Spontaneous Happiness: A New Path To Emotional Well Being by Dr. Andrew Weill is packed with tips to achieve wellness through various modalities including meditation, nutrition, facial exercises and other means generally unknown to the average consumer of medical services.
Weill defines depression symptoms as having a lack of self-esteem, insomnia, lack of energy, decreased concentration and hopelessness. The author predicts that depression will increase in the coming years without adequate coping strategies and intervention.
He cites vitamin D for optimum brain health and recommends that people get tested for adequate vitamin D levels. In addition, Weill explains that people who are depressed tend to eat more processed foods which are nutrient deficient. The author also links pancreatic cancer to chronic depression.
Weill attempts to fuse modern medicine with ancient wisdom like meditation. He explains that long term meditation has greater activation for the prefrontal cortex associated with positive emotional states and decreased activation of the right prefrontal cortex activity found in mood disorders.
Relaxing modalities like sitting, meditation and activities; such as, cooking help to curb mental restlessness. Weill discusses the dangers of too much caffeine and alcohol indicating that they are almost like mind altering drugs while St. John’s Wort is a good tonic for managing mood swings.
Weill teaches how to achieve deep relaxation by employing specific facial exercises to make adjustments to the facial mask which can tighten and become rigid. The author explains how deep meditation helps to restructure the mind.
The author also explains how social isolation and insufficient contact with nature make depression worse. He discusses the importance of empathy, compassion and forgiveness as necessary ingredients in the everyday struggle to cope and deal in a positive way with the world.
Spontaneous Happiness is very helpful for engendering physical and mental wellness by way of the classic meditation techniques coupled with nutrition and life style changes aimed at preventing destructive psychosocial aspects which make coping with life more difficult for people.