How to Turn Your Day Around
I saw this quote on a board out the front of a nursing home and thought this was very apt for all of us. What does it mean to have a good day? How can you learn to say it was a good day when things just don’t go your way sometimes?
We don’t always have good days. Some days just don’t end up the way we intended. Sometimes, we make mistakes, we say something stupid. Or maybe things don’t happen the way we were hoping. Perhaps you hear some devastating news, or something tragic happens. There are things we can control, things we can’t control and things that simply just happen. When we happen to have one of those not=so=good days, it’s important to not take them to heart. We need to self-preserve and not let things get out of proportion.
Reframing is a very handy tool in our coping strategies toolbox. When you can see things from a different perspective it can change the way we feel about it and change our responses. The above quote helps to reframe a bad day and think about how to look for things that happen within that bad day and see them differently.
Here’s a possible day:
You’ve been to the dentist, you’ve had to pay a stupid amount of money to get one tooth fixed. this has increased your stress levels. That money was going towards your new laptop. Instead, you have to put it towards that darned tooth. How frustrating. During that same day, your kids are driving you crazy with their constant fighting. Then you say something to a friend that came out the wrong way which triggers your anxiety. Now you feel this ongoing anxiety with its relentless critical barrage of thoughts running around your mind making you feel worse.
Same-Day but See the Good
You can reframe your dentist appointment by saying to yourself, ‘I am able to keep my teeth healthy. I am no longer be in pain’. Also, remind yourself that you actually had the money to be able to pay for the emergency dental appointment. This took the stress away from figuring out how you will pay for it.
You get a random hug from your eldest daughter and you go for a walk with your dog.
You spent valuable heartfelt time with your friend who was very understanding and compassionate. Even though you said the wrong thing to your friend, they talk about it with you and you feel better for it. The reframe here is, “it’s helped me talk more openly with my friend instead of allowing the anxiety to take over.’
When we notice and become aware of the positives from our day, it can actually help the anxiety lower, as we focus on something else rather than fueling the anxious thoughts. For more ways to deal with anxiety pop over here and have a read.
Within this day, although having to spend hard-earned cash on a tooth might seem like it’s a bad thing, you also had some really cool, positive things that happened too. By reframing the way you perceive the events, you can shift your emotional response to them.
Being able to accept that events have turned out the way they have will help in being able to release the negative feelings about it. Instead helps to sit with what happened. This creates less resistance around the event and lowers the feeling in response. Finding ways to sit with the way things go allows one to find acceptance in it. This doesn’t mean that you accept being treated like crap if that happened. It’s about letting go of your internal battle inside your mind of trying to either get rid of the feeling or wish things didn’t happen the way they did.
We all have an observer part of our mind. It’s the part of our mind that can witness what we are doing, notice how we think. Notice how we respond. When you can become the observer and notice how you think, feel, act, this can help in being able to create distance with the negative thoughts that rampage through our minds. By noticing and being aware of the thoughts instead of resisting them, we can accept them being there. Even find it easier to handle the thoughts being there. Then we might also be able to notice the other parts of our day instead of just the ones that stand out as being awful/bad/crap etc.
End of the Day
At the end of your day, be sure to write down at least one thing that went well during the day. Something you can say that allows you to have bring to mind the good parts of your day.
- Ask yourself, “What happened today that went well?’
Maybe your child gave you a random unprompted hug which brought a smile to your face. Maybe it was having someone shout you a coffee during the day.
Focus on remembering what was more pleasant or positive than the other not-so-good parts of your day. This shifts your focus from negative to more positive.
- Write down things you are grateful for if you are struggling to remember any of the good parts of your day. There are many benefits to being grateful that I’ve written about here.
When we think of the positives at the end of the day before we drift off to sleep, we are allowing our brains to simmer for the next 7-8 hours on this which can help with waking up with a positive refreshed focus for beginning a new day.
- Hypnosis – Another way to do this can be to do a guided hypnosis every night before drifting off to a deep slumber. Here’s a freebie to get you started.
Everyone has a bad day here and there. It’s how you deal with it that determines whether it actually is the whole day that went sour or look at it from a different perspective to keep it in perspective. Think about what were the good bits that happened in your day.
Reframing, acceptance, and gratitude are all ways to help shift the way we see things no matter what they are. It can relieve stress, and shift a negative mood to a positive one.
27 Replies to “It Was a Good Day Afterall – Turn Around Negativity”
Perspective is integral to seeing positivity even in the presence of negativities. Having a bad day is normal and it doesn’t come so often. Learning to overlook the bad in the day would be important to getting refreshed for other tasks that the next day brings. Reframing is an act that we all need to master so we can always live above the limitations holding us down. Thanks so much for this post and it is surely helpful.
Hi RoDarrick, thanks for sharing. You make a really good point of normalising having a bad day too, thanks. Mastering out own repsonses is vital to being able to learn from our mistakes and move forward. ~kat
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This is a very good post you have here. I think the issue here is very delicate and rampant. Everyone has a bad day some day. Sometimes it s hard and sometimes its not. I agree that the way we deal with them matters a lot but not everyone knows what to do. Making use of this three strategies, reframing, acceptance and gratitude is really a good way. I’ll be sure to always reflect on the good that has happen in bad days and be grateful for having one good thing happen to me. Thank you for the inspiration.
Hi Henderson, it’s a good practice to get into at the end of the day to reflect on the good things that have also happened in one’s day so as to shift how you feel about the issue. Thanks for sharing. ~kat
Hi Kat, I’m so glad I read this. I’m the type to simmer over something for ages and get annoyed at things like your dentist example. But your suggestion of reframing makes so much sense, and I can see how that can totally change the perspective of your entire day. For example, as you mentioned, being thankful that you had the money to even pay for the dentist and fix your tooth, is definitely a positive. When I read that example it definitely “reframed” my mind to think more positively about things when they seem to go wrong. Thanks for sharing a thought-provoking post 🙂
Hi Stephanie, getting into the habit of reframing is a valuable tool to use on a regular basis for times when we notice we are having a bad day. Cheers ~kat
Thank you so much for this post. My girlfriend suffers from anxiety and it’s been getting worse especially the last week or so. I want to help her as much as I can so I’m going to tell her about these tips. We will start with writing one thing that went well in the day and writing down things she is grateful for, Thanks again, will keep you posted.
Hi Brandon, it’s hard when a loved one experiences anxiety the way your girlfriend is, but with your support and when you find helpful information for her, she will be able to implement some ideas so she can work through the challenges she’s facing. I would love for you to come back and share how she’s coping. ~kat
This is indeed a step by step approach seeing good in every day as it comes, I use to be a victim of thinking of the negative aspects of everyday and problems I was unable to solve and that has affected me negatively, I’m very impressed with this post and I can say it has taught me already how to appreciate everyday as it comes and always see the good everyday brings.
Hi, it’s great that you’ve been able to find how to appreciate each day as it comes. An excellent way to go with the flow instead of fight it. Seeing the good in life is always a positive. Thanks for stopping by. ~kat
Anxiety and negativity are situations that we all experience a little too much every day. It is a shame to fill our minds with negative emotions because we bring negative things close to us. What I do when I’m anxious is to always think about the positives of the thing and how they can become even more positive. Every morning and every night we have to be thankful for our health and for all those who loved and loved us. Then we will be flooded with positive emotions for the rest of the day. Thank you for your amazing article.
Hi, positivity can be fostered through conscious decisions about how we view what happens in our world. Even when bad days happen, they won’t always be like that unless we brood and dwell on it. Thanks for the lovely feedback. ~kat
What an inspirational post, I have read it through three times now and you are completely right, if more people saw your post then the world would be a better place for everyone to live in, I will be sharing this with my friends, family and colleagues, I am sure they will benefit from it as much as I have.
Thanks for sharing the love
Hi James, thanks so much for rereading the post. I’m glad it’s had a positive effect for you. I would really appreciate you sharing this within your network. I hope to have a positive impact on people’s lives. ~kat
I must commend the importance of this post in our daily life. Like you have said having some bad days is normal, everyday day can’t be as good as Christmas. Now the acceptance that its meant tobe and not brood over it and making it affect you mind is most important. In a wrap, bad days will come, good days will come but in all we all should face it as it comes and deal with it with a positive mindset. My opinion, thanks for sharing.
I remember a particular day in college when almost everything on that day went wrong. It was actually crazy because days like those rarely happen when everything just goes wrong even though they were not related. Of course I felt bad but to me it felt funny because such a thing rarely happens. I knew I was having a bad day and just went with it. The next day I came out stronger and ready to tackle the day.
Well done for being able to go with the flow of a bad day and come back better the next day rather than dwelling on it or allowing it to dictate the next day for you. Thanks for sharing. ~kat
One of the best ways to start thinking differently is to change your perspective and look at things from a different point of view. You’ve listed awesome tips for changing ones perspective that you can see things in your mind in the positive way and allow space for gratitude. Their is nothing like a grateful heart. I try as much as possible to do away with negative thoughts no matter how bad my day was.
Awesome write-up Kat.
I can relate well to the thoughts here and thank you. Oftentimes, I find myself stressed because, our electricity here in our place is often problematic. There are frequent power outage and because I have an internet cafe business, I always feel affected. But then, like you said, I have to think of the positive and the good bits like it is an opportunity for me to stay away from my computers and spend some time reading a good book.
Over the years, I have learnt that to be able to accept the way things are, is really crucial. I realized that if I can’t accept the negative things which had happened, chances are that my mood will spiral all the way down. It is only when I am able to accept the way things are, that I am able to look at the positive side of the situation. Only then can I feel better and work on a solution!
This post will be extremely helpful to those who are currently facing crisis of any kind and have yet to understand the power of thinking!
Hi Kat, thanks for your sharing here. I am happy to come across this article. Reframe is very important to change negative thoughts! I find myself really depressed recently because there is political unrest in Hong Kong. So I try to reframe my negative thoughts and feelings. For example, now a lot of Hong Kong people concern about politics, even though some of them are politically apathetic. And now it’s less overcrowded in Hong Kong. There are no long queues outside the restaurants, and people can have more living space. I agree with you that acceptance is important as well. But this is not easy.
This is a really important article that I think everyone can take heed from in terms of their everyday life.
The daily slugfest which I like to call it can be really tough to keep getting up for when you are troubled by many issues that we can face each day.
We are all wired differently to handle these things that are thrown our way, and not necessarily ready for the next family, work or other challenge that falls our way.
It is so easy to be drawn into a cycle of negativity, whether it is self-inflicted or brought about from other people.
Improtantly, finding the brighter aspects of life, whilst not always easy to be make as your focus, can certainly go some way to making you feel a whole lot better.
Hi Shane, it can be very easy to be drawn into the negativity cycle. Even though bad things do happen, it’s okay to sit with how it makes us feel when they happen, but we also need to ensure this doesn’t dictate the rest of our day or week or month or life. Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts. ~kat
Great advice. Many thanks for sharing this important message.
It’s very important to know that what we think is actually our choice. Reframing is a great way to look at the positives in any situation as you say.
We are not our thoughts and we have the ability to become the observer of our thoughts as they stream through our mind. This provides separation from them and gives us time to choose how we want to ‘feel’ about what is going on.
Our thoughts lead to our feelings, so if we can take responsibility for our thoughts, and select to think good ones in all situations, we will automatically be happy.
Thank you for this very timely post! Yesterday at work was one of the roughest days I’ve had in the 15yrs I’ve been employed with my agency. I was in tears on my way home feeling very hurt and underappreciated. Looking back now after reading your post and reframing my thoughts and the day, there were some positive things that happened. I supported a great cause by attending an event for Domestic Violence Against Woman, I have a great team whom I was able to discuss the day’s unforeseen events with and didn’t have to deal with it all on my own, and my adult son (whom I hadn’t seen in two weeks) came over for a visit for the night. Looking back, it wasn’t as bad of a day as I initially thought it was.
Thank you for reminding me to stop and focus on the positives.
Love your post
Hi Tracy, it’s great to hear that this post has come at just the right time for you. You are an amazing person with a big heart and it sounds like you are supported by people around you. Things can shake us and leave us feeling pretty raw, but with the skill of being reflective as you have, you’ve been able to reframe your day to help you work through the difficult stuff that happened. Great personal work Tracy. Keep being you 🙂 ~kat