Counterclockwise is an account of Langer’s groundbreaking study that revealed the transformative power of the human mind. In the 1979 study, Langer, a Harvard psychology professor, found that it’s possible for one to reverse the aging process both psychologically and physically.
Langer took elderly men and asked them to act like they acted in 1959, 20 years prior. They were placed in an environment that was modeled in the style of 1959 and even included newspapers and magazines from that year. The men were asked to recall memories from that year in present-tense.
What Langer found was that “The men’s physical behavior followed their psychological convictions. Over the course of a week, signs of aging appeared to reverse and the men looked visibly younger. The subjects’ joints became more flexible, their posture straightened, and the lengths of their fingers, which typically shorten with age, actually increased,” according to an article in the Harvard Crimson.
Now, this study is to be made into a film (tentatively titled “Counter Clockwise”) with Jennifer Aniston playing the role of a 34-year old Ellen Langer.There have been rumblings about the film for a few years, but a number of recent reports talk definitively of Aniston’s involvement and the film’s pre-production activity – including a post on Langer’s blog. Harvard Magazine reports that DreamWorks Studios has now picked up the movie and screenwriter Paul Bernbaum (Hollywoodland, 2006) has written a script.
Ellen Langer is an award-winning psychologist who has been researching and writing about the effects of mindfulness for years. Her other books include Mindfulness, The Power of Mindful Learning, and On Becoming An Artist. According to her website the citation for her APA distinguished contributions award reads, “…her pioneering work revealed the profound effects of increasing mindful behavior…and offers new hope to millions whose problems were previously seen as unalterable and inevitable. Ellen Langer has demonstrated repeatedly how our limits are of our own making.”
Langer has contributed to Mindful.org, and her writing also appears in The Mindfulness Revolution, the new anthology edited by Mindful.org’s editor-in-chief Barry Boyce. Click here to read Langer’s article “A Call For Mindful Leadership.”