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10 Ways Psychology Can Improve Your Life
Practical Ways to Apply Psychology in Everyday Life
By Kendra Cherry, About.com Guide
See More About:
* psychology 101
* applying psychology
Do you think that psychology is just for students, academics and therapists? Then think again. Because psychology is both an applied and a theoretical subject, it can be utilized in a number of ways. While research studies aren't exactly light reading material for the average person, the results of these experiments and studies can have important applications in daily life. The following are some of the top 10 practical uses for psychology in everyday life. 1. Get Motivated

Photo courtesy Sanja Gjenero
Whether your goal is to quit smoking, lose weight or learn a new language, some lessons from psychology offer tips for getting motivated. In order to increase your motivational levels when approaching a task, utilize some of the following tips derived from research in cognitive and educational psychology: * Introduce new or novel elements to keep your interest high. * Vary the sequence to help stave off boredom.

* Learn new things that build on your existing knowledge. * Set clear goals that are directly related to the task.
* Reward yourself for a job well done.
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Photo courtesy Sanja Gjenero
It doesn’t matter if you’re an office manager or a volunteer at a local youth group, having good leadership skills will probably be essential at some point in your life. Not everyone is a born leader, but a few simple tips gleaned from psychological research can help your improve your leadership skills. One of the most famous studies on this topic looked at three distinct leadership styles. Based on the findings of this study and subsequent research, practice some of the following when you are in a leadership position: * Offer clear guidance, but allow group members to voice opinions. * Talk about possible solutions to probelms with members of the group. * Focus on stimulating ideas and be willing to reward creativity. 3. Become a Better Communicator

Photo courtesy John Evans
Communication involves much more than how you speak or write. Research suggests that nonverbal signals make up a huge portion of our interpersonal communications. In order to communicate your message effectively, you need to learn how to express yourself nonverbally and to read the nonverbal cues of those around you. A few key strategies include the following: * Use good eye contact.

* Start noticing nonverbal signals in others.
* Learn to use your tone of voice to reinforce your message. Learn more about how to utilize and interpret these signals in these top 10 nonverbal communication tips. 4. Learn to Better Understand Others

Much like nonverbal communication, your ability to understand your emotions and the emotions of those around you plays an important role in your relationships and professional life. The term emotional intelligence refers to your ability to understand both your own emotions as well as those of other people. Your emotional intelligence quotient is a measure of this ability. According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, your EQ may actually be more important than your IQ (1995).

What can you do to become more emotionally intelligent? Consider some of the following strategies: * Carefully assess your own emotional reactions.
* Record your experience and emotions in a journal.
* Try to see situations from the perspective of another person. 5. Make More Accurate Decisions
Rodin's "The Thinker" courtesy of Karora
Research in cognitive psychology has provided a wealth of...
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