You can change your life in 59 seconds by dropping your pet frog into conversation or keeping a picture of a baby in your wallet, according to a new science-based book by popular psychologist Richard Wiseman.
The ex-magician, who has a PhD in the psychology of deception, argues that tiny alterations to our day-to-day lives can make a huge difference to our overall happiness.
His new self-help book, 59 Seconds: Think a Little. Change a Lot, distils evidence from empirical studies in a variety of scientific journals into small nuggets of apparently life-changing advice.
The book includes chapters on work, relationships, attraction, decision-making and stress, and has been endorsed by Channel 4 illusionist Derren Brown as “a triumph of scientifically-proven advice over misleading myths of self-help”.
Mr Wiseman believes the science-based advice offered by his book is more objective than that of many others in the self-help genre.
“Some self-help books are simply practitioner-led” he told The Times. “A practitioner tells you ‘I think it would be good if you did this or that’ and if there’s evidence to back it up that’s fine, but other times they’re just saying it off the tops of their heads.”
The book suggests that the best way to avoid infidelity is to keep a picture of your partner in your wallet, while you can ensure that wallet is returned when lost if you display a photograph of a “cute” baby prominently inside.
The best way to get what you want is to lighten up a conversation by mentioning your pet frog, and you can ward off potential liars by closing your eyes and asking them to put their comments in email.
Other tips include:
– Next time you attend an important meeting, obtain a quick and easy psychological advantage by sitting in the middle of the group.
– On a date, start lukewarm and then become more positive later; focus on things that you both dislike, and mimic your date’s body language.
– To provide a significant boost to your happiness, force your face into a smile and hold the expression for 20 seconds.
– The best way of getting someone to like you is not to do them a favour, but rather to get them to do you a small favour.
– To reduce your drinking and eating, stick to tall narrow glasses, place a mirror in your kitchen and keep a food diary.
– Buy experiences not goods. Go to a concert, movie, unusual place or strange restaurant: anything that provides an opportunity to do things with others or tell people about it afterwards.
– Help to achieve your goals by telling them to friends, family and colleagues.
– To help keep your relationship alive, remember to balance each negative comment with five positive ones.
– When going for a job, give your credibility a boost by mentioning any obvious weaknesses towards the start of the interview.
– Pursue ‘intentional’ change by starting a new hobby, joining an organisation, learning a skill, initiating a project or meeting new people.
By Heidi Blake / Source: The Telegraph