Everyone needs a few solid psychological facts at their disposal if they want a smoother path through life.
Psychology, which is the study of behaviour and mind, embraces all aspects of human experience. Sort of ridiculous that it was only recognized as a discipline relatively recently.
Being able to ‘hack your humanity’ equips you better for everything from relationships to work and personal development.
Below are some actionable psychological stymies that are (probably, maybe) common to us all.
1. You tend not to follow through on goals when you share them. Thought to be because doing so satisfies a person’s self-identity just enough to prevent them performing the hard work to achieve goals. So be stingy with your goals – or share them if you want to test whether they are meaningful to you.
2. You want more choice than you are able to process.
3. You behave better when you think you are being watched. The reason that I pretend my dad’s watching me when I’m hanging out at bars.
4. Feeling like you’re an expert makes you close minded. Gotta watch that lack of humility.
5. We are driven by six basic human needs. They are: significance, growth, certainty, uncertainty, love and contribution.
6. We are more likely to succeed in life if we can master delayed gratification. Fortunately, you can work on your ability to delay gratification.
7. If we share something on social media, we understand it less. If you really care about understanding information, don’t be in a rush to share it.
9. You’ll be happier spending on experiences. I’ve got one word for you: travel.
10. People between the ages of 18 and 33 are the most stressed in the world. Something we need to be aware of. Breathing exercises daily, and other measures to reduce stress, are a must.
11. Kids are more highly strung today. High school students show the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the 1950’s. We all know a person that suffers. Let’s all understand anxiety more.
12. Prayer and attending services is associated with lower psychological distress levels. No need to join the Church. This is probably to do with the community aspect and having purpose.
13. Happiness is contagious. Choose your friends carefully.
14. After $75,000 per year, increased income does little to boost happiness.
15. Losing something makes you twice as miserable as gaining the same thing that made you happy.
16. The way you dress is linked with your mood.
18. Social media use can amplify low self esteem, anxiety and narcissism. Minimize your use if you are prone to any of these.
20. Writing makes you happier and more likely to achieve goals. So write more.
21. You can alter your psychological state by throwing hands up and looking up.
22. If you want to feel more confident, adopt a power stance.
23. Decisions become more rational if they are thought in a foreign language. So if you can speak a foreign language and need to make a rational decision, you know what to do.
24. Small chunks of material are easier to remember. A good hack for when preparing for presentations and exams.
25. Your brain is more creative when it’s tired.
26. Chocolate dumps the same chemical in your body as when you feel love. As if you needed the excuse.
27. Your brain experiences rejection as pain. This doesn’t mean avoid it, it means have a solid rejection coping strategy.
28. Relationships are more important for your health than exercise.
30. Romantic love is biochecmically indistinguishable from obsessive compulsive disorder. Explains a few things.
31. Feeling ignored causes the same chemical affect as an injury. Don’t ignore people. If people ignore you, they aren’t your friend.
32. The longer you hide your feelings for someone, the more you fall for them. Don’t hide!
33. If someone says ‘I have to ask you a question’, 98% of the time our heads go to the negative. Remember assume makes an ass out of u (and me).
34. The more you talk about a person, the more you are likely to fall in love with them.
35. These questions can help foster intimacy. Use with caution.
36. Doing something scary together helps you to bond romantically. Otherwise known as ‘the case for adrenaline dates’ – or misattribution of arousal.
37. Funny people are more depressed. Not always, but generally.
38. Sarcasm in response to silliness is a sign of a healthy brain.
39. People that pretend not to care, care the most. Be aware that this is a sensitive soul you are dealing with.
40. When a person is critical, it is a sign of their low self esteem. So don’t take things personally.
41. People who swear a lot tend to be more loyal, upfront and honest with friends.
42. Fluency at swearing is a sign of healthy verbal ability. Profane with perfunctory.
43. Generally, if feet are turned away from us, they aren’t interested. Not the feet, the person attached to them.
44. Mimicking is a sign of the opposite. You’re well in there.
45. If you stay silent and maintain eye contact, people will usually continue talking. Get comfortable with holding a space for someone.
46. People will remember not what you said, but how you made them feel. A good reason not to over focus on what you did and didn’t say.
47. If you need to have a potentially combative conversation, go for a walk-side-by-side. Avoid sitting opposite, it is confrontational.
Productivity and creativity
48. Increasing the psychological distance between you and a problem boosts your creativity. When you are stuck, go do something completely unrelated for a bit.
49. Reframing a problem can help solve it. The ‘Six Thinking Hats‘ technique.
50. Practicing mindfulness helps with productivity. Once you have your attention on what is happening in the moment, you will find it easier to get back to work. Practice mindful breathing or eating when you hit a wall.
51. Placebo sleep works. Fooling yourself into thinking you’ve slept well, even if you haven’t, still improves performance.
52. Closing your eyes helps you to remember things.
53. 70% of your dreams contain secret messages. A great reason to keep a journal beside your bed.
What are your favorite psychological facts? Get in touch!