Ellen Langer’s Counterclockwise book and study have been making the news recently. She is a Harvard psychology professor and an highly acclaimed award winning social scientist. She’s famous for a lot of things, however the counterclockwise study is really interesting because it shows we can reverse aging with our minds.
According to http://greatergood.berkeley.edu, Langer draws on her 30 years of pioneering mind-body research, including her 1979 “Counterclockwise” study in which eight elderly men lived in a residential retreat that recreated the social-physical environment of 1959. After one week sequestered in this virtual 20-year journey back in time, all eight participants showed marked improvements in their hearing, memory, dexterity, appetite, and general well-being. They even looked younger to outside observers who saw photos of them before and after the experiment.
Here’s youtube clip you may like:
“Notice new things,” she says and you will become engaged and enjoy many benefits in health and happiness.
If you like these ideas, you’ll like this ebook:
Some of you have probably heard of the concept of “Cosmic Ordering”. DailyNudge has created a catalog of things you can “order” from the Universe. The concept is simple: Ask and you shall receive. The site is completely free of charge and allows you to browse a catalog of things to order. You can choose new love, money, health, contact with a long lost relative, etc.
You can get to the site by clicking here.
Check it out and post your results here or on social media. Spread the word!
Understanding the malleable determinants of cellular aging is critical to understanding human longevity. Telomeres may provide a pathway for exploring this question. Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes. The length of telomeres offers insight into mitotic cell and possibly organismal longevity. Telomere length has now been linked to chronic stress exposure and depression. This raises the question of mechanism: How might cellular aging be modulated by psychological functioning? We consider two psychological processes or states that are in opposition to one another-threat cognition and mindfulness-and their effects on cellular aging. Psychological stress cognitions, particularly appraisals of threat and ruminative thoughts, can lead to prolonged states of reactivity. In contrast, mindfulness meditation techniques appear to shift cognitive appraisals from threat to challenge, decrease ruminative thought, and reduce stress arousal. Mindfulness may also directly increase positive arousal states. We review data linking telomere length to cognitive stress and stress arousal and present new data linking cognitive appraisal to telomere length. Given the pattern of associations revealed so far, we propose that some forms of meditation may have salutary effects on telomere length by reducing cognitive stress and stress arousal and increasing positive states of mind and hormonal factors that may promote telomere maintenance. Aspects of this model are currently being tested in ongoing trials of mindfulness meditation.
The theory? Practice any skill for 10,000 hours to master it. One person took this to heart and is putting it to the test. You can read about him here.
Dan’s goal is to work on his golf skill for 10,000 hours and show how you can master anything. Don’t be limited by age, circumstances or ideas. You can be anything you want if you simply try.
Are you a random human or are you self directed? It’s an important question because many people believe they are in control of their lives and choices. Many people in successful positions believe they got there because of their smart choices or shrewd decisions. By the same token, many people in unfortunate positions believe they did something wrong or failed in life. However, do you realize that seemingly innocuous qualities about you such as your name, your birth order and your height probably have more to do with your lot in life than anything else?
Google ‘Height and Success’ and you’ll find tons of evidence that show tall people earn more than short people and all except a few of our past presidents have been above average height. One article you’ll find is this one which states tall men who were short in high school earn less than tall men who were tall in high school. The verdict? Self esteem learned in those early formative years have a great effect on a person’s chance of success. What does this mean for you?
I believe if you are unaware of the effect randomness has in your life, you will travel through life thinking you have more control than you really do. A great book that drives this point home is “Fooled By Randomness” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
However, I also believe you can stack the odds in your favor. If tall men, who were tall in high school, earn more money than everyone else because of better self esteem, you can wipe out this random advantage through the use of affirmations, positive thinking, NLP or whatever method you feel attracted to.
You can be what I’m calling a “Self Directed Human” rather than a random human. Do better looking people have more opportunity? Make yourself more attractive through mental imagery, visualization and positive thinking.
Do first borns become managers? Wipe out the advantage through mental training. Are children who were older and bigger in elementary and high school because of “cut off” years better athletes than their younger classmates? Mental rehearsing of physical skills can help you overcome the advantages of people born in the wrong months.
Beautiful Thinking can undo the edge random humans have in life. By being aware of the real effect randomness has on our lives you can use your intention in more focused ways to help you achieve your goals.
There are many scientific studies that show meditation increases circulating levels of the youth hormone DHEAS and lowers the stress hormone Cortisol.
I found one study on pub med that showed this effect and indicated it was independent of diet and exercise habits. You can find the study here.
Too much Cortisol ages your physical body and DHEAS keeps you young. Take time to meditate or visualize your intentions.
The results are in! An interesting study shows that if you imagine eating a certain food, you will want to eat LESS of it! That seems counter intuitive. One would think that imagining eating something would make a person want more of it, but it seems to have the opposite effect.
The link to the 2010 study is here.
Here’s a quote:
Five experiments showed that people who repeatedly imagined eating a food (such as cheese) many times subsequently consumed less of the imagined food than did people who repeatedly imagined eating that food fewer times, imagined eating a different food (such as candy), or did not imagine eating a food. They did so because they desired to eat it less, not because they considered it less palatable. These results suggest that mental representation alone can engender habituation to a stimulus.
More evidence that shows imagining something is like actually doing it!
This ebook outlines a simple program you can follow to activate your mind’s ability to influence your body chemistry to create a state of lasting health, youth and beauty. It’s a simple idea leveraging things we already know about the power of the mind to regulate our hormone levels, muscle performance and immune system. Everyone knows about Norman Cousins and the power of laughter. Everyone knows about the use of mental imagery by elite athletes. Did you know that practicing a skill and mentally lifting weights will make your muscles stronger? Did you know you can secrete more testosterone by certain visualizations? This book gives you simple ideas you can use everyday for a week to align your mind with your body. Try it!
Available on Amazon.
DailyNudge.com is a website that provides a free affirmation reminder service. After you sign up you can send yourself regular (repeated) e-mails or text messages with your personal affirmation. Take frequent breaks during the day to become mindful and repeat your affirmations or visualizations. Be sure to provide feedback and check for updates often. Here’s a funny animation the creators of the site did for fun: