Spontaneous happiness

Andrew Weil

Book - 2011

This book presents integrative treatment strategies for low mood and depression; offers advice on lifestyle, behavior, and dietary changes; and helps readers assess their own emotional wellness and build personalized plans to manage their moods.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Little, Brown and Co c2011.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
281 p. ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780316129442
0316129445
Main Author
Andrew Weil (-)
  • What is emotional well-being?
  • An epidemic of depression
  • The need for a new approach to mental health
  • Integrating Eastern and Western psychology
  • Optimizing emotional well-being by caring for the body
  • Optimizing emotional well-being by retraining and caring for the mind
  • Secular spirituality and emotional well-being
  • An 8-week program for optimum emotional well-being.
Review by Booklist Reviews

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, especially—indeed, almost exclusively—depression. 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. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

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. [Page 100]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Weil (founder & director, Arizona Ctr. for Integrative Medicine) is an internationally recognized expert in holistic medicine and the author of such best-selling titles as Spontaneous Healing and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health. Synthesizing well-tested strategies from Eastern and Western medicine and healing traditions, Weil here outlines many approaches to improving mood, drawing from stress-management techniques, nutritional science, spiritual practices, mindfulness training, and biofeedback. He also presents an eight-week program designed to help readers attain optimal emotional health. - "The Pursuit of Happiness " LJ Reviews 3/1/2012 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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." (Nov.) [Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

This book presents integrative treatment strategies for low mood and depression; offers advice on lifestyle, behavior, and dietary changes; and helps readers assess their own emotional wellness and build personalized plans to manage their moods.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Presents integrative treatment strategies for low mood and depression; offers advice on lifestyle, behavior, and dietary changes; and helps readers assess their own emotional wellness and build personalized plans to manage their moods.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Redefines traditional ideas about happiness to reveal limitations in the biochemical model of mental health, outlining scientific integrative strategies for depression that draw on such techniques as acupuncture, psychotherapy and mindfulness training while sharing practical lifestyle and dietary tips. (This book was previously listed in Forecast.) By the best-selling author of Spontaneous Healing.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

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.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

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.