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Friday, April 28, 2017

"Boundaries" by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

While it seems like a simple concept, saying yes and saying no can be incredibly difficult for many people.  Afraid of guilt, losing relationships, or the unknown, countless people try to do good but lose themselves in the process.  In this book, both PhD authors give sound advice on how to "take control of your life."  There are distinct chapters on boundaries for family, children, spouses, friends, and more.  In the beginning and end of the book, there is a story about a woman with and without boundaries.  The difference is stark and is one left for the reader.  Throughout the book, there is an emphasis on starting small, getting support groups, and dealing with feelings.  When readers start to stand up for themselves, they may be met with unwanted responses.  Nevertheless, drawing lines in the sand is a must.  From a psychological perspective, there is an emphasis on childhood needs and how a lack of boundaries in one's youth may have an impact on adult boundary problems.  Luckily, with help and effort, readers can learn to draw boundaries, regardless of age.  Are you stuck in an unloving relationship?  Do you end up staying late at work?  Do siblings or friends ask you to lend them money?  Does your mother or friend guilt you into countless hours on the telephone?  Then you will gain something from this book.  The greatest message I got from this book is that we are all responsible for ourselves and how we react to others.  If we let others to interfere with our feelings (i.e.- "they made me"), we are not in control in our life.  It should be noted that this book quotes heavily from the Bible, particularly the New Testament, and has many Christian undertones.  Still, the life lessons in the pages apply to people of all faiths.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"Wired for Dating" by Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT

This book goes into the psycho-biological aspects of dating.  Backup up by real neuroscience, the chapters chronicle how the brain works in a dating and courtship environment.  The author explains how lots of "feel good" hormones are released when two people first meet...but that these chemicals can and do wear away over time.  Readers are urged to thoroughly vet any and all potential partners before getting serious.  Since those "feel good" chemicals do go away, people should really take the time to ask the tough questions of potential mates.  They should also meet friends and family to determine what others think of this new person.  There is even a section of breakups, as well as making long-term committed relationships.  This book is quite liberal in that it talks about homo-sexual couples as well as hetero-sexual couples.  I do not agree with all the advice in the book (such as living together before married), but I will say the book offers some excellent insights into the relational brain.

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Clean Skin from Within" by Dr. Trevor Cates

Most all men and women know the gist--there's a big event coming up, our skin is not the best, and we rush to apply whatever skin treatment we can to look out best.  This can be in the form of makeup, cleansers, lotions, etc, and this is just as true for men as it is for women.  But these short-term "prescriptions" do not treat the long-term causes of skin issues.  This is where Dr. Trevor Cates' book comes in.  The entire philosophy is that people need to be internally healthy before they can be externally healthy.  There is an emphasis on diet, exercise, and even mental health (stress can damage skin just as bad as candy can!).  Readers can go to http://theskinquiz.com/ to determine what their skin type is.  What I love about the skin types is that they are named after people.  Instead of just being called "oily" or "dry", skin conditions have real people names like "Amber" and "Heath".  This makes readers feel more like individuals than objects on a doctor's examination table.  Beyond giving advice on well being, Cates also provides recipes for food and health products.  So, not only will readers learn how to make skin-nourishing smoothies, but they will also learn how to make face masks from scratch.  And, don't forget the random tips in this book, such as how to make non-toxic weed killer!  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I felt it equipped me with the tools to eat better, feel better, and look better.  Best of all, I did not have to spent hundreds of dollars.  After reading about the benefits of avocado, I took some of my avocado cooking oil and began using it as toner.  I took a simple household kitchen item and turned it into a beauty product for myself--and I am loving the results!  Stop spending money on makeup and cosmetics that just damage your skin in the long term and get your body healthy NOW.  On a final note, I want to state how well-researched this book is.  Dr. Cates is not just some hippy doctor with no scientific basis.  The references section of this book is full of scholarly journal articles, not blog posts or magazine articles.  The research is sound, and the information is refreshing.  Give this book a try for more vibrant skin.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"Love in 90 Days" by Diane Kirschner, PhD

This book title immediately caught my eye.  Love in 90 days?  Really?  Come on!  But the author is a PhD, so she can't just be making this stuff up.  So I began reading solely out of curiosity.  While I can not say that 90 days is some magical number, the advice that the author gives is excellent.  It sets the way for readers to have the potential for real love.   The most important aspect is labeling men as DUDs versus STUDs, dating multiple people at once before committing to one person, and reprogramming negative self talk.  Let's take a scenario.  Sally has low self esteem and dates Jack.  Jack does not treat Sally very well, but she stays with him because she secretly believe he is the best she could get.  Sally stays with Jack and ends up in a sad marriage.  Now, let's apply the Love in 90 Days philosophies to rewrite that story.  Sally works on herself to develop more self-confidence.  She dates Jack and realizes she deserves better.  Sally does not commit to Jack but instead keeps dating because she knows she can do better.  Eventually, Sally meets Dan who is wonderful and treats her like the jewel that she is.  Sally decides to stay with Dan and goes on to have a happy love.  In the book, the author also emphasizes the importance of what I refer to as, "get up, dress up, show up."  Readers are encouraged to believe in themselves, get makeovers, and go places where men are.  While women do not have to be pursuers in relationships, the author encourages talking to men, starting friendships, and building those confident social skills.  With many relationships based on friendship, it only makes sense that to increase one's odds of meeting that special someone, people need to get out and talk to people.  While the book is geared toward women, I would argue the tips could also work for men.