It's been said that shoes make the outfit, but could it also be said that shoes make the attitude?
According to an article in Psychology Today, "The Psychology of Wearing Flip Flops
", there's a "deeper meaning of summer's favorite footwear." Just slipping your feet into sandals
will signal the mind that it's time to relax.
“Flip-flops are easy. With a simple slide of the foot, you’re ready to go—no laces, buckles, or socks required,” says Erena DiGonis, a licensed psychotherapist and certified health coach in Syosset, N.Y. When the rest of life seems difficult and fraught with responsibilities, flip-flops evoke happy-go-lucky ease.
Recently, researchers at Northwestern University coined the term “enclothed cognition” to describe the systematic influence that clothes have on a wearer’s psyche. Their research showed that volunteers performed better on selective attention tasks when wearing a lab coat, for instance. When donning flip-flops, you are telling yourself that you're the kind of person who knows how to relax and have fun.
Just as putting on a pair of no-nonsense women’s pumps or men’s wingtips sends a message to the brain that it’s time for work, slipping on flip-flops signals play. “Flip-flops liberate us from formality,” says Debbie Mandel, a stress management specialist and author of Addicted to Stress. They tell us that it’s time for recess.
Debbie Mandel, stress management specialist, followed up the Psychology Today article with a post on Intent.com
. Because physical stress results in emotional and mental stress, Mandel recommends keeping a pair of flip flops by your desk at work to help alleviate small physical stressors. She says:
Stress accumulates as it is an inflammatory process which suddenly swells out of control like toes in a closed shoe in the late afternoon on a hot day. When we deal with the little stressors, we are better able to focus and reframe the larger ones which come our way. Pain and discomfort are stressors which often lead to irritability, misunderstanding and conflict. So, put on your flip flops, spread your toes and you will ease on down the road, but stride mindfully as you don’t want to get an abrasion, blister, or banged toe on the journey.
So whether it's rain or shine, pick shoes that show you're ready for fun-filled times...even if you're just staying at home.