Monthly Article Archives: November 2014

Is the Process of Aging Significantly Influenced by Our Mindset?Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

What do you think would happen if people in their 70s left their usual environment to live in a house for five days that was created to have all of the trappings of their world from 22 years earlier? Would it change their mindset and emotions about their own aging? Could it actually affect their physical and emotional health? Or would the experience have little, if any, impact? These questions were triggered by an excellent article in the New York Times Magazine, authored by Bruce Grierson, with the provocative title “What if Age Is Nothing but a Mind-Set?” Given my keen interest in mindsets and health, a topic about which I have written frequently, I was immediately drawn to Grierson’s piece. He focused on research conducted by renowned psychologist Ellen Langer of Harvard University. The implications of Langer’s studies are far-reaching and they reinforce my belief that there are many components of our health over which we have more control than we may realize, a position I emphasized in last month’s article “Why Not Choose Health?” Grierson begins with the following description: “One day in the fall of 1981, eight men in their 70s stepped out of a van in

Article Archive