What if you changed the way you thought about work and you lost weight, gained muscle-mass, and lowered your blood pressure? Amazing right?! A now famous study, conducted by Ellen Langer and Alia Crum, highlights this amazing mind-body connection.
In their study, hotel staff was informed the work they did vacuuming floors, scrubbing bathrooms, changing sheets and making beds was good exercise. Their level of effort was characterized as being similar to what people accomplish in a workout at a gym. After only four weeks of knowing that their work was good exercise, things had radically changed: on average they had lost two pounds, showed a significant reduction in percentage of body fat, gained muscle-mass, and showed a significant drop in blood-pressure. The control group, staff at another hotel, did not experience any of these physical changes in the same time period.
Thoughts and Words are Powerful:
What created this remarkable improvement in the physiological health of the hotel staff was a helpful shift in mindset. The staff changed how they thought about what they did all day. Work became more than just cleaning hotel rooms, it was also exercise. This example underscores this truth: The thoughts we think and the words we use to describe our situations are vitally important and impact our well-being. [Read more…]