Subliminal cues can reverse age stereotypes and increase your strength.

Two recent studies on subliminal messages have found that subconscious visual cues can improve athletic performance and reduce negative age stereotypes of physical ability. The latest research shows that subliminal messages have the power to fortify your inner strength and boost self-confidence on and off the court.

Subliminal visual cues are words, pictures or symbols that are unidentifiable to your conscious awareness. Subliminal stimuli happens so quickly that it is literally “below the threshold” of your conscious mind.

Visual stimuli that is flashed for just a few milliseconds can be absorbed at a subconscious level before your conscious mind has time to interpret the incoming visual stimuli. The effect of subliminal messages can be positive or negative depending on the content of the messages being flashed before your eyes.

A Brief History of Subliminal Messaging

The concept of subliminal messaging took hold in the public consciousness after the 1957 publication of a book titled The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard. In his book, Packard introduces the idea of subconscious messaging that advertisers could use to influence consumers.

In the summer of 1957, James Vicary conducted an experiment on subliminal visual cues during screenings of the film Picnic. Every five seconds, Vicary flashed words like “Drink Coca-Cola” and “Hungry? Eat Popcorn!” for 1/3000th of a second—which is below the threshold of conscious perception. Vicary claimed that displaying these subliminal suggestions increased Coca-Cola sales by 18.1% and caused a 57.8% jump in popcorn sales.

Although the results of his study were dubious, in January of 1974, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) banned subliminal advertising from radio and television broadcasting.

The official announcement by the FCC admitted that—even though they weren’t 100% convinced that subliminal techniques were effective—they stated, “whether effective or not, they were contrary to the public interest, and that any station employing subliminal messages risked losing its broadcast license.”

The two most recent studies on subliminal messaging show that subliminal visual cues do, in fact, have an effect on physical function, endurance, and inner strength.

Subliminal Visual Cues Can Renew a Youthful Sense of Self

The first recent study on the power of subliminal messaging was conducted at Yale University. The researchers at the Yale School of Public Health found that older individuals who were subliminally exposed to positive visual cues and stereotypes about aging showed improved physical functioning that lasted for several weeks.

The October 2014 study, “Subliminal Strengthening: Improving Older Individuals, Physical Function Over Time With an Implicit-Age-Stereotype Intervention,” was published in the journal Psychological Science.

For this study, the researchers used a unique method to examine whether exposure to positive age stereotypes could weaken negative age stereotypes and lead to more vitality and healthier outcomes.

Some of the participants were subjected to positive age stereotypes on a computer screen that flashed words such as “spry” and “creative” at speeds that were too fast to be picked up consciously. This is the first time that researchers have looked at whether positive age stereotypes, presented subliminally across multiple sessions in the community, might lead to improved outcomes.

In a press release, lead researcher Becca Levy PhD, associate professor and director of the Social and Behavioral Science Division at Yale said, “The challenge we had in this study was to enable the participants to overcome the negative age stereotypes which they acquire from society, as in everyday conversations and television comedies. The study’s successful outcome suggests the potential of directing subliminal processes toward the enhancement of physical function.”

During the experiment, positive age stereotypes and positive self-perceptions of aging were strengthened, and negative age stereotypes and negative self-perceptions of aging were weakened.

The researchers found that the subliminal intervention influenced physical function through a chain reaction of positive effects: First it strengthened the subjects’ positive age stereotypes, which then strengthened their positive self-perceptions, which then improved their physical function.

The improvement in these outcomes continued for three weeks after the last intervention session. Most importantly, negative age stereotypes and negative self-perceptions of aging were weakened.

On a cautionary note, the negative age stereotypes and subliminal messages that each of us absorb non-consciously every day through advertising and other streams of media can lead to lower self-esteem. If left unchecked, this can create a snowball effect and downward spiral that saps your inner strength and self-confidence.

Subliminal Messages Can Reduce Perceptions of Effort and Increase Endurance

The second study was conducted by Professor Samuele Marcora at the University of Kent in collaboration with colleagues at Bangor University. In this experiment the researchers flashed subliminal cues, such as action-related words or happy vs. sad faces on a digital screen while endurance athletes were exercising on a stationary bicycle.

Their December 2014 study, “Non-Conscious Visual Cues Related to Affect and Action Alter Perception of Effort and Endurance Performance,” was published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

The subliminal words and faces appeared on a digital screen for less than 0.02 seconds and were masked by other visual stimuli making them unidentifiable to the participant’s conscious mind. When the athletes were presented with positive visual cues like “go” and “energy” or were shown happy faces they were able to exercise significantly longer compared to those who were shown sad faces or words linked to inaction.

Related: Keep Running – How the Brain Can Be Manipulated

This research is the first to demonstrate that subliminal visual cues can impact athletic performance. Additionally, the researchers found that the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) can be affected, for better or worse, by subliminal cues when you exercise.

Professor Marcora is currently exploring ways in which this research could open up new possibilities for athletes to improve their performance by using technology, such as ‘smart glasses’, to provide positive subliminal cues during training and competition.

Conclusion: Self-Perceptions Can Be Anything You Imagine Them to Be

I learned about the power of subliminal messaging through trial-and-error as an ultra-endurance athlete out in the field. I’ve written extensively about how-to use positive subliminal messaging to improve performance in The Athlete’s Way. It’s exciting to see scientists proving the benefits of non-conscious visual cues—on and off the court—for people from all walks of life through empirical research.

Related: Subliminal Messages – How They Work and How They Affect Us

This article was originally published on Psychology Today.

About the author

Christopher Bergland is a world-class endurance athlete, coach, author, and political activist. Follow him on Twitter for updates on The Athlete’s Way blog posts.

If you’d like to read more on this topic, check out his Psychology Today blog posts:

(Photo via Can Stock Photo)

The art of attraction spans far more than the romantic, sexual, or physical.

Your charm, personality, and attitude can win people over in business, on dates, and when forming new friendships.

In other words, your ability to attract and engage people seeps into every corner of your life – from the superficial to the spiritual. Needless to say, we were curious about the most universally attractive habits and personality traits, just as we were about the most universally unattractive traits.

After combing through various psychology studies, here are the three personality traits that are attractive to everyone.

A Positive Attitude

Unsurprisingly, those who project a positive attitude and outlook on life succeed in attracting the people around them. Not only do more optimistic people tend to live longer, but they’re also more professionally successful, mentally and physically healthy, and socially attractive. Similarly, people who practice kindness are also perceived as being more attractive. The best part? You can actually train yourself to be a naturally positive thinker.

Balanced Extroversion

While one study actually linked extraversion to physical attractiveness, extroverts simply have “big social networks, a history of good relationships, an inclination to explore opportunities, and dispositional happiness,” writes psychologist Adrian Furnham, Ph.D., for Psychology Today. What’s more, extroverts are also more likely to have more sexual partners, offspring, and general “mating success.” Never underestimate the power of an open heart and a friendly smile.


Topping nearly every list of attractive qualities to look for in a partner, confidence has a way of putting others at ease while elevating your social status. In fact, both men and women rate confidence as a very attractive personality trait in a potential partner, according to a 2002 study out of Arizona State University. Considering that confident people come off as more authentic, self-assured, and socially magnetic, we can’t say we’re surprised.

Which universally attractive traits would you add to this list? Share your thoughts below!

By Kelsey Clark

Original source: MyDomaine

Use these psychology hacks to improve the outcome of any social situation.

Social situations are among the most important in our lives. Psychologists who have a keen eye for details keep discovering new behavioral patterns that are believed to be rooted in our childhood and can be applied to everyone.

This list of psychology hacks hopefully will improve your communication skills and make your life easier in social situations.

1. Do you want to know if someone likes you?

Each time that a person uses a word, or a synonym of that word, nod, and smile. If the person likes you, they will start using that word all the time. From this point on, act accordingly.

2. If you want people to agree with you, try this.

When you are speaking to a person, maintain eye contact and nod. The ‘nod’ means ‘everything I am saying is true.’ People tend to like mimicking, so they will most probably nod back while you talk. This will subsequently communicate to their brains that they have to agree with you.

This one is powerful and also a bit manipulative. So, use it with your own responsibility and in an ethical way.

3. Want to see if someone is paying attention to what you are saying? Fold your arms.

Usually when we are in the middle of a conversation and especially if we talk about something very important to us, we get lost in our talking and rarely pay attention to whether the other person is following us or not.

So, instead of losing time talking to a person who is distracted and might not even be interested in what you are saying, do this: fold your arms while talking and see if the other person follows your movements. If the other person is observing you and pays attention, they will most likely mimic you.

4. Is that person staring at me?

If you would like to find out if someone is staring at you, yawn. Then, look there way. If the person yawns too, they are watching you, because yawning is contagious.

5. Want to know who likes who in a group of people?

Make a joke that is laughter inducing, and then glance around the group. People will immediately glance at the person in the group they feel closest to as they laugh.

6. Pay attention to people’s feet.

If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join in the conversation.

Similarly, if you are in a conversation with a coworker who you think is paying attention to you and their torso is turned towards you but their feet are facing in another direction, they want the conversation to end.

7. Having trouble remembering names? Repeat the other person’s name during the conversation.

Remembering names is very important because we feel important when someone mentions us. So the moment you meet someone, repeat his name.

Example: “Hi. my name is Alex.” “Nice to meet you Alex. So, Alex how do you know John?” Then, continue to repeat his name for a few more times throughout the conversation.

8. Assume comfort in any interaction.

Our brain is an incredibly complicated instrument. We think we have control over it but it usually dictates our actions unconsciously.

In most of the social situations, we find it difficult to feel comfortable among strangers because our brain tries to protect us from an unknown environment.

This, however, isn’t helping us when trying to be social and meet new people, is it?

This is why assuming comfort is so powerful. Commanding your brain to feel that you already know the person you are about to meet, puts you in a position of advantage. It increases the chances of people showing interest in you and consequently even liking you.

9. If you want people to feel good, give them validation. Rephrase what they just told you.

We love validation. Most of our actions are the outcome of our need for validation. So what is the best way to get people to like you? Give them what they need, of course.

A simple example is when you are in a conversation with another person and he says something really important for him. After he finishes, rephrase what he just said in your own words. This will make him think that you are a good listener and that you are really interested in what he says. That makes him feel he is the center of attention.

10. If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer, just wait. They will keep talking.

This is a very common situation when you don’t know the other person that well or your question wasn’t clear enough. If they finish the answer without providing a full answer, just wait. Stay silent and keep eye contact. If the tension becomes unbearable, raise your eyebrows. It puts a bit of pressure on them but it communicates that you show interest. It also sub-communicates that you are a person that usually gets what he wants.

11. Confidence is more important than knowledge.

Two young candidates walked into the interview office to apply for the same job. The first one had a Ph.D., two Masters and a Bachelor’s degree. The second one had just a Bachelor. The first one was kind of shy, didn’t talk much, his body language was turned inward. The second one had an upright posture, was looking the interviewers directly in the eyes, showed a lot of interest in the job and his answers were emitting confidence. We don’t have to tell you who got the job.

12. Fake it until you make it.

No one became an expert on anything over night. However, the learning process in everything you do is accelerated by commanding your brain to think what you want it to think.

In simple words. You are what you believe you are. You are confident if you believe you are confident. You are attractive if you believe you are attractive. You are extrovert if you believe you are extrovert If you want to look deeper into this idea look up two words: Neuroplasticity and brain rewiring.

13. If you want to be persuasive, try and reduce the use of the words “I think” and “I believe.”

I don’t really feel the need to elaborate on this one. Obviously, these words do not evoke confidence and the other person will most probably not take you seriously. Change them to ‘I know’ and ‘I will’ instead.

14. A clean and organized environment affects your mood, productivity, and others perception of who you are.

How many times have you waken up without any motivation at all? How many times have you started working on something without being able to get focused and inspired?

Next time this happens, take a look around you. Is your environment clean and well-organized? If not, take some minutes to clean it up and put everything into place. You will feel refreshed and reborn and productivity will spark immediately. But not only that, you will come across as caring and punctual, two highly esteemed traits.

Why do you think most of the big companies pay so much attention to creating the best working environment for their employees? They know what makes them happy and how it affects their productivity.

15. When someone insults you, either ignore him or mock him. Never lose temper.

Haters are everywhere. The more you feed them with hate, the stronger they become. Never lose your temper. This is a great example of how to deal with a hater.

16. Stand up straight, hands out of your pockets and always keep eye contact.

Do the following:

  • Keep a straight posture and walk like a born leader. This sub-communicates confidence and others will respect you automatically.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets. If you don’t know what to do with them, it is better to fold your arms rather than keep them inside your pockets.
  • You have heard this a thousand times. Here is the 1001st. – never lose eye contact! Losing eye contact is like losing your confidence. One cool trick when first meeting someone is to focus on their eye color and smile at the same time. The eyes are the gateway to the soul, and taking the extra second to gaze shows you are confident and present. (Be sure to move your eyes away periodically, a constant stare will probably creep people out.)

17. Don’t be afraid to touch another person.

Touching someone on the shoulder or their knees create an emotional and physical bond. Especially during moments of joy, laughter, and excitement touching positively reinforce these traits.

18. If you work in a bar or in customer service of any kind.

Put a mirror behind you at the counter. When an angry customer approaches you, he will have to see himself in the mirror and will most probably calm down. Nobody likes ruining his image.

19. Chew gum if you are nervous.

Evolutionarily speaking, our brain assume that if we are eating then we aren’t in any immediate danger, so the fight or flight response is weakened.

20. Refer to people by their name.

If you’ve just met someone, refer to them by their name. People loving being referred to by their name and this will establish a sense of trust and friendship immediately.

21. Want to ace an interview?

People tend to remember the beginning and end of an event. Because of that, try to start and end the interview strongest. The middle will most likely be a blur, so during that time, if you don’t do so well, you should still do well overall.

Do you have some other interesting psychology hacks to suggest? Share them in the comments below.


Photo: Source

A healthy relationship may require the development of certain attributes related to your self-confidence.

It’s that glow in your eyes, the way you hold your head high and laugh wholeheartedly that gives away your level of self-esteem when you least expect it. That vibe is almost tangible, and yet it comprises of so many intricate qualities that it cannot be summed up into words alone, but you know when it’s there, in someone’s walk and bearing.

And yet, we often fail to realize the importance of our self-confident attitude when we build a bond with someone from day one. Whether you’re just starting out, or well into a relationship, there are a few crucial steps to maintain and grow your confidence in order to make the most of your amorous alliance.

1. Build a positive mindset

Although this powerful attitude translates well to your love life, when you gain greater control of your thought processes and steer them in a positive direction, your entire life can transform with your growing self-esteem. Avoid plaguing your mind with those infamous “what ifs” that tend to have a negative outcome.

Watch: Improve Your Self-Esteem

Instead, choose to form positive, affirmative thoughts in your mind. Remind yourself of your finest traits and whenever you notice a tendency to wander into negativity, rewind and restructure your thoughts into something positive about yourself. Find three things that you appreciate about yourself and let those thoughts sink in.

2. Focus on being you

Although you’re in a relationship, that doesn’t mean that you need to forgo your individuality in order to merge everything into a “we”. In fact, if anything would drive a man away, it’s that attitude where his and your identities no longer have a unique value outside of your relationship, even if it’s just your perception.

Always build your life outside of your relationship. Work on your skills, improve your existing knowledge and always find new interests to occupy yourself with, because the more interesting you are to yourself genuinely, the more attractive your partner will find you!

3. Show self-respect

There will inevitably be embarrassing moments, unexpected situations and even conflicts, as they are all a natural part of developing a relationship and getting to know your significant other. However, even when you make mistakes or faux pas, you deserve to be treated with respect.

And when you establish that you will not put up with demeaning words or behavior due to your own level of self-respect, your partner will know to approach you with respect even when you reveal your imperfections. Embrace your flaws, strive to become a better individual, but never let anyone put you down.

4. Be genuine

You might be wondering how to attract a man you like in the first place, and you might even consider resorting to playing games, but such desperation and insecurity can only drive a man away. However, the opposite is what will allow you to build a lasting, healthy relationship. Honesty is a trait of the brave, and despite what you initially might see as your unsurpassable flaws, being genuine will help your partner realize who you really are and if the two of you are meant to be together.

There is no sense in pretending to be a different person from the one that you are, even if you feel desperate or scared of rejection – if you are compatible, you will enjoy every aspect of your connection, and not feel the need to hide. Wouldn’t you want to learn about the real him, as well? When you’re genuine, you present your authentic, unique self, and nothing is more appealing than self-love and self-acceptance.

5. Discern what defines you

First of all, you already know that no one is perfect, therefore, neither is your desired partner, but you don’t feel the need to reject him over having a quirky quality or two if he is a valuable individual. Secondly, your insecurities and your flaws don’t define you, nor do they make you undesirable.

It’s equally important to remember that comparing yourself to others will only lead to dissatisfaction, and you should never perceive other people’s comments and beliefs as something that defines you. When you let go of comparisons and basing your self-perception on what others see, you will not only embrace your genuine self, but allow your partner to do the same.

How you perceive your present or past relationship(s)? Have you any tips for building a healthy relationship? Share with us in the comments below!

This article was originally created and published by Visual Meditation. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution (active link to this article) and author bio.

What are the habits of people with high self-confidence?

Confidence can be described as a belief in one’s ability to succeed. Striking a healthy balance can be challenging. Too much of it and you can come off as cocky and stumble into unforeseen obstacles, but having too little can prevent you from taking risks and seizing opportunities—in school, at work, in your social life, and beyond.

Psychology Today

Have you ever met someone who mesmerized you only with his presence? In the way he speaks, stands, sits… Some people exude dazzling, glamorous qualities and features that attract others. Others may more or less, lack such perceptible qualities.

But when those shining people speak, they charm. When they talk, everyone is listening. There is a mutual connection -not always in an erotic way, which leaves us with the feeling of wanting more of them. You can call it as you like: self-confidence, charisma, charm, magnetism, elegance etc. But it is certain that those people have that “something” that others love to worship.

The following are the most common behaviors of people with high self-confidence:

1. Proper Body Language

These people expose and use this feature as they move around. This does not mean that they feel self-confident at all times and everywhere, but that they understand the importance of appearing in this way. In addition, they know that the right attitude, the way they are perceived, interacts with the very feeling -a connection between mind and body.

2. Honest Interest in Others

Many of us are trying to find an answer to give, while another person speaks to us. We do it because inaccurate silence is something we want to avoid and we feel unnatural -a by-product of social pressure that is surely inaccurate. True and real sincerity lies in overcoming the need to be listened as interesting persons and using this energy to deeply and truly invest in others.

3. Tendency for Exploration of Others

A one-sided conversation is not at all interesting and certainly not respected. People who understand that they all have a story and take this truth into account are more likely to attract others. So, encourage others to talk about themselves and don’t ignore the details of their life they want to share.

4. Sharing the Attention of Others

People with high self-confidence are not particularly worried if they are not the center of attention. Forget the image of the famous student in the corridors and the yard of the school; men and women with high self-confidence are the least selfish. They will generously share the attention of others; they will praise those who deserve it, and will often try to make others feel happy and motivate them.

5. Giving a Powerful Message

A strong message with a proper purpose. Their personal stories inspire us and reveal their humble and unselfish mood. So tell your story, but try framing it so that others can benefit from it.

6. Being Good Listeners

According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the expression of interest and questions made participants more open to the idea of talking to the speaker and judging the conclusions of the conversation as more valid. In other words, talk less and listen more.

7. Not Feeling the Need to Be Always Right

In another study conducted by Emory University, the primitive response of the brain “fight or flight” was found to be triggered by the interest of the subject under discussion. Putting it simply, the need to be right lies deep in the human brain, especially if it’s related to our strong passions -and this is true regardless of scientific evidence or logic.

People with high self-confidence can manage their primitive feelings better; choosing to participate and really listen to a conversation regardless of the opposing points of view.

8. Starting With a Positive Mindset

Beginning our day with a positive attitude makes us navigating it easier. So, begin your conversations with a positive note, act with respect and honesty, and leave a positive aura wherever you go.

9. Not Hiding Vulnerability

Contrary to what most people believe, appearing vulnerable does not mean you are weak. This is a very human situation that is both charming and compelling. Being vulnerable without feeling bad about it makes it easier to establish trust and reveals a sense of self-confidence. It also gives a powerful message: that it is ok not to be perfect and that we don’t have to be tough with ourselves.

10. Smile More

Yes, that’s not surprising. People with high self- confidence are most of the times happier and cheerful than other, more insecure types of people. Even a slight smile will relax the atmosphere and make those around you more willing to hear what you have to say. They will also trust you more before they even hear you.

Based on the above, what do you think? Do you have high self-confidence? Do you have these features? If not, would you adopt them?

H/T: Power of Positivity