We all have those days where one thing goes south, and we resign to having a bad day. We start to wallow in self-pity, creating this narrative where we are the victims of life and there’s nothing we can do. This is false! You are always in control of yourself. You may not be able to control outside circumstances, but you can control what you do and how you react. When something negative happens to you, and you say “it’s a bad day,” you’re creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because that’s what you labeled it, you’re giving up on having a good day. I encourage you to not create more problems for yourself by letting those sticky, negative thoughts overtake you. You can absolutely turn your day around. Here’s how:
Be committed to your happiness
If you wake up feeling anxious or depressed, take that as a sign that something inside of you is off balance that you need to take care of. You only have yourself, and you need to be able to show up for yourself no matter what. That doesn’t mean shove your uncomfortable feelings down. It means learning how to cope with those feelings. It also means getting out of bed and going, no matter how bad you feel. Showing up for yourself means doing whatever you can to make yourself happy so that you can accomplish what you need to. Maybe that means taking a bath every morning to calm your nerves, taking a long walk as the sun rises, dancing in your living room before work, getting all of your negative feelings out on paper, or doing a long, guided meditation.
Find whatever works for you and stick with it. Live every day as if you are living the happy life that you want. Don’t think “one day, I will be happy.” Think “I already am happy!” You might feel some resistance at first. That is okay! You are retraining your mind to think more positively.
When you’re living in the past, you’re setting yourself up for depression thinking of what could have been, ruminating on the mistakes that you made, or even viewing the past through rose-colored lenses and not being able to fully enjoy what you have. When you’re living in the future, you’re setting yourself up for anxiety because you’re so worried about what will happen rather than what is happening. Being present is about accepting what is, and being grateful for the moment. When you catch your thoughts wandering to the past or the future, gently bring them back to the present moment. Focus on one task at a time, and when you catch your mind wandering, bring it back to the task at hand. You can also mindfully tap into your senses by giving yourself a massage with essential oils.
If you have been cooped up inside all day, and you’re feeling yourself wallow, get outdoors. Sometimes, even if I know that going outside will make me feel better, I resist it because my depression feels much safer isolated and in bed. It’s important to move past these feelings, even if it’s uncomfortable for your sadness. Step outdoors and let nature do what it does best– heal you your soul. Pay attention to the earthy smells, the colors, and the animals. Stand outside without your shoes on, and imagine there are cords going from the soles of your feet into the core of the earth. You’ll start to remember that you, yourself are nature, just like Ram Dass says in this song:
Mindfully eat your favorite meal
Eating a delicious meal is good for the soul. Planning a good meal to have every day will give you something to look forward to. When you sit down to eat, start by expressing your gratitude for the meal and think about what it took to put that meal together. As you’re eating, try to eat more mindfully. Avoid any distractions like your phone or the TV, and enjoy the food with all of your senses. Notice and identify the various flavors you taste and smell. Think about how the different textures feel as you chew. Listen to the sound the food makes as you’re eating. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly so that you are able to explore all the flavors of the food. You will notice that being more present when you eat your food will make you feel happier and healthier.
Don’t isolate yourself-talk to a friend!
We are hard-wired to crave connections with other humans. On a bad day, isolating yourself will make you feel worse. You’ll start to feel misunderstood and alone, leading to more negative thoughts and feelings surrounding your worth. Having a laugh with your friends makes you feel connected and accepted by others, which is a major key to happiness. Be vulnerable and open yourself up to love and friendship. As Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy courage, empathy, and creativity.”
If you are finding life difficult to manage, remember that you are not alone, and help is readily available. Our therapists take a holistic approach to wellness and healing, supporting you to reignite your imagination, find inner clarity, and experience fulfillment in your life. Our team of experienced arts-based therapists will guide you towards accessing your unique creative wisdom and unlocking your true potential. Learn more here, or contact us directly here.
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Alli is our office manager and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University, just recently moved to St. Pete and is enjoying paradise. Her interests include painting, history, and learning about other people.