Having a bad day?

Often, one bad thing happens that leads to us feeling deflated, whether it’s waking up late, forgetting a special occasion, or screwing up a meeting.

That shakes us off our game, which then results in us slipping up at work, forgetting something out of distraction, and the list goes on. Before you know it, your whole day goes down the drain.

But it’s important to remember that a bad moment doesn’t have to lead to a bad day.


Photo Credit: Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

If you know what to do when that bad moment hits, you can control the situation and turn the day around.

No one really has a bad life. Not even a bad day. Just bad moments.

– Regina Brett

Here’s how to stop a bad moment from ruining your day:

1. Stop and notice what’s going on

The most important thing to do after you’ve encountered that slip up, disappointment, unwelcomed surprise, or other bad moment or experience is to stop immediately and control the situation from within.

Pause and notice what’s floating around your head.

When this happens, we’ll often start to tell ourselves things like, “ugh, today is starting off great…”, or, “today’s gonna be a bad day…”

We’re literally willing more bad things to happen, practically expecting them.

Notice these thought patterns and the associated emotions of dread, sadness, anger, frustration, etc. By noticing what’s going on inside your mind, you can change what you’re saying and affirm to yourself that a single bad moment does not mean you’re entire day is going to be bad.

2. Get some perspective

Despite how intelligent we supposedly are, our conscious thought can be wildly irrational.

In reality, things are almost never as bad as they appear, so it’s important to seek some perspective.

Once you’ve taken a moment to notice what’s going on from within, ask yourself if these thoughts and emotions are rational.

Ask yourself these questions to help “shake” you out of your stupor:

  • Does this one bad moment mean I’m going to have a bad day?
  • What can I do to turn around this bad moment?
  • What can I do to make this day better? (List several things.)

Look around you, think about the day ahead and remind yourself of everything that’s going just fine.

3. Get out of your head and take some positive action

Now that you should have at least somewhat sufficiently jolted yourself out of your declining state of mind, it’s time to decide on a positive action you can take to turn this day around.

Sometimes, this will involve you doing something to make what happened better. Other times, there will be nothing you can do about what happened. However, there are always other positive actions you can take to balance it out and keep the day from being ruined because of this one thing.

Even if you’re not quite sure what to do, just decide on something and get moving. Movement breeds motivation and confidence, so if you get yourself moving, you’ll snap out of your mental slump and start turning the rest of your day into something positive — one way or another.