As much as we’re all pursuing a life abundant in love, peace, and happiness. That doesn’t mean we’re gonna be happy 100% of the time. Life is a series of ups and downs, good days and bad days. And even though I do believe over time you can achieve a life of emotional balance through healing, self-awareness, and practice, there are still gonna be those days, weeks, or months where you’re in a dark place.
Can I tell you a little secret?
You’re allowed to have bad days. Or even weeks. Having a bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad life. And you won’t always feel bad. There’s that old saying, “This too shall pass.” It’s going to be ok. You’re gonna get through it.
And can I tell you another little secret?
With practice, it’s actually easier than you think to get through a bad and getting back to feeling happy. I promise.
Everything I’m going to share with you today, I’ve been practicing in my own life for that past five years. And I’ve gotten to the point that I can shift out of my bad mood of within minutes. Ehhh…if it’s a tough one, it may take me a few hours. Before I began to practice this, I’d live in depression for months at a time.
And just to be clear, I’m a naturally happy person.vI don’t think I’ve ever had one person describe me as a happy or peppy person. I’m actually melancholy and a deep thinker. Matt has always told me I’m so pessimistic. I liked to think of myself more as a realistic, but that’s just semantics.
So, for me to be able to navigate to a happy place quickly isn’t because it’s my natural disposition.
This has been a journey, for sure.
Five Tips for Feeling Better on a Bad Day
Download the free printable pdf here.
(1) The first thing I want you to realize is that your happiness is entirely up to you.
Whether you have a good day or a bad day falls 100% on you.
So, that means you’re gonna have to stop blaming your circumstances, other people, or the government for how you feel. I know, Bad things happen. Life is mean. People are mean, but ultimately it’s up to you – how you’re gonna live.
I talk a little bit more about this in the previous post called “What to Do if You’ve Been Betrayed”
Hearing your bad day is 100% your fault is a bitter pill to swallow. If this is your first time hearing this, here’s a little sugar to help the medicine go down. If you’re the reason you’re miserable, then you’ve got all the power to make your life freakin’ awesome.
Not one person, event, or thing can keep you from living your best happy life.
Your parents, the government, your husband or kids can’t keep you from living happy and full. It’s totally up to you!
This was a very bitter pill for me.
I was the queen of victim-ville.
So to tell me my misery was my fault, really made me mad.
Do you know what helped me accept this and embrace my newfound power? It’s the story of Corie Ten Boom. If you’ve never read her book, I highly recommend it. It’s called “The Hiding Place”
Corie was a Christian watchmaker in Holland and during the reign of Nazi Germany. She and her family helped Jews escape Holland. When they were caught, they were sent to a concentration camp.
In the hell that they were living in, Corie and her sister Betsie still lived with love and grace.
They became my north star.
Anytime I would feel sorry for myself and want to blame everyone else for my misery, I’d think about Corie and Betsy if they could live in hell and still live with peace and kindness. I had no excuses.
(2) Second, Accept the bad mood or day.
You’re not a bad person and there’s nothing broken about you. This isn’t evil or the devil. So don’t put any moral judgment on how you feel. It is what it is. And that’s ok. I know acceptance feels like approval. So, we resist accepting it, but that’s not the case at all. Accepting it simply means allowing it to take up space in your life. The more you resist it or judge it or try to “get rid of it” the longer it will take for you to navigate the negative state that you’re in.
(3) Third, give your self space to get away and rest.
Remember, you’re responsible for the way you feel, so there are no excuses. If you’re in a negative state, there needs to be some self-care involved.
Depending on the situation, go take a nap, go for a walk or a drive. Take personal time off work. Call a friend or family member to come to watch your kids for a few hours.
Whatever you’ve got to do to remove yourself from the stresses that are fueling your negative place, do it.
You’re not being selfish. You’re being responsible for yourself. Because we all know, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
(4) Next, pay attention to your thoughts.
This is huge.
Self-awareness is key to navigating your way through your bad days. It’s vital that you began to practice thinking about what you’re thinking about. Your thoughts are what is fueling this negative place. Then go back, back, back through your thoughts.
What was the trigger point?
There’s always something that was the pivotal point that created the shift. It’s usually an event, like a flat tire. Or a rude comment from a co-worker. Or something you’ve seen on TV. There’s always a source.
And from that source, you thought a thought and from that thought or trail of thoughts, your body responded physically and emotionally to your negative thoughts. You’ve got to find that moment. It’s the root that you’ve got to uproot.
If you want to change your mood, you’ve just got to change your thoughts.
Once you discover what thoughts you’ve been thinking to create this negative mood, it’s time to take control of your thoughts.
Take them captive. And mentally let them go. Then actively replace them with new thoughts of truth, love, and positivity.
Here’s something VITALLY IMPORTANT.
Are you ready?
You’ve GOT TO BE HONEST about what you’re thinking.
I can’t stress this enough. Just like you don’t need to judge your emotions, don’t judge your thoughts. Own them. Face them. Admit them. Then do something about them.
But know what thoughts are fueling your negative place isn’t always easy to find, so this is the part that takes a lot of practice and self-awareness.
(5) Tell others where you are.
If you feel triggered and are having a bad day, let the people you’re engaging with know.
“Hey, I just want to let you know where I’m at.”
“This isn’t your fault.”
“I just need some time to recover.”
This will give others a chance to support you as you process things and find your way back to the light of happiness.
Remember this is going to be a journey. In fact, plan on practicing this for the rest of your life. The more you do these steps the easier and faster it will go.
Here’s my challenge to you: The next time you’re having a bad day, pull out these tips and begin your journey of navigating to a more positive place.