Be optimistic, at least in the morning. Just believing your day will be stressful after you wake up can cause you to be less productive and make a day at the office even harder, a new study finds.
That’s because when you start a day off thinking about a later event that could bring about more stress, your working memory weakens, say researchers from Penn State University. Working memory, of course, controls your ability to process and retain information in the short-term and also plays a key role in concentration.
“Humans can think about and anticipate things before they happen, which can help us prepare for and even prevent certain events,” says co-author Jinshil Hyun, a doctoral student in human development and family studies, in a university release. “But this study suggests that this ability can also be harmful to your daily memory function, independent of whether the stressful events actually happen or not.”