Mandy Kloppers

Interesting Psychological Stuff

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Interesting Psychological Stuff

1) Baby Steps

Tiny victories build confidence on a biological level, says neuropsychologist Ian Robertson in his book The Winner Effect. Each feat sprouts androgen receptors in the brain’s reward-and-motivation areas. The more receptors you have, the more testosterone influences you—and the bolder you’ll be in your next challenge

2) Benefits of blogging

A study at Israel’s University of Haifa showed: Blogging our innermost feelings turns out to be more confidence-building than the old leather-bound lock-and-key approach. After two months, students who posted intimate and sometimes agonized entries online at least twice weekly showed greater improvement in self-esteem—especially if their (totally anonymous) blogs were open to comments (which were usually supportive). The explanation: A blog’s “safe self-exposure” aspect helps us to feel connected and less socially anxious.

3) Gossip but no bad mouthing

Go ahead, spread some juicy gossip about someone you know. It’ll make you feel better about yourself. But there’s a condition: no bad-mouthing. A study at England’s Staffordshire University found that when volunteers spread kind gossip about fictional others (“You’d never know she’s actually a genius at coding”), they immediately experienced a feel-good jolt and a slight but significant (5 percent) increase in self-esteem. (Meanwhile, spreading mean-spirited rumors led them to feel a 34 percent increase in negative emotions.)

4) Strike a pose

Ann Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard Business School, found that holding an arms-up/legs-spread “power pose” for two minutes boosted confidence on a hormonal level by increasing testosterone and decreasing the stress hormone cortisol.

5) Decisions

A psychology professor of mine used to say that 80 percent of decisions are based on fear rather than desire. Wait a minute! What? If he was even close, think about what that could mean for your life. What if you married not Mr. Right but Mr. Right Now because you heard your biological clock ticking and thought, “Hey, a bird in the hand…”? Or what if you spend the next decade in some boring, dead-end job because you’re afraid nobody else will hire you to do something you love? Do you continue to live with someone who mistreats you because you’re afraid to be on your own? Do you make safe choices even if they’re not what you really want because you fear you can’t do better?


Mandy X

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