You can transform a bad day

I remember a period in my life when everything just seemed to be going wrong. I wasn’t in a great place emotionally or practically. This particular day, I had woken up feeling overwhelmed with everything on my plate and the day just got worse and worse as it went on. At that point, I had no clue as to how to transform a bad day.

I determined to get through the day, and through gritted teeth, steeled myself to get on with it.

The breaking point came when I received a phone call with even more disappointing news. I’m pretty good at hiding my emotions and I stifled the tears.  When I eventually got home I dumped my bags at the bottom of the stairs and ran up to my bedroom. All I wanted to do was to throw myself on the bed and let the deluge of tears out. As I swung open my bedroom door, I stopped in shock. To my horror, I saw the bedroom ceiling had fallen in. The deluge had happened, but it wasn’t my tears, it was a leaky water tank in the loft which had caused the damage.

I don’t know if you have ever noticed, but when you are continually in a negative state, things just seem to get worse and worse? When I saw the destruction in the bedroom, I completely shrugged off my negativity and got busy in solution mode. That was a turning point for me. Once I stepped out of my “poor me” attitude, everything around change for the better, and I was able to figure out how to transform a bad day.

We block the good when we focus on the bad

We are continually programming our subconscious mind with our thoughts and conclusions from what goes on around us. Just start thinking of your favourite make of car in red. Hey presto, you will notice that particular make and colour of the car seems to be everywhere.

When we focus our attention on what goes wrong, guess what? Everything seems to be going wrong. Your mood and negativity can if unchecked, continue on a downward spiral. We do normally snap out of it. Often it only happens when things just get so bad. Like a ceiling falling in, you have to do something different.

Lots of consistently successful people don’t let their thoughts or emotions linger on negativity, much less get into a downward spiral.  When they are in a downward spiral, they know how to get out of it.  They are experts on how to transform a bad day.  I am a bit of a late bloomer, as pivoting my thoughts and emotions didn’t come naturally to me. I had to learn the formula to achieve a good feeling state very quickly.   This is the formula I came up with.

1.       Become conscious

Our subconscious mind stores all the data we just can’t cope with in our conscious minds. Along with this data are tapes which run without noise in the background of our minds and create an unconscious stream of thoughts. When that stream of thoughts is not in alignment with our true selves which is positive and optimistic, then we feel bad. The first step in the formula is to allow yourself to become conscious of your thoughts and emotions which are creating our negative experience. This might take some time and effort. The process of becoming conscious speeds up when you’ve practised it often.

2.       Change your self-talk

We are creatures of habit and our self-talk will go down the route we allow it to. If our self-talk is negative and focused on the bad things that happen, then like a rolling snowball, your thoughts will gain momentum. If unchecked will become more negative. To change your experience, you have to take charge of your self-talk and consciously and deliberately pivot your thoughts into more positive channels.

3.       Do what it takes to feel better

You have to be honest about your feelings. Trying to stifle them is just repression. This means your feelings will usually come back to bite you.  But when you are feeling negative for a long period of time, it’s easy for that state to become the habitual norm. Your subconscious mind gets stuck and seems to create even more to feel negative about.  If you do what you can to feel better in any given moment, then you will begin to create a welcome upward spiral. I this becomes your focus, momentum can build.  Eventually, the momentum will make you feel much better.  Try contacting a great friend, or listening to music, or think about times when you’ve felt happier.

4.       Create a healthy perspective

When I was a child if I cried about anything trivial, my mother would impatiently say, “I’ll give you something to cry about if you don’t stop”.  Not that she ever did give me something to cry about,  my mother was a lovely woman, but she had no time for any self-pity.   Of course, just because you’re having a negative day, doesn’t mean you are indulging in self-pity, but the essence of my mother’s message was along the lines of “there are worse things which could happen,”.   Creating a healthy perspective means you look wider and gain some insight into the reality of your situation, and build in some optimism.   With a healthy perspective, it is easier to tap into solution mode, and finally, you realize that “this time will pass”.

So those are my 4 tips to transform a bad day.  What are yours?

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I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.

I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.