If we could turn back the clock psychologically, could we also turn it back physically? For more than thirty years, award-winning social psychologist Ellen Langer has studied this provocative question, and now, in Counterclockwise, she presents the answer: Opening our minds to what's possible, instead of presuming impossibility, can lead to better health-at any age.
Drawing on landmark work in the field and her own body of colorful and highly original experiments-including the first detailed discussion of her "counterclockwise" study, in which elderly men lived for a week as though it was 1959 and showed dramatic improvements in their hearing, memory, dexterity, appetite, and general well-being-Langer shows that the magic of rejuvenation and ongoing good health lies in being aware of the ways we mindlessly react to social and cultural cues. Examining the hidden decisions and vocabulary that shape the medical world ("chronic" versus "acute," "cure" versus "remission"), the powerful physical effects of placebos, and the intricate but often defeatist ways we define our physical health, Langer challenges the idea that the limits we assume and impose on ourselves are real. With only subtle shifts in our thinking, in our language, and in our expectations, she tells us, we can begin to change the ingrained behaviors that sap health, optimism, and vitality from our lives. Improved vision, younger appearance, weight loss, and increased longevity are just four of the results that Langer has demonstrated.
Immensely readable and riveting, Counterclockwise offers a transformative and bold new paradigm: the psychology of possibility. A hopeful and groundbreaking book by an author who has changed how people all over the world think and feel, Counterclockwise is sure to join "Mindfulness" as a standard source on new-century science and healing.
"Ellen Langer offers us brilliant insights into subtleties that hold us back in life, and shows the way to shining new possibilities. Counterclockwise will change the way you see and think." -- Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author Emotional Intelligence and Ecological Intelligence
"Counterclockwise makes a strong case for the influence of expectation and belief on how our bodies function, on how we heal, and even how we age. Ellen Langer presents fascinating scientific data to support this view and argues convincingly that we should learn to take greater control of our health through the practice of mindfulness. Her research is innovative and empowering."--Andrew Weil, M.D.
"Ellen Langer's work has been an inspiration to me for years. Counterclockwise," "her latest book, will change the way you think about your health -- for the better. It's simply fabulous." --Christiane Northrup, MD, author The Secret Pleasures of Menopause and The Wisdom of Menopause