A recent study in Frontiers In Neuroscience showed the power of encouraging messages to those who were exercising. Those encouraged lasted longed. Check out this part of the report―
Study participants rode stationary bikes equipped with screens on which either smiley faces and encouraging words (“go,” “energy”) or sad faces and inactive words (“stop,” “tired”), were projected for less than 0.02 seconds, hidden by other visuals so they wouldn’t be consciously recognized. Subjects shown positive cues were able to exercise significantly longer than those shown negative cues. (emphasis added)
Did you catch that? Encouraging messages only needed to be 0.02 seconds long to make a huge difference.
A smile. A pat on the back. A wink. A thumbs-up. You can do all of those in less than a second, and it may be all the encouragement someone needs to keep on going.