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Last Updated on September 3, 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 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

    Reference

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