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Reversing Chronic Stress and Strengthening Mind-Body Connection with Dr. Ellen Langer

Ellen J. Langer was the first woman to be tenured in psychology at Harvard, where she is still professor of psychology. The recipient of three Distinguished Scientists awards, the Arthur W. Staats Award for Unifying Psychology, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Liberty Science Genius Award, Dr. Langer is the author of twelve other books, including the international bestseller Mindfulness, as well as The Power of Mindful LearningCounterclockwise and On Becoming an Artist. Her trailblazing experiments in social psychology have earned her inclusion in The New York Times Magazine’s “Year in Ideas” issue. She is known worldwide as the “mother of mindfulness” and the “mother of positive psychology”. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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How does embracing mind-body unity open up new possibilities to manage and enhance your health?

One of the best ways to connect your body to your mind is through mindfulness. But what exactly does that mean? And how do you become more mindful? If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind is meditation. While meditation is a good practice, mindfulness itself is a way of being that has immediate results for your body and brain.

I’m excited to welcome Dr. Ellen Langer to the show today. Dr. Langer is a bestselling author, a professor of psychology at Harvard, and is known as being the mother of mindfulness. She’s here to talk about her latest book, The Mindful Body: Thinking Our Way to Chronic Health.
It can be hard to know when you’re not present, because when you’re not in the moment, you’re not aware. In fact, most people live in this state of unawareness. The good news is that mindfulness is a simple process that anyone can embrace. Listen in as Dr. Langer talks about how to become present and aware throughout your day, and how that simple shift can produce amazing results on your overall health.

If you want to go more in-depth, be sure to watch this episode on our YouTube channel, where Dr. Langer and Jim dive into a much deeper conversation.

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"Instead of worrying about making the right decision, make the decision right."

Dr. Ellen Langer

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**This week’s show notes are taken from the video — enjoy!**

  • What is mindfulness? Dr. Langer explains. [2:23]
  • When you recognize this, you start paying attention to the world around you more. [4:45]
  • If you believe this about aging, your beliefs will do this. [6:12]
  • Dr. Langer learned more about mind-body unity when she did this study. [7:51]
  • To understand the power of the mind on the body, Dr. Langer observed how time affects this. [9:12]
  • How can you take the idea of mindfulness and put it into practice? [11:58]
  • In this study, Dr. Langer wanted to understand how the perception of this could physically change someone’s health. [15:21]
  • This word has an expectation of failure, but you probably use it all the time. [16:48]
  • Dr. Langer doesn’t think you should buy into any mindset. Do this instead. [18:07]
  • You might hear Dr. Langer refer to Level 1, 2, or 3 thinking. Here’s what that is and how you apply it to change your mindset. [20:00]
  • What role does the placebo effect play in mindfulness and health? Dr. Langer explains. [21:56]
  • If you’re looking to change your health through your mindset, start here. [25:40]
  • This is the major culprit across all disease and injury. [27:16]
  • Ask yourself this question to help manage overwhelm and stress. [28:39]
  • Stress stems from these two things. [29:13]
  • This is what you’re doing when you make a decision. [30:34]
  • If you want to use these principles to improve your performance, just ask yourself this. [34:30]
  • Instead of studying the norms to determine what is possible, we should study this. [36:31]
  • If you’re interested in learning more about the studies Dr. Langer mentioned, you can find them below:
  •  Be sure to connect with Dr. Langer at her website, here.
  • To learn more about how mindfulness can improve your health, grab a copy of her latest book, The Mindful Body, here.

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