Monday, December 19, 2011

Spontaneous Happiness

The other day my Husband heard an interview on NPR that made him want to read a book. Now, this doesn't happen very often, so after speaking with him for a bit I decided to pick up the book and give it a read. This book is called "Spontaneous Happiness" by Dr. Andrew Weil. I am not ashamed to admit that because of a chronic health issue I deal with slight bouts of depression, insomnia and a poor immune system. So if there is something out there that might help me feel better, I tend to investigate.
Dr. Weil talks about having an emotional sea level. What is the norm and what is the extreme (either higher or lower)? How do we measure happiness? He brought up a point about wanting things we can not have in the moment and measuring happiness by that, like, the only thing that will make me happy at this moment is a diet coke... but I don't have that right now.  So instead of saying I will only be happy if I can have the diet coke, I should be happy with what I know will really happen. I will not get the diet coke. So I will achieve the same happiness with the off-brand diet cola. Well, not exactly the way he said it but stay with me.
Being happy all the time is not possible. But being content or having comfort or serenity are possible. Life will be what it will be. We are lucky to guest star. Why worry about what you cannot control or will never have and look at the here and now in your life. You will have happiness, but don't stand around and dream of what you will never attain. The pressure of "over positive" attitudes can be just as damaging.
I find it hard to fight the human condition or at least my damaged Americanized version of it.
I will have to keep you posted on this read. I am only 2 chapters in after all, so I am sure there will be much more to discuss.