Are you happy? If not, cheer up – it’s great for your health!

Are You Happy

Over recent years I have had the good fortune to attend a number of Happiness and its Causes conferences now held in Australia annually.  As on previous occasions, the presentations, events and activities this year were informative and the general atmosphere really motivating and uplifting.

Below are some significant results from research provided by Lyubomirski and King based in the US who have written several papers  that provide a convincing rationale for us to look on the sunny side of life no matter how grey the day…..

Happy people…

Are more productive at work and more creative

Make more money and have superior jobs

Are better leaders and negotiators

Are more likely to marry and to have fulfilling marriages, and less likely to divorce

Have more friends and social support

Have stronger immune systems, are physically healthier, and even live longer

Are more helpful and philanthropic

Cope better with stress and trauma

Having a positive approach to life regardless of the challenges is likely to help boost your health, wealth and happiness!


Challenges women have in the dating scene today


Once upon a time – only decades ago – most women assumed they’d marry…and did. These days, in the western world, a gal can achieve in most areas of life that were once the preserve of the male. Given the appropriate education and experience she can fly to the moon, head large corporations or lead her country. However, for many millions of women who want to attract and keep their Mr Right, the chances of doing so are increasingly bleak.

As a woman who founded my consultancy in Australia in 1976 for discerning singles seeking a partner, I have been in an unusual position to both witness and experience many of the  ever increasing challenges women with careers can have finding – and keeping – love. It seems that the more a woman focuses on achieving, the harder it can be for her to attract her ‘Mr Right’. All too often the stress of a demanding work role, often combined with a long list of expectations re the man she seeks – including that he be at least as successful as she is – can leave her on a crowded shelf.

It would seem that most guys do not have nearly as many items on their wish list re a potential partner. For many it is important that she is intelligent, he finds her attractive and that she makes him feel like her man. Unfortunately, in order to achieve, many a woman today does not readily reveal her more vulnerable, softer self – the femininity that for millennia has attracted the ‘protector’ and ‘provider’ in a man.

Alas, all too often, the Mr Right a woman seeks is not looking for her!



Challenges men encounter in the dating scene today.

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There is no doubt that relating to the female of the species can be confusing for guys when it comes to dating…and vice versa!

Some observations I have provided to an international blog site re why dating can be so confusing and disappointing for both sexes today…

  • These days the supposedly innate flirting complex seems to have gone missing! Guys often say they don’t know whether to approach a woman. It seems many women develop a protective persona that conceals their more feminine and vulnerable self in the workplace – and beyond.
  • It is not surprising that men can often lose interest if a woman they’ve started dating texts or calls too often…their brains has evolved over millennia to assist them to focus on a task and to be ‘the hunter’. While a woman’s hormones may drive her to want to communicate and connect, a man is likely to be more aware of his feelings through missing her than constant contact.
  • Single women aware of their biological clock ticking often raise the issue of their desire to have a child during the first few dates – even when they know from his profile a man’s views re having children.   This is likely to turn off the guy who feels wanted more as a producer of offspring than for himself!
  • Sex early on can be risky business. For many a woman it’s likely to pump hormones that bond her emotionally while for a guy it may be just an enjoyable physical release.

Unless we build bridges of understanding millions of men and women in our world will be unhappily alone when they would prefer to be sharing life with a partner.

Appreciating gender difference is key to a great relationship!


Communication is key to a great relationship!


Recently I sent the following letter to the editor of the Australian in response to an article by Bettina Arndt re international research that has revealed a dramatic change over recent decades in women’s interest in sex.

Bettina Arndt’s report re the increasing lack of desire for sex in many women does not surprise me. As as matchmaker since 1976 and also as a psychologist and relationship mentor, I have spoken to thousands of singles and couples about the increasing challenges to their enjoying a mutually rewarding sex life. Four decades ago it all seemed much simpler to achieve.

Today the majority of women work and have many more stressors in their lives – meeting the needs and expectations of their partner when it comes to sex being one. While for most guys, sex release is simple and straightforward, for a woman who is low in feel good hormone, it can be but another item on her list of ‘to dos’.

Communication and appreciating differences between the sexes when it comes to being sexually satisfied is key to enjoying a mutually rewarding sex life. For many a woman oxytocins, her feel good hormones, often need to reboot though simple pleasures such as touch and talk for her to really enjoy sex while her partner is more likely to be focused on orgasm.

Like most of the challenges we experience when it comes to living successfully together as men and women today, realising that our needs and expectations may differ is the basis on which to find mutually rewarding fulfillment.

I heed my own advice – reduce stress to find more fulfilment in life!

It is a year since I shared my last insight. At the time I was in a difficult and uncomfortable situation as I could not use my right arm or hand without causing pain.   My neck and shoulder complained during the day and  I was unable to sleep without waking on several occasions. In retrospect it is obvious that I had become quite depressed.

Like so many of us with demanding careers,  I had been leading a very busy, lop-sided  lifestyle without really taking stock of the toll this was taking on both body and mind… and the quality of my personal life. I had not heeded warnings over many months – and indeed years – about the need for me to create more balance in my life. In addition to the pressures of the everyday, managing my consultancy, spending hours on end tapping the keys of a computer in my study or sitting bent over various hand held devices had taken its toll. Ironically, much of the focus of my writing and speaking during that time had referred to how important it is to take steps to counter the stresses so prevalent in our lives today!

As my last insight indicated, I found solace from  many of the pressures of everyday life by enjoying relaxing in a bath.  However, this was not enough to remedy the challenges of my body that was insisting I make changes in the way I was living my life.

The good news is that I was forced to stop and take stock and make decisions that would help me to heal and to create better health and more joy.  I am pleased that I decided not to have surgery as recommended. Instead  I made the decision to stop and take stock of what changes I could make to improve my health and reduce stress. It was obvious to me that I needed to  focus on what I could do to help strengthen my body and avoid an operation. As well as committing to daily doses of muscle strengthening exercises,  I also decided to avoid the computer where possible and to reduce my work commitments.   By doing so I became aware of how little time I had spent enjoying simple things that I had once taken for granted such as walking barefoot along a beach, catching up with friends on a regular basis, attending body balance classes and enjoying a breadth of cultural  and social pastimes with my partner.

Now, a year later, I feel renewed. My muscle strengthening exercises have been effective and I am now able to use my right arm and hand without pain though I avoid spending much time at the keyboard. The decision my partner Stephen and I made to move  from living in the city to be by the bay was a wonderful prescription to improve my health.  We spend much more quality time together and enjoy sharing interests and activities with family and friends.

What lies ahead?   Instead of thinking it time for me to bring my career to a close, I am now keen to continue striving to make a positive difference in as many lives as I can through my work – while ensuring that I practice what I preach. Often we teach best that which we most need to learn!

What changes  can you make to reduce stress and create more balance and fulilment in you life?