Next time you want to reach out for those pills to beat the blues, just think positive instead. A new book authored by an Indian American neurologist says the key to contentment lies in the mind and people who have a positive outlook are less likely to suffer from depression.
D.V. Pasupuleti, director of neurology at the Hurley Medical Centre and a clinical professor at Michigan State University, believes anyone can create their own happiness by understanding themselves and letting go of negative thoughts and preconceived ideas.
"Learning to be happy is not a mystical pursuit," says Pasupuleti, who lives in Flint, Michigan, with his wife and four children.
"In my years as a neurologist, I have noticed that people who are happy meet their problems with a positive attitude, even in the face of suffering."
In his book, "Change Your Mind: A Neurologist's Guide to Happiness" (Synergy Books), Pasupuleti explores the basic tenets for happiness for just about anyone - from single mothers to business executives and high-stress college students.
He supports a simple, natural alternative to antidepressants - the mind.
Depression affects millions of people on the planet. The World Health Organisation says 15 percent of people in most affluent nations suffer from severe depression.
While antidepressants are commonly used to treat the disease, they work for as little as 30 percent of the population, according to studies that link standard antidepressant medications to higher rates of suicide, violence and psychosis.
Placebos often work just as well or better than actual depression medications, leaving many to wonder whether pills really provide happiness.
Pasupuleti's practical guidance is rooted in his study of psychiatry, neurology and various world religions.
Through these experiences, he has found that people who keep an open mind are better equipped to deal with problems because they maintain higher levels of happiness in the face of turmoil.
Pasupuleti's tenets include the belief that material possessions are meant to be enjoyed but don't ultimately create lasting happiness.
He calls on readers to understand where negative emotions come from as this will help control and overcome them.
"It won't happen overnight," he says. "But those who are willing to follow simple rules for happiness will find that happiness can be achieved."