The director of Canyon Ranch's award-winning Life Enhancement Program draws on the latest discoveries in psychology and gender-specific medicine to help all women enjoy richer, healthier, more fulfilling lives.
In this innovative book about what brings women happiness, Dr. Dan Baker focuses on the five traps that can compromise happiness and leave women yearning for a better life.
Unlike clinical psychology, which focuses on trying to fix what's wrong with an individual, positive psychology builds on a person's natural strengths. The root of most unhappiness, fear, finds a special expression in women, who too often succumb to the happiness traps of perfectionism, wanton wanting, people pleasing, seeking revenge, thinking I'm nothing without X, and overinvesting in their careers.
In What Happy Women Know, Dr. Baker synthesizes a wide range of current research on how women uniquely respond to life's slings and arrows and how they can best bounce back from them. The book offers women a compelling set of tools that will help them accept the past and actively move toward a happier future of their own design.
Happiness is in many ways "gender specific," says Baker (What Happy People Know), because women's brains are wired to allow them to feel more, and more frequent, positive feelings than men. Baker, founding director of Canyon Ranch's Life Enhancement program, and Greenberg (What Happy Companies Know) draw on positive psychology to show women how to find happiness. Negative traps prevent women from achieving happiness, they say. These traps are easily recognizable: perfectionism, thinking you'll never be happy without a lot of money or a man, focusing on work as opposed to relationships. Happy women, on the other hand, have a sense of personal responsibility, the ability to find opportunity in adversity, a sense of purpose and courage. Writer Yalof helps make all this accessible, but many of these ideas are truisms, and the authors sometimes characterize women with facile generalizations, for example: "Most women don't know themselves well enough to determine what their special qualities are." Still, women who find themselves in one of the negative traps may find help here in learning how to look on the bright side.