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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 January 15, 2021

How To Focus on the Positive To Achieve Your Goal In Life

How To Focus on the Positive To Achieve Your Goal In Life

Focusing on the positive seems harder than ever. A global pandemic, civil unrest, and political tensions galore have made thies year tough.

In spite of all the challenges this year has thrown at you, there are ways you can stay positive and continue to pursue your life’s goals. Remember, more trials are yet to come. You need to be able to overcome them all in order to turn your dreams into realities.

Motivation can be tough to come by in times like these. Here’s how you can keep your head up and keep moving forward:

1. Perform an Attitude Check

Whenever you hit a snag in your life, take a step back. Think about how you’re reacting to the situation. Are you thinking rationally? Is your behavior warranted? Are your actions helping or hurting your cause?

If you take the time to evaluate yourself, you’ll be able to stop negativity in its tracks. With a little practice, you’ll learn to reframe pessimistic thoughts into more positive, realistic ones.

2. Keep a Journal

Even on the bleakest of days, you can come up with one shred of silver lining. All it takes is a little reflection.

At least once a day, make a point to jot down something good about your day in your journal. By focusing on your blessings, you’ll start to see more and more of them.

Also, use this journal to record progress you make toward your life goals. If you want to become a professional athlete, write down your day’s workout routine. Day by day, you’ll see just how much progress you’ve made. Look back at your journal entries on tough days, and they will remind you of how far you’ve come.

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3. Surround Yourself With Similar People

When you’re on your own, it’s much easier to get discouraged. The solution is to find a support group.

Communities exist for every conceivable interest. If you’re a freelance writer, Writers Guild of America can help you hone your skills. If you’re a combat veteran, All the Way Home can get you outdoors with other wounded warriors. If you like trivia, join a local quiz bowl team.

Don’t underestimate The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You.

4. Quantify Your Goals

Pursuing your goals will get frustrating if you don’t give yourself specific markers of success. The solution is to put hard numbers to your goals.

For example, if your life goal is to become wealthy, how rich is rich enough? Will you be satisfied with $1 million? What about $10 million? Unless you have a figure in mind, you’ll never feel like you have enough.

Even more ambiguous goals can be quantified. Maybe being happy for you means getting out of debt and spending at least 10 hours per week with family and friends.

Learn about how to set goals in this article: How to Set Goals and Achieve Them Successfully

2. Remember Your ‘Why’

While reaching for your goals, you can’t lose sight of your “why.” This is what pushes you through the bad days and motivates you to keep going. Without a “why,” your goals might start to seem arbitrary.

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If you have a goal to run a marathon, what gets you on your feet every morning? Is it to get in shape? Perhaps it’s to feel a sense of accomplishment as you cross the finish line. Keeping your “why” top of mind will get you out the door when you don’t feel like training.

3. Tell Others About Your Progress

Public recognition is a powerful thing. When you hit a new milestone, share it publicly. Not only will you feel good doing so, but you’ll be more motivated to reach the next one.

Say you have a sales quota at work. Announce when you’ve hit 50%, 75%, and 100% of your goal, and encourage others to do the same. Celebrating together encourages the whole team to stay positive and to reach higher.

4. Develop a Mantra

“Just do it.” Sound familiar? Nike’s motto is also an excellent example of a mantra. A mantra is a word or phrase you repeat to yourself for motivation when times get tough.

Mantras are commonly used by professional athletes who need to keep a level head while performing under extreme physical stress.[1] But mantras work just as well to get people through mentally or emotionally taxing periods.

Make your mantra meaningful and easy to remember. When you need a boost, you can say it out loud or simply think it to yourself. You can get some inspirations from these 50 Self-Affirmations to Help You Stay Motivated Every Day.

5. Try Meditation

When you get too wrapped up in the negative, it can be tough to think your way out of it. When that happens, turn to meditation. Meditation helps you calm your mind and see problems with fresh eyes.

The best part is, there’s no “wrong” way to meditate. You can do a guided meditation, or simply shut yourself away in a quiet place and listen to your breathing.

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If you’re not sure where to start, download a meditation app. Popular options include Headspace, Calm, and Sattva. After a few sessions, you’ll feel the difference.

6. Make Time for Yourself

Pursuing your goals and fighting off the worries of the world can take a toll on your wellbeing. A little “me time” can get you back on track.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a day off. Use this day to indulge in a hobby, a favorite TV show, or even just a nap. When you get back to the grind, you’ll be that much more productive.

Learn How to Take Time for Yourself and Restore Your Energy.

7. Get Enough Sleep

How many people do you know who do their best work when they don’t get enough sleep? Chances are, it’s the same as the number of Super Bowl rings in the Cleveland Browns’ trophy case (hint: zero).

When you’re sleep deprived, a positive outlook can be elusive.[2] Develop a night routine that helps you put your devices away and get to bed on time.

If you still struggle to get the sleep you need, try supplements like melatonin. Speak with your doctor if conditions like sleep apnea are interrupting your rest.

8. Exercise Regularly

No doubt: Exercise is important for your physical health. But did you know it can also lift you up mentally and emotionally? Exercise releases endorphins in your brain. These chemicals combat pain, stress, and even depression.

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Unless you live on a farm an hour outside the nearest city, you’ll find a gym nearby. If a gym membership isn’t in your budget, you can do calisthenic exercises at home or take up running. Another good option is yoga, which can also improve your balance and focus.

9. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

What you put into your body is just as important as what you do with it. A healthy diet coupled with plenty of water is key if you want to function at your peak. Junk foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol can sap your energy and harm your self-esteem.

If you have trouble sticking with your diet, set up a meal plan. Portion out meals for yourself so you don’t eat too much or too little. Set reminders in your calendar to ensure you sip water throughout the day. Here’s How to Find a Healthy Eating Plan That Actually Works for You.

10. Switch Up Your Routine

Doing the same thing day in and day out can get old. And when your life gets stale, you may struggle for motivation or a positive outlook.

Don’t let yourself fall into a rut. When you do, try a different approach. Changing course even slightly can help you see things in a new light. Instead of taking a walk at noon, for instance, could you go on one before work?

Take this same approach to your professional development. If you’re sick of learning about physics, it’s going to be tough to become the next Albert Einstein. What about a dose of math or chemistry?

Final Thoughts

Despite all these tactics you can use to stay positive and accomplish what you want in life, the most important one can be summed up in three words: Don’t give up!

Quitting won’t get you any closer to your goals, nor will it put you in a positive headspace. Use this guide to keep moving forward no matter how difficult life can be.

More on How To Think Positive

Featured photo credit: Sander Crombach via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Built For Athletes: 6 Real Mantras Used By Elite Athletes
[2] Harvard: Sleep and Mental Health

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