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Spontaneous Happiness
Cover of Spontaneous Happiness
Spontaneous Happiness
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Everyone wants to be happy. But what does that really mean? Increasingly, scientific evidence shows us that true satisfaction and well-being come only from within.

Dr. Andrew Weil has proven that the best way to maintain optimum physical health is to draw on both conventional and alternative medicine. Now, in Spontaneous Happiness, he gives us the foundation for attaining and sustaining optimum emotional health. Rooted in Dr. Weil's pioneering work in integrative medicine, the book suggests a reinterpretation of the notion of happiness, discusses the limitations of the biomedical model in treating depression, and elaborates on the inseparability of body and mind.

Dr. Weil offers an array of scientifically proven strategies from Eastern and Western psychology to counteract low mood and enhance contentment, comfort, resilience, serenity, and emotional balance. Drawn from psychotherapy, mindfulness training, Buddhist psychology, nutritional science, and more, these strategies include body-oriented therapies to support emotional wellness, techniques for managing stress and anxiety and changing mental habits that keep us stuck in negative patterns, and advice on developing a spiritual dimension in our lives. Lastly, Dr. Weil presents an eight-week program that can be customized according to specific needs, with short- and long-term advice on nutrition, exercise, supplements, environment, lifestyle, and much more.

Whether you are struggling with depression or simply want to feel happier, Dr. Weil's revolutionary approach will shift the paradigm of emotional health and help you achieve greater contentment in your life.



Everyone wants to be happy. But what does that really mean? Increasingly, scientific evidence shows us that true satisfaction and well-being come only from within.

Dr. Andrew Weil has proven that the best way to maintain optimum physical health is to draw on both conventional and alternative medicine. Now, in Spontaneous Happiness, he gives us the foundation for attaining and sustaining optimum emotional health. Rooted in Dr. Weil's pioneering work in integrative medicine, the book suggests a reinterpretation of the notion of happiness, discusses the limitations of the biomedical model in treating depression, and elaborates on the inseparability of body and mind.

Dr. Weil offers an array of scientifically proven strategies from Eastern and Western psychology to counteract low mood and enhance contentment, comfort, resilience, serenity, and emotional balance. Drawn from psychotherapy, mindfulness training, Buddhist psychology, nutritional science, and more, these strategies include body-oriented therapies to support emotional wellness, techniques for managing stress and anxiety and changing mental habits that keep us stuck in negative patterns, and advice on developing a spiritual dimension in our lives. Lastly, Dr. Weil presents an eight-week program that can be customized according to specific needs, with short- and long-term advice on nutrition, exercise, supplements, environment, lifestyle, and much more.

Whether you are struggling with depression or simply want to feel happier, Dr. Weil's revolutionary approach will shift the paradigm of emotional health and help you achieve greater contentment in your life.



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About the Author-
  • Andrew Weil, MD is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and a partner of True Food Kitchen. He is the author of several bestselling books, including Spontaneous Happiness, The Healthy Kitchen (coauthored with Rosie Daley), Healthy Aging, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, and Spontaneous Healing. He lives in Tucson, AZ.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 22, 2011
    Weil’s enormously successful blend of mainstream and alternative therapies has earned him the reputation as guru of integrative medicine. Here, he develops a guide to help patients beat back the blues. It couldn’t come at a more opportune time. One in 10 people in the U.S., including children, takes antidepressants. Weil dissuades readers from expecting perpetual happiness, suggesting his program aims for “positive emotionality”—a far better destination than the roller-coaster ride between bliss and despair. He makes his case with what is becoming a signature formula: take the Western medicine your doctor prescribes, and then bend the “biomedical model” to incorporate alternative therapies, including supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and herbal remedies; meditation and other “spiritual” strategies. He reiterates “limiting information overload” as an integral part of the program. Despite plugging his Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine—and predictable endorsements from patients who’ve hopped on the bandwagon—this is more than a New Age prescription for contentment. Weil’s revelations and insights from his own lifelong battle with depression lift this guide from a hip and clinical “how to” to a generous and heartfelt “here’s how.”

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2011

    Prolific health advisor Weil (Natural Health, Natural Medicine, 2011, etc.) offers a comprehensive roadmap for the prized path to true happiness.

    Having addressed methods of maximizing the human body's potential for adapting, repairing and regenerating itself in Spontaneous Healing (1995), the author turns his compassionate eye for wellness toward the inner emotional mechanisms that elicit mood spectrum, from bliss to despondency. Weil believes that contentment, serenity and "calm acceptance" form the baseline "sea level" of emotional well-being, and that internal happiness is derived and achieved from within and not from forced, external "cultural insistence." The author's positive narrative covers a range of topics, including the body's vital emotional and physical interconnection and how diet affects bodily inflammation, and he offers sage recommendations on life balancing and incorporating spirituality into the fundamental goal of "optimum emotional health." Weil effectively positions himself into the context of his narrative, sharing epiphanies on personal loss, his history of anti-depressive therapy, a healthy diet schema and his struggle yielding to the "changing contours of my own emotions." Though the author devotes too much space to murky, scholastic sections on the history and science behind depression, his inspiring writing style breathes new life into rather mundane reminders on the benefits of exercise, sleep, meditation, compassion and holistic remedies. Complementing footnoted case studies, media articles, sound scientific scrutiny and social-media testimonials is the author's four decades of clinical research. Weil provides sensible, accessible advice several tiers above general marketplace offerings.

    Immensely beneficial information for those seeking a self-galvanized life lift.

     

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2011

    Weil (founder & director, Arizona Ctr. for Integrative Medicine, Univ. of Arizona; Spontaneous Healing) writes openly of his midlife struggles with moderate depression and here offers a new approach to thinking about happiness. In Part 1, he argues that the basic assumptions of mainstream psychiatric medicine are obsolete and the biochemical model has limitations. He asserts that the integration of Eastern and Western psychology into a new approach will result in better management of depression and an increase in emotional intelligence. In Part 2, Weil offers advice and practical steps for caring for the body and mind, drawing on techniques from Ayurveda, Buddhism, acupuncture, mindfulness, and other disciplines, along with advice on lifestyle, behavior, dietary changes, and exercise. Weil provides a map for a journey based on the techniques he describes. Integrating these changes, he argues, will result in emotional resilience and well-being. VERDICT The case studies and practical guidance here can help readers make life-changing decisions.--Jodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Fdn. Lib.

    Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    October 1, 2011
    Weil follows Why Our Health Matters (2009), his critique of the American health-care system (future printings of which will bear a new title, You Can't Afford to Get Sick, more indicative of its thrust) with a return to form whose title echoes that of his top best-seller, Spontaneous Healing (1995). Whereas Healing targeted physical complaints, Happiness homes in on mental ones, especiallyindeed, almost exclusivelydepression. Weil argues that there are many ways instead of or in addition to downing one's daily Prozac or Zoloft to alleviate, maybe even eliminate, less-than-severe depression. Those who know his work from Healing onward will recognize the armamentarium he advances: diet changes, exercise, dietary supplements, herbs, and techniques for reducing stress and ministering to spiritual needs. Implicitly, the reason that practices virtually identical to those he urges for reducing physical ills also work against depression is that a person is not a mind and a body but an irreducible compound of both. Given the popularity of depression (so to speak), this looks like another best-seller for Weil.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews A comprehensive roadmap for the prized path to true happiness...Weil provides sensible, accessible advice...Immensely beneficial information for those seeking a self-galvanized life lift.
  • Publisher's Weekly Weil's program aims for 'positive emotionality'-a far better destination than the roller-coaster ride between bliss and despair. This is more than a New Age prescription for contentment. Weil's revelations and insights from his own lifelong battle with depression lift this guide from a hip and clinical 'how to' to a generous and heartfelt 'here's how.'
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