The study of psychology has come a long way since being recognized as an independent discipline in the 1870s. There is much we know, and more we don’t know about the human mind. Here are a few facts we do know, and how you can incorporate them into your life:
1. Don’t tell people what your life goals are.
Doing so often makes you lose all motivation for reaching this goal. Announcing your intentions seems to satisfy your feelings of self-worth, making you feel less inclined to put forth the effort needed to reach these goals.
2. Just about every human has a favorite song; this song is attached to some emotional event that happened in their life.
Music has a direct effort on our emotions, which is why we remember when we first heard certain songs.
3. Music has a dramatic effect of how one perceives the world.
Whether one listens to happy songs, or sad songs, the music itself colors our thinking, and the way we see the world around us.
4. It really is true that it is better to give than to receive.
Studies show that people are much happier when they give money or gifts to others. The happiest people are those who want to share their bounty, and their joy of living, with other people.
5. Spending your money on experiences instead of possessions is a sure-fire way to bring happiness to your whole family.
Some people put off vacations, entertainment, and adventures so they can buy personal possessions such as property or a certain car. Neglecting your happiness is the sure-fire way to ruin your emotional well-being.
6. Almost half of our population suffers from depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or a combination of these problems.
Every decade our population seems to grow more anxious: people are constantly on the move, not settling down and becoming a part of their communities, changing jobs more often than they should, and some are even putting off marriage in favor of living alone. Is it any wonder that the kids of today are so high strung?
7. Pursuing a religion is helpful to those who need help coping with depression or other psychological problems.
Studies show that those who attend services and pray have lower levels of stress hormones.
8. Money can only buy happiness to a certain extent.
Many studies have shown that any income above $75,000 does nothing to increase one’s happiness. This is simply due to the fact that any monies over that amount will just buy more ‘stuff’ (most of which is not needed.) There are two distinct ways to describe happiness: emotional well-being (people who are content with their day to day living conditions); and, a life assessment (people with more money have higher life assessments than those without.)
9. If you seek happiness, find people who are happy, and join in the fun.
Laughter is infectious and is the quickest way to find happiness. Happiness and stress can both be contagious. Which group would you rather surround yourself with?
10. People who are between the ages of 18 and 33 have the highest stress levels in the world.
Stress increases every year during that time period. Stress levels go way down after a person reaches age 33.
11. How many times have you tossed and turned all night, waking up feeling like you need a few more hours of sleep?
A new study shows that if you convince yourself that you had an adequate amount of REM sleep then you will perform up to task. This phenomonem is called ‘placebo sleep’ and it really works.
12. Here’s a weird fact about humans: ignorant people believe that they are much smarter than they really are, while intelligent people often underestimate their own abilities and intelligence.
13. Every time you recall something from your past, you are actually remembering when you last thought of that particular event.
Every time we have a memory of this event we tweak it a little bit (without consciously thinking about doing so.) This means that our memories over a period of time become less and less accurate.
14. Being able to think in a foreign language is a great way to remove a lot of our biases towards those who are ‘different.’