Science is awesome. It explains how birds can fly, why the sky is blue, and how gravity works. However, you can also use science to perfect the tiny details of your everyday life — from sleeping better to working smarter and even cooking better food. Here are 10 ways sciences can help improve your daily life.
#10 Stay Creative In The Shower
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Ever wonder why your best ideas seem to come in the shower, when there’s no notepad within reach? Science has the answer: a warm shower releases dopamine, just as exercise and music do. It relaxes you and distracts you so you can work on the problem more creatively. Now all you need is a good waterproof notepad to make sure you don’t forget them.
#9 Kick Stress To The Kerb
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We’ve all experienced a shocker day where everything just seems to go wrong. Bad moods happen for a reason, and it’s often due to “ego depletion” — the idea that you’ve used up too much willpower to avoid something. The other thing that can make it worse? Thinking about the fact that you’re having a bad day. In fact, believing in the concept of a “bad day” is likely to make your day worse right then and there. If you’re having a short bout of stress, though, luckily there’s plentyyou can do to crush it right then and there.
#8 Cook (And Eat) Better Food
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We all know food science plays a role in energy levels and weight loss, but science can also help your food taste better too. After all, cooking is science, and basic scientific principles — such as measuring correctly or understanding how heat works — can make for a much tastier dish. While you’re at it, be sure to check out these food myths (and these follow-up myths) that just won’t die, and how science has debunked them.
#7 Make Your Video Games Worthwhile
You may think that video games are just an entertaining time sink, but science shows us that there may be more to them than that. Sure, some games are just entertaining, but others might have psychological, physical and therapeutic benefits. A simple game of Tetris could reduce emotional scars after a traumatic experience (and has other beneficial effects). So upgrade your PC, build yourself a retro arcade, or do whatever it is you do to get your game on. Just don’t feel guilty about it.
#6 Shop Without Influence
Retailers and advertisers have done a lot of research into the science of your brain, and how they can use it against you. Luckily, you can use that same science to try and overcome their sneaky ways. Start with how advertising manipulates your choices, and then move onto the tricks they use to get you in the store. Once you’re in, it’s all about you — don’t let them trick your senses or use your brain’s weaknesses to get you to spend more. If you know their tricks, you can fight back.
#5 Exercise More Efficiently
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There’s a lot of misinformation that gets spread regarding exercise. Luckily, with a little science, you can debunk these myths, exercise better, and prevent injury. Not only that, but science can also help you exercise more efficiently — that is, get in a better workout in less time. While you’re at it, you can also use music to your advantage by creating the ultimate exercise playlist, based on the perfect rhythm to get your heart pumping.
#4 Communicate With Others
Ever feel like you aren’t very good at communicating your thoughts, whether that’s in a presentation at work or a debate with friends? Researchers have done a lot of work on finding out the best techniques for being more convincing, keeping idiots from ruining your day, and even spot a liar. Of course, if you want to use those powers for evil, you could always learn how to manipulate people into doing what you want…but you wouldn’t do that, would you?
#3 Be More Productive
Some of us spend half our careers procrastinating, wasting time on busywork, and otherwise working inefficiently. Fortunately, a bit of science can help you become a better worker. Learn why we procrastinate and how to fight it, as well as the arguments against the most common productivity myths myths that plague us. Work smarter, not more, and you’ll find that work is a lot less…well, work.
#2 Sleep Better Instead Of Longer
When was the last time you put any real thought into your sleep routine? You may think sleep science is full of marketing gimmicks meant to sell you pillows and mattresses, but it’s real: simple things like an evening ritual, your sleep environment, and when you go to bed make a massive difference in how rested you are the next day. Science even explains why the snooze button is bad for your brain. The right sleep schedule can go a long way, and even a simple power nap can keep you more productive when you’re feeling drowsy.
#1 Learn Anything
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Everyone has a few skills on their list they’d love to learn, but it just seems so darn hard. Luckily, you can use science for better learning too. Read up on what happens to your brain when you learn a new skill, even if it’s something “useless”. From there, you can use that information to help you figure out the best learning method for you, get over that “I Suck” barrier, and actually learn something new.
This article has been updated since its original publication.