It is first thing in the morning and as the alarm goes off and you shake off the last remnants of sleep, you find yourself balanced on a scale which has a bad mood on one side and good on the other. As the fulcrum swings precariously from side to side, you are blissfully unaware that you are able to influence the tipping point. Most advocates of positive thinking and the law of attraction will be only too aware that happiness is a choice that you make every morning. You will also know that a bad day is a self fulfilling prophesy and will only serve to bring more bad things towards you. Nevertheless, we are all only human and despite our best efforts, there are odd days when we just feel a bit “off”. Ironically, the more you are in touch with the energy around you, the more your bad mood will put you out of sorts. So for those rare moments when we just let our humanness get the better of us, what can we do to alleviate the impact?
- Embrace it. When the chips are down and you’ve taken a few knocks, just honour your feelings. There is no use trying to pretend that everything is ok when you feel far from it. People are not so easily fooled and you certainly won’t be able to pull the wool over your own eyes. One bad day in a long line of good ones is really not going to have a huge impact on your future. Recognise your bad mood for what it is and accept that, in a world full of contrast, having a bad day helps you to identify your preferences. Say to yourself, “my bad mood has shown me what I don’t like about my life, and that will help me to understand what I want to change and I can work on that tomorrow when I am feeling better.” Just accept it as a blip and move on.
- Cap it. If things aren’t going your way, allow yourself a fixed time period in which to feel sorry for yourself. Perhaps 24 hours of wallowing in self pity will be enough. Allow yourself to feel your emotions full out for 24 hours and then stop, pick yourself up, get yourself dressed, paint a smile on your face (even if you have to fake it) and go out and face the world again.
- Energise it. We all have our own methods of getting in “the zone” and getting energised: perhaps a brisk walk in nature, a sprint along the sea front, dancing to your favourite tunes, or singing at the top of your voice. Alternatively, painting a picture, or going for a fast swim. Whatever activity it is that works for you, throw your heart and soul into it and keep going as long as you possibly can using up your energy in a positive way. Make yourself do it even if you don’t feel like it. You will be glad you did.
- Talk to your shadow. Let me introduce you to your shadow self; the little negative inner voice that can sometimes get the better of you and sabotage your good mood. If you are having a moment where your shadow self is calling the shots, don’t ignore it. Give him or her a voice and let them do their worst. Picture them as the worst version of you standing in front of you and ask them what their problem is. Listen to what they have to say. Let your shadow self rant and rave until there is nothing more left to say. Make sure that they don’t hold back. Once you have let them have their say, tell them, “Thank you for sharing,” and then banish them from your sight. Picture them on an ipad screen and simply swipe the screen to erase them or if that feels a bit harsh, put them inside a bubble of light and watch them float off into the distance. Send them away with your love and blessing.
- Write it. There’s something very therapeutic about writing everything down. What is it that you are afraid of or angry about? Write down the worst case scenario to the problem that you are facing and then write down ten steps you can take to overcome it if it happens. Once you have written it all down and you have a solution to the problem, let it go and just get on with your day knowing that you can tackle it head on..
- Zen it. There is so much that has been written about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness that there can be very little doubt that it is extremely good for your health. When you feel overwhelmed by stress, take a few minutes to meditate and find inner peace and serenity. Put your earphones in and listen to a guided meditation or simply take a few deep, cleansing breaths as you clear your mind and focus on the here and now.
- Sleep on it. If all else fails and you have the opportunity, go back to bed and take a siesta. Strange as it may sound, all of your pent up worries and negative resistance stops when you are asleep. A power nap will be just the ticket provided you don’t wake up and immediately focus your attention on the same problem. You might not be able to do this until bedtime but try to get an early night and be determined to have a better day tomorrow.
- Work up the Scales. If you really are having a bad time then try to deliberately make yourself feel a tiny bit better each day. Taking baby steps is the order of the day. So if you feel helpless, you might want to deliberately get angry and have a rant. Although anger is not a good way to feel, it is better than hopeless as it gives you back some power. You might move from angry to annoyed, or annoyed to frustrated but eventually you will cross the threshold into the positive end of the emotional scale and from there, you are home and dry. This process may take several days or even weeks but it can be achieved. Just stay focused and celebrate each little success.
There are no easy solutions when you are having a bad day but the more you get annoyed with yourself, the worse it will get. Just relax into it and cut yourself a bit of slack. Tomorrow really is another day and with a little determination, you can make it a better one.