“Sensation tells us a thing is.
Thinking tells us what this thing is.
Feeling tells us what this thing is to us.”
– Carl Jung, Father of Analytical Psychology
Do you think Psychology is just for students, academics and therapists? Then think again! Psychology is both a theoretical and applied science, and its everyday implications are many in number. In fact, every aspect of inter-personal relationships is grounded on the subconscious use of psychology.
How many times have you intuitively felt that the other person is lying simply based on their body language? Or thought of a decision from multiple points of view, including rational, emotional, intuitive, creative,
positive and negative perspectives? The wide realm of psychology has conducted research and derived conclusions about human and social behavior which can be utilized to make our lives brighter. Let’s examine how.
1. Get motivated
Whether it’s your goal to quit smoking or lose those extra kilos, psychology offers interesting ways to keep yourself motivated enough to achieve your ends. Introducing new ways to accomplish the goal, stepping out of routine, having your ends and positive results clearly in sight, and rewarding yourself on your good work are some steps you could take to keep your motivational levels high. Remember, the light from one candle can brighten up an entire room-so your positive energy might spread cheer to people in your circle of influence as well!
2. Learn to understand others better
The ability to understand yourself and others better plays a very important role in your life. Your Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) measures this ability, and recent research places a higher value on EQ than on IQ in this era of communication. Try being more empathetic and humane-we tend to have a rather rigid mind-set if we alienate ourselves from emotions. At the same time, learn to analyze situations from a neutral perspective and keep unwarranted bias away. Don’t jump to conclusions about the root causes of the other person’s actions- open channels of communications are vital to keep a relationship in the pink of health.
Have you felt overwhelmed by the amount of work or studies you have at hand? Does time seem to whiz past, and that important exam or conference meets you too soon for your liking? Mental organization is the key, as is time management. Try to focus on the task at hand, and eliminate distractions. Research in psychology has found that trying to perform more than one task at the same time seriously impairs speed, accuracy, and productivity-the reason you subconsciously write the lyrics of the song you’re listening to instead of meeting minutes! Time management needn’t necessarily involve routine, but you need to have a specific time frame for every activity. This will ensure that you spend time at your books, as well as get time to catch that game on television, and also leave you an evening out. Sounds good? Get to that planner pronto!
4. Improve your memory
Youngsters and working professionals are fast becoming victims to those frequent patches of memory lapse. Research on how we form new memories as well as how and why we forget has led to a number of findings that can be applied directly in your daily life. Pay complete attention to your work and relate new concepts to familiar ones. Organize your study material, and try using mnemonics. A mnemonic is simply a way to remember information, like the mnemonic VIBGYOR for the colors of the rainbow. Educators and psychologists have also discovered that having students actually teach new concepts to others enhances understanding and recall, so a study group wouldn’t be a bad idea!
5. Be healthier!
From ways to encourage exercise and better nutrition to new treatments for depression, the field of health psychology offers a wealth of beneficial strategies that can help you to be healthier and happier. Research has demonstrated that exercise can be an effective treatment for depression as well as other mental disorders. It has also been found that if you understand the ways the pill you take works in your body, you’re more likely to take it regularly; as opposed to the old practice of one-sided doctor-patient interaction. Stress is a major cause of many psychosomatic disorders, ranging from asthma to hypertension. Acceptance of the situation and a determination to stand ground and face the music will go a long way in reducing stress.
Above all, understanding the everyday implications of psychology leads to a healthy dose of inspiration-for an uncluttered, focused mind is the most fertile ground for creativity and innovation. The next time you see a kid laughing at a comic in the library, marvel at his innocent pleasure instead of snapping at him. Spend time with your family outdoors instead of in a theatre- research shows that even a brief exposure to light substantially increased alertness and cognitive ability. And get inspired, let your creativity run wild! After all:
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”