If you cultivate emotional resilience, you don’t have to resist feeling appropriate sadness; you learn that your moods are dynamic and flexible and that they soon return to the neutral balance point, the zone of contentment, comfort and serenity.

Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil has been one of my ‘books to read’ for almost 3 years. I first discovered his work back in 2017 when I began studying with IIN to become a Health Coach and I still refer to some of his recommendations and practices with my clients today – I’m sure you’ve heard me recommend the 4,7,8,4 breathing technique before!

This book shares not only the science behind happiness but also particular research studies and long standing beliefs surrounding the topic of happiness and although the language used in the book is quite intense and for the science buff, I think it’s worth a read for anyone looking to improve their emotional wellbeing. There are certainly some hidden gems and ‘ah ha’ moments. Personally, I feel I got a lot out of it coming from a practitioner background but there are some fantastic introspective questions shared as well as a step by step guide to improving your emotional wellbeing that we could all benefit from!

Why I love it:

  • It gave me a deeper understanding of the science behind happiness and all emotions
  • It provides a number of powerful questions to really channel deep and gain a greater understanding of yourself
  • It provides a step by step program to help you enhance your emotional wellbeing
  • Although the title is ‘Spontaneous Happiness’, all emotions are addressed and seen as equal
  • I love that there’s science to back up theories
  • I also love that he shares his own personal experience and journey
  • Emotional wellbeing is looked at through an integrative approach which I think is incredibly important

What it covers:

  • The theory behind emotional wellbeing
  • What is depression and why is it so prevalent today?
  • Using an integrative approach for mental health
  • How to care for your physical body, mind and spiritual being
  • Mental ‘nutrition’
  • How to put it all together in an 8 week program

Why you should read it:

  • If you’re looking to enhance your emotional wellbeing
  • If you’re curious about mental health and how to look after it
  • If you’re looking for an integrative approach to your emotional and mental health
  • Anyone who has a strong spiritual practice (although you don’t need one to read this book at all!)
  • If you’re interested in the science behind emotions and the history of mental health
  • If you’re looking for some meaningful and introspective questions to ask yourself

Just as a magnifying lens can concentrate the energy of sunlight to ignite a fire, so can a focused mind concentrate attention to produce extraordinary effects.

Most people, however, do not consider that what we allow into our minds is as important as what we feed our bodies and significantly influences our emotional well-being.

It is near the balance point that you will find resilience, contentment, comfort and serenity. This is your emotional safe harbour, which you can leave but to which you should be able to return easily and naturally.


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