Whether or not you’re aware of it, psychology plays a very important part in your everyday life. You might not currently visit a therapist, but you use psychology in your daily interactions more than you realize.
For instance, whenever you attend a job interview, you use psychology to convey your confidence and to anticipate your future employer’s needs in order to convince them that you’re the right person for the role. When you get a haircut, you change your appearance in order to affect the way people perceive you. (Stereotypically, short haircuts show you’re “edgy,” while natural hair imply that you’re a free spirit.)
That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Here are even more ways you already use psychology each day—and how you can utilize it to improve your life even more.
1. When you’re grocery shopping, never reach for the object that is placed at eye level. Many stores stock their most expensive items conveniently within their customers’ eye line. To save a buck or two, try looking toward the top or bottom of the shelves.
2. If you’re looking to lose weight, then slow down and take time to really savor your food! It takes your stomach up to 20 minutes to let your brain know that it’s full. Eating slowly can help you ingest the correct amount without overeating.
3. The next time you visit the zoo, try to dress like the employees who work there. The animals at the zoo will be more eager to approach you, because they’ll think you’re bringing them food!
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4. The next time you’re feeling blue, eat a banana. Bananas are packed with good stuff like potassium, fiber, and carbohydrates. Some of these components also help produce serotonin, which is the brain chemical that makes you feel happy.
5. If you want to improve your memory—and your productivity—make sure to take one hour-long nap every day. Studies have shown that people who nap for an hour a day have stronger memories and perform well at their jobs.
6. Listening to your favorite music while you work out can actually make you stronger! It’s true: blasting tunes while you’re lifting heavy weights or running that mile can give you the extra push you need to make it through.
7. If you ever have a hard time remembering something or you hear something you want to be sure to remember later, try clenching your fists when you think about the subject in question. This improves brain activity, which can help you better remember things.
8. Using your non-dominant hand whenever possible can actually help make you more adaptable in a crisis. Certain studies have shown that using your non-dominant hand can make you be a more open-minded person, too!
9. Believe it or not, listening to quiet music doesn’t always have a calming or soothing effect on people. Studies have shown that if you want to feel relaxed, you should try listening to loud or more extreme types of music.
10. If you have a hard time sleeping, here’s an easy breathing trick that might help: breathe in slowly on a count of four, then out, then in again on a count of seven, then out, then in again on a count of eight, and back out. This helps your blood become more oxygen-rich, which will help you relax.
11. If you want to get a specific piece of information from someone, try and stay silent instead of badgering them. The more quiet you are—and the longer you maintain eye contact—the less they’ll be able to keep it to themselves. (Hint: this works well with kids who are guilty of making a mess!)
12. If you ever find yourself in a position where you need to exude confidence or you just need a self-esteem boost, adopt a superhero stance. You don’t even need a cape! Just stand tall and with your legs wider apart, puff out your chest, and put your hands on your hips. You’ll immediately notice a difference.
13. If you ever suspect that you’re being watched by someone in a group of people, try faking a yawn. Yawning is a very contagious gesture, so the person who’s watching you will probably have to stifle a yawn themselves!
14. If you ever wonder which people in your group shares the closest bond, check out who they lock eyes with when they start laughing. Studies indicate that, when laughing, people often look at their closest friends!
15. If you want to earn someone’s trust, ask them to do a favor for you. This might sound strange, but here’s the logic: If you ask them to do something for you, it means you trust them to follow through. This signals that you respect them, which in turn earns their respect.
16. If you really want someone to agree with what you’re saying, make sure that you nod while making your talking points. Although it’s totally subconscious, people are far more likely to agree with you if you’re nodding your head.
17. When you meet someone, make an effort to learn their name. Then, the next time you meet, use their name at least once during your conversation. This won’t just help improve your memory—it will help them realize how much you value them.
18. If you’re in need of a confidence boost, just smile! It isn’t just faking it, either. When you smile during difficult times, it can help bolster the spirits of everyone around you—which in turn can help create a very positive environment.
19. If you’re curious about how someone feels about you, pay close attention to their body language. If they trust you, they’ll most likely present an open posture and be facing in your direction. If they’re crossing their arms and legs, they’re feeling defensive or they’re holding back.
20. Body language can play a critical role in building intimacy between people. If you want someone to trust you more, try to subtly mimic and mirror back their body language. If they lean back, you should lean back, too. If they sit forward, you should sit forward. Just don’t go too crazy with it or they might think you’re pulling a prank on them!
Who knew that you could make such major changes in your life just using the power of your mind or simple body language? You should definitely try out these tricks the next time you’re in a situation where they could be helpful.
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