Be Happy Without Being Perfect: How to Worry Less and Enjoy Life More (Paperback)
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Do you have trouble going to bed at night when there’s a mess in the kitchen? Do you think you would be happier if only you could lose weight, be a better parent, work smarter, reduce stress, exercise more, and make better decisions?
You’re not perfect. But guess what? You don’t have to be.
All of us struggle with high expectations from time to time. But for many women, the worries can become debilitating–and often, we don’t even know we’re letting unrealistic expectations color our thinking. The good news is, we have the power to break free from the perfectionist trap–and internationally renowned health psychologist, Dr. Alice Domar can show you how.
Be Happy Without Being Perfect offers a way out of the self-imposed handcuffs that this thinking brings, providing concrete solutions, practical advice, and action plans that teach you how to:
• Assess your tendency toward perfectionism in all areas of your life
• Set realistic goals
• Alleviate the guilt and shame that perfectionism can trigger
• Manage your anxiety with clinically proven self-care strategies
• Get rid of the unrealistic and damaging expectations that are hurting you–for good!
Filled with the personal insights of more than fifty women, Be Happy Without Being Perfect is your key to a happier, calmer, and more enjoyable life.
About the Author
ALICE D. DOMAR, Ph.D., is executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Boston; director of mind/body services at Boston IVF; assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School; and senior psychologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She serves on the board of experts for LLuminari, a women’s health education company, and on the editorial advisory board for Parents and Health. She is the author of the national bestseller Self-Nurture, as well as Healing Mind, Healthy Woman and Conquering Infertility. Dr. Domar lives in the Boston area with her husband and two daughters.
ALICE LESCH KELLY is a freelance writer specializing in health and psychology. Her work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Shape, Health, Reader’s Digest, Fit Pregnancy, and Woman’s Day.
Praise for Be Happy Without Being Perfect: How to Worry Less and Enjoy Life More…
"..A wonderful antidote for the anxious, depressed woman for whom no level of achievement seems to be enough. Doctor Domar fills her easy-to-read book with real life examples from her own practice and offers sold, innovative advice for dealing with unreasonable expectations of life and of self."
—Marianne J. Legato, M.D., founder and director, Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine
"Finally the message all women need to hear. It is time to stop beating yourself up and read Be Happy Without Being Perfect. It will save your life!"
—Susan Love M.D., president and medical director, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, and author of Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book: Making Informed Choices, and Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book
"Smartly written, greatly insightful...there's not a woman I know who wouldn't benefit from reading this book. Take in its lessons and you will find a deeper level of contentment and satisfaction in each day. This is essential reading for every woman."
—Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., associate professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University and author of the bestselling Strong Women book series.
“Giving up perfect sets women on the road to true and sustainable health. If you feel trapped in any way by the need to have a perfect body, a perfect house, or perfect life on any level–you need this book. Now!”
—Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Mother-Daughter Wisdom, The Wisdom of Menopause, and Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
"Perfection is the enemy of happiness. Dr. Domar teaches us to be more accepting of ourselves so we don't live in fear of failure."
—Mehmet Oz, M.D., professor of surgery, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center
“Reading Be Happy Without Being Perfect allows women to exhale-- finally. We women are so tough on ourselves, that it takes a masterful advisor to get us to step back and think about changing our daily thoughts as well as our habits. Reading this book is like having a truly close friend, who you trust, and who just happens to be a psychologist, nutritionist and coach. The book is wise, humane, and it goes down easy. I enjoyed reading it- what's more, I have zeroxed a few of the pages and put them up in strategic zones ( bathroom mirror, refrigerator door). There is something in this book for just about every woman I know.
—Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., professor of sociology, University of Washington and author of Prime: Adventures and Advice about Love and Sex and the Sensual Years
“We strive for perfection in everything we do…Work, the kids, the meals, and trying to be the dutiful spouse. But where does happiness fit into that equation? Not to worry. Dr. Ali Domar tackles all the misconceptions (and misplaced pressures) and gets you back on the right track. Be Happy Without Being Perfect gives you permission to be you, to be good enough, and find happiness along the way. It’s a must for each and every one of us.”
—Nancy Snyderman, M.D., chief medical editor NBC News
"In her work as a psychologist, Domar (Conquering Infertility: Dr. Alice Domar's Mind/Body Guide to Enhancing Fertility and Coping with Infertility ) found that many of her clients felt overwhelmed, depressed, and out of control in trying to live up to the media's depictions of women as perfect mothers, spouses, hostesses, and decision makers. Together with fitness writer Kelly, Domar here shows that perfectionism has been an issue for American women since colonial times, long before Martha Stewart made the scene. In her survey of more than 50 women whose observations and advice appear throughout the text, Domar identifies six areas of perfectionism: health and personal appearance, housekeeping, work, relationships, parenting, and decision making. In each of these areas, she demonstrates how the technique of cognitive restructuring, or "retraining your brain," can be used to reframe common distortions in thinking and result in realistic expectations and happier lives. Many women will recognize themselves in the descriptions given by Domar and her respondents, and even nonperfectionists can benefit from her advice on decision making and coping with everyday stressors (e.g., journaling, meditation). Recommended for self-help and women's health collections in public libraries."