Don\'t Worry Be Happy

Don't Worry Be Happy

Alice Domar tells women how to escape "the perfectionist trap"

By Barbara Walsh | Photos by Mary Schwalm '99

Can perfection be dangerous?

Can the desire for better skin, better cupcakes, better sex, slimmer bodies, immaculate homes, flawless children be harmful?

“Absolutely,” said women’s health expert Alice Domar ’80. “There’s nothing wrong with making a delicious cupcake, but there is something wrong when women feel inadequate if they make brownies out of a box.”

A psychologist, Domar has spent the past 20 years studying women’s health and teaching women skills to make themselves healthier and happier.

While it is normal to want to be perfect in some aspects of our lives, it is not healthy, Domar says, to aspire to perfection in everything, and such unreasonable expectations can create anxiety and stress.

“Stress,” Domar said, “suppresses the immune system. It hastens the aging process. It can kill you.”
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  • On August 5, 2008, Cheryl Heiks wrote:
    I too am a Mom with two wonderful daughters, and want to avoid passing along some bad habits I have accumulated. I read this book and loved it! It is full of wonderful humerous examples of how to avoid some of the common self-criticisms that can get in your way.

  • On September 3, 2008, Ann R. Stillwater '81 wrote:
    Wow, I have not read this book, but have read bits of an earlier book. I agree with Cheryl that healing the generations is important. My children are grown, but I hope that by modelling more self-care and self-acceptance, my children will see pathways out of the dysfunctional patterns that impede them.