Happiness is…thinking counter clockwise

Happiness is…thinking counter clockwise

Read this book review of Ellen Langer’s “Counter Clockwise” (by Dr. Happy)

Although not that well known outside of academic circles, Prof. Ellen Langer is one of the most highly regarded psychologists in the world having won numerous awards for her research and teachings in applied and social psychology. Recently, much of her work has been summarised in a new and very readable publication, _ã–Counter Clockwise: mindful health and the power of possibility_ã.

The core of Counter Clockwise is captured in a question noted on the inside cover flap of the book _ã_ If we could turn back the clock psychologically, could we also turn it back physically? And amazingly, her answer (supported by numerous well conducted, valid and reliable studies) is yes!

Throughout the 200 or so pages in this very well written book, Langer challenges us to think about our health and happiness in a fundamentally different way. She argues that if we open our minds to what_ã_s possible instead of presuming the impossible, we_ã_ll experience and enjoy better health.

In short, Langer presents a very strong argument for changing the language we use for and around health and illness. She encourages us to dispute common assumptions such as aging equates with physical deterioration. In fact, in contrast, she presents the results of her research that clearly show we can turn back our biological clocks and accordingly, be fitter, stronger, less likely to experience dementia and, notably, actually live longer.

How can all of this be achieved? Well, at the heart of Langer_ã_s message is an emphasis on living and making decisions mindfully and consciously (rather than mindlessly and unthinkingly!).

One of the best things about this book is that it_ã_s not just an academic text on research and theory; it is based on solid science and strong research but thankfully, it_ã_s also written in a very easy to read style with lots of great case studies and stories to keep you interested throughout.