I recently heard the “On Being” podcast interview with Ellen Langer. This remarkable social psychologist has distilled the workings of mind and body into a non-jargony essence. For over 35 years she has researched and published. I was especially interested in how she describes mind-body unity.
I like to encourage my clients to focus more on their possibilities than their problems. As a wellness practitioner and an older person, I was fascinated to learn about one of her 1979 study, expanded on in her book Counter Clockwise , that showed how mindset and environment can profoundly affect how we perceive our age and what it means to us.
As oldsters, as Pittsburghers, as women, as men, etc., we habitually focus on the inconveniences of our status. It is a fun challenge to turn those aphorisms upside down. And it makes a difference in how we experience life. This is one of my favorite On Being episodes – alongside the interview with Rachel Yehuda on epigentics – understanding how the experiences of our parents can affect us by “writing the software” of our mental and emotional program for dealing with life experiences.
The overarching theme to me is that the more we understand how our mind and spirit works, that knowledge can enable us to live more fully and forgivingly of ourselves and others.