I never cease to be amazed at the myriad of tiny things that can influence our personal psychology.
Like my recent finding that women who wear jeans are more likely to be depressed.
Or the finding that women do worse on a maths test when wearing a bikini. No kidding.
Or that sports teams who wear black behave more aggressively.
Or that wearing a lab coat makes you more conscientious.
The clothes you wear have the power, literally, to change your mood or change your mind.
That’s pretty amazing if you ask me. Psychologists even have a name for this, they call it enclothed cogition. It all goes to show that we should think very carefully about what we pull out of the wardrobe in the morning.
|Sad? Jeans can be a giveaway. Photo credit Daily Mirror.|
I asked 100 women what they wore when feeling depressed. More than half of them said jeans (that’s almost double the number who would wear jeans when feeling happy).
Also 57% of the women said they would wear a baggy top when depressed, yet a mere 2% would wear one when feeling happy.
The women also revealed they would be ten times more likely to put on a favourite dress when happy (62%) than when depressed (6%).
Accessories can make a difference too. My study found that:
· Twice as many women said they would wear a hat when happy than when depressed.
· Five times as many women said they would wear their favourite shoes when happy (31%) than when depressed (6%).
It seems that ‘happy’ clothes - ones that make women feel good - are well-cut, figure enhancing, and made from bright and beautiful fabrics. The opposite of most jeans in fact.
Since clothes can exert an influence over our psychological processes pulling on a pair of jeans and a baggy top because you’re feeling a bit low could actually make you feel more depressed.
So the recipe for happiness?
Well, as we say in our behavioural change work, it helps to act the opposite of how you feel. To do something different.
So if you're a bit blue, put on a happy dress!