Sometimes, the stars align in your favor.
Other times… they just don’t.
Sometimes, something unexpected happens that turns our world upside down; other times we just can’t seem to get rolling, or our dog pees on our favorite shoes which leads to an avalanche of unfortunate events, or old painful memories resurface that we just can’t seem to shake off; and still other times, we’re just frustrated with life without even knowing why.
No matter what the reason, sometimes…we just have bad days. We all do. So there are a few things I’d like to remind you of (because you know them, even if you can’t remember so clearly now) to help you push through this tough time.
There is a light on the other side… and you’re closer to it than you think.
Everyone can have a bad day.
– Nikki Haley
When we’re having a bad day – whatever the reason – we usually lack clarity. And clarity, typically in the way of a fresh perspective, is often all we need to shake things off.
Here are eight things to remember if you’re having a bad day. I hope they not only comfort you but help bring you clarity, no matter how tough things are for you:
1. All you can do is take it one step at a time
Often, when we’re having a bad day, we feel overwhelmed. One thing, or thought, leads to another and before you know it we feel like the world is crumbling down around us. This feeling of being overwhelmed not only makes things difficult for us, it makes it difficult to get out of our situation as well, making us feel trapped.
When this happens, remember that there is always a path out and all it takes is for you to take one small step at a time. Each small step will make a real difference, until the point in which you turn around and see that those small steps have grown, together, to become something much more than the sum of their parts.
2. It’s only as bad as you think it is
We interpret our experiences in the same way that a pair of sunglasses catches the sun’s rays. Everything that happens to us has to first hit this filter – our mindset or internal perspective – before we can react to it.
If your perspective is that the world is coming down around you and that you’re hopeless to make any kind of productive change then you’ll make that your reality. However, this also goes the other way.
If you decide to take a fresh perspective and see that you have the ability to change or that things really aren’t as bad as you once thought they were, that perspective will influence everything else that happens to you, giving you a sense of relief through mastery of the mind.
3. The bad comes with the good
Without our challenges and struggles, we wouldn’t be able to know happiness.
It’s because of our experience with struggle that we’re able to fully appreciate when things are good, so we have to go through these tough times to appreciate our life when things change for the better.
It’s important to cultivate a deep appreciation for your challenges and to know that this is simply the ebb and flow of life. When things are good, appreciate them fully; when they’re bad, allow yourself to fully experience the feelings running through you and know that things will get better.
4. Blessings are there, even in the worst of times
That sense of overwhelm we get when we’re having a bad day often gives us a kind of tunnel vision. Because of this, we focus exclusively on what’s wrong and stop noticing what’s around us. But if we were to take the time to look around we’d notice that there’s a lot of good to balance out the bad.
When you’re having a bad day, take a moment to look around and notice the good things: food, clean drinking water, a roof over your head, access to medicine, friends, family, the opportunity to pursue your passions, and anything else that comes to mind. See that, while you may be having a bad day with regards to a few specific things, in reality, you’re surrounded by countless blessings.
5. There’s wisdom in every experience
You’ve probably heard it before, but that’s for a reason – it’s true.
In every experience, you have the opportunity to either learn something new or have a previous belief confirmed and supported. Even your bad day can teach you something.
While at first, this might not seem very comforting – after all, it’s not making your bad day any easier– reminding yourself of this when you’re having a bad day, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, can go a long way.
6. It will pass
If there’s one thing that can be said for certain, it’s that everything in life is impermanent. No matter what you’re going through now, know this: it will pass.
Whether you’re just on an off note or you’re wrestling with the constant pain of tragedy, know that time has the ability to heal all wounds. Even the most severe pain, over time, becomes easier to manage.
There will always be a new day with brand new possibilities ahead of you, no matter what happened today or in your past. So, look to the future and know that there’s one thing that no one can ever take from you: hope.
7. You’re not a victim
This is easily one of the most important points on this list and a big part of why we have bad days to begin with.
As I mentioned earlier, often a bad day can start with something as small as your dog peeing on your new shoes. But what happens afterward is the important part.
From this point on, many of us immediately change our outlook for the day and almost begin looking for things to go wrong. How you screwed this up, why the world is out to get you, why you’ll never be or do this, on and on until we’ve ended the day having hit ourselves with a veritable barrage of jabs and insults.
It’s only natural to feel that the world is out to get you. We all feel like this from time to time. However, it’s important to know that we all feel like this sometimes and that you are not a victim.
8. Don’t quit
Everything we’ve talked about up until now will help you traverse the challenges of a truly bad day, but possibly the most important lesson of all – especially if you’re in pursuit of a big dream or goal – is simply to not quit.
Most importantly, don’t stop thinking that things won’t get better; don’t stop having hope; and whatever you do, don’t stop believing in yourself. There are few traits that are absolutely required in order to succeed in an endeavor and the persistence to never give up on yourself is one of those traits.
We all doubt ourselves at times and we all feel sometimes like nothing is going as we want it to. But I promise you that I’ve felt this way, everyone feels this way, that it’s perfectly normal, and that it will pass. All you have to do is not quit.
Push through these tough times and you’ll arrive at a place of relief. I can’t guarantee that life won’t challenge you again because that’s the nature of life, it ebbs and flows. However, I can say this for certain: the more you persist, the easier it gets.
Just don’t quit.
Ultimately, remember that nothing lasts forever. Whether you’re having a bad day or are at a rough point in your life in general, if you stick with it, you’ll arrive at a place where you can finally place these challenges on the shelf and move on without them. Keep pushing on and know that hope and possibility are always around you, whether you can see them now or not.