You woke up late. You missed an appointment. You sprained your ankle. Your windshield cracked. Any one of these unfortunate mishaps can cause your day to veer off track. Once your day has gone awry, we all know how difficult it can be to turn it back around.
I don’t care if you’re Beyoncé or Chris Harrison, if you’re a human being then you are susceptible to having a bad day. No one is exempt from this mere fact of life. Even animals have bad days (such as the day your dog has to go to the vet or groomers). Although we all have this in common, not all of us handle our bad days in the same way.
The way we choose to appraise our misfortune largely dictates our resilience to it.
So the next time you’re having a bad day…try to remember these helpful little tips:
Re-Fill Your Bucket
When you’re having a bad day, it is all too easy to take it out on others. The bad mood takes over, and we taint the interactions we have with friends, family members, and our partner for the remainder of the day. Although we feel guilty, we often feel justified. We know that we can just chalk up our bad attitude to “having a rough day”, which we feel people should understand.
Tom Rath and Donald Clifton have proposed a life-changing metaphor for the way you live life and interact with others. They suggest that each of us have a bucket within us that needs to be filled with positive experiences, praise, and recognition. When we compliment someone or give them a positive affirmation, we are helping to fill their bucket. Filling another’s bucket does not deplete our own. In fact, it fills ours a little as well. However, when we are negative towards others, we use a dipper to draw from their bucket, diminish their positivity, and consequently remove from our own buckets.
According to this philosophy, when we project our bad attitude onto another, we are subtracting from their bucket and our own. Nobody wins. If you can see your interactions as having a direct effect on the buckets of others and yourself, you may think twice about projecting your bad day onto an innocent, otherwise content individual.
No matter how bad of a day you are having, positivity and meaningful, pleasant interactions with others can only help you to turn your day around.
Thoughts Become Reality
Everything you’ve ever owned, achieved, created, or felt is the result of an initial thought. What we think, we become. Who we are is largely determined by our thoughts, values, beliefs, and ideas. Our thoughts guide our reality. When you think positive thoughts, you attract positivity into your life. When you think negative thoughts, you attract negativity into your life.
Ruminating or obsessing over anything negative can in fact bring about the exact thing you are trying to avoid. We know this as the self-fulfilling prophecy. We have the power to make our biggest fears come true…simply by having thoughts of them coming true. By having these thoughts, we subconsciously and unknowingly behave in ways that encourage and nourish the fear, thus bringing it about.
No matter how bad your day is turning out to be, it’s important to maintain a positive mindset. Your mind is a powerful vessel, and when you glean positivity from even the most difficult scenarios, you set yourself up for a more positive future.
It’s Just a Bad Day, Not a Bad Life
When you’re having a bad day, it’s easy to overextend your misfortune to appear greater than it truly is. It can often feel like a downward spiral. Just because you’re having a bad day, doesn’t mean that you’re having a bad life. Remind yourself, “This is just a bad day, that’s all. Everybody has bad days. Most likely tomorrow will be better, and then things will be back on track. I’m going to try to let this go, be grateful for the things that are going right, and move forward”. Allow yourself to experience any anger or frustration you might have, but don’t let it linger! Feel it, and let it pass.
Many things happen that are out of our control, but it’s important to remember that the way you appraise and react to your experiences makes all the difference. You may not have control over the things that happen to you, but you do have control over your attitude. Make the most of even the worst days, and count your blessings.