Book Review: “Mindful Aging: Embracing Your Life after 50 to Find Fulfillment, Purpose, and Joy”

“Mindful Aging: Embracing Your Life after 50 to Find Fulfillment, Purpose, and Joy”

By Andrea Brandt, PhD, MFT. Seniors are encouraged to throw out stereotypes and make the most of their lives. 

Aging is inevitable. “How we age is largely up to us,” writes psychologist and author Dr. Andrea Brandt in “Mindful Aging: Embracing Your Life after 50 to Find Fulfillment, Purpose, and Joy” (PESI Publishing).

A fascinating and thought-provoking read, “Mindful Aging” had me hooked early on when the author writes: “There is no magical age at which we need to abandon our dreams and surrender our possibilities.”

She strives to help readers rethink aging, get in touch with their desires, and embrace the last leg of their life’s journey.

“To remain our healthiest and most vibrant physically, emotionally, cogitatively, we must continue to learn and do new things—to keep stepping into the territory of the new and unknown,” she writes. “When we have a purpose, we don’t let the unimportant things get to us. Our focus is on something higher and more meaningful.”

The book encourages readers to raise the bar of our expectations.

“Architect Frank Lloyd Wright was his most prolific between ages 60 and 90. It’s never too late to move to a more positive direction,” she writes.

However, Andrea notes many people only make a life change following a cancer diagnosis, heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis.

“You don’t need to go through a health crisis or the loss of a loved one to learn this lesson,” she says. “If there is something you always wanted to do, why wait?”

Life doesn’t just happen, the author notes.

“Our own choices and actions affect what we experience. It serves no purpose to beat us up over past choices and consequences they caused,” Andrea says. “We are much stronger when working to create the positive than working to avoid or fix the negative.”

Instead of the fear of dying, she encourages seniors to focus on the joy of living, and “to make gratitude your foremost attitude.”

Research, she says, shows those who keep a gratitude journal, where they record things they feel grateful for, “enjoyed better physical health, were more optimistic, exercised more regularly, and described themselves as happier than a control group who didn’t keep journals.”

Throughout the book, Andrea provides a series of mental exercises for readers to practice—all aimed toward generating more joy and fulfillment in life after 50.

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