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Pain Is Temporary, Quitting Lasts Forever: No Matter How Hard It Gets, Do It Till It’s Done

Pain Is Temporary, Quitting Lasts Forever: No Matter How Hard It Gets, Do It Till It’s Done

We all know the value of achieving a goal, especially when it comes round to this time of year.

But all too often we begin that big project we love to do, decide this time we really are dedicated, put up pictures of slim models on the fridge and put the running trainers out ready by the door.

And then what happens? Ten days in and the resolve we had for New Year is as damp as the socks left on our radiators.

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The problem with completing goals is that we meet one or two setbacks and something in us snaps. We think we can’t do it. Maybe we aren’t the fit person we imagined ourselves to be after all. Maybe that resolve was just a lofty other self that never could really exist.

Well, I’m here to reassure you, that fit person is real. You are capable of much more than you think right now. – It’s just the way you are going about getting your goal complete that is holding you back.

So here is some advice for how to keep that goal at the forefront of your mind, even when difficulties set in.

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Breaking through your perceived threshold

As explained in the SEAL book[1], we all have a perceived threshold. But often we can push past this and achieve things we never believed were possible.

When asked how many push-ups Jesse Itzler, who spent time living with a navy SEAL could complete, he managed around eight. The navy SEAL told him that he believed he could do 100. He didn’t believe him, but after some encouragement Itzer began, doing them one by one, until he completed the 100 push-ups, something he never thought he could achieve.

I’m not saying all of us should be navy seals or even have to do 100 push-ups. It’s the principle, that we can make this year the best year of our lives if we just push our boundaries a little further, and accomplish more than we ever have before.

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Achieving more than we ever dreamed and pushing through until a task is done can be a huge confidence boost. Most people, however, don’t realize their true potential. Or, they don’t find the focus to continue, and so miss out to doing things that in twenty years time, they will never remember doing. 

Just begin

Start by simply asking yourself: ‘what is the smallest possible way I can contribute to my goal right now?’ It could be as simple as standing up. As getting dressed. Once done, you can go from there. Whenever we complete a task, even the smallest one, we feel good. True happiness comes from doing something and doing it well. From your life’s work. And from achieving what you set out to achieve.

Know why you want it

Anyone who knows anything about motivation knows that we are fickle creatures who can be easily swayed by emotions and change. We know that. The list of failed New Years resolutions (ours and others!) tells us that. So you need something that will push you to feel positive about your new habit. This is particularly important because you need to be dedicated to something, even when pain and/or boredom inevitably sets in.

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Know that pain is a part of the process

If you fail, or you hate doing it, don’t worry about it, and keep going. This is all a natural part of the process of working towards something. Even if you love something, there will always be hard days. These can be the most rewarding – they show how much you really care.

Focus

Most people these days find it hard to resist the temptations of life. This is a similar idea to the marshmallow test[2]. Never before have we been so distracted; never before has it been so easy to do a million things all at once. The problem with this is that the quality of work goes down. And as this happens, it’s easy to fall into mediocrity. Those really doing well these days know how to shut their browser down, make a shake, and get to work. So try to shut off any distractions whilst you’re working towards your goal.

Don’t be realistic, dream big!

You don’t have to be realistic about your goals, but be realistic about the steps you take to get there. Most of us think small with dreams, but in order to get totally psyched about a dream of yours, it has to be something that inspires you.

Whatever it is you feel inspired to do, whether it be becoming an acrobatic at the Cirque du Soleil or learning three new languages this year. Go at 2017 with all the foolish optimism you can throw at it. Because the freer we are to believe in our dreams, the more wonderful a place the world will become, don’t you agree?

Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

Reference

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Daniel Owen van Dommelen

Coder, Director, Writer, Human

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

“Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

1. Make a Gratitude List

In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

2. Write in a Journal

Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

3. Meditate

Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

4. Do Child’s Pose

Yoga Outlet says:

“Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

     

    Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

    5. Try Positive Self-Talk

    Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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    When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

    Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

    When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

    When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

    Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

    6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

    Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

    You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

    It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

    Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

    If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

    7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

    “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

    If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

    You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

    When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

    If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

    Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

    Final Thoughts

    If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

    Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

    You can invest in yourself via self-care.

    You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

    More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

    Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

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