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.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Ellen Langer — Science of Mindlessness and Mindfulness.” Find more at onbeing.org.
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