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3 Ways to Get It Together When You’re Having ‘One of Those Days’


“It’s just one of those days.” It usually plays out like this: you accidentally sleep in a bit too long, so you’re running late. Then, you see that your gas tank is empty and have to make a pit stop to fill up. Then, your piping hot coffee spills all over the outfit that took you 10 tries to get right, and traffic is at a standstill. The horror continues and your day is shot, along with your mood. But, it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to acknowledge that you’re not crazy, let you know that these days happen to the best of us, and provide you with a few helpful ways to turn your day around once and for all.

spilled milk

(Photo Credit: Joel Montes de Oca/Flickr)

Here’s how:

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1. “Take a deep breath. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life.”Unknown

When your day is getting the best of you and you feel like everything is going wrong, the best thing you can do for yourself is to stop what you’re doing and take a breath. It’s easy to get caught up in your emotions when you’re having a bad day, but try not to feed those negative feelings because that will only worsen an already dismal situation. Instead, take yourself out of the situation or environment you’re in and find a place that’s quiet where you can relax and take a few deep breaths. The American Institute of Stress indicates that, “Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness.”

2. “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Norman Vincent Peale

Switch your negative thoughts to positive ones by thinking of things you are grateful for in life. Research shows that positive thinking is linked with lower stress levels, improved immunity, resilience, and many more positive health benefits. In a study conducted by Barbara Frederickson, an esteemed and accredited psychologist for the University of North Carolina, it was found that, “[P]ositive emotions widen people’s outlooks in ways that, little by little, reshape who they are.” Therefore, the next time life decides to hand you lemons, take out a sheet of paper or your phone and jot down a list of things that you’re thankful for at the moment, and continue this until your mood has made a shift in the right direction. The point is to get your mind off of the path of destructive thoughts and back on track so that you can make the rest of the day as productive and positive as possible.

3. “These boots are made for walking…”Nancy Sinatra

Get yourself out of your funk by taking a walk around the block to get some fresh air, change stimulus, and clear your mind. The last thing you want is be confined to your desk when the day is on a continuous downward spiral, because the hustle and bustle of the office can worsen an already irritating situation. So, get yourself out of that environment and be one with nature for a bit. If you can’t escape the office, then put some calm, meditative music on (preferably some with nature sounds) and bring nature to you, even if it is a far stretch from the real deal.

The next time life tries to throw you “one of those days,” nip it in the bud with these three techniques and turn that frown upside down. Chin up, Charlie. You’ve got this!

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Leah Arnold-Smeets
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