If you think about it for a moment, some common examples of psychology in everyday life are when you:
- smile to portray warmth and approachability
- use body language to attract or repel advances
- appeal to people’s vanity and self-indulgence to get what you want.
Psychology is much more than a study field or a career choice for counselors and therapists. Every day, whether we realise it or not, we apply psychology to help us communicate and influence.
The above are small examples of psychology in everyday life. More generally, how can you use psychology in your day-to-day activities to improve your life situation? Here is a list of some of the most powerful ways you can deploy psychology skills in real life.
1. Visualise Your Dreams and Ambitions
If you ask almost every top-tier athlete how they manage to achieve so much success, they will probably tell you that it is all about visualisation and working hard towards a goal.
While working hard towards a certain goal may involve physical activity, it is the visualisation part of things that employs psychology. If you can picture a certain result with crisp clarity, chances are that you will probably achieve it.
2. Dare Yourself to Achieve More
High achievers always dare themselves to do more than the average person. They always take more risks (calculated) and they always pick themselves up when they fail.
Daring to do anything outside of your comfort zone is psychology at work. You need to talk yourself into doing something that has the potential for great rewards but also possibly put you in an embarrassing as well as demoralising situation should you fail. But you weigh the risks and give yourself the mental boost to push forward despite them.
3. Stay Motivated
Staying motivated to do something has to be one of the hardest psychological tricks anyone can master, especially if you are doing something about which you are not passionate.
Different methods can be used to switch into a motivated state. Most people think of the rewards, others think of the consequences and many still just think of the end result.
4. Ask for Help and Get It
Most people associate asking for help with weakness. While it is true that there are people who would rather live on handouts than try their hardest to achieve something, asking for help isn’t always a sign of weakness.
Most CEOs surround themselves with people who are much smarter than they are because they realise it is a wonderful way to propel their own ambitions. Sometimes, asking for or even hiring help is the smart move. Knowing when to do it for your own ends is psychology at work.
5. Form Your Own Opinions
If you’re aware of framing bias or the framing effect, you’re better positioned to form your own opinions in areas such as current events, politics, government policies, and so forth.
Framing bias is when a person reaches a false conclusion or makes a bad decision because they’re unduly influenced by the manner in which information is presented. They ignore important facts, instead focusing on side-issues such as the confidence of the person telling a story or the backgrounds of the people involved.
The media are all too aware of the human susceptibility to framing bias. They use framing techniques to sway opinion, push narratives, or make a story different, and more interesting, than it actually was. If you pay attention to what the media is doing, you can more easily make assessments based on facts.
6. Be and Stay Unique
We live in a world that revels in mass production. This often means that a lot of us end up looking the same. The best way to stand out and be someone you can be proud of is to acknowledge your uniqueness.
Too often, people fall lazily into the mindset of conforming. Realise that this happens and make a deliberate effort to do things your way.
If, for example, you want to discover the best career for you going forward, a personal skills audit could be the way to go. Think about what really defines you in terms of abilities and personality. From your personal examination, ideas for alternative career paths may spring up.
While most people tend to focus on their weaknesses and trying to improve on those areas, you could be better served if you focus on your strengths instead.
You have to be ruthless with yourself to find out what it is that makes you…you. Once you find those traits, you have to make a conscious decision to nurture them every day. This takes a lot of mental discipline.
Using Psychology is Both Profound and Routine
We employ psychology in our day-to-day lives in many different ways. Some of these things are not monumental nor are they life changing. They could very well be part of your routine; something you don’t even notice anymore.
An example are the rules of thumb you have in the back of your mind when you go shopping. They could be simple principles like: (a) buy what you came here to get (b) stay within budget or (c) only get something if you trust the quality. If you notice yourself making bad purchases because you get carried away with sales or fashion trends for example, that’s a good time to reflect. You always have the power to make a deliberate choice to do things differently in the future.
Never underestimate the significance of psychology in our everyday lives. The richness of your life journey depends on using psychology to attain your higher goals.
Further reading: 8 Nice Life Benefits from Studying Psychology