Love and Happiness

     No matter where you are in the world or what language you speak there seems to be a common goal of finding a partner, lover, or friend with whom to carry on your days with.

     That being said, one of the biggest source of sadness, anxiety and stress concerns relationship woes. "Does she like me", "why won't he propose", "will he still love me if I...", "why can't I just move on".
There is no 'How to' handbook to tell us how to succeed in relationships, although many authors have attempted. There is no tried and true formula for finding love either. (Do this, don't do that and you're guaranteed to find love in 5-7 weeks.)
As an naturopathic doctor, a big part of our practice is listening and counseling through the uncomfortable parts of life, the unknown . I don't pretend to be a relationship expert or a psychotherapist but I do my best to be present and don't shy away from the challenging issues. And of course, confidentiality is present within any medical and naturopathic profession.
Questions I've tackled recently....
1. How come I can't find the one?
2. How do I get over a break up?
3. Should I leave him/her?
4. Will I always be single?
5. Is it normal that I feel this way?

    Unfortunately I do not have a crystal ball to tell the future but I do know that there are ways to make waiting on "the one" or saying goodbye to a relationship more bearable. To do this we must increase HAPPINESS.

     Seems simple enough right..happiness is little puppies with ribbons, chocolate ice cream and twirling in a poofy skirt....uh ya maybe in Disney movies. When I have asked patients what truly makes them "ridiculously, over the moon, huge grin on their face, tingling in the toes" kind of happy, I'm usually met with a blank stare. We have become so wrapped up in the daily grind that we've forgotten what it means to feel the pure, unadulterated sense of joy. There is absolutely no way we could expect a new love or partner to make us happy when we have no clue how to be happy with ourselves.

So first things first.....
- make a list of 5 things (thats all) that make you happy. I'm talking that 'high on life' happiness!
- circle 2 of the 5 things
- create a place in your life to implement more of those 2 things

- Take time to yourself to figure out who you are, knowing yourself and knowing what makes you tick will provide an easier route to finding out what makes you the happiest.
- Love your work. If you're in a job that neither fulfills nor satisfies you, change something! Whether you apply for a new position in the same company, strike out on your own or start a book club in the office, just change something!
- Don't make decisions based on fear. We're all scared of something and that fear can dictate how we respond to our own life and the ability to be happy. Conquering a fear and overcoming procrastination can increase happiness in seconds.
- Smile! Trick your brain to think that you are happy (even if you aren't really feeling it). The brain doesn't know the difference between a fake smile and a real one. The same feel good dopamine hormones are produced by both.
- Keep track of what you're grateful for. Many of us focus on what we need to do, what we need to get, what bothers us and what stresses us out but rarely do we stop and take stock of everything we have. Look around you - there is someone in this world that would kill for what you already have in life.

So what exactly do I mean by all this happiness talk? 

Studies have shown that happy people are contagious and as a result attract happy people to them. They also exude more confidence and therefore seem more beautiful to others.
Wouldn't it be nice to find a partner who is as loving, caring, romantic and as happy as you've always dreamt? Of course it would, but it starts with being loving, caring, romantic and happy within yourself. Care for yourself, be kind to yourself, take yourself out for a nice dinner and fall back in love with YOU! The rest, my dears, will fall into place. Promise!