In our fast-paced society we are constantly seeking the path to happiness and in the process of looking for this path, we make ourselves miserable. In his new book, Spontaneous Happiness, author Andrew Weil tells us what to do when we are not happy and how to better weather life’s inevitable highs and lows. He states that happiness or depression is not a mood we should be in all, or even most, of the time. Extremely negative and positive moods, such as bliss and despondency, are at the edge of our emotional spectrum. The key is to discover a neutral midpoint of emotional health. The midpoint that Dr. Weil is talking about translates into contentment. Contentment is defined as “a state of happiness and satisfaction,” translated it is that internal sense of well-being that allows us to be impervious to life’s ups and downs and it doesn’t factor in what we have or don’t have. Contentment gives you an inner sense of calm; it is not dependent on external circumstances or possessions.
How can we achieve contentment? Dr. Weil suggests starting with a journal. Write down what you’re grateful for and journal notes of thanks to key people in your life. By making this activity a part of your day, it allows a positive thought process. He also suggests some form of meditation and deep breathing. A primary benefit of meditation is finding that calm center from where you can view the rest of your life without getting caught up in it.
Stress is inevitable. It will always be a part of our life; however, by taking time to learn techniques to protect yourself from the harmful effects of stress, and you will find that inner contentment that we all truly need.