How to Think Yourself Younger, Healthier, and Faster

Jan. 12, 2017

Several years ago, I learned about mindfulness the hard way. I was eating a cardiologist recommended diet that apparently wasn’t working for me and I failed to pay attention to any of the warning signs. The first person to draw attention to my mindlessness was the woman who is now my wife and co-founder at NBT. Only recently did I discover the decades of careful research on the simple practice of noticing, and how that can be both good for you and fun.

My guest this week is Dr Ellen Langer, PhD, a social psychologist and the first female professor to gain tenure in the Psychology Department at Harvard University. She is the author of eleven books and more than two hundred research articles written for general and academic readers on mindfulness for over 35 years. Her best-selling books include Mindfulness; The Power of Mindful Learning; On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity; and Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility.

See Langer EJ[Author] on PubMed.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Ellen Langer, PhD:

[00:01:22] Align Therapy podcast.

[00:02:24] Science is in based probabilities.

[00:04:29] Book: Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility.

[00:05:02] The mind-body problem.

[00:06:13] Counterclockwise study.

[00:06:46] Crum, Alia J., and Ellen J. Langer. "Mind-set matters exercise and the placebo effect." Psychological Science 18.2 (2007): 165-171.

[00:08:20] Langer, Ellen, et al. "Believing is seeing using mindlessness (mindfully) to improve visual acuity." Psychological Science (2010).

[00:10:21] Airforce pilot study.

[00:11:45] Adopting a "crutch".

[00:12:43] Mindlessness.

[00:13:16] Actively noticing new things.

[00:13:54] Doing things people hated.

[00:14:26] Meditation is a tool to lead to post-meditation.

[00:15:19] Becoming aware that you don't know anything.

[00:16:06] 1 + 1 = ?

[00:19:01] Seeing the world in black and white.

[00:20:08] Passing yourself over to a doctor.

[00:20:23] You are the keeper of the special information.

[00:20:51] Regression to the mean.

[00:22:07] Pay attention to the subtleties.

[00:22:58] Harnessing the power of the placebo.

[00:23:34] Park, Chanmo, et al. "Blood sugar level follows perceived time rather than actual time in people with type 2 diabetes." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016): 201603444.

[00:25:36] Sports psychology.

[00:27:18] The true expert is always a learner.

[00:29:01] Golf.

[00:29:32] Quantified Body podcast: Is Your Glucose Metabolism Unique to You?

[00:32:26] Mindfulness is fun!

[00:34:23] Book: The Art of Noticing.

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