is a reconnection of the body, mind and spirit. A Māori teacher I worked with during my research described haka as a way to “orchestrate a type of unkempt energy that a lot of people don’t know they have, then offer it back to them in a way they can understand”. Mourning in Greece is a big, public affair. In Bhutan, crematoriums are located centrally so that children grow up with an understanding that loss and death are inevitable – part of life, in fact. Because a good life isn’t about being happy all of the time. The Chinese concept of xingfu, often translated as ‘happiness’ in English, actually refers not to a good mood, but to a good life – one that is sufficient, sustainable, and has meaning. It isn’t necessarily an easy, pleasant existence (in fact the Chinese character for xing represents torture): life may be hard, but it will have meaning. And the biggest secret to a happy life? Remember that happiness and misery aren’t always mutually exclusive. It’s important to be in touch with our sad side if we want to be happier. The Atlas of Happiness is available on Amazon 56
Þetta reddast Reading helps Icelanders invoke the empathy required for survival in a cold climate
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.