Listening to NPR this afternoon I caught the tail end of an interview with the author of the new book Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. Ellen J. Langer was responding to questions about how being mindful and paying attention can help reduce the effects of disease, aging, and open up new possibilities. When I came home from school I jumped on NPR to listen to the full interview and found an exert from the book. In the first chapter I found several quotes to get excited about. Langer’s philosophy is all about being mindful of one’s health, a sort-of cognitive-behavioral approach, and changing one’s thinking to then inevitably change actions and outcomes. Langer calls this the psychology of possibility writing:
When faced with disease or infirmity, we may find a way to adjust to what is. In the psychology of possibility, we search for the answer to how to improve, not merely to adjust.
She also breaks down what mindful health is by writing:
Mindful health is not about how we should eat right, exercise, or follow medical recommendations, nor is it about abandoning these things. It is not about New Age medicine nor traditional understandings of illness. It is about the need to free ourselves from constricting mindsets and the limits they place on our health and well- being, and to appreciate the importance of becoming the guardians of our own health. Learning how to change requires understanding how we go astray. The goal of this book is to convince you to open your mind and take back what is rightfully, sensibly, and importantly yours.
If you’re interested in reading about the counterclockwise study you can check out the exert and the NPR interview at this link. It seems to be a wonderful new book with scientific evidence indicating that our minds and our bodies are one. But we already knew that right? When we change our mindset we can change our world…even our health or our “age”! Can’t wait to get a copy of this and dig deeper into her research.
Hope all is well with you and you’re empowering yourself to better health! xo