Even if you don’t realise it, psychology is a vital part of your daily life. You may not be into therapy, but psychology surrounds your interactions with people, objects – everything, more than you may know.
When you go for a job that you’re interested in, for example, you utilise psychology to promote confidence – even if it’s faked – and to read what your prospective employer wants you to act like to convince that you’re the one for the job. You also change your looks when you get your haircut to try and alter the way that people read you – for example, short hair may convey that you’re more edgy, while letting it grow longer shows you’re more carefree.
But that’s just the beginning! Below are more ways how you can use psychology in your everyday life and how you can make your life better using it!
1. Be your own superhero
If you’re in a situation such as a presentation or a job interview, where you need to show you’re confident, or you just want to boost yourself up, then do your best impression of a superhero. Perhaps lose the cape. Pull your shoulders back, stand up straight, have your legs wider apart than normal, puff out your chest and stand with your hands on your hips. This will make an immediate difference.
2. Read your friends
If you’ve ever been curious as to who in your friendship group is the closest, wait until you see them laugh. Whoever they lock eyes with, when they’re laughing – research shows – is their closest friend.
3. Eat slowly
If you’re trying to lose weight, then watch how fast you’re eating your food. Take your time to really taste what you’re eating. It can take your stomach up to 20 minutes to communicate with your brain that you’re full. If you’re eating more slowly, this means that you’ll be less likely to overeat.
4. Clench your fists
Nope, we’re not asking you to start a fight. Have you ever had that feeling where you’re trying to remember an actor’s name and it’s just not coming to you? Try clenching your fists when you think about it. This boosts your brain activity and can help you to remember things better.
5. Stop counting sheep, count your breaths!
If you’re struggling to get to sleep, this breathing tip might help: take in a slow breath on a count of four, then exhale, then inhale again on a count of seven, then exhale, then inhale again on a count of eight and exhale one last time. This adds more oxygen to your blood, which relaxes you.
6. Make an effort to learn names
The next time you meet someone new, make a conscious effort to learn and remember their name for the next interaction you have with them. Try to show this by using their name during the conversation. Not only will this boost your memory, it will make them feel valued.
7. Ask favours
If you want someone to trust you, then ask them to do a favour for you. Although it may seem backwards, as it shows that you trust them more than anything, this is exactly what you want them to see. It shows that you respect them, which in itself, promotes respect.
8. Keep on smiling
If you’re ever feeling down in the dumps, make yourself smile. This isn’t just simple “faking it til you make it”. If you force yourself to smile even when you really don’t want to, it can rally the people around you and create a positive environment for you to thrive in.
9. Dress like a zookeeper
We’re not talking about all the time. When you next pay a visit to your favourite zoo, try to dress in the same colours of the uniforms of the employees. This means that the animals will be more likely to approach you – they’ll think you’re going to feed them!
10. Buy from the lower shelves
When you’re next doing your grocery shopping, don’t buy the things that are in your natural sight. It’s been proven that many grocery stores will place their more expensive items on higher shelves, as they know you’re more likely to reach for them. Look for the deals on the lower shelves.
11. Take a nap
Who doesn’t love a nap? While it may make you feel a little bit lazy if you decide to take a nap, it’s actually really good for boosting not just your memory, but your productivity! Try to take an hour long nap daily. Research has shown that people who do this have stronger memories and are good at their jobs.
12. Silence is golden
If there’s something that you’re dying to know from someone or you want them to confess something, don’t bombard them with questions. Instead, stay quiet. The more silent you remain while holding eye contact, they won’t be able to keep it to themselves for long. This especially works with guilty kids!
13. Listen to music while you’re working out
If you’re someone who struggles to drag yourself to the gym, then listen to your favourite music while you work out. It can give you that extra persuasion that you need while lifting weights or running on the treadmill to push yourself that bit further.
14. Listen to loud music to calm down
Nope, that’s not a typo. It’s been shown that listening to quiet music isn’t always proven to have a calming effect on anxious people. If you want to feel more relaxed, then listen to more fast-paced or louder music.
15. Copy people’s body language
So many studies have shown how vital body language is in building relationships with the people around you. If you want to gain someone’s trust, try to secretly copy their body language. If they decide to lean back, you should do the same. Don’t go to the extreme if they have specific habits, however, as they may think you’re making fun of them.
16. Use your non-dominant hand
If you’re a righty, then try to use your left hand more. This has been shown that in a critical situation, you’ll be more adaptable. Research has also shown that it can make you more open-minded if you opt to do this.
If you think that you’re being watched or stared at by someone, then fake a yawn. We all know how contagious yawning is, so if someone is watching you, then they’ll probably yawn, too!
18. Watch for body language
If you’ve ever wondered what someone thinks of you, then watch their body language. If they’re trusting, then they’ll be open and facing your direction. If they’re closed in and have their arms crossed, then they’re more hostile or defensive.
19. Eat a banana
If you’re feeling down, then reach for a banana. Bananas are chock full of fiber, carbohydrates and potassium. These nutrients can create serotonin, which is the chemical in your brain that makes you feel happy.
20. Keep nodding
Finally, if you’re making a point and you want someone to agree with you, then try to nod while you’re talking. This is a subconscious decision, but people are more likely to agree with you if you’re nodding as it’s a positive gesture.