Can Happiness Be Spontaneous?

Posted on February 29th, 2012, by iMinerva


If you’re a fan of Andrew Weil, you probably know he has a new book out – Spontaneous Happiness – addressing emotional wellness, or the lack of such in our crazy 21st century civilization.  His belief is that depression is a “disease of affluence.”  Based on research, he has found that communities with simple lifestyles in remote areas of the world have the lowest rates of depression.  Initially, this sounds contrary to popular thought and could certainly be argued by families in line at the food pantries across America.  But in some regards, and with moderation, there’s truth here.

When I’m feeling down, frustrated, tired, or upset in any regard, I shop.  The next day I suffer from Buyer’s Remorse.  I didn’t really need that new sweater – in fact, I have one almost identical.  So now I’m angry with myself for spending money thinking that it will cure what ails me and make me happy. 

Weil believes that Happiness is driven by emotional wellness, the ability to manage stress, and changes in mental habits.  He argues for the body, mind, spirit balance to create a life fulfilled and, ultimately, spontaneously happy.  Conventional and alternative medicines, Eastern and Western philosophies, exercise, environment, lifestyle, and, of course, healthy nutrition using his Anti-Inflammatory Pyramid, all are critical to the balanced and happy life.

His book is available on and his eight-week program to Spontaneous Happiness can be accessed on his website.  I haven’t read the book nor have I enlisted in the program so no endorsement is implied.  However, who can argue with striving for the mind, body, spirit alignment?  And, I noticed at the top of the Anti-Inflammatory Pyramid, Weil includes 1-2 glasses of red wine a day and dark chocolate in moderation.  This is a health practitioner I can believe.



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