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Remind Yourself These 7 Things When You Have A Bad Day

Remind Yourself These 7 Things When You Have A Bad Day

We all have good days and bad days. But most of the time, things really aren’t as bad as they seem. Our minds play tricks on us and make us feel like the world is ending. Fortunately, we all have the ability to turn our bad day around instantly by putting things into perspective and remembering a few simple truths. Here are seven of them.

You’re stronger now. 

Unfortunately, suffering is a part of life. But here’s the good news: adversity builds character. While it’s hard to understand why bad things happen to good people, there’s one certainty: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. As hard as it may be, try to learn something from every bad experience you go through. Be reflective and mindful of how you react in certain situations. For example, I get easily stressed out while driving. Then I realized how ridiculous it was to overreact to things out of my control that don’t really matter much anyway. These behaviors were learned reactions. I’m not saying I never get annoyed and irritated in the car these days. But I recognize when these reactions start to happen, and I’m better able to control them. Treat every bad thing that happens as a learning experience, and you’ll get stronger every time.

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You’re capable of more than you think. 

Humans are the most intelligent animals on earth. We have an amazing ability to think, reason, and adapt. Use that gift. Understand that you are capable of whatever you want if you’re willing to work for it. Circumstances don’t define us. Our mindset does. If you think you can’t, you’re probably right. Your capabilities are limitless. Whether you want to get a great job, find love, lose weight, or just stop feeling so sad all the time, you can do it–you need to be willing to take action though. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop make excuses. Take the first step.

It’s worth it to take the next step.

The first step will be the hardest but the second isn’t always easy either. We’re a society that expects immediate gratification in everything we do. That’s not how things work though. Nothing great comes easily. That’s why it’s important to always keep moving forward. 10 years ago I was fat, depressed and miserable. So I decided to change. I started working out one day a week. I started cooking more instead of going out. I took baby steps. But those steps began to compound into amazing changes in my life. Keep moving forward and taking small steps every day and the same will happen for you.

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It could be worse.

Life is relative. I thought I had a bad day yesterday because I had a stressful day at work and got caught in a traffic jam on the way home. Then I realized there are people who don’t have a job, a car or even a home. There are people suffering from life-threatening diseases. There are people who have endured suffering infinitely deeper than I have ever experienced. Sometimes when we have a bad day it helps to stop thinking it’s all about us. Others have it much worse than you. Help them and you’ll help yourself.

What’s done is done.

Some days you get dealt a bad hand. But guess what? It’s over. Whatever bad things have happened to you are done with. Put them behind you. Those bad moments don’t exist anymore. Remind yourself of this whenever you have a bad day: the only thing that matters is the present. Focus your energy on right now because whatever happened in the past no longer matters.

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The light in your life will always outweigh the dark.

It’s easy to get caught up on the negative when bad stuff seems to pile up on you over and over. When I have a bad day and negative thoughts swirl through my head, here’s the strategy that always seems to help me the most: I refocus on everything I do have instead of what I don’t. Think about the people who love you, the hard work you’ve put in to whatever skills you’re really good at, and all the great things that have happened in your life. If you’re like me, you’ll realize you’re pretty darn lucky.

You’re still here.

Life will test you in more ways you can imagine. You have probably suffered a lot in your life. I know I have. But here’s the thing: we’re still here. The fact that you’re alive and reading this is a miracle. So let’s stop taking life so seriously. Have fun, love deeply, put your stamp on the world, take risks and live your life.

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Featured photo credit: gabsiq via flickr.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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