If someone were to tell you that there is a simple physical action you can take that will not only improve your frame of mind but help your self-confidence and persistence as well, you would probably want to know what it is.
A Squeeze of the Hand
Well, there is such an action that psychological research has discovered. It is the simple motion of squeezing your right hand into a fist, according to psychologists. Psychologists recommend doing this when you are about to face a stressful situation, such as giving a presentation, doing an interview or taking an exam.
What you need to do is squeeze your right hand for about 45 seconds, relax it for 15 seconds, squeeze again for 45, relax for 15, and so on.
What this does, according to psychologists, is to spark activity in the left front part of your brain, one that is involved in seeking reward.
Not only that, but doing this squeezing of the right hand has also been linked to giving you more tenacity when confronting difficult problems. And it has been shown to improve memory.
How It Helps Memory
When you are attempting to commit some new information to memory, a telephone number for instance, squeezing your right hand can help you, again by activing that left front part of the brain, which is also responsible for storing new information.
If you are having difficulty remembering information that you have already learned, however, you want to squeeze your left hand. This activates the right front part of the brain, which is responsible for recalling information that is already stored in the brain. So, for example, if you are having trouble remembering someone’s name, clenching your left hand may help you to bring it to mind.
Squeezing the Left Hand
Psychological research has also turned up an interesting phenomenon related to squeezing your left hand, which activates the right front part of your brain. This right frontal area of the brain is part of an avoidance network and it is connected to negative emotions of anxiety and sadness. So, when you squeeze your left hand and spark this part of brain into action, you tend to feel these more negative emotions.