The Mindful Body by Ellen J. Langer [6/10]

Social psychologist Ellen Langer has been championing the concept, now rather bastardized, of mindfulness for a long time. In The Mindful Body: Thinking Our Way to Lasting Health she argues that a positive, mindful approach can radically improve health, through a form of union between body and mind, in ways that the medical profession can scarcely believe. Telling stories of her own experience but also of decades of highly original, imaginative research, Langer advocates for a new positivity. Rejecting standard diagnoses adhering to “normal curves,” calling for youthful attitudes, and pushing for aggressive mental approaches to aging and ill-health, she paints a beguiling picture for people in their “middle years” such as myself. A fluent stylist who can sometimes under-emphasize the novelty or beauty of her ideas, Langer will find sceptics among the general public reading this, but if you are ripe for the notion that there is more to health than pure physical mechanics, a stance underpinned by her research, you will find The Mindful Body to be most rewarding.

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