Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday inspiration: The Think System

Remember Professor Harold Hill's educational theory?  The idea that as long as you hum and think of a melody long enough, you should be able to play it the first time you pick up an instrument.  You think you can play, therefore, you can!  Oh, if only this worked outside of a musical...

But take a look at Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer's study on the placebo effect.  She gathered a group of 84 hotel maids, who believed that they had a very sedentary lifestyle, and divided them into two groups.  One group was told how just by doing their job, they were meeting the surgeon general's definition of an active lifestyle, while the other was left in the dark.

After one month, neither group had changed their normal routines, but the group that knew they were getting exercise had decreased blood pressure, weight, and waist-to-hip ratio — and a 10 percent drop in blood pressure.  Just by thinking.

I bring this up because sometimes we can get overwhelmed by all the things we should be doing for our kids, and end up feeling like we're coming up short.  But really - there's a ridiculous amount that we do every day.  They see us singing in the car, they hear the music we play, and then they repeat it back to us incessantly.  Every time we take a second to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider, we are letting them know that we love them and music is important enough for us to share with them.  When we focus on all we DO, and not what we DON'T, the good stuff starts piling up.  See?  We're kind of awesome.  

1 comment:

Jane said...

I love that movie - even the remake with a really pathetic Matthew Broderick - and there is a lot to be said for positive thinking.

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