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7 Ways Science Can Make You Happier, Smarter and More Successful

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From the Science of People

Science can make you more awesome.

Yes, really! It can make you happier, smarter AND more successful.

BOOM!

If you’re a super science geek like me, then you are super turned on right now. So, let’s keep going…

Science Porn:

click to view

I decided to do a fun round-up of all the science experiments that have turned on some area of my life. I hope these studies and tips will help make you more awesome too!

1. How to Motivate Someone
 

What motivates people the most to meet their goals?

  • Financial Rewards
  • Compliments
  • Progress
  • Competition
     

Want your kid to clean out the garage? Offer them an allowance. Want an employee to do better? Give them a bonus. This is how most people think about incentives and motivation, but science says that financial rewards are poor motivator for success. The real motivator: Progress! Whether you are talking to your teenager, your spouse or your employee, highlight their progress to help them keep going. Instead of saying what they have to do next, talk about what they did already. When giving a compliment, highlight specific tasks already achieved. Don’t talk about how little they have left; talk about how far they have come!

Harness the power of small wins by being a hero of progress.

2. How to Wake-Up in a Good Mood
 

How do you sleep? Most people have no idea that their position affects their mood.

  • on your back
  • curled up in the fetal position
  • on your stomach
  • Always different
     

40% of people sleep in the fetal position! Researchers have found that this position is adopted by highly emotional and sensitive people–more than twice as many women sleep in this position compared to men! However, when we take up less space we feel less capable. When you stretch in the morning, it can help produce hormones to get your energy higher. Try a more expansive position or stretch before getting up.

Greet the day with a hug (cheesy, I know, but it works!)

3. Night Owls vs. Morning People
 

Which description best describes a night owl?

  • creative & impulsive
  • powerful & charismatic
  • sensitive & funny
  • logical & people-pleasers
     

Researchers have found that night owls and morning people have different personality traits. Night owls are more creative and impulsive, while morning people are more logical and tend to be people-pleasers! The more you honor your natural rhythms the better off you are.

Don’t fight your natural rhythms. Our sleep cycles are hard-wired.

4. How to Be Less Stressed at Work
 

What do you think is the biggest stress reliever at work?

  • Plants
  • Candy bowl
  • Music

People with a plant in their office report 15% less stress. There are tons of studies about the power of green spaces and parks on productivity and relaxation. In Japan, there is a concept known as forest bathing, called Shinrin-yoku (森林浴). They say that forest air and being surrounded by greenery is the best form of meditation. Another cool fact: People with blue walls make less typos than those with white walls!

Get a plant for your desk!

After reading this study I got a little bamboo plant and named him Spencer, and now I absolutely adore him–it might be unhealthy. I stroke his leaves and sing to him–weird or ok?

5. Cuddle Away the Sadness
 

How many cuddle positions are there?

  • 3
  • 10
  • 12
  • 58

If you can believe it, there are 58 ‘official’ cuddle positions. In the name of research, I decided to do a little demo day all about cuddling. It was one of the most awkward videos we have ever shot, but the science of cuddling became very clear. Cuddling makes you happy:

6. How to Eat Less
 

Do most people prefer to snack on food that is…

  • sweet
  • savory
  • salty
  • sour

Most people prefer salty snacks! No matter what you crave, it is always good to snack less. In my Science of Eating post, I talk about some easy ways you can eat less from researcher, Brian Wansink.

  • If you hang a mirror in your kitchen, you will eat 32% less unhealthy food.
  • Put your snack 20 seconds away from your mouth. 20 seconds helps the brain see it as a hurdle, so you don’t mindlessly eat.

Eat mindfully, not mindlessly.

7. How to Be Happier
 

What will bring you the most happiness?

  • $100
  • A gift
  • One less wrinkle
  • Thanking someone
     

The research on happiness is clear–thanking someone or doing one gratitude exercise has a longer lasting effect on happiness than money, compliments or even a big piece of chocolate cake!! Oh, how I love the Science of Happiness–it never ceases to surprise me. We have been studying happiness for over 4 years at our lab, asking people inappropriately personal questions, comparing their results and looking for patterns.

Happy people have a secret.

One of the biggest happy aha-moments we had was realizing that happy people approach happiness differently. They see happiness as a skill as opposed to an accident. It’s almost as if they invest in their happiness like stock brokers invest in the stock market. This research fascinated us so much that we decided to create a free mini-course for you:

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