Bucks’ Luck Doctor has medicine for Friday 13th

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Date: 13th Nov 2020

Bored of banana bread? Enough of learning Espanol? And now we have an ‘unlucky’ day right in the middle of lockdown! The ‘Luck Doctor’ Dr Matthew Smith from the Centre for Positive Psychology at Buckinghamshire New University, shares his tips for turning this day around in lockdown.

It could be said that 2020 has been like one long Friday the 13th, and now we’re back in ‘lockdown’, you might be feeling that today’s threat of bad luck is just one step too far down your own personal path of pessimism.

Bucks’ Positive Psychologist, Dr Matthew Smith, says it’s about time you put to bed the idea that this day is a harbinger of bad luck. In fact, he suggests it comes down to the right balance of accepting what you can’t control and influencing what you can in order to make your own luck. His advice? Follow these top tips for attracting good luck this Friday 13th (or indeed any day!).

1 Embrace 'luck'
So many things in life are uncertain, unexpected and unplanned. The challenge 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 expect good luck rather than bad, you may find that you're actually likely to have more of it. Psychologists call this a 'self-fulfilling prophecy' in that your beliefs influence 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! Getting the balance right 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 notice them. Cultivate a relaxed and open attitude to what's around you 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 Stercus accidit (look it up!)
Let's be honest... it’s the bad luck you're worried about when it comes to Friday 13th, isn't it? 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. One way is to remember that no matter what happens, it could be worse. Another way is to look for the lesson to be learned. What can be gained from this experience? Taking this perspective doesn’t always come easy, but it can help through the hardest of times.

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