how do superstitions affect our lives

Superstitions are in the day to day of many people, even influencing many of our decisions. how do superstitions affect our lives.

how do superstitions affect our lives
how do superstitions affect our lives

Are you one of those who think the color yellow is bad luck? Are you horrified to be crossed by a black cat? We confirm. You are a bit superstitious. Superstitions are in the day to day of many people, even influencing many of our decisions. how do superstitions affect our lives.

But ... why do superstitions affect us so much? How do they arise? Today we talk about what they are and how they affect our lives psychologically.

What is a superstition?

Superstitions are irrational beliefs according to which it is considered that a certain behavior influences a person's life in some way.

We say that they are irrational beliefs, because there is no evidence that this is so.

There are both negatives, such as those that are associated with "good luck", such as four-leaf clovers, crossing your fingers, throwing coins into a fountain or making wishes when an eyelash falls.

There are so many superstitions. In fact, each culture has its own and each person can even develop their own. And it is that, sometimes, psychologically, superstitions give us a feeling of control in situations in which, supposedly, we do not have it, even reducing anxiety.

The origin of the concept of superstition has to do with a very important phenomenon in psychology called Operative Conditioning, which was mentioned for the first time by B.F. Skinner. Let's dig a little more into this!

And how is it applied in humans?

This experiment that we just talked about applies in a very similar way to people. And it is that, a person can associate something that happens to him, be it positive or negative, with a specific behavior.

Let's see an example: If we go to an exam with a specific bracelet and it turns out super good, we will probably go to the next exams with the same bracelet to be successful again.

In a negative way, we can think of the case of the black cat that crosses our path. From that moment on, we pay more attention to everything negative that happens to us, ignoring the positive. This reinforces our hypothesis and makes us believe that the superstition is true. We call this phenomenon Confirmation Bias.

But ... why are we superstitious?

When we are faced with new and uncontrollable situations, where we are nervous, people can find ourselves helpless, so we want to have everything under control.

And, as we have mentioned before, being superstitious is closely related to the feeling of control. That a person is fearful and has achieved some benefit or avoid something bad, after being guided by some superstition, makes him continue to be guided by them, since it gives him more peace of mind. ˜

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Three reasons why people are superstitious:

  1. Pretend to have control over uncertain situations.
  2. Attenuate feelings of feeling helpless and insecure.
  3. It is easier for them to face their fears relying on their own abilities.

Being superstitious is not bad in itself. In fact, on the one hand, there is a psychological benefit, since having the feeling of control over different situations gives us a feeling of relief.

But, as in everything, it can be a problem when it reaches certain levels, becoming an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Imagine depending on an amulet to the point of not feeling safe without it and not being able to go outside since you think you are not capable of doing anything without it.

In addition, superstitions make us trust ourselves less, and our performance may decrease if we have not performed certain rituals. We underestimate ourselves, we take away credit and give it to something that doesn't really have it.

What happens then? As we feel more insecure, anxiety levels rise, causing symptoms such as nervousness, a feeling of panic, increased heart rate, sweating or even tremors.

How to help avoid superstitious behavior?

The best way to avoid being a superstitious person is by training our mind and facing reality.

For example, exposing ourselves to situations in which we feel helpless without our lucky charms, makes us fight against the anxiety that this generates. And it is that, in the end, superstitions are beliefs, there is no scientific basis to support them. So, if any behavior based on some type of superstition is causing you anxiety, we recommend that you:

  1. Take control of your life. Stop creating bad luck and trust yourself more. You can avoid difficult situations yourself.
  2. Be decisive. Leave indecision behind and take the initiative. Do not hesitate and act.
  3. Face your fears. Everything bad that happens to you, you attribute to bad luck, and that is not the case. Don't get carried away by threats or insecurities. Not everything can be under your control.
  4. Control your anxiety. Forget superstitions. It can be tricky at first, but if not wearing your lucky charm to an exam makes you nervous, relax through breathing or Mindfulness to control anxiety.


Superstitions are beliefs that are not scientifically proven. In most cases, people are aware that they are irrational, and they do not affect us in our daily lives.

But, in the most serious cases, where we are trapped by these, even reaching obsession, specialized psychological support may be required, which will help the person to assess what internal and external factors may have caused this superstitious behavior and that Help develop a plan to release the anxiety of not having control over your life.

And you, are you superstitious?