Press Releases

Press Release


Contact: Christine Aronson
Director of Publicity, Crown

Be Happy Without Being Perfect book cover

“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  

“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 SnydermanM.D., Chief Medical Editor NBC News

“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

“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.”  — Library Journal

Imagine this scenario: Your boss points out a small error you made on a work project. Dispirited, you go home. Your  in-laws are coming for dinner, and although you planned ahead and only have to heat up the meal, you realize you won’t have time to straighten up the house. Now you really feel like a failure.  You ask the kids to put away their toys, being kids, they ignore you. You yell. You ask your husband for help, but he doesn’t understand why you’re so concerned about how the house looks when it’s just his parents coming over for a weeknight meal.  Your in-laws arrive, and although they don’t say anything, you think they disapprove of your messy house and quickly prepared meal. By the time you go to bed, all these little things have added up to a great big headache and a bad night’s sleep.

Sound familiar?

If it does””and it does for many women””the natural next question is, what can you do about it?  In March, a new book will finally answer that question:  BE HAPPY WITHOUT BEING PERFECT: How to Break Free from the Perfection Deception (Crown; March 4, 2008) by Dr. Alice Domar, a top-notch researcher and practicing  health psychologist who has been a pioneer in women’s health for more than 25 years, and health journalist Alice Lesch Kelly.

In her best selling book, Self-Nurture, Domar identified how women take care of everyone else, but not themselves. This book picks up where that book left off, uncovering why women just won’t give themselves a break or give themselves permission to enjoy all of the good things in their lives. It also helps women understand why, deep down, they feel that setting aside time to meet their own needs ““ even having needs, in fact ““ is a sign of weakness or failure, a sign of imperfection in a world that expects nothing less than perfection.

Domar and Kelly argue that every woman can be happier, take better care of herself, and feel healthier, more content, and more satisfied by reframing her perfectionist expectations and embracing an imperfect life.  They show women how to be happy without being perfect.

In BE HAPPY, readers will learn how to re-set unrealistically high expectations and replace them with attainable ones that will result in success, rather than failure, as well as how to:

  • Change the way they respond to expectations set by others
  • Re-train their brain to eliminate destructive thought patterns
  • Use mind/body techniques to relax
  • Nurture and reward themselves
  • Practice active gratitude
  • Practice self-forgiveness and acceptance 

 BE HAPPY includes stories from more than 50 wonderful women who agreed to open up their lives and be interviewed for this book.  Their experiences are enlightening and heartbreaking and show how pervasive the perfection deception is.  As Domar writes in the introduction “I wrote this book for my patient Kim, and all of the other women like her who have so much but just can’t enjoy it because they only see what’s missing. It’s for all of the women, who feel whether they realize it or not, that they can’t be happy unless everything is perfect.”

About the authors:

Alice D. Domar, PhD is executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Boston; assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School; and senior psychologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She is the best selling author of Self-Nurture and award-winning author of Conquering Infertility.

Alice Lesch Kelly writes for the New York TimesFit Pregnancy, More, Woman’s Day, and Shape.

How to Break Free of the Perfection Deception
Crown Publishing Group
On Sale; March 4, 2008

For more information or to request an interview with either of the co-authors,
please contact Christine Aronson at 212-572-2296

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