In this Aug. 2 episode of the NPR show Talk of the Nation, Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer discusses her 30 years of studying mindfulness and the beneficial effects of practicing it. Neal Conan, the show’s host, gives one example of how re-framing events in participants’ minds led to health benefits in their bodies:
Langer worked with a group of hotel maids. Just by doing their jobs, each got more than the recommended amount of daily exercise, she told them, but they didn’t think of it as exercise. Once Langer told them that it was, yes, what you’re doing is comparable to working out, they lost weight and reduced both body mass index and blood pressure without changes in their diet or their practices.