It’s a bad day. You know the kind: no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to work out the way you want. Yes, we’ve all been there, and we know how it feels.
There are many things large and small that we can’t control, but there are ways to make peace with even the worst turn of events.
The first step is to change how you think—see things as they are, not as you want them. When you’re in a funk, try to focus on the things that are going well: your family, health, career.
The chances are that what’s going wrong won’t matter as much as we think.
The second step is to change your attitude. Tilt the scales in favor of what you can control, such as what you think and speak. Begin by taking a step back and looking at things objectively. Take a deep breath and count to ten. Then ask yourself what you can do to make things better—and then do it.
What else can you do to turn a bad day around and recover?
Consider these tips:
- Clarify the issue. The feeling a bad day offers becomes unbearable over time. You don’t feel like you’re having a bad day until a series of events happens.
– Identify what is beginning to make you feel bad. Perhaps you’re feeling on edge. You might be feeling overwhelmed. Or you might have a headache.
– Next, identify and name what’s going on. Telling yourself that “I’m tired” or “Everything is too much work” won’t change anything. Try saying, “I’m tired because I’ve been up all night” or “I feel overwhelmed because the deadline for a project is almost due, and I still have not started this task.”
– Just as people in a crisis are encouraged to name the danger, pinpointing a problem helps us deal with the situation.
- Be grateful. Sometimes we get so caught up in what’s wrong that we forget to think of the positive things in our life. Take a moment and reflect on three things.
– First, look beyond yourself. Think of someone who has done something nice for you or someone else in your family who needs extra love and attention today. Then there are the little things that make you happy – good music, a favorite meal, good friends.
– Second, focus on things that you’re grateful for in your current situation – things like a lovely home to live in, enough money to get through the month, and a job that pays well.
– Third, consider what you can be grateful for about yourself – your hard work, persistence, and effort. Focusing on positive things instead of negative will help you start to see situations a little clearer again.
– Neuroimaging studies show that a person cannot feel grateful and depressed simultaneously.
- Recognize that sometimes not getting what you want is a blessing in disguise. The most effective way to manage not getting what we want is to focus on what we have right now.
– When we get what we want, we’re happy. But when we don’t, it’s easy to get upset.
– Remember that you have more than you realize but can’t see because of your focus on some other thing. This perspective will help grow your appreciation for the things and people in your life. You will also be better able to recover from a bad day.
Recognize that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche came up with these words. His words describe the human capacity to overcome any obstacle and build from what others consider a disadvantage.
Momentum is everything. It’s better to keep taking a step forward despite trials than to step back and get knocked down. It’s better to go slowly at something than to leap quickly in the wrong direction. And it’s better to learn from a setback instead of being doomed by it.
The mind is stronger than the body. It can overcome whatever occurs in life that would overwhelm or discourage us—if our desire is strong enough.