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Book Reviews: Books for Healing

I know that many of you read books about eating (like mine!) to help you resolve your food problems. However, other books that don’t specifically target eating can work wonders in moving you toward recovery. For now, here’s a taste of the wisdom from my favorite “self-help” books. From time to time, I’ll provide you with more titles.

Two books by Daniel Goleman offer highly readable descriptions of emotions from a biological and sociological perspective. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ focuses on temperament, the biology of emotions, and the importance of really knowing your “feeling” self. Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships provides a thorough education on the biopsychosocial chemistry of how and why we relate to others as we do. Another gem on the subject is The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life by Joseph LeDoux which tells explains how the brain stores emotions and why we are such emotional beings.

Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers normalizes fear and anxiety while instructing you how to overcome it. The Diseases to Please by Harriet Braiker is for people pleasers who put their needs last and struggle with setting boundaries with other people. Two more in a similar vein are Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No by Herbert Fensterheim and Jean Baer and Manuel Smith’s When I Say No, I Feel Guilty. If shame runs rampant in your life, a must read is John Bradshaw’s classic Healing the Shame That Binds You which interweaves his personal battle against “toxic” shame with explanations of how it develops from your family and ways to eliminate it.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle, not always an easy read, is devoted to teaching the importance of staying present. Similarly, Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Every Day Life teaches us to enjoy every moment. To learn about cultivating health and success, read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Steven Covey. A useful book to help you identify what constitutes normality in every day life if you’ve had a dysfunctional childhood is John and Linda Friel’s An Adult Child’s Guide to What’s “Normal.”

The kinds of books I’ve described here not only expand your thinking and tweak your perceptions, but help you understand the nature of your underlying, root issues and how to keep mending and modifying yourself to better your life—and, of course, your eating.