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6 Simple Steps To Fix A Really Bad Day

6 Simple Steps To Fix A Really Bad Day

You wake up in a bad mood and the day starts badly. You spill your coffee and then miss the train to work. From then on, everything seems to go against you. You are convinced that there are mysterious gremlins or aliens out to get you and ruin your day. But once these negative thoughts start to take hold, then you are just inviting trouble into your life, rather than trying to fix it.

Peter J. Bentley has written a book about this called ‘Why Sh*t Happens: The Science of a Really Bad Day’ and explains that there is scientific evidence to explain minor accidents.

There is no conspiracy theory and there is no mystical significance either. So, forget about Friday 13th and why bad things happen in threes. Stop playing the victim and asking yourself and any deities you may believe in, ‘why me?’ Instead, just ask ‘why?’ There is usually a scientific explanation as to why these things are going wrong.

So, let us put our feet formally back on the ground and learn about some practical ways to fix a really bad day.

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Step 1. Try to stop forecasting negative feelings and emotions

This is the first essential step because if you are just waiting for an accident to happen, then it will. It just leaves you more vulnerable and you are also in a negative mindset. You are just waiting to get another confirmation that you are having a bad day! Expect it and it will surely happen.

“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.”- Anon

Step 2. Analyze these feelings

Try to figure out what is going on. Why are you feeling like this? You may come to the conclusion that you are angry, frustrated or sad. It is important to stand back and recognize what is going on. One great method is to use is the summary technique. Just sum it up in three words. It may be ‘anxiety about exams’ or ‘sad about mom.’ The labelling process is a great way to lessen the feeling. You decide to move on. A research team at UCLA led by Matthew Lieberman, has done an interesting study on this.

Step 3. Change your routine and do a fun activity

If you have the chance, try to change your routine or the scene a bit. It could be just trying a new restaurant for lunch or deciding to have a quick walk when you see that the sun has come out. Carve out five minutes from your busy schedule so that you can watch a funny video on YouTube.

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Most experts recommend that you also have a hot bath and ring a friend. Great, if you have the time. But let’s face it, most of us have to work for a living and taking a day off to fix a bad day is a luxury we cannot afford. The important thing though is to try and get off the negative track and focus on the positive thoughts. Changing your activities and routine is a great way to do that.

“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” – Katharine Hepburn

Step 4. Cultivate a positive attitude and take action accordingly

The next step is to focus on positive actions. Try some self- talk. For example:

  • “Right now, I can do X”
  • “The one good thing about this awful incident is ……”
  • “It could have been a lot worse, I only got a minor burn.”
  • “This is the perfect opportunity to bring the issue up at the next meeting.”

“The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem.” – Captain Jack Sparrow

Step 5. List the things you are grateful for

Now that you are on the positive track, try to stay there. The next step is to think of all things that you can be grateful for. You may have a job, partner, house, family and good health. These are just a few. You can think these through or make a list. When you think of how grateful you are, this always creates a mood boost.

Step 6. Stay in the present

This is the most important step of all. Learning to forget the past and refusing to dwell on future uncertainties will force us to stay in the present. What we are experiencing now is what counts. When you cannot sleep, focusing on your breathing will help chase away regrets and worries. Concentrate on the actual breathing process. It can really help you get to sleep.

“When the past calls, let it go to voice mail. It has nothing new to say.” – Anon

So, these are the six steps to help you get over a really bad day. Why are we so obsessed with bad days? Perhaps we give them far too much attention. Just think of all the good days we have had and remember that each new day will bring us new opportunities.

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“Dear Optimist, Pessimist, and Realist, While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it! Sincerely, The Opportunist.” – Anon

Let us know in the comments how you fix a really bad day.

Featured photo credit: A f*ckall day /tracey r via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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