Traditionally we are told that Friday 13th is the unluckiest day of the year and this year there are two of them (January and October). Those who worry about Friday 13th are classed by psychologists as Paraskavedekatriaphobics, which is bad luck if spelling isn’t your strong point!

It is likely that if you believe that Friday 13th will be unlucky you are likely to be in a state of anxiety and stress during the day which in turn may make the likelihood of suffering an accident more probable. It is also likely that you will focus your attention on what goes wrong and ignore what goes right so in a way you will create your own reality based on what you believe.

Someone who understands the topic of luck better than most is an ‘Luck Expert’ Dr. Matthew Smith from Bucks New University, UK. who holds a Phd in the subject. He believes that positive psychology can explain how it is our thinking processes that influences our experience of good and bad luck events, rather than what actually happens to us.

So, in this case, can we increase and improve the amount of good luck we experience? Dr Smith believes we can. Based on some of his latest research studies with different groups of people, he offers these 5 simple and practical tips to increase your good luck on every day of the year, not just Friday 13th.

5 Simple Tips to Increase Your ‘good luck’

1. Notice Luck

So many things in life are uncertain, unexpected and unplanned. Start to notice and acknowledge how many things each day can be attributed to good or bad luck.

2. Anticipate Good Luck

You may have heard of ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ – what we expect to happen changes our behavior and attitudes and influences outcomes. Start to expect good luck to occur and you are likely to notice that your ‘good luck’ increases.

3. Take Advantage of Opportunities

How many times are you offered an opportunity and don’t take it up? Say YES! Instead of no see how your incidences of good luck increase. It may be as simple as participating in a conversation, accepting an invitation or joining in an activity.

4. Trust the process

Allow yourself to believe that good luck can be increased and trust that it is alright to go with your instincts. Good luck is often found slightly outside your comfort zone. Be prepared to be surprised!

5. Keep bad luck in perspective

No matter what happens, remember ‘it could have been worse’. In psychology terms this is called ‘counterfactual thinking’ and it can help you find the good luck in a situation that you may have formerly thought of in terms of bad luck only.

Dr Matthew Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Bucks New University, England, where he is co-Course Leader for the MSc Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) programme (

If you are interested in joining in any future ‘luck programmes’ including research about Corporate Luck, please email Twitter @dr_matthewsmith