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Seven Steps to Getting Through a Bad Day with a Better Attitude

May 14, 2012
By Guest Blogger
|13Comments|


Have you ever had a totally awesome day followed by a totally crappy one? This happens to me all the time. One Friday night, I went to bed with a giant smile on my face, loving life and feeling completely present and grateful. On Saturday night, I sat pouting on the floor of the shower long after my shower had ended, writing “I hate my life” with my finger on the condensation of the shower wall.

Bad days are obviously inevitable, but when we compare them to our good days, they tend to feel even worse. For an explosively emotional person like me, suffering through the long hours of a bad day feels like trying to escape a house of mirrors, never quite finding an exit and getting frustrated with the seemingly never-ending obstacles. I guess I should add that I haven’t been inside a house of mirrors since going into one and smacking face first into a mirror, giving myself a bloody nose.

When I’m having a bad day, all I can think about is how much I want it to get better – how much I want to find a way out. When I complain and stress over wanting to feel better, I usually tend to feel even worse. It’s like a snowball effect.

So how do we push through all of the yucky feelings associated with a bad day? How can we make ourselves feel just a little bit better when all we want to do is sit in a corner pouting like a two-year old?

I’ve recently discovered some techniques that work pretty well for me.

Sit with yourself. Make a conscious effort to stop ranting and stomping around long enough to just sit still and let yourself breathe for a moment. Find a quiet space or go to one of your favorite rooms and just sit with your feelings. It may be uncomfortable and you may be fuming, but once you sit by yourself for a few moments and regain your composure, you’ll notice yourself starting to relax.

Address your feelings and the source of them. Get clear about how you feel and why you feel that way. If you can do something about a problem you’re having, give yourself time to calm down and then figure out how to fix it. If you can’t fix it, accept what is and just let it be.

Write a venting letter and then respond to it. I know it sounds weird, but it is extremely therapeutic. Write out a note saying whatever is on your mind. Read back over what you wrote and pretend that you are reading a letter from a close friend. Then respond to it the way you would respond to that friend. Hopefully, this exercise will help you find some clarity and bring you to a calmer, more rational mindset.

Do something that makes you feel good. Do something nice for yourself or something that will make you feel better. Go for a walk, listen to your favorite album, watch a movie, bake some cookies, call a good friend, etc. You never know how much a simple activity could turn your day around.

Focus on what truly matters. If you are stressed out or angry about something that you more than likely won’t even remember in the morning, don’t worry about it now. That spilled coffee, that person who cut you off in traffic, that rude comment from the lady at the grocery store – nothing like that should ruin your day. Ask yourself if what you’re so upset about really matters.

Envision a better tomorrow. Imagine that tomorrow could be better. Before you go to sleep at night, ask yourself what you can do to make the following day a good one. Picture yourself having a better day and believe that it can happen. Commit to doing everything in your power to make it happen. Anything that is not in your power, drop it.

Let go. Let go of whatever it is you’re clinging to, whether it be a worry over something you cannot control, an expectation or a grudge. Most of the time, when we’re in a bad mood, it’s because there is something we are holding on to that is putting a burden on us. Recognize that burden and release it. Let the day come to an end and realize that tomorrow is a new day to be happy.

Madison Sonnier is an aspiring writer and lover of music, animals, nature, creativity and the simple things in life. You can read her personal ramblings and life insights at Journey of a Soul Searcher.

Photo credit: Plesko



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13 responses to Seven Steps to Getting Through a Bad Day with a Better Attitude
  1. Debi said on May 14, 2012

    Good advice and before reading this, I had tried almost everything above (didn’t do the letter part, but great idea!) yesterday as it has only been 5 weeks since mom passed away. Love being a mom too, so that helped. I’ll keep this handy for the future. Thanks for being a guest blogger.

  2. Thank you, I am a proud survivor of yesterday! (A bad day in a mirror room, constantly bumping into myself) I will try to use your advices. Usually I totaly believe that picking my mind and analizing helps. What can I say, i’m still a freshmen in this classroom lesrning to treat myself with kindness and love. Please cheer for me :)

  3. Great article. I find a key that helps me and my clients deal with those bad days is simply giving ourselves permission to have one! So many of us feel under pressure to be constantly happy, but that just makes the whole thing a lot worse, we end up getting into this vicious cycle: we feel a bit down in the dumps and then beat ourselves up for being down in the dumps and then feel even more down in the dumps! The best thing is to acknowledge that your having one of those days, accept it and know it will pass. This in itself will make you feel a whole lot better and you’ll likely to be drawn to those activities/behaviours that will make you feel more positive without having to ‘force’ it.

  4. This was a great post. It’s so easy to get caught up in our bad moods. They start snowballing and before no time, we are completely stressed. This advice was really helpful and I’m going to try it when I feel my next bad mood arising :)

  5. I am in the midst of a bad day! I’m sick, cranky and sad but know that it will pass soon. For me, the key is being honest about you feel. “There ain’t nothing about this that doesn’t suck, but it will pass” is a mantra that works for me. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, C.

  6. Thank you for this!! I will use these next time I’m having one of those days.

  7. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve also heard someone say, “Before you get mad, ask yourself, will it matter in 10 minutes? 10 days? 10 years?” I also get quite a bit emotional on certain things and this easier said than done. Which is why I have to constantly remind myself :).

  8. Love your tips Madison. I think the sitting with yourself tip is so vital. Too often we don’t even give ourselves the chance to just sit quietly with ourselves and let things naturally just calm down. If i feel upset i make every known effort to get out in nature, i will immediately feel less anxiety and feel calm and connected again. I think more and more people are having the experience of feeling extremes lately, high highs and low lows. I think it has to do with the shift going on.

  9. Debi, So sorry to hear about your mom.

    I too loved this article – so true!

    I love the “will in matter in…” exercise. Really puts things into perspective.

    Sarah

  10. I sat down after a really bad day at college with some other students when I came across your blog. Your advice has allowed me to face them again in a couple of days with a calmer mind. Namaste

  11. Ani said on May 16, 2012

    What a beautiful article and so full of wisdom, thank you Madison! I love your description of being an ‘emotionally explosive’ person….I feel like that too and over the years I have come to love the fact that I really feel stuff….I see it as a blessing and not a curse anymore. The light of awareness really does shine out the shadows. I just wrote a little e-book about ‘loving yourself’ include the emotions, I put it out there in the world to sell on my website, so far I sold 6 copies and feel pleased…..I have definitely learned about the good and bad days through being self-employed and learning not to equate my income to my self-worth. So many lessons to learn in this life. Much love to you, Ani xx

  12. Thankyou for your comforting advice, a friend of mine forwarded this on to me, as i am going through testing times (if only they knew how many) but i will try & get out of this dark time, Thankyou

  13. I had one of these on Sunday. Left church crying … came home and talked hubby into taking me to Whole Foods. Amazing how a Chlora-Fil juice and some organic purchases can brighten up ones day.