How talking to your future self can improve your health and happiness

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From gathering an older type of yourself successful virtual reality to penning letters from nan future, these evidence-based tricks tin thief you make amended decisions today

By Miriam Frankel

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Pete Reynolds

IT WAS pinch mixed feelings that Hal Hershfield sat down for a video chat pinch a serial killer. But Hershfield, a behavioural economist astatine nan University of California, Los Angeles, believed Pedro Rodrigues Filho mightiness thatch him thing astir really we tin each make amended decisions.

Rodrigues spent a full of 41 years successful situation for murdering 71 people, and different crimes. In their conversation, he described to Hershfield how, 1 day, he dramatically changed his mindset. While successful solitary confinement aft sidesplitting a chap captive who attacked him, he said, he said to God and vowed to change.

Following his 2nd merchandise from prison, successful 2018, Rodrigues claimed to person stopped killing, started exercising and began educating others astir nan dangers of crime connected YouTube. “I see myself to beryllium a caller personification now,” he told Hershfield.

This melodramatic alteration was “a stepping illustration of really we tin beryllium different group complete time”, says Hershfield. In his book, Your Future Self, Hershfield shows that group who consciousness adjacent to their early selves – and realise they whitethorn beryllium different to their coming selves – make amended decisions, specified arsenic exercising and staying connected nan correct broadside of nan law. They thin to person better assemblage grades, superior finances and greater well-being.

Unlike Rodrigues, you don’t request a belief epiphany to make specified a change. Hershfield is testing various techniques to let america to prosecute pinch our early selves – including penning them letters and moreover talking to them successful virtual reality – that could toggle shape not only really you subordinate to yourself, but besides really you behave successful nan …