Get Your Mind Right: 9 Things You Didn’t Know Could Affect Your Mood/Behavior

March 7, 2013  |  
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Humans, we’re such a weird bunch, aren’t we?  As much of some would like to claim that we’re creatures of habit, there’s this little thing called “human error” that we can’t account for.  Small things that seem so innocuous can have such a large effect on our behavior.  What things you might ask? Let’s see.


Wearing fake name brands can encourage you to be a cynical liar. 

You’re walking down the street and you see someone rocking an expensive brand name that you’re secretly coveting.  You’re ballin’ on a budget and you might think that getting a very similar, but imposter of a knock-off version might be the key.  Before you buy that, consider this:

Three studies were done, testing women who were all wearing real Chloe sunglasses, however, they told half of the women that they were fakes.  In a series of test, the women who were wearing the perceived fake glasses were more likely to lie, cheat, and think lesser of people that they knew.  The moral of the story was, when people perceived that they were wearing inauthentic duds, it caused them to tap into their “inauthentic” side where morals and mores were lost in a sea of accepted corruption.

Being in love can cause you to lash out

Sinclair Lewis once wrote:  “What is love?  It is the morning and the evening star.”  But for some out there, it’s just a reason that they’re jerks.  In a series of studies done at Florida State University, the 130 students who participated, some were asked to think about their romantic partner (who they were in love with) then they were pitted against someone of the same sex.  The students who were asked to think about their mate, tended to be more aggressive toward the person of the opposite sex.  Even to the point that in one test they were able to punish their opponent with a blast of painful white noise; people who thought about their mate were more likely to use louder and longer blasts of white noise.

The type of music you listen to can affect how you see facial expressions 

You’re listening to a happy and up-tempo beat while walking down the street, and you past a girl who is smiling at you.  You smile back, but then you’re taken off guard once she punches you.  It turns out, it wasn’t that she was smiling, but the music you listened to helped you to place a smile on her face.

A study was done in 2011 that showed that when participants were listening to happy or sad music, and shown a variety of “smileys,” even if the face didn’t have an expression on it, whatever music the person was listening to influenced them to see an expression that wasn’t there.

Thinking too much about others can stress you out

If you’re put in a situation where you’re in an awkward social setting where you don’t know anyone, instead of focusing on what others are thinking about you, think about yourself.

There’s a meditative practice called “Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction” (MBSR) that teaches people who suffer with social anxiety to focus inwardly with a non-judgmental view, and focus on yourself.  MBSR has also been helped to relive physical pain as well.

Feeling threatened makes us nicer

You’re on public transportation and a woman gets on and sits next to you.  She’s visibly upset and then she says something about being so mad that she could punch someone.  You then have a huge urge to call your mother and tell her that you love her.

That’s not weird, that’s science, baby.  A study in 2012 showed that when people felt threatened they became nicer, especially to people in their family.

Being stuck in a rut can make you mindlessly happy

A recent study at Stanford University tested how people treat others based on their own lives.   According to that study, people who were in certain situations that didn’t look like there was a change coming, became somewhat “evangelists” for their lifestyles.  This study focused more so on relationships (happily married people were more likely to “preach” the marriage good news, while happily single people were more likely to happily brag and encourage others to be single).

These people “idealize their status,” as a coping mechanism while not really seeing it as being in a rut.

Having an abundance of money

No one likes to be broke, but maybe being a millionaire isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be.  They say that money can’t buy you happiness, and in a study done 2010, it seems to be very true.  Subjects who had a larger amount of wealth were “less likely to savor positive experiences.”  Even just the picture of a stack of money was stressing them out.

Keeping good news to yourself can make you sad 

You did it!  You got that job/mate/house/car/boat/shoes that you had your eye on!  You’re fantastic!  You want to tell people, but you don’t want to be “that” person.  You know, the one that tends to rub their successes in other people’s faces.

Well, start getting a little braggy, because sharing good news has been tied into better physical, mental, and emotional health.  Also, sharing good news can also give you an energy boost.  When we keep good news to ourselves, it allows for any bad news to overpower that, keeping us down.

Feeling lonely?  Ask for a text

Clinical Psychologist, Adrian Aguilera, found that when treating his patients that suffered from depression and other mental disorders that receiving a daily automated text helped them deal with their disorders.

The thought behind it was that it made the participants feel cared for.  So, the next time you’re down, ask your friend to send you a text to check on you in about 30 minutes or so.  Just receiving that text could help lift you out of a sad funk.


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