May 02, 2013
Daily Affirmations For Problem-Solving Under Stress

Just tell yourself you are great and you can handle it.

If chronic stress is weighing down your problem-solving skills, self-affirmation may give your skills a boost, according to research published May 1 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by David Creswell and colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University.

Previous studies have shown that self-affirmation exercises can reduce acute stress, but the link between these improvements and chronic stress-related effects was unknown. In the current research, a group of students rated their levels of stress over the last month, and half the group then performed a self-affirmation exercise. Students who had completed this exercise scored significantly higher on a subsequent problem-solving task under pressure than those who had not performed the self-affirmation.

The authors conclude, "A brief self-affirmation activity is sufficient to buffer the negative effects of chronic stress on task performance and can improve the ability to solve problems in a flexible manner during high stress periods. Our study suggests that self-affirmation may increase creativity and insight in stressed individuals."

Stuart Smalley had the right idea.

And it might even be true that people like you. Anyone want to admit to being very unlikeable and preferring it that way? Or how about very unlikeable and not preferring in that way?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2013 May 02 07:05 PM 

Ronald Brak said at May 4, 2013 6:32 PM:

What was their control? How do we know that performing self-denigrations wouldn't have the same effect as self-affirmations? Lots of people regulary self-denigrate, for example in leather clubs ("I've been a bad, bad boy") and churches ("Oh Lord, you are just so super and we are all so very naughty") so I'm what, if anything, they get out of it.

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