If you're like most people, you wake up to an alarm ringing on your smartphone. Then you probably roll over and check your work email.
That's a dangerous way to start the day, according to a woman who studies happiness for a living.
Reading just one negative email could lead you to report having a bad day hours later, says Michelle Gielan, former national CBS News anchor turned psychology researcher and best-selling author.
"Even if you have one good and one bad [email], the bad always seem more powerful," Gielan says in a recent episode of "The Productivityist Podcast."
So what should you do if you need to check your email or the news in the morning?
Gielan has a research-backed solution that takes just two minutes.
Before you check your email or the news, put yourself in the right frame of mind by taking two minutes to draft a positive email to someone in your social support network.
Thank a friend or family member for their support, or praise a colleague on their recent work, she suggests.
After you send your upbeat email, move on to your regular routine of checking your work email or the news.
That two-minute message primes your brain to see everything in a more positive light.
"It will change how you process your day and how you process your email at 2 o'clock in the afternoon," she says.