I remember a time when it felt like everything was falling apart. Emotionally and practically, I was at a low point. On this particular day, I woke up overwhelmed by the multitude of issues facing me, and it felt like my day just kept getting worse. At that moment, I had no idea of the solution of how to handle having a bad day.

Determined to persevere, I gritted my teeth and steeled myself to push through.

The tipping point came with a phone call that brought even more disappointing news. I’m usually good at hiding my emotions, so I stifled the tears. When I finally got home, I dropped my bags at the bottom of the stairs and ran up to my bedroom, eager to just collapse on my bed and let out the tears. But as I flung open the door, I was shocked into stillness. To my horror, the bedroom ceiling had caved in. The flood had happened, but it wasn’t from my tears; it was due to a leaky water tank in the attic.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re stuck in a cycle of negativity, when you’re having a bad day, things seem to get progressively worse? Seeing the destruction in my bedroom, I finally shrugged off the despair and shifted into solution mode. That was a turning point for me. Once I let go of my “poor me” attitude, everything around me began to improve, and I became conscious that what followed, made me appreciate how to better handle having a bad day.

We block the good when we focus on the bad

We’re always programming our subconscious with our thoughts and the conclusions we draw from what happens around us. For instance, think of your favourite car in red for a moment. Soon, you’ll start noticing that specific make and colour everywhere.

When we zero in on mishaps, unsurprisingly, it feels like everything just keeps going wrong. If left unchecked, this focus can send us into a downward spiral. Typically, we do manage to snap out of it, but often only when things reach a breaking point—like a ceiling collapsing. That’s when you’re compelled to try something different.

Many people who consistently find success know better than to let their thoughts or emotions linger on the negative. When they find themselves having a bad day, they have strategies to quickly turn things around. I was a bit of a late bloomer in this area, as it didn’t come naturally to me to pivot my thoughts and emotions. I had to teach myself a method to swiftly enter a better emotional state. Here’s the formula I developed.


When you’re having a bad day, the first step towards turning it around is to become conscious of your inner dialogue. Our subconscious mind is a reservoir of all the information we can’t handle actively, continuously running scripts that influence our feelings without us even realizing it. Often, these scripts are not in alignment with our true, positive selves, leading to negative emotions. By allowing yourself to become aware of these negative thoughts and emotions, you start to understand their origins and triggers. This awareness doesn’t come instantly—it requires practice. The more you practice mindfulness and awareness, the quicker you can identify and address the roots of your negativity.


Our habitual patterns of self-talk significantly impact our emotional well-being, especially when we’re having a bad day. Negative self-talk can reinforce bad feelings and worsen your mood. By consciously changing the narrative in your head from negative to positive, you can alter the course of your day. This involves recognizing negative patterns and deliberately pivoting to more positive or constructive thoughts. Start by acknowledging the negative thought, then gently correct it with a positive or realistic statement. For example, instead of thinking, “Nothing goes right for me,” you might say, “Today is challenging, but I can handle this.” Changing your self-talk requires consistency and patience but is crucial for fostering resilience.


Acknowledging your emotions is essential, particularly when having a bad day. Suppressing feelings can lead to them resurfacing more intensely later on. When negativity feels overwhelming, take proactive steps to lift your spirits. This could involve engaging in activities that you know make you feel better, like talking to a friend, listening to your favourite music, or engaging in a hobby. The key is to perform these actions with the intent of improving your mood, rather than just passing time. Each small step can help shift your mindset from a negative spiral to a more positive outlook, creating momentum that gradually leads to feeling better.


Having a bad day doesn’t necessarily mean everything is bad. This understanding came from my childhood; whenever I was upset over trivial issues, my mother would remind me that things could be worse, highlighting the importance of perspective. Developing a healthy perspective involves stepping back from your current situation to see the bigger picture and recognize that current difficulties are temporary and surmountable. It helps you to distinguish between what’s a minor inconvenience and what’s a serious issue. With this perspective, you can prioritize your emotional and mental resources towards constructive solutions, reinforcing the idea that ‘this too shall pass.’


Once you have stabilized your emotions and adopted a healthier perspective, focus on finding solutions to improve your day. This involves identifying the specific problems contributing to your bad day and thinking about practical steps to mitigate them. Whether it’s tackling a backlog of work, resolving a misunderstanding with a colleague, or simply taking time for self-care, each action you take should aim to address the issues at hand. Approach this process with a mindset of empowerment, knowing that every problem has a solution, and your efforts can lead to positive changes.


Reflection is a powerful tool for personal growth, especially after having a bad day. Take time to reflect on what went wrong, how you responded, and what strategies were effective in improving your mood and situation. Understanding these patterns helps you prepare for future challenges and strengthens your resilience. Keep a journal or simply spend a few minutes in contemplation at the end of a tough day. Learning from each bad day not only helps in managing similar situations better in the future but also contributes to your overall emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

Implementing these steps can significantly alter your approach to having a bad day, transforming challenges into opportunities for growth and self-improvement.

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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.