Ellen Heuven is a Dutch researcher, public speaker, trainer and coach in the field of positive psychology. At the Psychology department of the Utrecht University and the Dutch Institute of Applied Sciences her research focused on emotion work, motivation and empowerment. Currently she designs educational programs and trains medical staff, coaches and trainers in applying positive psychology and positive aging in their daily work.
Your Psychological Guideline to Positive Aging
In ‘Psychology of Positive Aging’ researcher, trainer and author Ellen Heuven links the individual life stories of twenty women around the globe with scientific insights from, among others, positive psychology. The book focuses not so much on how lives become easier or more comfortable with aging, but rather on the expanding set of life skills that helps women to deal with the challenges and joys of life. Positive aging does not mean achieving wealth, being in shape or flourishing in an inspiring marriage. While these conditions can certainly contribute to a sense of well-being in aging, the emphasis of this book is on inner qualities, talents, attitudes, and the art of living all of which can be developed and cultivated regardless of circumstances.
“While it is undeniable that certain physical functions start to decline from a certain age, both the life stories of the interviewees and scientific literature show that psychological functioning can become more robust into old age” says Heuven. The women in this book are inspiring role models who show how you can grow, live a fulfilling life and achieve goals, not so much DESPITE but WITH or THANKS to aging. As American psychiatrist Gene Cohen once commented: “There is no denying the problems that accompany aging, but what has been universally denied is the potential.”
In both government policies and in the media, a lot of emphasis is put on the physical and cognitive side of aging, and how we can stave off the decline of the body and brain by exercise, dieting and plastic surgery. The book draws attention to the importance of the psychological side of aging. The stories of the women in the book illustrate and make very lively psychological theories that can normally feel very abstract to understand, so that women can easily apply this knowledge in their own day-to-day lives and in their aging processes. Basic psychological knowledge, especially from positive psychology, can be very helpful in dealing with some of the challenges and fear of aging. As Marie Curie once said: “Nothing in life is to be feared, only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
The book is the perfect gift for your 50-plus wife or friend, or for yourself, and also targets scientists, physicians, geriatrics, psychologists, policy makers and business leaders.
‘Psychology of Positive Aging’ is 278 pages and is now available as eBook, paperback and hardcover at Amazon.