How to improve a bad day in 7 steps
We’ve all been there: you wake up feeling rested, the sun is shining and you put on your favorite outfit. But before you get the chance to drink your first cup of coffee and spread happiness around, problems start popping up in your mind like flowers in Springtime.
Before you realize it, your good mood is gone and you are stuck in a negative mindset.
We have gathered a couple of tips on how to go back to that happy place. Or – during an especially hard day – to at least make it better.
1. Take a break
It is a known fact in science that taking a deep breath slows down the nervous system, which leads to coping better with stress. So use that!
Find a quiet space, leave the worries behind and focus on breathing for 10 minutes. Maybe all it takes is to have a break and we believe by doing this you’ll already feel a lot better.
2. Get perspective
Sometimes we get so caught up in apparent failures, that we find it hard to see the big picture. The result is a lot of frustration and anger with how things are developing right now.
Write down a list of all the things that have been working for you lately. You’ll see that in the big picture you might actually be doing quite well.
Another trick is imagining yourself 5 years from now. Ask your future self: “How have the events of today affected your future?”
A little perspective will make today look a lot more harmless.
3. Share with a friend
Have you ever heard of the “sharing effect”? A study showed that when we share an experience with a friend, regardless of whether it is a sad or happy one, we increase the activity in the brain’s reward circuits. In both cases, we end up feeling better.
So why don’t you invite a friend or work colleague for a coffee and talk about your hard day? Sometimes getting it off our chests is all we need.
4. Make your peace with it
In the majority of situations, as adults we don’t get to say “No. Today is not nice. I’ll go back to bed”. We can’t avoid bad days only because they are unpleasant. Instead, keep in mind that you can’t win them all and life is made of ups and downs. A bad day is sometimes just what it is – a bad day.
Stop feeding the situation with more bad energy. Just give it your best to solve it, but accept if the result is not the ideal yet. Soon it will all be better.
5. Learn from your mistakes
Even when it looks like we did everything right, with bad things there is always room for improvement. You made your peace with today’s events, how about now making the best out of a bad situation and taking the opportunity to learn for the future?
Try reviewing the events that lead to today’s issues and honestly ask yourself “What can I do better next time?”, “How could I have handled the situation better?” . Try putting yourself in other people’s perspectives and learn how to improve for next time.
This simple exercise will help you avoid future headaches and improve your emotional intelligence. And also, the perspective of doing it better next time will bring your bad day an upside. Use this to feel better.
You’ve heard about it countless times: The hormones released during exercise make you feel better - apart from all the other benefits of working out.
So don’t think and just go. It doesn’t matter if only for a nice walk or a full workout session: just get moving!
And if possible, start doing it regularly. You won’t regret it.
7. Practice music therapy
This last tip can be combined with many of the others you just read about.
Music makes us happy. Even without scientific evidence we know that to be true. So the advice here is to put together the perfect “I love this song playlist” and use it to fight bad days.
The “I love this song playlist” has a very simple concept. Do you know when your favorite song starts playing and you immediately transport yourself to an imaginary stage and start giving a mental concert? That is the kind of song we are talking about. Collect them all in one single place and, whenever needed, sing your troubles away!