Her unconventional studies have long suggested what neuroscience is now revealing: Our experiences are formed by the words and ideas we attach to them. Naming something play rather than work — or exercise rather than labor — can mean the difference between delight and drudgery, fatigue or weight loss. What makes a vacation a vacation is not only a change of scenery, but the fact that we let go of the mindless everyday illusion that we are in control. Ellen Langer says mindfulness is achievable without meditation or yoga. She defines it as “the simple act of actively noticing things.”
is a social psychologist and the first female professor to gain tenure in the psychology department at Harvard University. Over 35 years of studying mindfulness, she has authored 200 research articles and 11 books on the subject, including Mindfulness and Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility.