Simple Habits to Tend to Your Emotional Well-Being

Simple Habits to Tend to Your Emotional Well-Being
Catherine Yang

Statistics on mental health paint a dire picture, with self-reported and diagnosed depression and anxiety on the rise post-pandemic.

Dr. Andrew Weil. (Kevin Abosch)
Dr. Andrew Weil. (Kevin Abosch)
Over a decade ago, Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in integrative health, wrote ”Spontaneous Happiness“ as a guide to emotional well-being and in response to the skyrocketing interest and incidences of depression. Twelve years later, Weil, who has been an early advocate for many things that have only recently made its way into the mainstream culture (matcha, mushrooms, mind-body health, to name just a few) says there’s not much he would change about the book.

“First of all, I think the pharmaceutical industry has been very effective in persuading people that ordinary states of sadness are biochemical problems in the brain that require treatment treatment with psychiatric medications,” Weil said. “And that won’t always be the case. I think we’re not supposed to be happy all the time.”

“Accept your down moods, and find ways of moving through them,” Weil said.

His first tip for emotional well-being is to simply realize that sadness is not a disorder. From there, there are many mind-body interventions one can try, and Weil shared a few of the simplest ones.


A reliable method to boost mood is physical activity, said Weil. “It’s both a treatment and preventative for depression,” he said. “You want to move, and any way you do that is good.”

Monitor Consumption

“Another tip is to pay attention to what you let into your mind,” Weil said. “If you spend a lot of time reading sad books, sad music, or being around sad people, that’s going to affect your mood.”
The company you keep plays quite a big role, he emphasized. “If you want to be in a more up mood, spend more time in the company of people who make you feel better or positive.”

D3 and Omega-3s

Low levels of vitamin D and omega-3s have been found in people with poor emotional health.

“Make sure your vitamin D levels are good,” said Weil. He recommends supplements of 2,000 IU of D3 daily, as it’s unlikely to get optimal sun exposure year-round for most people. The hormone is responsible for many things, from hormone regulation to immunity.

“Another is to supplement with omega-3 fatty acids. The easiest way to do that is with fish oil or to eat oily fish. For vegetarians, there’s algae oil, which is also acceptable.”

Thought Patterns

Weil also recommends cognitive therapy in order to identify the thought patterns one has that contribute to negative moods.

“It’s a very time-efficient method,” he said. “And you learn ways to change them [the negative thought patterns].”

Another simple way to boost mood through thought patterns is by practicing gratitude. It can be done any time of the day, and Weil recommends it as a bedtime practice.

“Note down or briefly writing down three things that you had to be grateful for that day,” he said. “And doing that for one week can boost mood for a month. Something so simple can be very effective.”

Mind-Body Well-Being

The awareness around depression can unfortunately also increase it. In “Spontaneous Happiness,” Weil notes cases of emotional resilience and good moods spreading in addition to cases of sadness and depression. We’ve long known that emotions can be “contagious,” which is a good reason to return to the first tip of accepting and working through our emotions (perhaps with movement) and being around those who encourage our emotional well-being.

“You can’t separate the mind and the body.  I think with when it comes to mental health, you want to approach it both through the body as with things like getting regular physical activity and sleep and exposure to sunlight and all of that, and then there’s working on it through the mind as by doing cognitive therapy, paying attention to the company they keep. I can’t separate them. I think they’re both both involved.”

“It has to be at the same time, you can’t separate aspects of the same reality.”

Catherine Yang is a reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York.
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