We all have bad days.
Sometimes, in fact, it can seem like life is composed entirely of bad days, especially if you are suffering from the dreadful burden that is depression.
However, I believe that all bad days can be turned into good ones and that it is not impossible to salvage any day. And you don’t have to turn it around when you have hours left in order to make it good. If you end it on a positive note, it isn’t a bad day.
I sat down and thought out five things that make me feel better when everything seems to be going wrong. In doing these things, I think it is important to remember that a day can be good apart from the things that happen in it. A day is good based on how you are, not how events and occurrences are.
So while these strategies will not improve the concrete happenings of your life, they can nevertheless make you better and happier. And a happier you means a happier day.
And a happy day is a good day.
1. Take a moment to be grateful.
One of the best ways to inject some positivity into your day is to think of things which are good about it.
That last part is important–I think that to make your day a good one, you need to find what you can be grateful for about the day, not just about your life.
If you try hard enough, you can always think of things to be grateful for. And do your best to express them in an affirmative way. Therefore, instead of saying, “I’m not sick,” say, “I have my health.”
The mode of expression makes a difference as it will guide your thoughts into positive or negative channels.
2. Find something to be contented about that is going on right now.
This goes hand in hand with being grateful. Unlike the gratitude exercise, however, this practice involves settling on one thing which you can be happy about in the moment.
For example, your dinner may have burned, your baby may be crying, none of your chores may be done, but you can think, “I have comfortable clothes right now. This is a good thing.” It might not feel like much, but it is one more bit of positivity you are putting into your mind.
3. Invest 5, 10, or 15 minutes in something you really enjoy.
Pretty much everyone can find five minutes in the day to set everything aside and engage in something he or she likes. The important thing, however, is not simply to do it, but to do it intentionally. Consciously savor it. Forget about everything else, and throw yourself into the one thing.
For example, you could drink a cup of tea or coffee. But don’t just drink it. Experience it with all your senses. Focus on the smell of it, the taste of it, the feel of it. Wrap yourself up in the pleasure of the moment so you can go back to your day refreshed.
4. Cut yourself some slack.
Oftentimes when we have a bad day, we are down on ourselves. We beat ourselves up for what we did or didn’t do or what we should or could have done. Consciously make a decision to let these things go.
If it helps, write them down and then cross them out or tear up the paper. Sometimes something physical or symbolical like this is an excellent aid in reinforcing a mental or emotional action.
5. Do a brain dump.
Get out your journal or a sheet of paper and then let yourself go. Write down everything you are thinking and feeling. It doesn’t matter if it is a jumble or unintelligible. Just get it out.
This can be an extremely cathartic exercise. If you do it thoroughly, you can take a tremendous load from your back.
It’s kind of like having a good cry. And yes, you can do that too.
A good day is never impossible. Try one or all of these things the next time you start to have a bad one. If you throw your heart into them, you will find that you can rescue your time and begin to enjoy your life again.
Remember the key ingredient of a good day is your happiness, and your happiness does not depend on anything but yourself.