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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

9 Things to Remember When You’re Having a Bad Day

9 Things to Remember When You’re Having a Bad Day

Even the hardest days contain lessons that will help you be a better person. If you’re having a bad day, it can feel like things will never get better. However, the fact is that tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to improve your life.

If you had a bad day, consider these things to help pick yourself up and keep moving toward a full life.

1. No One Promised Life Would Be Perfect

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” -Leo Tolstoy

Don’t condition your happiness on meeting every expectation you set for yourself. Setting goals is key to life. That’s the only way we move toward the kind of life we really want. However, if you’re having a bad day, goals can feel unattainable and challenges insurmountable.

Goals are not met overnight. It’s good to be ambitious, but you’ll never be perfect. If you expect otherwise, your life will be rife with disappointments. When you stumble on a goal you’re trying to achieve, learn the lesson it offers and move forward.

When you had a bad day, use the moments before you sleep to review your goals. You can write them down or even journal about each of them. This will help you refocus your mind for the next day.

2. Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” -Molière

Don’t kid yourself into thinking success will come quickly. It isn’t easy to be patient, but anything worth doing requires time (often, lots of it!). If you get frustrated, remind yourself why your goal is important.

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Waiting for good things to come can feel frustrating, and this frustration can lead us into having a bad day. If you’re feeling impatient, take a deep breath. Use a few minutes for meditation or for a walk in nature. This will help slow your mind down and root you in the present, helping to remind you of where you are and where you’re going.

Here are some of the benefits of walking in nature.

3. There Is a Lesson in Every Struggle

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive…But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” -Haruki Murakami

If you had a bad day, try not to focus on how terrible your life is. It’s tempting to do so, but stressing out won’t make you feel any better. If you search for the lesson in your present struggle, you’ll be able to make positive changes that would prevent similar situations in the future.

In order to do this, try specifying exactly what is causing you to have a bad day. For example, you may find that your controlling boss said something that put you in a bad mood. You can then analyze this.

Are you happy at your job? Would you be happier elsewhere? Are you ready to move on to something new?

Use these questions to guide you to lessons.

4. Hard Times Help You Appreciate the Good

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

Don’t get sad if you’re having a bad day because you’ve failed at something. It’s hard to find much to smile about when you fail, but how else would you improve yourself? If you look at failure as a part of your evolutionary process, you’ll stay positive and pursue your goals for as long as it takes.

Imagine having a life that is completely smooth, free of challenges, and without the joys or excitement of overcoming difficulties. Do you really think it would be all that interesting?

5. It’s Okay to Cry

“Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

Don’t be afraid of crying. It isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather an acceptable way to let go of your negative feelings. If you let those feelings build up without release, you’ll have a much harder time dealing with them later.

You can check out the reasons we cry in the video below:

This is often more difficult for men to accept because of the burden society has placed on them to be stoic. However, allowing your emotions to flow in order to avoid them taking control of you is one of the bravest things one can do.

6. Worry Makes You Suffer Twice

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” -Corrie ten Boom

Don’t worry about everything, as it’ll only make you feel worse. It is human nature to obsess with all the things that could go wrong, but this will result in a self-inflicted mental nightmare.

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J.K. Rowling once wrote that “worrying means you suffer twice.” You suffer when you worry about the thing that’s coming. You suffer once again when the thing actually happens. Worrying will change nothing and will only seep joy from the present moment in which nothing bad is actually happening.

If you forget about the things you can’t control, you’ll be empowered to to concentrate on the things you can. This can be difficult if you’re having a bad day, but try to identify which things to let go and which things you can really change in this moment.

7. No One’s Life Is as Picturesque as It Looks

“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” -Marcus Aurelius

When we scroll through our social media, it’s easy to fall into having a bad day when we see how great everyone’s lives look. Don’t fall into this trap.

If you feel like your life pales in comparison, realize that you are comparing yourself to a highlight reel of their lives. People will only show you what they want you to see, those seemingly perfect moments that, when combined, make it look like their whole life is perfect.

Social comparison on social media also hits your self-esteem. One study “showed that participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”[1].

Basically, the more time you spend on social media, the more likely it is that your self-esteem will go down, which can lead to more and more bad days.

8. It Takes Courage to Ask for Help

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you had a bad day. It’s tough to put yourself in a vulnerable position, but opening up to a friend will help you deal with your troubles. Just make sure you’re turning to the right people. Find someone who you know will be sympathetic or someone who has been through something similar.

If you feel like a burden, remember that no one would have achieved much if they didn’t ask for support when they needed it.

9. There’s Always Something to Be Grateful for

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” -Abraham Lincoln

Think of something you are thankful for right now. It could be the cup of coffee you had this morning, the sweet puppy you’ll be going home to tonight, or the healthy set of eyes that allowed you to read this article.

It’s so easy to lose sight of these little things when we’re upset. I challenge you to break that trend.

The next time you get upset, think about something that makes you happy. Repeat this behavior until it becomes second nature. Your negative thoughts will have no power over you if you learn to stop lingering on them.

A great way to do this is to start a gratitude journal. You can start by writing three things each day that you’re grateful for and grow from there. There are also many great gratitude applications if you prefer to stick to technology.

If you want to know more about how to start a gratitude journal and its benefits, check out this article.

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Final Thoughts

Bad days are temporary. When you find yourself in one, try to identify what’s caused you to have a bad day so that you can work to overcome it tomorrow and get back to feeling good. Feel what you need to feel and then allow yourself to move on to better days.

More on What to Do When You’re Having a Bad Day

Featured photo credit: Pablo Varela via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social Comparison, Social Media, and Self-Esteem

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on April 8, 2021

What Is Positive Thinking and How to Always Think Positive

What Is Positive Thinking and How to Always Think Positive

In order for you to change your life, you must first change the way you think. If you are new to self-improvement, this is something that you must understand. Looking back at the various figures who have made dramatic changes in their life, there was a point where they had to shift toward positive thinking.

This concept isn’t as simple as it looks on the surface. Much like any habit, there are particular ways to go about tapping into the power of positive thinking and to be thinking positively on a daily basis.

What Is Positive Thinking?

Positive thinking is precisely what it says. It’s a series of habits and thought patterns that make you see things in a more positive light. One common example is seeing the failures you experience as lessons and opportunities to grow.

Positive thinking encompasses a number of things and impacts our lives in big ways. Positive thinking can create changes such as:

  • The way you talk to people both online and in person.
  • The people you attract.
  • How you inspire and encourage other people both directly and indirectly.
  • Your productivity methods and overall working capabilities.
  • Your stress level and how you manage it.

From this description, you can say that thinking positive is much like a lifestyle. The more positive you are, the more good things will appear around you, even in situations where you experience setbacks or challenges.

Another way to look at positive thinking is the addition of good thinking habits replacing bad ones. For example, how many times have you said “I can’t do that task” or “I’ll never achieve this goal of mine”? By definition, thinking this way will guarantee that you’ll avoid that task and put less effort toward that goal. On the other hand, by thinking “I can do that task” or “Someday, I’ll achieve that goal,” you’ll be motivated to work towards those objectives.

How Does Positive Thinking Change Your Life?

For those who have been in the self-improvement world, you can tell from the points above how your life can be impacted. Things like improved productivity, being more approachable, and more can create ripple effects throughout your life.

Getting into more details, these things can translate to larger things in your life. Some changes that positive thinking will do to your life are things like:

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  • Being able to achieve goals consistently when you set them.
  • A dramatic change in your attitude.
  • Using money in a more intelligent manner to the point you’ll be earning more.
  • Having more like-minded friends.
  • Being more generous and kind to others.
  • Living a longer life.[1]

Positive thinking from this viewpoint can sound like it’s too good to be true, though this is no simple task. It’s not a matter of flipping a switch, and suddenly you’ve learned how to think positive. That said, these are good incentives to be working towards, and there is research behind these things being true.

How to Tackle Negative Thoughts

Another key aspect to positive thinking is that positive thinking isn’t about eliminating all negativity from your life[2]. Our lives do have negative events; you’ll make mistakes, fail, and have setbacks. However, it’s important that you strike a balance between being aware of reality and accepting your surroundings and thinking optimistically.

There is no right or wrong method to pick from, but being able to limit negative self-talk in various areas of your life comes down to a few simple techniques. Here are some examples.

Follow a Precise Guide to Cultivating a Positive Mindset

The guide involves looking for feedback, paying attention to your thought patterns, and rearranging them to accept negative emotions. Other guides will bring you through the process by getting you to believe you can change your attitude all the way to avoiding toxic positivity.

Learn About Your Thinking Style

Are you a logical thinker or an emotional one? Do you focus on the short-term or the long-term? Do you naturally sway toward the positive or the negative? Identifying all of these things can help you get a handle on how your mind naturally works before you go about changing it.

One way to tap into your thinking style is to learn about how you are motivated. Check out Lifehack’s Free Assessment: What’s Your Motivation Style? One you know your motivation style, you’ll begin to understand yourself and how you think on a daily basis.

Create a Curiosity Around Negative Thoughts

Looking at negative thoughts as something interesting instead of as something damaging is a good step toward giving them less power. When a negative thought comes around, try writing it down and contemplating it for a few moments.

Why did that thought come about, and why are you looking at that particular thing in a negative way? How can you change that thought into something positive?

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10 Simple Habits to Practice Positive Thinking

The methods mentioned above are ways to nullify the impact of negative thoughts. There will be times where you will still think negatively, but the impact will lessen. This is especially true when you incorporate various habits into your life to improve your positive thinking.

Here are some things to consider to help you cultivate a positive mindset.

1. Do One Act of Kindness Daily

Making someone smile has as much of an impact on them as it does for you. Doing good things feels good, which is why many of us feel compelled to make donations to non-profit organizations. The act of charity warms our hearts.

But you can make more of an impact by doing something nice for someone else. Smile and say hello to someone, give someone a compliment, or help them out in a small way if you see them having issues.

2. Laugh More

Along a similar vein, positive emotions cause us to shift our attitude, and laughter is another big one to consider. Laughter shouldn’t be forced though, so make a point of being around people who can make you genuinely laugh. This can be a comedian, a friend or family member, or anyone who can get you to chuckle.

3. Read More Positive Material

Our social media diet is one of the largest influencers of our mood. That, along with television or other video content. If you’re watching or reading content that makes you angry, negative, or hateful, that behavior is going to project onto everything else you do and get in the way of positive thinking.

To change that, you must change how you are consuming content and what you gravitate toward. Make a point of reading some positive news and developments. Another option is to read or watch videos that focus on things that you’re passionate about.

4. Set Goals

Another solid method is to set goals and work to achieve them. This can tackle a lot of negative thoughts as people often set goals and give up due to negative thoughts most of the time.

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Setting goals and striving to achieve them on a regular basis allows you to build the framework to overcome those negative thought hurdles. You’ll eventually stop making excuses and focus on the task at hand.

5. Have a Strong Morning Ritual

In general, what you do first thing in the morning determines the energy you put toward the rest of your day. We all have our usual routine in the morning, and many times that routine doesn’t put people in a space that’s conducive to positive thinking.

My recommendation is to mix up your morning ritual to include some positive things. Examples are doing some exercises, showing yourself some self-love through gratitude and positive affirmations, or maybe doing something you enjoy, such as completing a puzzle or writing a poem.

6. Ask the Proper Questions

Negativity is something that we have to accept, but how we change the impact of it can be through questions. The catch is that you need to be asking the right kind of questions first.

For example, if you’re a pessimist, the questions you’ll be asking yourself are negative. “Why did this happen to me?” “Why do bad things happen to me whenever I try something?” These are negative because you’re painting yourself as a victim, and it does nothing for your mindset but slow you down.

Instead, start asking questions like:

  • What’s one good thing about this situation?
  • What is it that I can learn from these events and circumstances?
  • What is one small thing I can do right now to start fixing this?

By asking these questions, you’ll start to give your brain some tasks to ponder over to solve this situation and gain something from these experiences.

7. Create a Positive Environment

Consuming positive content is one way of creating a positive environment, but there are other things that can influence it. In general, creating an environment where you can be positive is key to development. This means:

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  • Do the things that bring joy and energy into your life.
  • Be around positive people who lift you up.
  • Continue to strengthen that environment by reinforcing standards for what’s acceptable for you and what isn’t.

8. Meditate

Meditation is another morning activity to consider and one to do overall if you want to practice positive thinking. Meditation provides a number of benefits when done on a regular basis.

Meditation provides you with an opportunity to look inside yourself and see what makes you tick. It helps you to look at thought patterns and to begin rearranging them. It’s a powerful method because it adds perspective to who you really are and what you truly think[3].

From there you can make drastic changes by simply meditating.

9. Write Down Your Thoughts and Tackle the Issues

Similar to meditating, consider jotting down the thoughts that come to mind whenever you feel stressed. During these periods, you’ll see that when you’re stressed, you’ll be writing down things that cause you to feel stressed. It could be something extreme, or it could be a series of small things you need to do that have piled up.

The idea is to write out those thoughts and the next day begin working on fixing those problems to make room for a more positive outlook.

10. Read Positive Thinking Books

The last method to boosting positive thinking is to be reading more books on the subject. Positive thinking is a subject that has been researched heavily, and there is a lot of information on it. You’ll find a lot of it overlapping or having similar elements, but it doesn’t hurt to pick up a few books and read what the author has to say on the subject.

While reading articles is great, a book has more room to add more details and perspectives that aren’t otherwise there when reading an article.

Final Thoughts

Positive thinking is not something that can be done overnight. It’s something that takes time as it involves rewiring your very way of thinking and reinforcing habits. It’s not an easy path, but it can lead to many avenues opening up to you in various ways. The road to success and to great change is through a positive and developing mindset for better physical and mental health.

More Tips on Positive Thinking

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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