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Dressing for Psychological Success

By Chris Brown

The author Henry David Thoreau once stated, "beware of all enterprises that require new clothes." Thoreau's assumption was that anytime new clothes were required it meant that something or someone was trying to change you. The American author may have been onto something, as research has found that clothes impact more than just your outward appearance. The right clothes can improve everything from your sociability, performance, intelligence, and focus.

Dress Smart, Be Smart

Studies around business attire have found that one's smarts, focus, and negotiation abilities were greatly improved when wearing a suit over more casual clothing. A study of clothing's effects upon arguments found that those who dressed up consistently fared better in negotiations. This is supported by the fact that the male wearers of the more casual dressers were found to have lower levels of testosterone (a hormone that fosters aggressiveness) on average than those in suits. The better scores may also have to do with a finding that business formal wearers were more creative and faster thinkers on their feet than those dressed down.

Work Out Like a Beast With the Right Gym Attire

The type and color of your workout attire could be limiting your potential. Researchers for a study in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology found that wearing the color red gave competitors an advantage when it came to lifting weights and exertion levels. Similarly, wearing workout clothing, like basketball shorts or gym leggings, improves your likelihood of going to the gym and makes you more athletic in general. With evidence of improved performance, there might be something to the guy donning a Michael Jordan jersey at the weekly pick-up basketball game.

Dress to Be the Person You Want to Be

Researchers at Northwestern University have theorized that the power of clothing comes from its symbolic psychological meaning. They found that wearing a lab coat (symbolic for scientific intelligence) improved participants' scores on certain aptitude tasks. By taking the common career advise of dressing for the job you want, not the job you have, and expanding that philosophy to life overall, you can be on the way to becoming your ideal self, one outfit at a time.

Dress Up Your Mood With the Right Attire

Putting on "happy" clothing can impact your level of happiness according to a study through the University of Queensland.  They found that brightly colored clothing boosted the mood and energy of participants. The opposite was also true, however. Drab or dirty clothing increased the likelihood of sadness and depressive feelings in the wearer.

Knowing just how powerful an outfit is upon daily life now makes dressing in whatever happens to be on the top of my clothes pile seem wildly irresponsible. An outfit can mean the difference between a successful, productive outing and a sad, mismatched day of poor luck. With that thought, maybe bad days aren't so much about waking up on the wrong side of the bed as they are about picking clothes from the wrong end of the closet.                        

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Logan, Utah.

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