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Science Says What You Wear Largely Affects How You Think And Behave

Science Says What You Wear Largely Affects How You Think And Behave

“What you wear can influence your thinking and negotiating skills, and even hormone levels and heart rate” – Matthew Hutson

We all know that the way we dress speaks a lot about our personality, but as the years pass, numerous scientific studies have shown that what we wear also affects the way we think and behave. Even though these researches are mainly small, due to a great number of them, the first results mostly show that we actually feel different while wearing different types of clothes.

Some clothes make us feel more confident and more creative, other types of clothes makes us feel physically stronger and finally, a certain type of clothing makes people consider us more intelligent, unique and/or rebellious.

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Clothing affects your self-confidence

According to a paper from Social Psychological and Personality Science, a certain number of subjects were instructed to wear casual clothing and formal clothing before taking intellectual tests. Those wearing formal clothing performed much better in the given tasks, especially when it comes to creative and organizational tasks, which confirmed higher creativity capabilities. So, next time you are facing a demanding task at work, make sure that you dress up, as it will make you feel more confident and focused.

Communication and clothing

Another important aspect of your character that it is affected by clothing is communication. In a study reported by the Journal of Experimental Psychology, subjects were required to wear formal and informal clothing in negotiation meetings. Those who wore business suits performed much better, as they assorted dominance over the person with whom they were negotiating.

On the other hand, those wearing informal clothes, sweatpants to be precise, had much lower testosterone levels and had lower scores when it came to persuasion skills. So, next time you are negotiating for a business deal, make sure that you suit up.

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Attention and clothing

An interesting research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology back in 2012, showed a higher level of concentration with people who were told that they are wearing a doctor’s white coat. The study participants wore a painter’s smock, whereas others wore doctor’s coats. The ones dressed in doctor’s coats displayed incredibly higher results in attention demanding tasks. So, next time you are lacking focus, simply put on a doctor’s coat and immerse yourself in that concentration demanding task.

Effects of color on physical performance

The color of your clothes is not something you would expect to be affecting your physical or mental performance, however, two different researches showcase the effects of color on people’s physical and mental performance. The first study was published by the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology where the sportsmen were dressed in red and blue sport shirts. Those wearing red performed much better when it came to lifting weights before combat sparring.

Another important effect of the color red was that the heart rate of the participants wearing it was higher during the whole training process. Even though those wearing red sport shirts were more aggressive, it did not bring them more victories during combat practice.

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Clothing and breaking the social norms

This study is particularly interesting, as it is dedicated to those who decided to break the rules of what they are expected to wear. We are all familiar with different social norms and respective dress codes followed by people in certain institutions. For example, when we think of a stock broker, we imagine a man wearing a suit; when we think of a surgeon, we imagine a man in scrubs, etc. However, according to several experiments published in the Journal of Consumer Research, breaking the expected dress code slightly can improve how you are perceived by the crowd.

According to the article, a man attending a black-tie affair, courageously decided to show up with a red tie. The results were astonishing, as people viewed this individual as someone who has a higher status and who is more capable and successful in all aspects of life. He was perceived as someone who is very confident and breaking the dress code brought about positive opinions. Another very interesting scenario was a professor in red Converse sneakers, who captivated the audience more easily as they valued his uniqueness.

The later interviewed audience revealed that the man was considered more intelligent and much more competent throughout the lecture. These examples clearly show that it’s possible to show your rebellious character by going against the established rules a little bit. But don’t overdo it, as it can seriously backfire.

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The odor

Even though our clothing style greatly affects the way we behave and think, the smell is equally important. Some clothing items are easy to deal with, whereas others can be quite difficult to clean. The part of our wardrobe that causes the most problems are the shoes, but there are numerous creative ways to reduce the odor they give off. As published in an article on livescience, scents greatly affect the way we think and behave, so keep that in mind when dressing for a certain occasion. It’s equally important that you look good and that your clothes smell nice.

The aforementioned studies show how important dressing actually is. When you are getting ready for the next business meeting, keep in mind that your clothes actually say much more about you than you might think.

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Aleksandar Ilic

Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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