Work Smarter Not Harder: 40 Psychology Tips To Improve Daily Life With Minimal Effort

By Navkiran K

This article was originally published on morehackz

Life can be overwhelming. That’s why we often find ourselves looking for new ways to improve our daily routine. Do you find yourself doing the same? And if you know even a bit about psychology, you’re already aware that there are tons of hacks and techniques that can help you do just that. We completely get that there are times when you might find it challenging to carry on with your routine without any hassles. Well, we have some good news. Psychology can offer a variety of techniques and tricks to help manage stress, anxiety, or other issues. We’ll be sharing 40 psychology hacks that work in everyday life. So, whether you’re longing to boost your productivity, improve your relationships, or increase your overall happiness, these hacks will help make the most out of every day.

1. Interrupt the person making you feel bad

If you are in an awkward situation wherein you find yourself in a group of people, but there’s one person continuously being mean, you can try this hack. Just interrupt them by saying, “do you have food stuck in your teeth?”

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Trust us, this way, the person being rude will turn down and become self-conscious. There are also some chances that the person will get up and leave the room to check themselves in the mirror. Practicing this hack will aid you in not being belittled anymore.

2. Take a note of the person’s eye color

Do you often feel anxious whenever you are introduced to a new person? Relax, most of us do. Here’s a trick you can try. Whenever you meet someone new, when you’re talking, make eye contact and try to pay attention to their eye color.

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Since the key to confidence is firm eye contact, you will ace in making the perfect first impression. When you look into someone’s eyes specifically to take a note of their color, you’ll feel much less anxious. After all, you’re not focusing on eye contact, just color.

3. Use a random object as a conversational starter

Being someone who is scared of making the first move on someone you desperately want to talk to can be tricky. It’s okay to be afraid of rejection, but don’t let it stop you. Try using a random object as a conversational starter.

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For example, you sit in a cafe and spot the person you want to talk to sitting at a nearby table; pick something from the environment around you to talk about. Now, all you are expected to do is take a tetra pack, approach them, and say, “have you tried these? It’s their specialty.”

4. Start counting in case of stage fright

Stage fear can rob you of many opportunities. For example, you have an essential presentation for a well-reputed client. It is plausible that you might get nervous or anxious and not be able to speak as well as your boss expects you.

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However, there are various hacks that can help reduce that fear. Whenever you are up for a presentation, count the number of people sitting, the number of glasses of water, etc. Counting down will help you focus on something other than your anxiety.

5. Mingling at a party

Going to a social event and mingling with random people can be intimidating. Don’t think of it as a crowd of strangers; rather, look at it as a gathering of interesting people. Find someone who looks lost, talk to them, and offer your company!

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If you successfully make someone feel comfortable, they will want to talk to you more. Soon enough, you’ll feel more at ease and have fun. Just try not to sit with your drink in a corner, and you are halfway there.

6. Less awkward conversation starters

Being able to jump into a conversation without feeling awkward is not an easy feat. But with the right hacks and techniques, you can do it like a pro. A great way is to focus on other people’s interests and hobbies.

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For instance, if you notice that someone seems particularly interested in cats, you can ask them about their favorite breed or whether they have any pets at home. This approach will help you connect with the other person on a personal level.

7. Wear a smile

Wearing a smile is one of the best ways to show that you are approachable and friendly. When you smile at someone, it signals that you are happy to be there and are enjoying their company. This will help you get out of the awkward zone.

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Even though there are times when the thoughts running inside your head are eating you up, smiling and getting someone to talk is a great way to cope. When you chatter, your thoughts will slow down, thus making you calm.

8. Add bright colors to your attire

We all have some days when getting out of bed seems impossible. One of the most straightforward psychology hacks to boost your mood on such days is by adding some colors to your wardrobe. Studies have shown that wearing bright clothes can make you feel happier.

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So, the next time you’re feeling low, ditch those dark and dull clothes and wear something bright. It is preferred to wear yellow as it depicts happiness and is proven to uplift your mood. We hope that you feel better with this tip.

9. Get a new haircut or try a unique style

Does life feel a bit dull? When things are the same from day to day, it can be hard to dismiss that bit of gloom that comes with monotony. If you want to boost your confidence, go ahead and get a haircut or try out a new style.

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This will make your brain look at yourself in a new light. You will be more focused on your appearance and less concerned about how you speak or act. Furthermore, you’d feel more in love with yourself, that’ll lighten up your day.

10. Warm-up your hands before a handshake

When you meet a new person, your handshake is one of the first things they will notice about you. Now imagine a scenario where you are introduced to someone for the first time, you shake hands, but their hands are cold as ice.

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Nobody would appreciate that. Warm your hands up first for a good first impression. This can help to make your handshake more firm and confident. Also, it generates your image as a warm and humble person. Just makes sure you don’t look like a Bond villain when you generate that heat.

11. Spot the people who seem friendly

Do you also feel intimidated by the thought of hanging out with a large group of people? Let’s take some mental baggage off you. Whenever you are out with a bunch of friends, try to filter out the people who seem nice.

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When you are able to spot friendly people, you can choose to have a conversation with them instead of being anxious about talking to a large group. You can focus on the person with positive vibes, get comfortable, and have a good time.

12. Don’t make eye contact with people you want to avoid

When you are in a room full of people, there will always be someone you want to avoid. For example, you go to a supermarket and are not in the mood to talk. It could be an ex, a boss, or even your mother-in-law.

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The best hacks to deal with such a situation involve not making eye contact with anyone. Now, you’ll find that you can easily avoid awkward conversations and stay calm. So next time, when you see someone you would rather not talk to, focus on something else.

13. Let go of the guilt

Some people feel guilty when they say no to others. You cannot please everyone all the time; that’s just a fact of life. More often than not, you have to put your own needs first and let go of the guilt.

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It is natural to want to help others and make them happy, but this can often come at the price of your own well-being. If you find that you need to say no to someone, try not to feel guilty about it.

14. Whisper in someone’s ear and watch them do the same

Have you ever paid attention that when a person cannot speak loud, they whisper and get a reply in the same tone? If not, pay attention the next time. It is a human reflex to lower their sound when they hear a whisper.

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Now that you know this hack, you can use this whenever you feel someone is speaking loudly. Surprisingly even if you whisper and ask them, “What is your favorite color?” they will answer in a similar whisper, “mine is red, yours?”

15. Make everyone feel validated, even kids

We all know some people who always feel the need to prove themselves right and win arguments. They tend to talk a lot and interrupt others. If you stumble upon such a scenario, try to make sure everyone is heard and validated.

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It can be achieved by asking questions and actively listening without interrupting or trying to show off. When you make everyone feel validated, you will also get the respect and attention you deserve. Don’t make kids an exception, as they will learn from you.

16. Avoid intimidating people and use an emotional shield

A few people can come across as intimidating and aggressive, no matter what they do, and they can hurt you emotionally, even unintentionally. If you find yourself dealing with such a person, make sure to stay as far away from them as possible.

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This simple trick has been proven effective by psychologists time and again. In fact, it is a well-known technique used by many professionals. Not only will such hacks help keep you safe in a grim situation, but it will also protect you from harmful energy or emotions.

17. Be polite while asking for a favor

If you want someone to do something for you that works in your favor, it is important to be polite and respectful. Whether it is your boss or a friend, asking someone outright to do something can often come across as rude and demanding.

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Instead of just asking directly, try using a softer approach by saying something like, “It would be helpful if you could aid me with…” This simple change in language can make a big difference in how your request is received.

18. When you’re anxious, try chewing gum

Anxiety can be a debilitating illness that affects your ability to function in everyday life. It can be difficult to get out of your own head, so an external force could be just the pick-me-up you need. Try chewing gum if you’re feeling anxious in a social situation you can’t escape.

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Chewing can help distract you from your thoughts and reduce your stress levels, allowing you to feel calmer and more in control. In difficult situations, a slow, deep breath can do a long way. Don’t worry; it’ll pass, and remember, you’re going to be safe.

19. End a conversation by mirroring the other person

Always ensure that you aren’t making someone feel uncomfortable. When you are conversing with someone, it is essential to keep track of their body language and cues. This will give you a hint of when they are ready to end the conversation.

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One of the most effortless ways to end a conversation is by mirroring the other person’s body language. For instance, if they are crossing their arms or looking away, it might be a good time to say goodbye. Now you don’t need to worry about overstaying your welcome.

20. The secret to rock, paper, scissors

We’ve all played the game rock, paper, scissors. One of the appeals is because we think that the odds are fair, and you always have the same chance of winning…or losing. But, that’s not true. Here’s how to cheat the system: before starting the game, get the opponent seated and ask them a random question.

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The chances are that your opponent will get absorbed in thinking about the question and get distracted from the game. Moreover, we found out that most of them choose scissors when they aren’t paying attention. Thus, you can select rocks and win.

21. Make assertive eye contact when you want someone to tell the truth

It is often difficult to get people to tell the truth, especially if it is about something serious, uncomfortable, or could be hurtful. However, studies have shown that intense eye contact can help encourage people to be more honest and open.

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Whether you are interviewing someone for a job or simply trying to get some information out of a friend, try maintaining firm eye contact to encourage them to be more forthcoming. Not the kind of playful glare like this, but you get the gist.

22. The hack to the perfect first date

The most vital thing to remember on a first date is to relax and be yourself. It can be tempting to impress your date by putting on a show, but this will only make things more awkward and tedious in the long run.

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Instead, focus on getting to know the other person and making them and yourself feel comfortable. This will make the conversation flow more naturally, which can thus help you determine whether or not you have a future with that person.

23. Avoid being blunt or sarcastic when giving feedback

Many bosses expect their employees to be honest about their work, which puts them off, and we all know positive feedback goes a long way. Thus, it is of utmost importance to ensure that you give constructive feedback instead of just being blunt or sarcastic.

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When you are critiquing someone’s work, try to focus on the positive aspects first. For instance, you might try to say something like, “I really like how you….” It will thus help soften the blow of any negative feedback you might have to give.

24. Borrow a pen to break the ice

We’ve all been in a situation where we need to talk to someone, but feel too awkward or nervous to strike up a conversation. Next time you find yourself in such a situation, try borrowing a pen from them. Such simple interactions can help break the ice and make the other person feel more comfortable.

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Once you have the pen, you can start by asking the person about their favorite color or if they like a particular pen brand. This will allow you to learn more about them and start building a conversation naturally and effortlessly.

25. Body language is key

Do you know that your body language can say a lot about you? For example, if you are crossing your arms, it can indicate that you are not open to talking to others. So try to show that you are confident and approachable.

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Therefore, it is important to pay attention to your body language in a social setting. Ensure to keep your body language open and welcoming if you want to make it easy for others to have a friendly conversation with you. You’ll get to know similar hacks later in this article.

26. Journal whenever you’re stressed or anxious

When we are experiencing stress or anxiety, it can be challenging to find a clear headspace to process our thoughts and emotions. One of the simplest hacks that can help is to start journaling in your diary whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.

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Journaling doesn’t have to be a long, complicated process. Just take a few minutes to write down how you feel and what is causing your stress or anxiety. Getting your thoughts onto paper can help you slow down, think things through, and free up a cluttered headspace.

27. Change your name for a day

Try such hacks if you find it hard to socialize or make new friends. For a day, change your name to something unique or interesting. Surely you have a name in mind that you’ve always liked, right? It’s an easy way to stand out and make a memorable first impression.

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Now you can distract yourself and have fun. For instance, you could change your name to “Jill” instead of “Jennifer” or “Tom” instead of “Thomas.” This will help you stand out and be more memorable, making socializing and networking much more effortless.

28. Pay attention to the feet of the person you’re talking to

By being aware of body language cues, you can have more successful interactions with others. A few psychological hacks can help you do it. When engrossed in a conversation, pay attention to their feet. If they are pointed towards the door, it may signify that they are ready to leave.

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Undoubtedly, many other factors can contribute to this body language cue. But paying attention to the details of their feet can help you avoid awkward situations where you might miss your cues or make someone uncomfortable by prolonging the conversation.

29. Listen to podcasts and music to lift up your mood

If you ever feel down or need a pick-me-up, try listening to some podcasts or music. These sounds can help to improve your mood and give you a boost of energy. There are countless genres of podcasts, so you can find something that suits you.

If you feel stressed, try listening to a relaxation podcast. By taking a few minutes out of your day to listen to these types of audio content, you can help improve your mood and make it through the day with a positive attitude.

30. Move around to de-stress

Not all hacks are about remaining serious and alert. While sitting at one place at your desk all day long may seem like the best way to get work done, it is equally essential to take breaks and even a day off.

Now is the time to follow your heart. Go to the concert you booked the tickets for, watch your favorite movie, go bar-hopping, and feel good about living your life to the fullest. Also, keep in mind to not feel guilty and have fun.

31. Try to stay positive

They say, “hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.” In every situation, try to stay positive and have hope that things will work out. This does not mean that you should be naïve or ignore warning signs.

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But if you can stay positive, it will help you maintain a better outlook on the situation and give you the strength to keep pushing forward. Whether you are going through a difficult time at work or dealing with relationship issues, keep a positive attitude.

32. Nod your head to make someone agree with you

There’s another human reflex that would work in your favor. When you are talking to someone, try nodding your head while they are speaking. This simple gesture can help to make them feel more comfortable and agree with what you are saying.

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Of course, you should only use this trick if you actually agree with what the other person is saying. But if you stumble upon a situation where you need to build rapport quickly, nodding your head can help to create a sense of agreement.

33. Remain silent to avoid conflicts

When we are feeling emotional or stressed, it can be difficult to make good decisions. Sometimes, it is better to refrain from chiming in rather than engage in a conflict. This can be especially true if you are dealing with a stressful situation.

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Instead of arguing when someone says something that you disagree with, try to stay silent and take a moment to collect your thoughts. Hacks like this can help you to avoid escalating the conflict or saying something that you might later regret. 

34. Use mirroring to build rapport

Mirroring is another simple trick that can help you to build rapport with others. When you are talking to someone, try to mirror their body language and mannerisms. For example, if they are sitting with their legs crossed, you can sit with your legs crossed, too.

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Mirroring is a subtle way to show that you are engaged in the conversation and have a genuine interest in building rapport with the other person. By making minor adjustments to your body language, you can create a sense of similarity and connection with others.

35. Be mindful of your tone

Your voice plays an important role in how others perceive you. When you are talking to someone, try to use a warm and friendly voice. Such hacks can help to make the other person feel more comfortable and open up to you.

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Your tone and voice can convey a lot of information, even if you are not saying anything. A positive manner can help to put the other person at ease. On the other hand, a harsh one can make the other person feel defensive.

36. Limit your indecisiveness

We have all been in a tiresome situation where we just cannot make up our minds about something. This can be excruciating and lead to a lot of wasted time. For instance, not being able to choose which road to follow.

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If you find yourself stuck with the same outfit choices, limit your options. For example, while choosing an attire for a party, just pick out two or three outfits instead of standing and staring into your closet. Similar hacks will help you make a decision faster.

37. Focus on your physical activity

Exercising is a solid way to boost your mood and reduce stress. When you are feeling overwhelmed, take some time out for physical activity. This can help to clear your head and give you the energy to face the challenges of everyday life.

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Don’t think that when you’re focusing on improving your mental health, you can give your physical health a back seat. All these factors are interrelated. So, even if you don’t feel like stepping out of your room, force yourself to take a walk.

38. While working in customer service, never say sorry

If you work in customer service, you might know that customers often behave rudely and demandingly when they are not getting the service they feel they deserve. In such situations, your boss will expect you to be courteous, patient, and accommodating even if the customer is being rude.

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Moreover, even the customers expect you to be apologetic. However, never say that you’re sorry directly as it implies that the company was at fault. Instead, say, “I understand what you went through, thank you for your patience,” and so on.

39. Maintain a good posture

Think about how confident you can feel when you stand tall, shoulders spread out, and chin up. According to science, when you have a better posture, it helps in improving your mood and self-esteem. And this is the kind of energy we want to spread.

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So the next time you are having a bad day, try to sit upright and put on a confident smile. Such hacks will instantly lighten up your mood and help you feel better in no time. If nothing else, this trick will make you like a boss.

40. Bite your lips to show your inclination

We all have grown up watching classical romantic movies and eating popcorn. Everyone knows that if a person bites their lips, they are trying to indicate a romantic inclination. So, what are you waiting for to give your crush a sign?

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Trust us, this trick works and is easy to follow even if you are nervous to tell someone how you feel. You can also try licking your lips using your tongue. Just make sure that you bring their attention towards your lips, and the job’s done.