Spontaneous Happiness

Dr Andrew Weil Talks about Holistic Approaches to Mood, Anxiety, Stress and Happiness

I recently read (listened to) 'Spontaneous Happiness' by Dr. Andrew Weil, and I want to recommend it to you.

Dr. Weil discusses 'happiness' and how it differs from contentment, how we define happiness in our American society versus how the rest of the world considers themselves to be 'happy'. All of the discussion revolves around the opposite of contentment: depression.

He tells us that depression is an epidemic in modern western countries and shows us it may not be a good idea if we determine our happiness externally, and why that is.

As a bodyworker, I was happy to hear that a session of massage raises the hormones that fight stress, depression, anxiety and even aging. He talks about how trust and friendship, goodwill and the progress of human society is largely founded on touch, and that the handshake begins not only our business meetings but the movement of humanity from adversary into all further relationship.

Dr. Weil begins by infroming us about the critical importance of exercise and Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish and how those two things alone can make an enormous difference in our mood and feelings. He then discusses nutritional approaches to alleviate mood and depression with things like St Johns Wort, Kava, Valerian, SAMe, Holy Basil and Ashwaganda. He gives very precise recommendations and tells us whether it's advisable to combine these with pharmaceuticals for depression.

From his own experience with depression, Dr. Weil tells us how to maintain a level set-point for mood and contentment and how to 'roll with life' in the healthiest ways.