5 Tips to Turn a Bad Day Around
Bad days happen. It doesn’t matter who you are or what kind of life you live, bad days happen to everyone. Sometimes they happen when you least expect, while other times you anticipate that the bad day is coming.
The good news is just because your day seems to be headed in the wrong direction, you can turn it around. You may not be in charge of events that occur but you are always in charge of the way you react to those events.
When bad things happen it often seems easiest to emotionally give in to the distress and let it impact your mood, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Research shows that when you’re positive, you’re 31% more productive, you’re 40% more likely to receive a promotion, you have 23% fewer health-related effects from stress, and your creativity rates triple (Source: Harvard Business Review). In the same way, discontent is contagious. Negative emotions spread like wildfire, impacting those around you and further contributing to your bad day.
At CW Psychological Services, our licensed counselors and associate clinicians regularly work with clients to better their mental health. They provide coping tools for stressful situations. That’s why our therapists have put together this list of five tips to help you turn a bad day around—your brain and body will thank you.
1.) Name the Problem — If you notice you are being snappy with people or you don’t feel like yourself, take a moment to pinpoint the problem and name it before your day unravels. Naming the problem will allow you to address it before it spirals, contributing to other parts of your day. Maybe you have a headache or you didn’t get much sleep last night. Maybe you are worried about an upcoming event or you are thinking about an argument that occurred earlier. Maybe you are feeling anxious about something. Take a moment to figure it out so you can take appropriate action to lift your mood.
2.) Practice Gratitude — It is easy to get caught up in the one bad thing that happened earlier in the day and miss all the good stuff. If you feel yourself going down the rabbit hole, so to speak, then take a break and write down (or think to yourself) five good things that happened today. What are some things you can be grateful for today? It can be as simple as having a good hair day, feeling well enough to get out of bed, or enjoying a really good cup of coffee to yourself. It doesn’t matter how small or how big, the simple act of shifting your brain from the negative to the positive can do wonders for your mood.
3.) Change It Up —If you are having a bad day, try changing up your routine. Maybe you normally work through lunch or stay late, instead try to meet a friend for lunch or go for a walk after work. Small changes can be enough to get you out of your funk and reset your mind.
4.) Evaluate Expectations — Expectations can make or break an event. When you are pinpointing why you may be feeling the way you do, reevaluate your expectations. Were you expecting your flight to be early and it was late? Were you planning on getting a promotion at work and it didn’t happen? Try setting lower expectations. If you expect your flight to be late and it’s early, then you will be thrilled. If you don’t think you will get the promotion and then you do, that’s wonderful.
5.) Take Action — If you are starting to go down the “bad day road” maybe it’s time to do that one thing you have been putting off — send the email, have the conversation, call the friend, etc. Taking a single concrete action towards something positive in your life can drastically change your day. Maybe you have been thinking about changing jobs so today you apply to another or research graduate schools. Maybe you have been desiring a change for your health so today you sign up for a yoga class or plan a healthy meal. Whatever it is that can make a positive difference in your life, consider taking action toward that goal.
If you are having more bad days than good or are struggling with your mental health in any way, we can help. The licensed counselors and associate-level clinicians at CW Psychological Services want to help you heal and make positive strides in life. We work with each client to determine what changes can help them personally. Your path to better mental health can start today.
Ready to begin counseling in Pennsylvania?
Counselors and associate-level clinicians at CW Psychological Services are professionally trained. We have openings for online or telehealth therapy appointments. Email us at [email protected] or call at (610) 308-7575. We are here for you.