Have you ever felt not good about yourself, or depressed, especially after comparing yourself to others on Facebook? 😉
I have. And it’s very easy to go down that negative rabbit hole.
Yesterday, I woke up feeling that way. Then I realized, that if I changed how I looked at things, to a more positive outlook, I might feel better. And I did. I got up, looked outside my window, did yoga and meditated, ate breakfast, and got on with my day, peppering my thoughts with optimism and hope. I also added gratitude to the mix, being grateful that I am alive and well. I have lost several friends in the last year, and I am savoring the sanctity of life.
Recently, I have been reading about one’s “Mindset.” The term Mindset has been popularized by Stanford researcher, Carol Dweck, PhD,who initially focused on Fixed vs. Growth mindsets with regards to intelligence in children.²
Ellen Langer, PhD the Harvard psychologist, has written about Mindlessness, Mindfulness, and Aging as a Mindset.
In a landmark study, Dr. Langer used a “counterclockwise psychological intervention” to see if people’s mindsets could positively affect their health. In this fascinating study in 1979, she took 70-80 year old men to a one week retreat living as if it were 20 years earlier with movies and props, etc. as if it were 1959. The men were told to “act as if it was this earlier time,” when they felt vital, and the results were amazing, according to Dr. Langer. Photos taken of the men after the retreat showed that they looked younger, and their cognitive abilities, gait, strength, vision, and hearing improved. A control group who also attended the retreat, was told just to reminisce about their experiences. This group also showed improvement in their health, but not as much as the men acting “as if.” ⁽³⁾ ⁽⁴⁾ ⁽⁵⁾ ⁽⁶⁾
This study is now being replicated in Italy.³
Please see this brief video below of Dr. Langer discussing her inspiring research⁶:
Per Dr. Langer, the “Men who changed their perspective changed their bodies.” “Context, she says, is everything.” ⁵
Similarly, “New Age” thinkers Dr. Wayne Dyer and Dr. Deepak Chopra have quoted the great physicist, Max Planck, who said “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ⁷
So, what to do when your feeling a bit down…
To Change Your Current State:
- Create a positive outlook.
- Visualize yourself how you want to be and feel it in your body. Act “as if.”
- Move Your Body Immediately—go for a brisk walk, do jumping jacks, dance, do yoga.
- Listen to Uplifting Music
These steps may not totally change how you feel but they are a start. There could be underlying reasons for feeling depressed, such as a disrupted microbiome in your gut, external and environmental factors, internal factors such as persistent feelings of low self-esteem, not getting enough sleep, etc… It is important to seek medical advice if these symptoms are persisting.
If you are suffering from anxiety or depression that is not life threatening, and are working with a therapist or not, perhaps I can help get to the root of what is bothering you mind, body, and spirit. Please call my office at 646-472-5043 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
I hope you have found this month’s Newsletter helpful. Who knows, the next time your friends and relatives see you, they may not recognize the New You!!
To Your Health!
(2) Dweck, C. S., & Yeager, D. S. (2019). Mindsets: A View From Two Eras. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 14(3), 481–496. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691618804166
(3) Pagnini F, Cavalera C, Volpato E, et al. Ageing as a mindset: a study protocol to rejuvenate older adults with a counterclockwise psychological intervention. BMJ Open. 2019;9(7):e030411. Published 2019 Jul 9. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030411
Disclaimer: Please note that the content on this newsletter does not constitute medical advice. Please consult with a physician before making any medical or lifestyle changes.