Top tips to attract luck on Friday 13th from leading psychologist

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Leading psychologist and ‘luck doctor’ from Buckinghamshire New University, Dr Matthew Smith, presents his Top Five Tips to attract good luck on Friday 13th.

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There are opportunities around us all the time, we just don't pay attention to them!

Picture caption: Leading psychologist Dr Matthew Smith, of Buckinghamshire New University.

Top tips to attract luck on Friday 13th from leading psychologist.

Are you dreading Friday 13th, fearing that this unluckiest of days will bring you nothing but trouble? Fear not, leading psychologist and ‘luck doctor’ from Buckinghamshire New University, Dr Matthew Smith, presents his Top Five Tips to attract good luck on Friday 13th (or indeed any day!)...

1 Embrace 'luck'
So many things in life are uncertain, unexpected and unplanned. Most days (including Friday 13th) will involve events like this, big or small. The challenge (indeed, the fun) is to embrace these events and acknowledge that much of what happens to us is down to luck, good and bad.

2 Expect good luck
If you tend to expect good luck rather than bad, you may find that you're actually likely to have more positive experiences. This is due to what psychologists call a 'self-fulfilling prophecy' in that your belief that things will work out in your favour influences how you interact with the world, which in turn affects the things that happen to you. This might at first seem at odds with Tip 1, but there are many things we might put down to luck, which we can influence. Combining tips 1 and 2 in the right way can be quite powerful, especially on a day like Friday 13th, when others are expecting the worst.

3 Be open to opportunity
There are opportunities around us all the time, we just don't pay attention to them. A relaxed and open attitude to what's around you can be enough to spot these opportunities and recognise them as such. It's within these opportunities that many 'good luck' experiences can lie. And don't forget your own role in creating opportunities ... striking up conversations and taking yourself out of your comfort zone are simple but important ways of making opportunities, and making your own luck.

4 Go with the flow
The idea of 'going with the flow' often gets a bad press, but knowing which way the wind is blowing and letting yourself to be carried along with the breeze is actually a great way to let luck into your life. It requires an element of trust that you get what you need and that unplanned events, if you let them, they can be the source of the exciting surprises.

5 Dealing with bad luck
OK, let's be honest... This is what you're worried about when it comes to Friday 13th isn't it? In some ways it brings us back to Tip 1, because even though you may now be better equipped to attract and create more good luck into your life each day, there's no getting away from the fact that bad things do happen. They are a part of life. But you can still use simple psychology to deal with these effectively. For example, one way is to remember that no matter what happens, it could be worse, so keep things in perspective. Psychologists refer to this idea of comparing what has happened to what might have happened as 'counterfactual thinking', and it can be a powerful tool in spotting the good luck in the bad.

Editor’s notes
Dr Matthew Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and teaches on the MSc in Applied Positive Psychology at Buckinghamshire New University. Prior to joining Bucks New University, Dr Smith has taught at Oxford Brookes University, Liverpool Hope University, and Liverpool John Moores University. His PhD research examined the psychological aspects of 'luck', both good and bad.

Buckinghamshire New University has enjoyed a long and successful history since it was founded in 1893. The University offers an extensive portfolio of courses spanning the creative and cultural industries, the management and information management sectors, and the public sector. It also offers services to industry including contract research, consultancy and the opportunity to employ graduates.

The University has a state-of-the-art building in High Wycombe known as the Gateway, which comprises a learning resource and technology centre, events hall, gym, sports science laboratory, dance, drama, music and video production studios, library and meeting rooms. It also offers a growing provision of student accommodation in High Wycombe; and a thriving base for nursing students and applied healthcare research in Uxbridge, West London.

Its alumni include television star Noel Fielding and London 2012 Paralympic and Olympic medallists Naomi Riches and Chloe Rogers, and it has bestowed honorary degrees on well-known figures including Fern Britton, Terry Wogan and England Rugby World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio.

Bucks New University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Ruth Farwell, is Chair of GuildHE, which represents the heads of some of the most recently designated universities and university colleges, specialist colleges and other bodies providing higher education programmes.


For further information, details and images contact Dean Valler, Communications Officer at Buckinghamshire New University, on 01494 601 636 or 07920 212 937 or email dean.valler(at)bucks(dot)ac(dot)uk.

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Sally Skea
Buckinghamshire New University
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