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Harvard’s Dr. Ellen Langer On The Mind-Body Connection, The Power of Mindfulness, & Why Age Is Nothing But a Mindset

By February 12, 2024No Comments
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Episode #813



What if I told you virtually all the world’s ills boil down to mindlessness?

That’s the perspective of today’s guest—Harvard’s Mother of Mindfulness—Dr. Ellen Langer.

Having achieved the historic feat of being the first woman to receive tenure in psychology at Harvard University, Dr. Langer boasts a forty-five-year career marked by groundbreaking research. During this time, she has published hundreds of articles and bestselling books—pioneering works encompassing the illusion of control, mindful aging, stress, decision-making, and health.

Challenging the antiquated paradigm of mind-body dualism in Western medicine, Dr. Langer emphasizes the separation of mind and physical body. She is here to discuss her refreshing new book, The Mindful Body: Thinking Our Way to Chronic Health, in which she explores the transformative leverage of mindfulness in improving health.

Today’s conversation disassembles the conventional separation between mind and body, exploring the concept of mind-body unity. Dr. Langer scrutinizes the power of belief, dispels the illusion of control, and provides a novel perspective on decision-making and manipulation. We also explore the psychological construct of fatigue, illustrating how mindfulness positively impacts physical endurance and more.

“We don’t enjoy our lives enough because we are not actually there—we are mindless, not mindful.”


According to Dr. Langer, many of us fail to fully enjoy our lives because we often operate in a state of mindlessness rather than mindfulness. Our minds frequently wander in inattention, overlooking the richness of our surroundings. 

Advocating for a shift in perspective, Dr. Langer emphasizes that we are not bound by past experiences or conventional wisdom. Disabusing ourselves of preconceived assumptions about limits and possibilities opens the door to exponentially expanding our perceived ceiling. As she proposes, this transformative mindset has the capacity to enhance agency and empowerment, shaping the trajectory of our lives.

She offers invaluable insights into the intricate connection between the mind and body, revealing fresh possibilities for empowering individuals to take control of their health. Through practical tips and the presentation of cutting-edge research, she offers advice for achieving enhanced well-being.

For those who prefer a visual experience, the conversation is available on YouTube. As always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Her work is particularly revelatory at a moment of history denoted by the evolution of consciousness or amidst what might be described as a conflict of consciousness given the exponentiality of artificial intelligence. 

I’m genuinely enthusiastic about the impact her approach to psychology will have on the future of medicine. I hope this conversation will inspire you to reflect on reframing your thoughts and perspectives, which can potentially shape our well-being.


Peace + Plants,

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