I’ve had a few bad days lately. They don’t happen very often. I guess I’m just in a “bad day funk” right now, so I thought I’d write about the system I’m using to get out of a bad day in case any of you are experiencing the same thing.
Bad days always start out as bad moments, which seems to attract more bad moments the more we harp on it. So the key is to not have that bad moment turn into a bad day. Easier said than done I say. However, it can be done, and this process will help to do it faster and with more effectiveness.
I have been experimenting with this [SSBC] process for a while, so I can say that it works for me. Maybe you can try it out and let me know. This process assumes that you have recognized the bad moment or bad day and honestly want to change it.
A Simple 4 Step Process To “Flip The Switch” When Having A Bad Day
Step 1: Stop.
Stop the negative thought process train that’s leading you full-speed into that bad day. When something negative happens and we think about it a lot, it breeds more negativity. If possible, process that bad moment as a learning experience, and thank that moment for happening (because who knows, maybe it will actually help you in some way down the line).
Side note: sometimes life likes to test us with a double-whammy of bad moments to see if we truly do want to change. Watch out for those and don’t let them sidetrack your determination.
Step 2: Smile.
It’s really difficult to be upset or in a negative mood when you’re smiling. At first it will seem forced and fake, but stay with it. Eventually your shoulders will drop, some of the stress will leave your body and you will actually start to feel lighter. Then, as if it were magic, your smile becomes effortless and natural.
Step 3: Breathe.
I’m shocked at how quickly I can change my mindset through breathing. When that bad moment passes (or right smack in the middle of it if you can recognize it in time), close your eyes and slowly inhale and exhale deeply. My turnaround time is about 5 breaths; actually it’s between 5 and 10 breaths depending on how much stress I just take on. When you open your eyes you take on a new perspective of the situation, and (hopefully) some possible solutions.
Side note: sometimes I will do steps 2 and 3 in reverse order, or even at the same time. They go well together.
Step 4: Choose.
Choose how the rest of your day will look. You may be thinking, “but I can’t tell the future, how am I supposed to know what the rest of my day looks like?” Although this is true, you can choose how you want it to be. You can choose what your perspective will be, and how you will react to the people around you.
Choose to be positive. Choose to be helpful. Choose to be forgiving. Those always help me in just about any situation that comes my way.
So what do you think? Easy enough? Write this process in your phone or on a piece of paper that you can carry with you. Next time that bad moment comes, use this process and don’t allow it to ruin your entire day.
Kudos to you if you noticed that [SSBC] is also the acronym for “small steps | big changes” – a little precursor of what’s to come…