You had a lousy night, overslept, cut yourself shaving, ripped off a button, left your flat in a flurry, forgot to grab the door key from the shelf, got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the airport where you cannot produce your passport for check-in. You now realise, that you had placed it next to the keys on the shelf to remind you of putting both into your wallet … Mishaps like these tend to trigger a chain reaction, if not a vicious circle. Why? Because under stress, our brain releases cortisol, which disables logical thinking and leaves us disoriented in a blur. But we can train ourselves to plan ahead and to get more organised in our daily routine by utilising the power of our hippocampus. A „pre-mortem“ could also help minimise the damage – by anticipating what might happen before it actually does and by having a rescuing scenario ready. One that has been conceived in a calm and controlled situation.
“We all are going to fail now and then,” says Daniel Levitin, the neuroscientist. “The idea is to think ahead to what those failures might be.”