We all have bad days sometimes. They happen to the best of us, and sometimes they feel like they’ll never go away. It’s easy to spiral out of control into negativity when the bad day blues strike. It’s crucial you learn ways to practice mindfulness in spite of these bad days so you’re able to stay in control of your decisions.
You’re in control of your own mind and your reactions. The bad day might seem like it has you in its grasp, but you’re stronger than you think. The first step is to notice the bad day for what it is: just a day. It will end when the sun goes down and you’re finally able to relax. It doesn’t have to spill into tomorrow. Put a stop to bad days for good with these 7 mindful ways to turn your day around.
Sometimes all you need to redirect your mental energy is a meditation session. You can meditate anywhere, and that’s why it’s a great first line of defense. A Harvard health study found meditation to be an effective way to reduce anxiety and stress. Even if you’re new to meditation, you can make it work for you.
Start by controlling your breathing. Try to find a quiet place to sit by yourself, if possible. Make sure you’re comfortable, then adjust your breathing until your thoughts are entirely in the present. Don’t let those negative thoughts sneak in, but realize it’s okay if they do. Exist in the present, even if only for a few minutes. You’ll realize you’re more in control than you think, and you’ll be ready to handle the rest of your day.
You might be tempted to curl up on the couch after a bad day, but getting out and exercising is a much better way to handle the situation. If you feel up to it, go to the gym or on a run. Cardio is an especially great way to get your endorphins flowing. Troubles always seem a lot smaller after you sweat it out.
Even if you don’t feel up for a full-blown gym session, you can still feel the positive changes of getting your blood pumping. Try going for a walk with a favorite soundtrack or a podcast. That’ll give your mind a chance to take a break from your stress while you move around a bit.
3. Be Grateful
When everything is going wrong, it’s easy to fall into a spiral of thinking you don’t have anything to be thankful for. This is a dangerous mindset and one you should pull yourself back from quickly. You have plenty of things to be grateful for, so make sure to recognize that.
Even if you were late to work and messed up an important assignment, you can still remind yourself of other things that are going well. Maybe you’re grateful to have a trusted friend visiting this weekend. Maybe you’re grateful that your coworkers jumped in to help you with that task you missed. Realize, in the big picture, things aren’t actually so bad.
4. Inspire Yourself
You might need a bit of inspiration to help yourself feel back to normal. Look to your favorite things to find that spark you’ve been missing. Maybe you need to re-read your favorite book about self-care, or you need to browse some motivational quotes. It’s okay if you need to search for inspiration on a down day, you’ll snap out of it quickly.
5. Talk About It
If you can’t stop replaying your day in your head, you might need to reevaluate it completely. When we’re stuck in our heads we tend to paint things in a different light. For example, maybe you made an embarrassing mistake in front of a peer. It feels awful in your head, but it’s probably not nearly as devastating as you think.
Call up a trusted friend or loved one. Vent to them about your day for a little bit, and let them talk you out of it. They’ll probably help you realize that your mistake wasn’t nearly as embarrassing as you thought.
6. Clean Your Space
If your mind feels crowded with negativity, do something productive like clean. Decluttering your space is actually shown to lead to less stress. Is there an area of your home you can clean? The piles of old photos on your shelves aren’t doing anything positive for your mental state, and they’re only reminding you of the chaos in your head.
Even small cleaning steps can make a big impact on your mental state. Recruit a friend or a roommate to help, and try to make the cleaning and sorting out of the old photos fun. After that, you can choose together which ones you would like to turn digital with the help of photo scanning and share with your other friends and family. It will surely help you stop thinking about that bad day for a while.