The 7 Secrets To [Hong Kong] Female Happiness!
Looking around for an adequate checklist proved impossible yet rather humorous. Too often recommendations appear to be the product of men who arguably have less than independent opinions.
For example, Gordon Gallup at the State University of New York recently reported to the BBC, that the secret to women’s happiness is the exposure to their men’s semen. He claims this experience promotes positive mood altering hormones compared to those that use condoms. Very interesting, but surely this is not the solution? The last thing that women across the world need is less safe sex as STD’s and unwanted pregnancy are hardly the making of happiness.
So, undeterred by existing research a detailed survey of 100 women in Hong Kong has been completed to finally get to the bottom of what actually makes the female of the species ‘happy’. The study defines this as “Being generally satisfied, feeling reasonably relaxed and naturally smiling more often than frowning”.
Today women fill a wider range of roles than ever; mother, wife, girlfriend, boss, carer, employee and lover. Despite this, the study discovered that no matter whether the woman was a cashier in a supermarket or a high flier in an investment bank, they all basically wanted and needed the same 7 things
Women reported that they didn’t realize how important their health was until they developed a problem which then in turn made happiness difficult to achieve. Hence, health being at the top of the list. Think the three 3 S’s – Sleep, SPF and Smears.
Sleep is the single most valuable tool you can use to look and feel your best. Cut web surfing time or TV watching and hit the sack as early as you can.
Get a good SPF that you can use under your makeup. Dr. George Li, Plastic Surgeon at Queen Mary Hospital has expressed his concern that people in Hong Kong are increasingly liking the ‘tanned look’. Overexposure to the sun leads to skin cancer so cover up and stay safe.
Smear tests are admittedly no party but could save your life by catching nasty cell changes early on. If you are below 26 or know someone that is then encourage them to get the HPV Vaccine that protects females from the virus that causes over 95% of all cervical cancers. It is available at the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong.
2. Looking Good
The study confirmed that women need to feel that they look good in order to feel happy. “Even if I have just got a pay rise at work, I just feel terrible if I have bad skin and dirty messy hair. I know it sounds stupid as these things don’t really matter, but to me they do” says Josie Fung. It seems that despite emancipation looks do count.
Reassess your beauty regime to make it more efficient and effective. Throw out your old products, write a list of what you need and stick to it. Don’t forget to always remove your makeup at night to prevent upset skin. Makeup wise, update your look according to the season and skin changes.
Well colored hair can transform a woman’s appearance and happiness levels. Bad hair is a common complaint especially in Hong Kong’s climate. Emmanuel F, the top Parisian hairdresser, suggests going organic to reduce exposure to chemicals. He also suggests styling hair so it has ‘natural movement and bounce’, the goal being ‘femininity and style’ rather than having complicated cuts which can be unflattering.
Wardrobe wise remember not to follow trends so closely that you lose your own identity. Looking good never goes out of fashion where as puff sleeves and purple inevitably will – thank goodness! Make sure your underwear fits well and consider body shaping designs that improve posture. Even the clueless Bridget Jones knew how her ‘big pants’ would improve her look dramatically.
“I never have anything to wear but I have a wardrobe that is full (and a credit card bill to prove it). What I buy just isn’t wearable” said Cecilia Man. Stop this madness now! Every working woman needs at least one good suit that flatters her body. When you discover a wonderful jacket, always get two trousers and perhaps the matching skirt. If you have trouble finding the right shapes then have a big try-on session at home or in the shops without interruption. During this task, always wear full makeup, have your hair done and wear good underwear so you do not scare yourself with your undignified reflection. Don’t stop until you have finished your quest. Then get copies made by an experienced tailor such as Yao Bing Qian No 53, 5/F Lo Wu Commercial City.
If you are hooked on black – and it appears that no one in Hong Kong isn’t –you must move on. Very few people actually look good in black despite the misconception that it guarantees a slim silhouette. In fact, black has a tendency to drag down women’s features and also moods and horror-of horrors it can also often look ‘cheap’. Lighter colors should always be near your face to give a pleasant fresh reflection.
3. Fitness Fabulous
“I pay $750 per month to go to the gym and only manage to go once or twice a month. There always seems to be a good excuse to not go!” says Fifi Wong. If this sounds like you, then take decisive action and quit the gym now. Hong Kong’s most in demand Personal Trainer, Sandy Sydney, suggests building movement into your life. Power Walk rather than taking the escalator and do squats, push ups and sit ups in front of the TV. Fitness DVD’s such as those by Jane Fonda’s (available from HMV) also provide fun 1980’s entertainment which distract from the pain!
Spring cleaning is for all seasons so throw out the build up of consumerism in those dusty corners and cupboards. The first point of Feng Shui is to create an area that that energy can move around in, so all blockages must be addressed. Then it’s time to make changes: if you are fed up of being single, add more pictures of happy looking couples. If you are depressed then remove any negative, dark or scary images from your walls. Hong Kong’s notoriously small apartments must not be filled with over sized furniture or you many feel claustrophobic and tense.
Scent can seriously affect your mood. I personally recommend Fragrant Earth Oils in Lemongrass to keep your home fresh.
5. Diet Delicious
“I never felt fat before I moved to Hong Kong, but now I feel enormous compared to the petite local women who seem so elegant compared to me” says Anna Dawkins expat from Sydney.
It is unsurprising that many women feel oversized in a city filled with slimming advertisements and promises to shrink women in ridiculous periods of time by often grossly unhealthy methods.
First things first, cut out ALL processed food which is packed with excess salt and hydrogenated oils. Artificial sweeteners give fake energy highs, and can keep you working longer. But remember, what goes up must come down so cut the addiction now. Be brave and send back the bread basket in restaurants,
At home prepare food in batches and store before serving i.e. pasta sauces, soups and baked potatoes, this way you won’t be tempted to order pizza. In the day, snack on raisons, nuts and fruit rather than crisps and chocolate. Finally, never leave the house without eating breakfast which speeds up your metabolic rate, meaning you can burn energy more efficiently.
6. Relationship Rapture
“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, I love my job and earn a good salary, I’m pretty fit and I get compliments on my looks but I’m still feeling ‘lost’ and a bit lonely” said one woman who wished to remain unnamed.
Real happiness comes from relationships, fun experiences and memories. That means solving dilemmas you have with family, friends, and work partners. If you feel that you don’t have much in common with your friends then get out there and meet some new ones. Hong Kong is a buzzing place so you will find it easy if you look hard enough.
A happy home life is crucial to your well being. If your relationship really isn’t working out then pinpoint what the problems are and make a list of what can be changed. If it is a relationship worth saving and there are children involved then head for help such as at Resource Counseling. If not, then consider the Pro’s and Cons . Be confident and activate the self respecting woman’s mantra of: “If in doubt, dump”. You can do it!
It was confirmed that women need to have access to sufficient funds to house, feed, clothe and entertain themselves and their offspring to even begin to be happy. If this does not come from a partner then career success is vital. Even women who have the support of their families understand the value of earning their own money. Independence is as good for your mind as for your bank balance. Continue to educate yourself, learning doesn’t stop after school. Find a career that you are good at, enjoy and can make money from. Make an effort to mix with people from circles outside your field to get a different perspective. You never know what you may learn.
Follow the above steps and your happiness is only seven moves away. Remember that in life the sky is the limit and that you make your destiny. Get happy today!