Improve Your Mood by Typing with Your Right Hand Only
I have an embarrassing habit: I type with six fingers. Just as your grandma pecks at the keyboard with her two index fingers, I rely solely on my index, middle, and thumb fingers only. But it's not as slow as you think, and I'm not the only one out there that does it.
Yes, my typing habits are unusual (possibly even hilarious), but quirky typing habits can actually add a little positivity to your life. Utilizing just one hand to pound out emails and meeting minutes increases your happiness and offers psychological benefits.
We all have a favorite hand—but did you know that your brain prefers when you type with your right hand? Typing with this hand has the power to subconsciously boost your mood.
Researchers conducting a study on words and emotions found that words containing letters from the right side of the QWERTY keyboard are associated with positive feelings. Individuals ranked their attitude towards different words, and they overwhelmingly preferred those typed entirely by their right hand, such as pink and milk. In fact, each right-handed letter typed by the study's participants increased their happiness by four percent.
It's easy to assume that this right-handed preference is an effect of our right-hand-dominant population. Yet southpaws also experience this boost in positivity. Left-handed people felt an equal glow of positivity towards those words typed out by their right hand.
So what is it that makes us favor right-oriented words? The QWERTY keyboard is asymmetrical, skewed to make typing with your right hand easier. More letters are grouped on the left side of the keyboard, meaning it's a tiny bit harder to hit keys with your left hand. Yet that nearly imperceptible factor makes a difference.
Because there are fewer letters, and therefore keys, on the right side of the keyboard, we have an easier time typing quickly. This "perfection", or ease of task completion, makes us happy. We not only hit the letters more accurately, but we feel accomplished when we do so quickly.
More errors occur when we press keys with the fingers of our left hand, which leads our brain to associate positive feelings with right-handed typing.
Feeling at ease with our right hand and the keys beneath it changes how we view different words. The more comfortable we are with the right side of the QWERTY keyboard, the more we want to utilize that happy-inducing skill. As a result, more words are popping into jargon around the world—and they're primarily made of letters found to the right of the "G" key.
Although right-handed typing will make you think positive thoughts, you may want to stick to traditional typing at work. Typing with one hand will slow you down—and your coworkers will probably make fun of your unique style. After all, who types with just one hand unless they have to?
Rather than practicing your one-handed typing skills, focus on typing words made up of letters that rest on the right side of your keyboard. Surprisingly, researchers in the same QWERTY effect study found that it doesn't matter what you type with your right hand. The simple act of pushing keys makes people happy—even if the words are complete gibberish.
When asked to type out fake words, participants felt happiest when tapping their right hand against the keyboard. So, take a few minutes out of your day and bang out a couple sentences of gibberish. You can even have a little more fun with by acting like a brilliant keysmashing hacker.
So, if you're ever in need of a little positivity, get typing! Just keep your left hand away from the keyboard—you don't want to make things worse by using letters on the "wrong" side. If you ever do get stressed out while typing with your right hand, if you're actually right-hand dominant, use your left hand to relieve some of that anger.