Techniques to help cope with a bad day
We’ve all been there: those days where one thing after the other goes wrong. It might start with something as simple as the weather, or something more serious or costly like a car accident, but the build-up of negativity can make it hard to stay positive, get out of the funk and move forward. Sometimes it may not even be a clear cut incident that leads to a bad day, but more like a bad mood, an irritating laugh or forgetting something that can turn an otherwise good day into a bad one.
So how do you cope when these factors are weighing you down? And if you can’t undo a bad day how do you at least be more accepting of it?
1) Focus on acceptance
It can seem overwhelming when having a bad day. The temptation may be to give up or even give in to our emotions. You may also feel guilty for feeling so negative or down, especially if your bad day really isn’t so bad in the grand scheme of things. Don’t try and change your thoughts- sit with them. Acknowledge them, consider them in the present moment but know that they won’t last forever. Self-nurturing is even more essential when we are having a bad day, and being kind to yourself is a good place to start at helping you get past the negativity and move forward.
2) Do something to improve your mood
A bad day is going to play havoc with your mood: do something that focuses on improving it. We don’t mean sit wallowing in a tub of ice cream, but doing an activity that is proven to be a mood booster. This could be gentle exercise, getting outdoors, taking a relaxing bath or just eating cleanly. Mind and body are so closely connected that by doing something that will improve our body, our minds also benefit. It may not fix everything, but it will certainly leave you feeling stronger and more able to cope with any negative emotions that arise.
3) Get something done of your to-do list
Feeling out of control is a common emotion when you are having a bad day, so doing something productive or ticking a task off your to-do list can help curb those feelings and instead replace it with a sense of achievement. This doesn’t have to be something that commands a lot of attention- it could be as simple as paying that utility bill or researching that weekend trip. Basically, it needs to be something you have been meaning to do but haven’t yet found the time. When everything else seems to be going wrong, this is a good way to adjust your mindset and focus on the present situation.
4) Listen to music
We all know music is a great mood booster and listening to your favourite album or playlist is a proven way of elevating our mood. Try to listen to upbeat, catchy songs you can sing along too. Recent research has also suggested that ‘hero’ music can trigger empowering thoughts, motivation and promote positive thoughts- so turning up a song or two can help when times seem tough.
5) Pass on an act of kindness
Finally, all good deeds come back around, so when you are struggling why not take action and brighten someone else’s day? This will make both you and the person on the receiving end feel happier and is a way of counteracting the bad. It could be as simple as smiling and wishing someone luck, or giving a small thoughtful gift. Try this next time a bad day hits and watch your mood shift from negativity to kindness and gratitude.
Got any tips on how to improve a bad day? We would love to hear from you!
If you are struggling to accept bad days and need help shifting your negative emotions into positive ones, Choices Personalized Retreats can help. Find out more about what we do here: https://choicesretreats.com/about-us-2/