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Health management trainee studying economics & management. I write mostly about business analysis, dentistry, wellness, and economics. Pug & Frenchie mum. 🐶

An eclectic combination of reads that come together to form the ideal therapist: from Taleb to The Dalai Lama.

In no particular order are ten books that have helped me through tough times that I can refer to again and again, representing the tastiest morsels of self-help and wisdom in my repository.

These books have something in common: you can open them at any page and find sanctuary and wisdom. You don’t need to read the chapter before for it to make sense, and I’ve chosen these reads over others because of their practical applications, the relatability of the author, and ease of reading.

1. Change Your Thinking by Sarah Edelman

This book I spied on the shelf of a psychologist’s office (more like a personal…


The many faces of beauty

Research by Reber, Schwarz and Winkielman will take up a good few posts. It’s a heavy 19-page philosophical based research paper which isn’t an easy read. It’s all about the philosophical side of how we process beauty. Extremely interesting, but difficult to digest, so I’ll attempt to break down the key findings over the next few posts. Here it goes.

Key findings from Processing Fluency and Aesthetic Pleasure: Is Beauty in the Perceiver’s Processing Experience?

Part I: The different theories of beauty

The objectivist view and Plato

Apparently, beauty has many different viewpoints, and has been debated for at least 2,500 years. Good old Plato spawned the objectivist view of beauty, which…


I’m grateful for being driven to finally change my way of thinking

I’ve felt over the past couple of years my body has finally turned against me as payback for the abuse I’ve given it over the years. I’m in the process of investigating whether my autoimmune antibodies are related to an underactive thyroid, which is renowned for stubborn weight gain.

It’s not an excuse, but partly I’m grateful to have circumstances outside of my control force my hand to be more accepting of my body: when I’m too tired to ramp up my already satisfactory exercise regime, because of a biological mishap with my antibodies deciding to hate on my muscles…


Dear Body of Mine…

Dodging back to The Body Image Workbook by Thomas F Cash one of the things he recommends is to write a letter to your body as if your body were a friend you had mistreated. Essentially, you’re writing a letter to your body to express your relationship on a better course. Here’s mine.

Dear Body of Mine,

For as long as I can remember, I’ve done nothing but wish you were different. I’ve wished you were thinner, had smaller breasts — all sorts — without taking into consideration all the wonderful things you allow me to do without restriction.

I’m…


Why we continue to aspire to body image ideals we know aren’t real: Part III: the ethics of beauty

This is the final part of the research paper review by Fiona MacCallum and Heather Widdows where we look at the ethical side of beauty and body image ideals, and how they influence our behavior.

MacCallum and Widdows state that for some women, beauty ideals (encompassing body image) function as ethical ideals. Let’s deconstruct this further.

The authors essentially argue that beauty and its associated behaviors often act as proxies for other moral ideals, even to the extent of what actions are considered right or wrong.

Irrespective of the ‘goods’ delivered, the beauty ideal drives and influences behavior

When we judge ourselves against a beauty ideal, there are certain parameters of success…


Why we continue to aspire to body image ideals we know aren’t real Part II: explained by social comparison theory and self-discrepancy theory

We know most images we see, whether it’s in magazines, on our phones or on TV aren’t natural; they’ve had some manipulation. But this doesn’t stop us striving to look like them, no?

Yesterday, I wrote about the use of disclaimer images actually making us draw more attention to a digitally enhanced image, which leads to deeper mental processing. This isn’t just theory either; it’s been confirmed with research using eye-tracking technology.

Here I’ll elaborate on fantastic research by Fiona MacCallum and Heather Widdows that explains why we continue to strive for an unrealistic state of perfection, using self-discrepancy theory…


Why we continue to aspire to body image ideals we know aren’t real Part I: disclaimers on retouched images

It’s day 63 and time for some research. I’m going to summarize findings from this 11-page research paper by Fiona MacCallum and Heather Widdows, who deconstruct why we continue to aspire to unrealistic beauty images when we know that 90% of the image has been photoshopped to within an inch of its life, and what interventions may or may not work, contrary to popular opinion.

Stuff they prove we know to be true

  • They write that both experimental and correlational studies prove exposure to visual social media idealized body images leads to an increased body image disturbance.
  • And that this body image disturbance is linked to increased dissatisfaction…


Recognize these 8 distortions in your private body talk

I may have strayed over into my 10-day plan to change writing tack, but I haven’t quite made it through the Body Image Workbook and again, found yet another gem I had to share.

Some of my earlier posts were about thinking distortions and I shared work by Sarah Edelman. Here are a few more distortions to recognize before taking action to tackle them, this time from Thomas F. Cash.

Knowledge

Distortion 1: Dichotomous thinking

Also known as Beauty-or-Beast thinking, this is basically thinking in extremes. Things are black or white. There’s no grey in this thinking. When you don’t feel like a glamazon, you…


Accepting impatience

I’ve been told I’ve been ‘the most patient person’ and I’ve been told I’m very inpatient. I was told by plenty of patients that as a practitioner, I was, well, patient. I thought it was part of my job. My spouse on the other hand, considers me extremely inpatient. When I’m at home, I have little tolerance for my computer throwing a hissy fit, or if I can’t find something. My excuse is that I ‘use up’ all my patience at work. Can’t really use that excuse now.

I think we can all relate to being impatient, especially when it…


Ten taxing appearance assumptions and how to counter them

I must share on Day 60 Thomas F. Cash’s Ten Appearance Assumptions and how you can counter them. The Body Image Workbook has lots of useful exercises and background information, and this is some of the best, in my opinion.

You might read the following assumptions and think some may not apply to you, but I’m sure you can relate to them.

The Ten Appearance Assumptions

1. Physically attractive people have it all

We can’t deny being good-looking can be advantageous. However, there are plenty of scientifically-backed reasons physical attractiveness isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Consider the following quote by George Bernard Shaw (1903):

Beauty is all very well…

Michelle Middleton

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