Ellen Langer

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  • Mindfulness
  • Jan 20, 07:17 AM

GLADO and a Successful Life

I recently published a book entitled, The Art of Noticing. It’s full of one-liners culled from forty years of research paired with one of my paintings. The result of thinking deeply about each of them lead me to define GLADO, my recipe for a successful life: be Generous, Loving, Direct and Open. I reached the same conclusion after seriously considering the myths that prevent us from fully engaging our mindful creativity that I spelled out in On Becoming An Artist.

These books were written to encourage the recognition that these myths are of our own making. Rules and standards are decisions made by others and can be rewritten, genuine success is not zero-sum, and we are all that stand between us and the lives we’d like to live.

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  • Counterclockwise
  • Nov 1, 08:47 AM

Can your mental attitude reverse the effects of aging?

In studies over four decades, Harvard psychology professor Ellen Langer showed that mental attitude can reverse the effects of aging and improve physical health. Now she wants to test the theory on cancer. Dr. Langer joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss her research.

Watch the interview.

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  • Mindful Health
  • Oct 22, 06:12 PM

What if Age Is Nothing but a Mind-Set?

“One day in the fall of 1981, eight men in their 70s stepped out of a van in front of a converted monastery in New Hampshire. They shuffled forward, a few of them arthritically stooped, a couple with canes. Then they passed through the door and entered a time warp. Perry Como crooned on a vintage radio. Ed Sullivan welcomed guests on a black-and-white TV. Everything inside — including the books on the shelves and the magazines lying around — were designed to conjure 1959. This was to be the men’s home for five days as they participated in a radical experiment, cooked up by a young psychologist named Ellen Langer….”

Read the rest of the profile of me and my work in the New York Times.

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  • Appearances
  • Oct 12, 11:58 AM

The Wellbeing Lecture Series

I’ll be giving a lecture on “Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility” as part of The Wellbeing Lecture Series at the University of Minnesota on Monday, Nov 10, 2014. The schedule is as follows

2:00 – 3:30 PM, Lecture
3:30 – 4:00 PM, Q & A followed by a reception
Great Hall
Coffman Memorial Union

For more information and tickets, click here.

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  • Mindfulness
  • Aug 10, 01:20 PM

Mindfulness in the Wild

I just returned from an amazing South African safari. Being up close to the “big five” was a bit scary, which made it very exciting. The big five are the strongest not the biggest animals—lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinoceros.

Elephants came to the lodge and aways to drink from a watering hole, about eight yards away. I tried to get even closer to take a photo and was quickly told to step back. As an American believing we’re safe in most situations, I had to be reminded that these animals were wild and potentially dangerous. By the time I saw the lions I was fully aware that they—not our ranger or tracker—were in charge.

I looked closely at all the animals but when I looked at the lioness’ eyes, it felt different from the other animals. She seemed fully present—remarkably so. When someone is present you can feel it; that’s the way it was with this animal.

Some of the big five are larger than the lion, some have horns that can be deadly, but none of them seemed as “there” as the lion. I wondered if that was in fact what made the lion king of the jungle. Mindfulness might trump speed, size, and even brute force.

If I can find photographs of these animals and show only the eyes to people kept blind about which animal they were viewing, I might be able to get some confirmation of this idea. Then I will figure out a way to show the eyes to other animals and study their reactions.

For the moment, however, these ideas help keep the safari experience alive for me.