Science has now proven that if you wake up thinking your work day is going to suck, it pretty much will.
More scientifically speaking, researchers from Penn State University found that if you think about how stressful your day at work will be when you're getting ready for it, the worse your concentration and memory will be -- and that will make your day more stressful.
At issue is the key element called "working memory," which controls the ability to process information, and looms large in concentration. It's working memory that was found to suffer the more a person fears their stressful day ahead, according to the survey of 240 people conducted by the scientists.
So when you're getting up, lighten up.
"Humans can think about and anticipate things before they happen, which can help us prepare for and even prevent certain events," says study co-author Jinshil Hyun 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."
"When you wake up in the morning with a certain outlook for the day, in some sense the die is already cast," says Martin Sliwinski, director of Penn State’s Center for Healthy Aging. "That hadn’t really been shown in the research until now, and it shows the impact of how we think about the world."
Sliwinski notes that this can be especially problematic for people with "big days" ahead of them, such as giving a speech or presentation at work. He suggests meditating as your day gets started, and suggests using an app to help you do it.