Your Health

As a caregiver, your health sometimes gets put on the back burner, but it’s crucial to look after your well-being.

How to Use your Mind to Improve your Health

How to Use your Mind to Improve your Health

by STEPHANIE ERICKSON
Contributor

My personal passion is the flying trapeze.

Yes, like in the circus. I jump from a platform, swing through the air, only to let go and be caught by the catcher and then launched back to catch that same bar and swing up to the platform again. My family—even my kids—think I’m crazy, but my contemporaries and my friends understand fully my quest to feel young, strong and vibrant. Believing that I am a young trapeze artist and living as if that is true has literally turned me into a trapeze “flyer,” and I feel myself getting younger and stronger! I use my mind to tell myself how I feel and who I am, and my body seems to follow without much resistance.

But in terms of aging, most of us are scared and imagine the “worst case scenario” – slumped over in a wheelchair, requiring help to go the bathroom or make a meal, and needing prompts to remember who we are. Our fear of aging has convinced us that aging is awful for everyone. How is our negatively biased mindset contributing to our actual physical manifestations of aging? If we believe we are old and unable, does our body prove us right? This week’s guest, Dr. Ellen Langer, social psychologist, professor at Harvard University, author of 12 books and the “Mother of Mindfulness,” discusses her book Counterclockwise and how a mind frame of youth can lead to overall better health.

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Stephanie Erickson

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