Mindfulness can lead to a better life, Langer argues

 

Ellen Langer

Lori Humphreys | Staff Writer

It’s not every researcher and author who gets to see his or her life and work portrayed on the silver screen. And played not by any actress, but by Jennifer Aniston, no less. Enter Ellen Langer, a professor of psychology at Harvard University and author of Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility who will discuss the importance of mindfulness at the Contemporary Issues Forum 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hall of Philosophy.

Langer’s comments are based on: “What is the nature of the link from the nonmaterial mind to the material body?”

She will define mindfulness and show the audience how to be mindful.

“The problem is people think they are mindful, but they aren’t really,” she said. “By increasing mindfulness, you increase health, memory, creativity. I know this is a cliché, but mindfulness can add more life to your years and more years to your life.”

Langer’s work seems to attract celebrity. It’s not just Hollywood that has noticed her work. Her mindfulness theory, especially as described in Counterclockwise, has been the subject of a BBC documentary. Langer’s celebrity reflects deep knowledge and substantial achievement. She has written more than 200 research articles and at least seven books related to her research and mindfulness theory.

The citation from the Aging Distinguished Research Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association concisely describes the importance of her research.

It reads, “Her pioneering work revealed the profound effects of increasing mindful behavior… and offers new hope to millions whose problems were previously seen as unalterable and inevitable.”

But mindfulness is not just for the older adults among us. Langer applies the theory to life, including reading. She not only is a practitioner of her theory — she writes persuasively about it. On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity describes the development of her artistic self. She is represented by the Julie Heller Gallery in Provincetown, Mass., and the J&W Gallery in New Hope, Pa.

Langer graduated from New York University, received a doctorate in psychology from Yale University and has worked at Harvard University for 35 years. She is a fellow of the Sloan Foundation, the American Psychological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to name a few.

Her books are available at the Chautauqua Bookstore, and there will be a book signing immediately following the Contemporary Issues Forum, which is sponsored by the Chautauqua Women’s Club.

Langer’s work seems to attract celebrity. It’s not just Hollywood that has noticed her work. Her mindfulness theory, especially as described in Counterclockwise, has been the subject of a BBC documentary. Langer’s celebrity reflects deep knowledge and substantial achievement. She has written more than 200 research articles and at least seven books related to her research and mindfulness theory.

The citation from the Aging Distinguished Research Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association concisely describes the importance of her research.

It reads, “Her pioneering work revealed the profound effects of increasing mindful behavior… and offers new hope to millions whose problems were previously seen as unalterable and inevitable.”

But mindfulness is not just for the older adults among us. Langer applies the theory to life, including reading. She not only is a practitioner of her theory — she writes persuasively about it. On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity describes the development of her artistic self. She is represented by the Julie Heller Gallery in Provincetown, Mass., and the J&W Gallery in New Hope, Pa.

Langer graduated from New York University, received a doctorate in psychology from Yale University and has worked at Harvard University for 35 years. She is a fellow of the Sloan Foundation, the American Psychological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to name a few.

Her books are available at the Chautauqua Bookstore, and there will be a book signing immediately following the Contemporary Issues Forum, which is sponsored by the Chautauqua Women’s Club.