Starting your day off right has always sounded like a nice idea, but now a new study indicates that "waking up on the wrong side of the bed" is more real than ever.
According to researchers at Penn State, if you wake up feeling as if your day will be negative and full of problems, then your memory during the day may be impacted. The study reveals that even if something stressful does not happen, the mere anticipation of this stress will negatively affect your cognition, specifically when it comes to your "working memory."
Your working memory is what helps you learn and retain important information, even when you are not fully focused, or if you are distracted in some way. Find yourself multitasking often, or needing to remember important details during meetings? These are good examples of instances when you need your working memory to be sharp and at your immediate disposal.
Over the course of two weeks, 240 participants in the study answered questions about their expectations of the day as well as their stress levels as time went on. In the same timeframe, they were also asked to complete working memory tasks five times during the day.
Researchers found that the more stress anticipation participants had in the morning, the worse their working memory was later on in the day. Martin Sliwinski, director of Penn State's Center for Healthy Aging, notes, "A reduced working memory can make you more likely to make a mistake at work or maybe less able to focus."
A poor working memory can even affect your health overall and in the long term too. If you consider healthy aging, Sliwinski says that there are "certain high stakes cognitive errors that older adults can make. Taking the wrong pill or making a mistake while driving can all have catastrophic impacts."
What does this mean for you? Make sure your morning mindset is positive -- doing so is critical for not only a day of successful productivity, but also better health.