photo by taod
It's Dr. Henslin's desire that marriages last, which has caused him (a Christian marriage therapist by trade and training) to look holistically at what makes for successful relationships, including science. He shares how he came across recent brain studies that showed how some brain imbalances can cause people to act angry, anxious, controlling, depressed or inattentive--a recipe for disaster when it comes to wedded bliss.
Often he has found that in many marriages that are facing problems, a piece of the puzzle has to do with the person's brain. Through his new book This Is Your Brain In Love, he looks at the 5 most common brain imbalances (quizzes included to help you discern any tendencies you may have to fall in one category or another), the personality types that reflect them and (most importantly) how to deal with them. The refreshing thing about his book is that he only recommends medication in a last-ditch effort; otherwise he seeks things like dietary changes or other behavior-modifications to help folks find relief.
Michael and I took Dr. Henslin's quizzes and, not surprisingly, I fell into the category that tends toward overworrying, fretting and liking things (and people) to be "just so." I was quite surpised how Henslin nailed it on the head in this category for me, which he linked to an overactive Cingulate Gyrus. He includes tips after each "diagnosis," so I'm curious to try out some and see whether it eases some of my anxieties, things like eating foods with serotonin and taking a supplement like St. John's wort. Other tips (that I already do) were to get out and take a walk when you're feeling overwhelmed or sit down and do a crossword puzzle to take your mind off things.
Though the bulk of the book is focused on maintaining a healthy, balanced brain, it is sandwiched between two chapters that look at the importance of bringing spirituality into your marriage, including insights from the Jewish perspective of marriage that shed light on what "holy matrimony" means and what certain elements of love (forgiveness, honesty, patience, kindness) look like in marriage. Though these sections felt a little disjointed from the "brain" theme that the book revolves around, I enjoyed reading them, particularly learning more about Jewish treatment of marriage as sacred.
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