Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility by Ellen Langer
In 1979, Dr. Langer performed a “counterclockwise” study in which elderly men lived for a week as though it was 1959 and grew younger. This book includes the first detailed discussion of this study. Langer’s research paints a compelling picture of how our mindsets influence how we age, our physical health and our emotional health. Langer suggests that the magic of turning the clock back lies in being aware of the ways we mindlessly react to cultural cues.
Langer’s research in Counterclockwise illustrates the importance of actively challenging deeply ingrained behaviors. By making subtle changes in everyday life, one can realign one’s attitudes and language so as to achieve better health. It becomes quite clear through her numerous examples that one’s beliefs in physical limits are defining and constraining.
“This book is scientifically riveting and empowering.” I fully agree with that assessment. Langer’s “Counterclockwise” holds exciting implications for our general health—including vision, old age, cancer, weight, and heart health—as well as for our fundamental happiness.
Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry. She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves. An MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment.