A Boomer Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Baby Boomers and the emotional problems that may arise

Because of the title of my blog, I get many emails from various companies or individuals with topics relevant to the Baby Boomer Generation.  I received the email below and I thought it was very relevant to two of my friends.

One of my friends is in deep despair over several situations that she has a right to despair about.  I try to tell her that no one can fix this for her.  She has to make a decision and move forward - with one tiny step - even if it is the wrong decision.  I am afraid she will sit in her chair and stew about it and until she literally dies in that chair.

Another friend I have likes to make the most out of life and put on a brave face.  I have always thought that she needed to talk about her problems but she insists that is not her way.  She acknowledges it and then moves on as best she can.

I have sent this email to both of them and I wanted to share it with you in case you know someone that might benefit from this information.  I know it is a sales pitch for the book but it also hits the nail on the head as relates to my friends.


Hi Barbara,

Many older adults find themselves facing loneliness and loss as their friends and partners pass on or when they retire from their careers, as well as ruminating about their relationships with friends and family members.

"While loss is a natural part of life, loneliness and rumination are by no means inevitable. But more importantly, how we manage each of these emotional wounds has huge implications for our physical health, and for our happiness and life satisfaction," says Guy Winch, PhD.

Winch is the author of the new book, "EMOTIONAL FIRST AID: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejections, Guilt, and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries" (Hudson Street Press/Penguin Group, July 2013). He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from New York University and has a private practice in New York City. His first book, THE SQUEAKY WHEEL, has been translated into six languages.

**Review copies and interviews available**

Chronic loneliness can shave years of our life expectancy, ruminations can increase our stress hormones and impact our emotional well-being, and many of our most cherished beliefs about how to deal with loss such as the 5 stages of grief have been proven incorrect and in some cases, even damaging.

The following suggestions will help treat the emotional injuries caused by loss, loneliness, and rumination, and soothe the emotional pain they elicit.

1. Ruminative thoughts create cycles of brooding that are unproductive and only deepen the emotional pain we feel. The most urgent thing to do is to break the cycle by distracting ourselves whenever a ruminative thought begins. One way to do this is to try to remember the order of books on our shelves (without peeking) or the order of grocery items in our local supermarket.

2. Loneliness often makes us risk averse such that we turn down opportunities for social interaction (by making excuses), it can also make us try too hard or assume the worst about people-which can have the undesired effect of pushing away the very people that could alleviate our loneliness. Taking action to increase our social interaction (by being brave when opportunities present, volunteering, signing up for classes, joining book clubs, adopting pets, or finding people with similar interests online if we're housebound) will all help us reengage with others and emerge from our loneliness.

3. We used to believe that when we experience loss we must talk about our feelings if we want to recover as fully and rapidly as possible. Of course, time is still the best healer. But we also know that only those who feel a natural urge to talk about their feelings should do so. Those whose natural tendency is to get on with things without delving into their deep emotions about the loss are better off not talking.

1 comment:

  1. NUMBER 3 was actually something new for me.
    Never thought of it that way.