The internet is filled with psychological tips and tricks — life hacks — that promise us success, self-actualization, happiness and all around world domination. While it is always a good idea to take those ideas with a grain of salt, there are some amazing basic psychological and sociological truths that not only make sense, but when you hear them, you realize that you’ve known them all along.

The question is, are there any psychological brain hacks that actually make our everyday life easier? We all know that our brain controls how we feel and think, what we do and how we respond to one another. So is it possible that we can employ some tricks to make functioning in our daily lives a bit more smoothly than it usually is?

Many psychologists agree that there are things that we can train our brains with that can make our lives easier. While these tricks may not necessarily change our entire personality and solve the big picture, they most definitely help us deal with the little things that can throw us off in a big way.

While we don’t claim to be expert psychologists, here are our TOP 10 psychological tips and tricks we’ve observed over the years that help us play, work and rest with more confidence.

#1 Focus on Small Acts of Love
To improve any kind of relationship, rather than resorting to grand gestures and big surprises to impress the other person, show small and consistent acts of love and appreciation on a regular basis. Psychologists agree that while our brains light up by the idea of a big act of appreciation, our brains also love routines and recognize small, everyday acts of kindness as comforting and reliable, which makes us feel secure in our relationship.

#2 Focus on Someone’s Eye Color
When you get introduced to someone new, make it a point to take note of that person’s eye color. It’s not really about gaining any particular information about the other person but rather a great technique to achieve the optimum amount of eye contact that people find friendly and confident. Also, if you struggle to remember people’s names when you first meet them, taking note of the other person’s eye color gives you a few extra seconds to notice and remember something specific about that person that helps your brain associate that specific detail will the name.

#3 Maintain Eye Contact When You Get an Unsatisfactory Answer
We are known for that… When we get an answer we don’t quite like or understand, rather than repeating the question or asking for more information, maintain eye contact. This makes the other person a little bit uncomfortable and they will feel under pressure, which forces them to elaborate their thoughts further. We do this all the time, it really works.

#4 Remember People’s Names to Win Them Over
If you want to be more popular with your colleagues, peers and clients, make it a habit to remember everyone’s name and call them by their first name when you speak with them. Everybody likes to feel special and important and when we make the effort to remember someone’s name it shows them that we care and put in an effort to remember their name. Besides, it’s really just good manners.

#5 Limit Your Choices When You Are Indecisive
A lot of us believe that having a large array of choices and a huge amount of information will make it easier to make a smart and informed decision. Reality is, too much information and too many choices can actually be paralyzing for many. Studies show that having four options at a time is the maximum amount of choices we can consider and still be able to make a choice. So if you want to be a confident, effective decision maker, limit your options. You will allow yourself the time to consider each of the options. It is true… Less really is more.

#6 Assume a Power Posture to Boost Confidence
This psychological trick works for both — pleasure and work. The easiest way to give your confidence a boost is through your posture. Assuming a posture that takes up more space — usually referred to as a power posture — will make you feel a lot more confident than when you slouch your shoulders and let your head hang. Stand tall, lift your chin up, straighten your spine and pull your shoulders back and down. You’ll instantly feel better. Body language can affect how other people see us, but it also changes how we see ourselves and how we feel.

#7 Watch People’s Feet to Know what They are Thinking
The position of people’s feet are a great insight into what they are thinking. For instance, watch when you approach two people that are deep in conversation with each other. If they only turn their upper body towards you, but not their feet, they most likely prefer if you left them alone. However, if they turn their full body towards you — including their feet — they welcome you to join their conversation. Similarly, when you talk to someone and their feet are pointing away from you, they most likely want to end the conversation and walk away.

#8 Music Gives You Pleasure
While we all enjoy listening to music, most of us have no idea why… The answer is quite simple. Music has more than an emotional impact on us, it impacts us on a deeper, physiological level as well. Listening to music has the tendency to increase the release of the brain chemical dopamine, which is typically associated with pleasure and our reward centers therefore giving us a natural high that leads to more happiness. We wrote a whole blog article about the effects music has on our brain, so if you want to go a little bit deeper, check it out here: YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC

#9 Bright Colors Affect Mood and Memory
A recent study in the U.K. looked at the effect colors have on our mood and the results are impressive. Turns out that if you look at vibrant colors versus gray images, you significantly increase your memory, mental alertness and reaction times. Even more surprisingly, surrounding yourself with bright colors increases your physical strength. Interestingly enough, the color red plays some weird mind games in any situation. If you are an athlete, wear read to a sporting event and people will perceive you as the winner. So if you want to be successful, wearing something red might be the best place to start.

#10 Use Your Non-Dominant Hand for Anger Management
Most of us have a dominant hand that we prefer to use in simple everyday tasks and one that isn’t much of any use when it comes to things like brushing our teeth or using scissors. Quite a few people have trouble controlling their anger. Now you probably wonder how we got from using our hands to curbing aggression. Recent studies show that getting your anger under control is as easy as using your non-dominant hand. How you ask? Using your dominant hand for everyday tasks happens on auto-pilot, but if you use your non-dominant hand instead, parts of the brain that are associated with self-control become more active. In just two short weeks, you can drop your aggression significantly because the increased self-control in using your non-dominant hand spills over into other areas of your life as well.

There you have it. There are actually tons more of psychological tips and tricks you can use in your daily life depending on what area of your life you are looking to improve, but we hope you enjoyed our selection and found some helpful ideas to make your life a little easier and help you keep your emotional and mental cool in situations that really aren’t worth it to lose it.

Joschi & Monika