Science Daily reports that rinsing your hands after failure may help you deal with negativity better.
Junior Professor for Social and Media Psychology Dr. Kai Kaspar from the University of Cologne recruited 98 volunteers and separated them into three groups. The first two were assigned to do an impossible task, but members of the second group were asked to wash their hands after. The third group only participated during the task's second run, which meant that they did not experience the initial failure of the first two groups.
Those who had washed their hands were found to be more optimistic about completing the task the second time around. However, the heightened positivity did not mean better results—hand washing slightly diminished motivation, resulting in a performance that was only at par with the third group who had not experienced the exercise during the first run.
It seems that the act of physical cleansing may improve the way you deal with failure. So if you're feeling frustrated with a task, head to the rest room and wash your hands, and you might be less likely to dwell on it.
(Photo by Todd Baker via Flickr Creative Commons)