You ever have those days when it feels like nothing seems to be going right? You try to fight it off, but next thing you know, you’re in a downward spiral towards the sea of bad moods.
If you’re an entrepreneur or creative, going against the grain is something that you’re used to. It’s why you get up each day. It’s why you pursue that vision of a better tomorrow, that often only you can see.
Yet, there are those days that stand out from the rest.
The days when you wonder how it is you’re functioning, after not getting enough sleep the night before. The days when the technology required to do your job keeps crashing, and you somehow find a way to keep going. The days when for some reason, staying focused is a little bit harder than usual. The days when it feels like there’s an extra weight on your shoulders and you’re not quite sure how it got there.
And, if you’re a parent; the days when it feels as if your tiny human is a special kind of crazy.
No matter how much we plan, no matter how much we breath, there are those days when life is testing you. Luckily there are a few ways in which you can turn that frown upside down so to speak.
1. Brood if you have to.
Before we do that, we first have to embrace that mood. Brood or brooding as defined by Merriam-Webster, is to moodily or sullenly thoughtful or serious. In other words, to deeply think or focus on a serious thought or feeling.
Now this sounds counterintuitive but there is only one way to solve a problem. That is to first acknowledge that there is a problem. In the Biblical story, David didn’t defeat Goliath by ignoring his existence.
So instead of tip-toeing around the problem, tackle it head on. When we do the difficult work. The one that involves having honest conversations with ourselves. We’re more likely to be honest with others.
Now, it’s important to note that this isn’t about blaming yourself. The key is to see what you can do in a different manner and commit to changing it the next time around.
Take it as an opportunity to learn from your bad days to prevent future ones. Learn what your triggers are and pay attention to when bad moments pile up. Is there something bigger going on that you should address?
2. Sit down. Be Grateful.
Create a list of at least two things that you’re grateful for. Consider saying them out loud or writing them down. No matter how small, this simple action can help you gain some perspective.
Take this opportunity to also write about your thoughts, goals, and feelings.
Do more thinking around the things that you’re grateful and hopeful for. Instead of thinking about you being victim of your circumstances.
You’ll soon find the list of things to be grateful for in your life will dwarf whatever is ruining your day. Giving you the opportunity to move on with your life.
3. Laugh at the obstacles
Even if you have to work at it, laughter is the best medicine to cure any obstacle that threatens to wreck your mood. If you’re looking for a shortcut to feeling better, find something to laugh at.
Mayo Clinic noted that laughter does more than boosting our mood. Laughing also plays a part in relieve stress and reducing pain.
By making the intentional choice of greeting problems we set ourselves up to win.
4. Change the flow
Take a few moments to close your eyes and practice breathing deep. Practice inhaling through your nose. Breathe in for four-seconds. Pausing for two seconds, then exhaling for another four seconds.
This will help in quieting down your stress response. While allowing yourself to regain your internal balance.
If you can get outside, head for the nearest place of natural beauty you can find. The journal Landscape and Urban Planning published a study back in 2015. That by taking a 50-minute walk in nature, you can decrease anxiety and negative emotions.
Being stuck inside all day without direct exposure from the sun can actually make a bad day worse. A change of scenery often helps signal to your brain that the current doesn’t need to carry on.
5. Learn to forgive yourself
The ability to forgive ourselves for mistakes is critical to psychological well-being. This includes mistakes both large and small.
Remember, life is a mixture of ups and downs. Yet, what’s important is how we choose to respond to each experience. Stop being so hard on yourself, life is hard enough.
If it’s a project you’re working on, cut yourself some slack while you’re on a new learning curve. Realize that you’re going to make mistakes. We all do. Even professionals are subject to making mistakes.
The way we respond depends on the skills we have. The frame of mind we’re in, and how we perceive the experience at that moment.
It may be a matter that we didn’t have as much objectivity, or acted out of fight or flight mode. It may be that we’ve let stress build up, which often puts us at a higher risk of responding in a less than stellar manner.
Whatever the reason, cut yourself a break. If you did the best you could at the time and if you learn from it, then it wasn’t in vain.
Above all, don’t stop creating more good and aiming always upward, the world needs the good you bring to the table. Don’t let something that may not be important in a few years, distract you from doing that.