Welcome to Joy Lab!: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Joy Lab podcast, where we help you uncover and foster your most joyful self. Your hosts, Dr. Henry Emmons and Dr. Aimee Prasek, bring you the ideal mix of soulful and scientifically sound tools to spark your joy, even when it feels dark. When you're ready to experiment with more joy, combine this podcast with the full Joy Lab program over at JoyLab.coach.
Aimee: Hey, joy scientists. It's me, Aimee. We're still talking about our element of savoring, and I just wanted to share some time with you in this shorty episode to talk about something that Henry said in the last episode that really got me thinking. I'll just quote him. Here's what he said:
" We act as if we're just reacting to the world around us. But what if the world is actually reacting to us?"
That quote from Henry [00:01:00] just felt like a lesson for me. You know, when the student is ready, the teacher will come. I was ready. I think, um, there's a lot of responsibility there for sure. And what an empowering invitation. We are creators. So, as I thought about this over the week, sat with this, I couldn't help but think about a milkshake study that I just love and that I wanted to share with you all.
But first I wanna put a little call out for a bit of your help. We've worked our tails off to bring the Joy Lab podcast to a weekly schedule, um, and to make it full of actionable and evidence based and soulful tools, resources to support you.
And we made this shift because we are on a mission to make integrative mental health resources [00:02:00] more accessible. But we do need your help. So here's how you can join in on this mission and to help spread some joy. It's pretty easy. Just pause this episode, in a moment here, and please give us a five star rating and a review on whatever podcast platform you might be listening to us on.
I know you've heard it before, but it really does make a difference if we can do it all right now, we can surge a bunch of ratings into the Magical Algorithm Machine and our Joy Lab podcast will, or more likely will, get suggested to other people who need it. So it does matter. Please help support this mission, spread some joy, five star rating and a review.
Most of all. Here's the big piece. We're savoring your presence with [00:03:00] us. Thank you so much for being part of this community. We know your time is precious, and we hope these episodes serve you in really meaningful and impactful ways.
All right, let's talk about milkshakes. So, the milkshake study that's been on my mind is a 2011 study led by Dr. Alia Crum, uh, who's done some fascinating work on mindsets and stress and health. And so her team, for this study, recruited participants who were interested in getting paid to taste what they, uh, were told were two different milkshakes, one that was branded as indulgent and another that was branded as sensible.
So the participants were told that the goal of the study was to see if the milkshakes tasted differently and to understand the body's reaction to the different nutrients in each shake. Here's the interesting part...
even though [00:04:00] the labels on the milkshakes were totally different, right, everything from the branding to the nutrition facts were different to emphasize the indulgent or sensible nature of the shakes, it was all a lie. Love it. So the shakes were actually identical. They were just labeled differently. So basically they were tricking the participants to see how their mindsets about these shakes might impact the measured outcomes.
So let me describe the study and then I'll give you those outcomes. So each participant came in twice, once to taste one of the milkshakes and then to taste the other. And at each session they had about a 90 minute sort of working period where they got a blood draw, then they assessed the milkshake label for a pretty big chunk of time, they got another blood draw, then they drank the entire milkshake in 10 minutes or less, and then they got another blood draw.
So with the blood draws, the researchers [00:05:00] were interested in ghrelin, which is a hormone that is known as indicator of energy insufficiency. So basically it surges when the body determines the stomach is empty and energy is needed.
So then hunger is signaled and then it should be suppressed when we eat, when the stomach fills nutrients are detected. And when that happens, signals for fullness or satiety are triggered. Seems pretty simple, right? Based just on like the physiology of food intake. The grill and surges or it's suppressed.
So here's what the researchers found, at least the two outcomes I want to share with you. Participants who drank the indulgent shake had a significantly steeper decline in grelin levels then when they drink the sensible shake, so the body actually reacted as though more [00:06:00] nutrients or energy were coming in from that indulgent shake. And so the ghrelin dropped steeply compared to the sensible shake, even though the shakes were actually identical. So the ghrelin levels for, uh, the sensible shake did pretty much stay flat, which, suggested that satiety signaling, you know, based on ghrelin seemed to be dampened.
it was as if the participants were thinking, uh, this diet shake is never gonna fill me up. It's boring. I don't wanna drink it. So the ghrelin was like, "Cool, cool. I'll just pretend like nothing happens when you drink it. I'll just stay here. I won't do a thing." So the conclusion here is that the participants' mindsets about the shakes actually changed how their body processed them.
Amazing. What if milkshakes are responding to us? See what I mean?[00:07:00] So that's what we've been talking about so much with our element of savoring. And all of our elements, really. We can, with our thinking, shift these more flexible physiological states and shift our mood. We can put the brakes on the stress response, and in time we can rewire our brains.
And of course that's not the only or the end of the story. There are lots of other variables that come into play, um, beyond mindset that make this relationship more difficult. We are not islands. There are systems and scenarios and isms and diagnoses that can make this a lot more difficult. But there is so much power here too.
And if we dismiss that power, and give it all away to the external factors outside of ourselves, then we lose our ground. It's much of what we talked about with savoring in these [00:08:00] last, now four episodes. We have nothing to stand on, nowhere to build our being on when it's all externally focused. Savoring is really hard in that space.
So I hope you do head back to, uh, the savoring episodes before this 44, 45 and 46, and practice some savoring because these simple practices can really play a role in shaping your mood, your body, and the world around you.
I want to end with a quote that I really like to savor from Albert Camus. Uh, I've read it before I think, and it's something that I like to read when I feel like I need a boost, when I feel helpless or overwhelmed when I feel like I need an indulgent milkshake. So here it is:
"In the depth of winter.[00:09:00]
I finally learned that within me
there lay an invincible summer."
Thanks for joining us!: " Thank you for listening to the Joy Lab podcast. If you enjoy today's show, visit JoyLab.coach to learn more about the full Joy Lab program. Be sure to rate and review us wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.