Eric Loucks, Ph.D.: Healthy Mind and Healthy Body: How to Adapt Healthy Behavior in Daily Life | Doing Well #10

In this episode, host Lu Ngo is joined by Eric Loucks, a professor, researcher, and pioneer in the study of mindfulness and health.

Staying healthy physically can help you stay healthy emotionally, too. However, some people neglect to have an active lifestyle due to their schedules or other justifications. But how does mindfulness help people develop healthy habits that improve their quality of life? 

Meet Eric Loucks, Ph.D.

Eric B. Loucks, Ph.D., is a professor, researcher, and pioneer in the study of mindfulness and health. As director of the Mindfulness Center at Brown University, he teaches mindfulness-based programs and leads high-quality, methodologically rigorous research to investigate the science behind mindfulness and its impact on health and well-being. 

As an expert in aging-related research, Eric optimizes mindfulness programs for specific age groups. He is also the lead developer of Mindfulness-Based College and Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction and has received numerous research grants from the National Institutes of Health to evaluate the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions, including MBC, MB-BP, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). 

Additionally, Eric’s book entitled, The Mindful College Student (New Harbinger Publications), was released in April 2022. Over the course of his career, he has held teaching positions at Harvard, McGill, and Brown Universities. He has practiced mindfulness for about 25 years.

About the episode

The conversation started when Lu Ngo, the host, and Eric discussed what well-being means. According to Eric, well-being has that kind of wellness side of things that allows people to live a full, healthy, and happy life.

Also, he shared some misconceptions about the well-being of others that can be seen through the social media that most people are exposed to right now. When you see someone who’s maybe smiling and looking really good on camera, you are going to care about whether they are really happy or just being paid and being digitally altered. You must recognize that everyone has different experiences, backgrounds, and trauma, so you must avoid judging and hurting others.

Eric said that people with higher levels of mindfulness had better levels of physical activity, and most of these people aren’t even meditating. It’s just everyday mindfulness; everyone has a certain amount of awareness.

He also suggested some practices you can employ, such as sitting for a quiet moment and then getting physically active for like 20 minutes (warm up and get your heart rate up but not too high, and just notice thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations while doing that). 

Additionally, Eric said that you should notice how you feel after you’re done; this whole cycle can take 30 minutes. Then feel how those 30 minutes went and just be open to the answer: if it’s horrible, that’s fine; if it was wonderful, that’s fine as well; and if it’s in between, that’s also fine.

In conclusion

Physical activity and mindfulness have a significant impact on health and overall well-being. And when you enjoy exercising, you will be more focused. This makes you healthier in mind, body, and environment. So, find an activity that fits you and that you also enjoy to build a healthy mind.

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