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Thinking Our Way to Health (Ellen Langer)
Listen now (50 mins) | “But it's also okay not to get it right. You know, people mistakenly think that they want perfection, say you're playing golf and you wish you could get a hole..."
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If you’ve heard about a fascinating study that explores the power of the mind over the body, most likely it emerged out of the lab of Harvard Professor Ellen Langer—in fact, in 1981, Langer became the first woman ever to be tenured in psychology at Harvard. There, she studies the illusion of control, decision-making, aging, and mindfulness theory. She’s responsible for the Counterclockwise study, published in 2009, where aging men recovered their youth, and Alia Crum’s famous study on chambermaids and their understanding of their own health and wellness, got its start with Langer as well. She has a fascinating mind, in part because she is always, always willing to question our underlying assumptions about where we have control and where we don’t. Now here’s an important caveat: Ellen Langer is the mother of modern mindfulness—but she is not talking about meditation. No disrespect to meditators, but Langer is focused instead on attention and the power of thought on the physical body, not so much on controlling or emptying the mind. She is a force, and I was so honored to invite her onto Pulling the Thread.
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Ellen Langer Episode
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