Need cheering up after that big presentation fell flat? Wash your hands.
No seriously. Wash your hands. It sounds weird but Scientists in Germany found that doing so made participants more optimistic after failure as the cleansing symbolically eliminated the negative feelings.
But hold off if you need to work on a similar project that day. As while those who failed were more optimistic their next attempt would have improved results, they had lower motivation to try harder in the second round than those who didn’t sud their hands. Researchers found better results weren’t needed to restore participant’s perception of their competence for the task.