The journey begins for real health and happiness.

Where does one begin and start the journey towards real health and happiness? I think the journey needs to start with the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, clean environment and water.  Without these one would just struggle to survive and real health and happiness will be just a dream. In Canada we are blessed and most people have these basic needs met.

When the survival is ensured we need to be free of disease and this is what I do in my office most days, try to keep my patients free of disease. I have been thinking for a while that just being free of disease is nowhere near the optimal health and happiness we are capable.

“Optimal health and happiness”, what exactly is it ?  It is probably best to start by stating what it is not.  Optimal health and happiness is not having a fantastic muscular body free of disease and having a smile on your face all the time, rather it is something to do with having enough energy, being able to do things you love without pain or discomfort, being able to make lasting relationships, being able to love and be loved, being able to be free of irrational fears.  It is being content, being able to negotiate through life ethically, compassionately and with ease, it is eating the right foods, it is about keeping active and exercising, it is to be in the right company that will nourish your soul, it is about having right thoughts, it about seeing reality as it is, its about making commitments, its about having good habits, its about being grateful, its about helping, its about accepting help, its about having good concentration, its about being able to see and live with your own thoughts, its about touching and holding your loved ones, its about appreciating nature and beauty , its about feeling beautiful inside even when on the outside things are tough, its about having a beautiful mind, its about connecting , its about being curious, its about listening to your heart and not just your brain, its about being comfortable alone by yourself, its about having enough rest , its about protecting yourself from information overload and noise, it about having spiritual life , its about having faith and about much more..

It seems that the happiness doesn’t come from external goods but rather it is cultivated over lifetime. To look for happiness outside oneself is a useless endeavor. We will talk more about this in the future posts.

Quotes without comment: –

“ We do not acquire or preserve virtue by the help of external goods, but external goods by the help of virtue.”

Aristtotle, Politics, Bk. V11, Ch.1  (4th cent. B.C. )

If you are in good emotional health, you should be able to respond appropriately to whatever situations you encounter: to feel appropriately happy about good forture and appropriately sad about bad, to be able to feel appropriately angry or frustrated about the state of the world and the annoying behavior of others and to let go of these feeling once you’ve acknowledged them. It is important to remember that our moods are supposed to vary through both the positive and the negative regions of the emotional spectrum………..It is near the balance point that you will find resilience, contentment, comfort, and serenity.”

Andrew Weil MD, Spontaneous Happiness  Ch.1 page 19 and 21

Leave a comment


  1. Michelle

     /  November 16, 2011

    Moving and inspirational, thank you for sharing Dr. Chana.

  2. Awesome blog Dad, very proud of you.

  3. Kayam Shivji

     /  November 16, 2011

    Dr Chana,

    I applaud your courage for stepping outside of the box to share your vision. Your passion is clearly felt through your words. It is comforting to know that this world has someone like you that has chosen to take his sincerity, wisdom and knowledge and use it to inspire and change the thoughts of people for a better tomorrow.

  4. Nadia

     /  November 16, 2011

    Dad!!! This post was just what I needed right now!! Very excited about this blog and your courage!!

  5. Tarlochan Singh Chana

     /  November 16, 2011

    I would like to take this opportunity to support of your post, and wish you, a collective success in obtaining this honourable and noble endeavour.



  6. Pat Fowler

     /  November 17, 2011

    Good Morning Hari!
    This is excellent!. I do believe a person has to reach a point of “acceptance” in their lives. By this I mean, accepting who you really are, where you are at in your life space and to realize the power for change comes from within-not from external sources. To me happiness is many of the things you have stated..for me it is not about the fancy house, care etc. It is about being comfortable with who you are-regardless of the “warts” we all have. It is striving to be the best person I can be. Also to receive comfort from internal sources not external sources. There is a very good book called “The Seat of the Soul” which speaks to this. I will be following you blog as I think you are most certainly on the right path. Blessings to you Hari!

    • Pat, thank you for sharing you personal reflections and the book recommendation.
      I am glad you like the blog, I know you would tell me otherwise if you didn’t like it.
      I hope to have you along on this journey.

  7. Harjinder Chana

     /  November 17, 2011

    Hari, your blog is truly uplifting and engaging. You have found your unique strength to help others boost their long term happiness and health.
    They say you are happiest with your friends, I say you are happiest with your inspiring elder brother, like you. Proud of you bro.

    • I have special place for you in my heart, when I look there I am filled with happiness.
      Thank you for the heartfelt comment.

  8. Larry Derkach

     /  November 17, 2011

    Congrats on starting the blog, Hari. I appreciate the growing holism of your views, especially given that your daily work must, I suppose, force you to focus mostly on treating disease.

    Reading your list of elements of optimal health and happiness made me pause to reflect, especially when I read one where I realize I need to do some work- or some letting go of work. At the bereavement centre here we daily encounter people who have lost loved ones through death in every imaginable circumstance… and I have been aware of such losses in recent times in my life as well. Such life events always make me/us think about what is most important for us to do now, to live fully, to make the best use of the gifts of life and health we have, while we have them. Why do we procrastinate, when such rewards await us? What is it that stops (some of) us from embracing optimal health. Is it the seduction of busy- and unhealthy- lifestyles, or just laziness? I look forward to your further insights.

    • Very thoughtful questions, hopefully we will explore them fully in time. However, quick answer is distraction,not seeing the real reality as it is and not knowing where or how to start on healing journey; we have fewer and fewer good “guides” in our lives. I don’t think we are lazy. Thanks again for the thought provoking comments and insights.

  9. Louise Guenther

     /  November 17, 2011

    Thank you for the invite to follow your blog. I will be following your blog.

  10. Brian Sereda

     /  November 17, 2011

    interesting thoughts Harry! Keep the spirit healthy and well.
    Brian Sereda

  11. Doug Laver

     /  November 18, 2011

    I am most grateful for this opportunity to be invited on the journey you have chosen to explore real health issues. Often, it seems, we take for granted many of the relational issues of perspective, real or imagined, as to how we behave and treat others including even ourselves. I too will gladly make the time to follow and support you blog. Thanks

  12. Bojana Milic

     /  November 18, 2011

    Doc! The blog is great! You’ve really hit the nail on the head. I think we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives that we don’t always stop to think what we’re doing, how that stress is affecting us and how we can improve our ways.
    One of the most valuable aspects of the blog is that it is being written by a MD. I feel that too much of the focus these days is what the healthcare system can do for people and not what they can do for themselves. There are so many things that people can do in order to improve their wellbeing, and sometimes they need a nudge or point of focus so that they can begin their journey, as you say.
    I’d love to share your blog with some nursing girls of mine, it that’s alright with you. Let me know.
    Good job!

    • Bojana I am glad you like the blog, I would love for you to share the blog with everyone you can think of.
      Thanks for the feedback.

  13. Chelle

     /  November 19, 2011

    Thank you for inviting me to your Blog. What you say makes me feel peacful. My goal is to feel more peaceful, more often. The “what & how” to attain takes a lot of practice, I believe. I look forward to reading more on your insight, as you are one of the “Good Guides” in my life. Thank you for that!

    • Thank you for the encouraging words, I am very happy you are going to be mindful of being more at peace. May you be also happy too. We are on the same journey. I wish I felt confident about being a “good guide”. Let us be “good guides” to each other.
      I look forward to having you on the ” journey”.

  14. Raman Sandhu

     /  November 20, 2011

    Thank you for inviting me to your blog,its very important that we all need to know how we can live peacfully.My goal is think positive.
    Good job,Dr chana
    Raman Sandhu

    • I agree we need to know how to live peacefully, hopefully we can discuss more in the future posts.
      Thank you for your encouragement.

  15. Goodi

     /  November 20, 2011

    Hi Hari
    Just read your blog. My life is too hectic and this made me pause and think. Thank you. Quite impressed actually, proud to be your sister and shall definately follow your blog.

    • I am proud to be your brother, hope you and the family are well. See you when I come to England- soon I hope. We will see! Check out the next post which should be coming soon, it maybe help your busy life. You can signup with the button “follow ” and whenever I post anything it goes to your email.

  16. Hector Marois

     /  November 20, 2011

    It was interesting that you mentioned the word “peace” and “joy” in your blog. I have experienced this peace and joy through my trust in the Lord and what He has done for me on Calvary’s cross.

    • I will be talking about the importance of faith and or spirituality in the future posts. I think people who have faith are lucky, but unfortunately lot of people these days for one reason or another are without faith. You are blessed to have such an experience of peace and joy. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Cathy Edmundson

     /  November 21, 2011

    Uncle Chana,
    Sometimes I think people are afraid to take the steps to true health and happiness. What is the worst that could happen? You’ll feel better and live better! Great blog! Looking forward to more. Cathy E Unit Clerk

    • Agreed- nothing to lose and everything to gain. Thank you for you kind comment on the blog. I hope to improve it by adding more pictures in the future.

  18. Liz Gibson

     /  November 21, 2011

    I really appreciate your views on optimal health and happiness.

  19. sahar

     /  November 22, 2011

    Thank you so much for the blog. You are my angel, You helped me emotionally when I needed a friend to listen to me. I am so proud of you and looking forward to read more.

  20. Lisa C.

     /  November 22, 2011

    Lisa C.
    / November 22, 2011

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Dr. Chana,

    If you were to ask me what makes me, or would make me truly happy, it would definitely be to be granted the gift of proper, natural sleep. The kind of sleep that children enjoy, effortlessly, after a long day of playing outside. The sleep a woman has prior to the birth of her children.
    Proper, refreshing sleep is something, that in my opinion, is truly rare. For, you see, you can turn off the t.v., and the radio, send the kids to Grandma’s and unplug the phone, but how do you shut off your mind…….naturally?
    Sleep is such a beautiful, free gift, and so many people are not able to benefit from that blessed, uninterrupted peace. I LOVE to sleep, but seldom can I attain the kind of restorative rest that my body, and mind so dearly crave. Pharmaceuticals assist with this, of course, but this quality of sleep is dim compared to that of natural sleep.
    I have always likened sleep to life’s “pause” button….or considering the circumstance, it can also be life’s “fast-forward”. Proper sleep allows you to take a healthy break from the situation at hand, or it allows time to pass without the stress of watching the clock….and waiting………
    Sleep is always on my mind, from the time I wake up, until I jump into bed that evening.
    To me, true happiness does not come to me in the form of children, or money or fond memories, it comes after I wake up, feeling refreshed and renewed, smiling to myself knowing that I was blessed with a great night’s sleep. With a good rest under my belt, I can take on anything that life throws at me, without having to do so by fighting my way through the groggy haze that encircles me when I don’t sleep well…..if at all.
    Recent surveys have shown that most women prefer sleep to sex. Everybody has their own opinion on this, but I can totally see why rest is prefered to intimacy. Less fuss, more satisfying (at times). Sex you can get almost anywhere…..natural sleep….not so much.

    Thanks for allowing me to put my two cents in. Now, to try and get some sleep………..

    • Lisa, Thank you for sharing what would make you happy. Having restful sleep is the very foundation of being happy. If we are not rested and feeling energized it is hard to imagine what would make one happy other then get a good rest. Sex would be the last thing I would want if I am deprived of sleep and proper rest. But once all the basic needs are met would that make a person happy? I am not sure. Happiness I think is much more then just having the basic needs satisfied. It is something to do with functioning well in any situation, that requires some insight and wisdom which takes a life time to cultivate.

      Lisa if you are having difficulty with sleep, you may want to try acupuncture or SAMe or Melatonin after after discussing it over with your doctor.

  21. Sandra Town

     /  November 25, 2011

    Dr. Chana . . . what you have thought, felt and put into words is awesome . . . my thoughts and sentiments have now also been put into words . . . Thank you for taking the initiative (and courage) to start this blog, to share “you” and to invite others to share with you . . . Fabulous!!! Sandra

  22. A timely message for me. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Gurnam Channa

     /  November 27, 2011

    Hi Hari congratulations ,Fantastic Blog thanks for sharing.

  24. Leota

     /  December 1, 2011

    DR. CHANA!!!!! ( Uncle Harri)!!!!!

    there are many universal things that lots of us to not pay attention to AND WE MUST FOR THE PEACE THAT OUR BODIES NEED.

    Thank – you again
    I am looking forward to more!!!!


  25. Parvaneh Masruri

     /  March 15, 2013

    Thank you so much Dr. Chana, absolutely amazing site

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