Subscribe in a reader

When it comes to Happiness: More is NOT Better! The Science of Happiness.

Many psychological and economic research papers have come out noting that wealth is not quite as big a determinant of happiness as many believe. I'm sure some of you wonder why you're not as happy as people surveyed from less well off countries. A few months ago, I remember seeing on the CBC news that individuals in "richer" areas of Canada (ie. Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, etc...) were not as content with their lives as people from Newfoundland or Nova Scotia who do not have as much material wealth as their big city cousins.

Yesterday, I had a discussion with my naturopathic colleagues about the topic of happiness. I've noticed that in North America and other "first world countries" we always want MORE. It seems like the more money we make, the more we need. That's because as people make more money, they begin to buy luxury vehicles and bigger, more expensive houses. With that comes the increased burden of more expensive insurance, higher debt & utitilies, etc...

For many, the act of shopping releases feel good chemicals in our brains which leads to a euphoric high and it is one way of achieving happiness. Unfortunately, that euphoria is short-lived and many people are off to the shopping malls to try to regain some of that feeling. If people are constantly shopping for pleasure, it leads me to believe that there is a void in their lives that needs to be filled. I suspect that in North America, it's the lack of human contact and personal time. We're too busy and too stressed these days - at least, that's what my patients have told me. Time spent with family and friends has diminished over time. We spend our days cooped up at our desks rarely seeing the sun and a lot of us eat at our desks, devouring our food - rarely do we sit down and savour the flavours and aromas that emanate from them. How can anyone be happy under these circumstances?

Remember: Health and wellbeing is more than the sum of your physical parts. Yes, it's important that your liver functions well and that your kidneys properly filter all the fluids that you consume, but it's also important that you nourish your mind and spirit. How do we accomplish this? It begins with simple steps such as savouring your food and being thankful for all that you have (no matter how little is may seem compared to the movie stars that we see on tv). Appreciate the beauty of nature and the architecture around you. Get out and enjoy the sunlight, even during the winter months! Do something that you love! MAKE TIME for that hobby that you "just don't have the time for". Address any underlying "issues" that might be hindering your progress. Masking or avoiding these issues does not address the root cause of the problem, something all Naturopathic Doctors feel is of vital importance. And then one day, you'll wake up with a smile on your face. You won't need to 'keep up with the Jones' anymore' and nor will you need to buy things to make you happy. Happiness comes from within. Begin your journey today!

This brief video is a good addition to the comments mentioned above. Click on the title of this blog to go to the video. Enjoy!

No comments: