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This 30-Second Habit Is Scientifically Proven to Clear Your Mind - Apartment Therapy

This 30-Second Habit Is Scientifically Proven to Clear Your Mind - Apartment Therapy
From The Kitchn - September 28, 2017

You know that whole concept of "washing your hands of" something? The old saying is not about physically washing your hands, but rather, about choosing to not be involved in or connected to something anymore. It's like hitting resetand as it turns out, washing your hands might actually help.

A recent study out of the University of Toronto shows that washing your hands can lead to more flexible thinking and can help people shift their priorities.

How so? Researchers conducted four experiments in which participants were primed to focus on a particular goallike "make healthy choices," for exampleand then asked to play word games or fill out short surveys. Some participants were asked to use a wipe to clean their hands after being given the goal, and those who did were less likely to think about said goal in the process. They were also less likely to make behavioral choices consistent with the goal, less likely to find it important, and their focus was more easily reoriented to another goal.

"For people who were primed with a health goal, for example, using the handwipe reduced their subsequent tendency to behave in a healthy mannerthey were more likely to choose a chocolate bar over a granola bar," said Ping Dong, one of the PhD students who conducted the research.

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