Episode 178

The Mindful Body with Dr. Ellen Langer | Win the Day
March 19, 2024
Dr. Ellen Langer is a Harvard psychologist and author of 13 books and 200+ research articles on human behavior.
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In this episode of Win the Day:

Dr. Ellen Langer is widely known as the mother of mindfulness. As a Harvard psychologist, she is the author of 200+ research articles on human behavior and its consequences, and has reached millions around the world through her inspirational talks.

Dr. Langer has written 13 books including Mindfulness, On Becoming An Artist, and Counterclockwise, which have been translated into 15+ languages and made appearances in pop culture such as The Simpsons.

In this episode:

• How labels, positive or negative, can alter your destiny.
• Proven psychological tips to upgrade your daily routine.
• How to adjust the behavior of someone important to you.
• Thinking your way out of chronic stress and anxiety.
• How to harness the power of your own mind to dramatically increase your health, happiness, and performance.

Let’s WIN THE DAY with Dr. Ellen Langer!


0:17 Who is Ellen Langer
1:51 Interview starts
3:10 What does it mean to be “mindful” vs “mindless”?
4:23 How to become more mindful
7:45 Everything you know can be wrong
9:19 Facts are just probabilities
11:24 How Ellen Langer comes up with a research study
12:01 What is the counterclockwise study
15:40 Mind-body unity
17:52 How Ellen Langer sets goals
20:29 The Mindful Body by Dr. Ellen Langer
22:09 Our expectations tend to be fulfilled (do instead of try)
25:19 Behavior makes sense from the actor’s perspective
27:11 How to turn a bad habit into a good habit
30:46 Where mindfulness meets high performance
32:17 How to change someone’s behavior
37:20 Why the medical system is failing us
40:21 Stress is psychological
43:44 Why we trust pills, prescriptions, and professionals
49:38 Instant gratification
52:39 The unknown power of the human mind
56:54 How to make decisions (make the decision right)
1:01:43 Affirmation
1:03:25 Rocket Round

Resources / links mentioned:

⚡ Ellen Langer website

📝 Ellen Langer Facebook

📷 Ellen Langer Instagram

🌎 Ellen Langer Twitter

♾️ Ellen Langer LinkedIn

📚 ‘The Mindful Body: Thinking our way to chronic health’ by Ellen Langer

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Inspiring quotes in this episode:
  • “The problem is that everything we're taught, we think we know. When we know, we don't pay any attention. But we don't know because everything is changing.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
  • “Facts have to be understood as probabilities, not absolute.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
  • “We think trying is good, but ‘trying’ has the expectation for failure built into it. Our expectations tend to be fulfilled. So, instead, just do.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
  • “Behavior makes sense from the actor's perspective or else he or she wouldn't have done it.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
  • “Compromise is just an agreement for everybody to lose. There's almost always a win-win solution.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
  • “Even when a doctor gives you a diagnosis, that diagnosis itself is a probability, not fact.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
  • “Stress is psychological. Events don't cause stress; rather, it’s the view you take of those events.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
  • “Before something triggers you, ask yourself if it’s a tragedy or an inconvenience?” – Dr. Ellen Langer
  • “Anxiety relies on a prediction that something terrible is going to happen, and it turns out prediction is an illusion.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
  • “You're much more likely to find a solution if you're looking for one.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
  • “Rather than worry about making the right decision, we should make the decision right.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
  • “All we have are moments. If you make the moment matter, it all matters.” – Dr. Ellen Langer
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