There are 78 million baby boomers in America today that are facing their upcoming retirement and other reminders of growing older. However, this group has already proven themselves to be different than previous generations by being more active, healthier and living more productive lifestyles. The chance to pursue life- long interests and other activities, once constrained by commitments from work and family, is a welcome blessing now. The general premise is, if you want to do something, go for it. In fact, a study done by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, in June 2006, showed that older Americans report that their current level of happiness is greater than when they were younger.

So why is there a problem? The answer lies in one\’s level of personal adjustment. Some of us are experiencing the horror of aging with a vengeance. The physical, emotional and psychological challenges of growing old can be devastating. Physical ailments resulting in chronic pain, cognitive impairments that affect memory, emotional challenges like loneliness and depression, significantly impact our mental health and ability to function effectively. We have been studied and reviewed, critiqued and marketed more than any other population in society. Advertisers are fixated on boomers and capitalize on their subsequent challenges and ultimate victories. We have been recognized for having huge potential and success, but yet we are tormented by a deep sense of disillusionment and struggle. We are experiencing the loss of our youth, our loved ones, maybe our hopes and many of our dreams. With almost 2/3 of our lives gone and 1/3 left (hopefully), we are awakening to the reality that we are not set emotionally, psychologically or financially for what lies ahead.

What can we do? Should we whine and complain, cry and give up? Or should we make a mindful choice to try on a new strategy to see how well it fits? As we travel through midlife, we need to promote a healthier mental health. We need to reach out for help so that we learn to appreciate the gifts set before us. We need to live out the rest of our lives with a strong sense of well being and control and add meaning to our lives. In other words, we need to take charge and reshape our vision of the future. The intricate holistic approach to a boomer\’s mental health encompasses social, psychological, physical and spiritual factors, all working towards an effective strategy for maintaining vitality and creativity in one\’s later years.
I speak from experience. I am a licensed Mental Health Counselor and have worked with a variety of different populations over the years, from adolescent substance abusers to geriatrics in 50 year abusive relationships. When I turned 53, I had been working at an agency, running their domestic abuse program for six years. The clients were wonderful and the group work was fulfilling, but the politics of agency life had taken its toll. I hated the 9-5 drudgery, the repetition of paperwork and the monotony of the day. I wanted something more and had to do some soul searching to find out what that was. I left the job, planning to open my own private practice and be my own boss. Things were going well in theory, but it was difficult getting started. I would ask myself, “Is this all there is?” I was depressed and bitter that I wasn\’t exploring whatever dreams I may have had in the past. I was in a deep funk. One day I realized that the only way to help myself was to get up, brush myself off and start examining unfamiliar territories to find out new things that felt right. I am now an author. I am doing corporate seminars/workshops, seeing private clients and running empowerment groups for seniors and loving every day because my time is my own. It is fulfilling, exciting and rewarding and I feel like I am embracing life now with a new zest because I was given a second chance.

The goal of the boomer generation is to find the best strategies available to bring back the joy and enthusiasm of youth. It\’s about mindful choices that encourages personal growth and creativity and supplies the momentum to rejuvenate your spirit, your body and your mind. “Distress-Free Aging: A Boomer\’s Guide to Creating a Fulfilled and Purposeful Life” will give you the tools and answers for your most pressing problems and guide you to making a meaningful plan of action that works.

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5 Super Strategies to Start Using Today

1. It\’s all in the attitude –We cannot choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we feel about what happens to us. Success or failure depends on your attitude.
2. Go with the flow – It is important to be open and receptive to new ideas because life is all about changes. Growth and wisdom are optional. You need to make a choice.
3. Stress and Burnout – No one can escape stress, but you can practice good coping skills so that you effectively concentrate on pleasant things to erase the unpleasant ones.
4. Keep it Light – You have to make up your mind to be happy, by learning to find pleasure in little things. Happiness depends on a habit we create in mind.
5. Overcoming Obstacles – Difficulties are meant to challenge you, not discourage. We are constantly bombarded by opportunities disguised as obstacles.

Go to www.distressfreeaging.com to find out how you can supercharge your life and give yourself the personal power to start refueling your dreams.

Amy Sherman
Copyright © 2007 Amy Sherman, LMHC

Amy Sherman, LMHC, is a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Florida, with a MA in Counseling/Psychology from Vermont College. She is a trained hypnotherapist, specializing in anxiety and health issues and follows a holistic approach to therapy. Amy\’s recent focus has been on baby boomers and she is committed to helping them realize their challenges with confidence and assurance, transforming their thinking into satisfaction and success. Amy is the author of the e-book, Distress-Free Aging: A Boomer\’s Guide to Creating a
Fulfilled and Purposeful Life
. The ten strategies outlined offer boomers valuable techniques and tools that change limiting behavior patterns from the past and sets them on a positive momentum towards living their dreams. She offers individual, family and group sessions in her West Palm Beach office and is available for coaching and consultations by phone.
Copyright © 2007 Amy Sherman, LMHC