#1.) Being in a Bad Mood. One study found that when people watched short films about things like death and cancer, did better on math tests. They were also better at recalling past events, and less likely to believe a rumor that wasn't true. A separate study from the Columbia Business School found that frowning made people more attentive and detail-oriented.
#2.) Dancing, Reading and Crossword Puzzles. A recent study in "The New England Journal of Medicine" found that reading and doing crosswords reduced the risk of developing dementia by about 50%. Meanwhile, most physical activities, including golf and swimming, didn't have many benefits. But DANCING reduced the risk of dementia by 76%. The researchers think it's because most physical activities are basically the same thing over and over again. But with dancing, your brain constantly has to fire off signals to move different parts of your body in weird ways. So it develops new neural pathways to keep up. Even in young people, they found that dancing can improve brain function.
#3.) Smoke buts to be smart. The pros definitely don't outweigh the cons, but the nicotine in cigarettes has actually been shown to have POSITIVE effects on your memory and your ability to learn. Researchers at the University of Amsterdam tested nicotine patches on Alzheimer's patients, and found that after regular doses, they answered memory-based questions two times faster, and their memories were much more consistent. It also might have similar effects for younger people too. In a different study, scientists gave small doses of nicotine to adolescent mice. Then they tested them a few months later, and the mice they'd been giving nicotine to were able to learn faster and perform better on tests.
#4.) Wear a Lab Coat. In one study, researchers had two different groups take a test. Half of them were in normal clothes, and the other half were given lab coats to wear. The ones in lab coats ended up making half as many mistakes. In a second study, they had people wear lab coats again, but told some of them that they were wearing a PAINTER'S coat. The ones who knew they were in lab coats still did well, but the ones who thought they were in painters' coats didn't. The researchers concluded that wearing a lab coat makes you FEEL smarter, which results in you performing better and making fewer mistakes