Waking up on the wrong side of the bed really does have an impact—and on more than your mood. A new study suggests that the wrong morning mindset could affect your memory.
The study revealed that when people woke up anticipating a stressful day, their memory suffered later. And that was true even if what they dreaded never happened.
In the two-week study, 240 adults took repeated memory tests and rated their stress levels. At the study’s end, higher levels of anticipated stress in the morning were associated with poorer working memory later in the day. Working memory is the kind of memory that helps people learn and retain information even when they’re distracted.
This reduced working memory may be particularly concerning for older adults who are already experiencing a cognitive decline, the researchers cautioned.
The study appeared in the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.
A few ways to destress
Relax your body—your mind may follow. Start with one muscle. Hold it tight for a few seconds and then relax. Do this with each of your muscles, beginning with your toes and feet.
Take some deep breaths. This helps you get plenty of oxygen and activates your body’s relaxation response.
Let go. Do your best not to worry about things you can’t control.
Move more. Exercise releases feel-good brain chemicals and can help ease stress.
Reach out. Call a caring friend—or send an email. Sharing your worries with a good listener you trust can help steady you.
Try to see the bright side. If you can, look at change as a positive challenge—not a threat.
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