This journey of life that we’re all on can be brilliant at one moment and drop us into a dark hole the next. It’s the one step forward, two steps back syndrome. And it can happen to every one of us.
Fear not, I have a tip or two that might help.
Used to be that I thought growth would be a continuous upward progression. ‘Till I discovered for myself it most definitely wasn’t that. And if you’ve found yourself slipping backwards in the making and shaping of the life you want…read on…and remember, I mess up, so you don’t have to. You can thank me later.
It can happen to even to the most aware and awake beings, those times when it’s easy to believe that what’s happening now, our current situation, is all we have going for us. Those times when we return to the belief that we’re separate from others and our conscious mind/ego, seeing us as alone and helpless, tends to step in and solve every problem we think we have.
And we have a bad day…or two…or three.
Recently I realised that my mind had been working overtime, hurtling rapidly from one topic to another and back again. I was caught up in a torrent of thoughts.
I somehow had wandered back into an old way of being, I’d gone back to being just a bundle of old habits over which I exercised absolutely no control. And as Warren Buffet likes to say, first you make a habit and then the habit makes you.
Hmmm, fine when your habit serves you well in making your best and most beautiful life, not so good the rest of the time.
Until we all become super conscious beings, it’d be helpful if we recognized that unless we stay awake, then our old and very likely negative habits of thought will be running our lives.
I’d been letting my conscious mind, some might say, my ego run the show. And the big problem with that, is that our conscious mind only knows about the past, and bless it’s little heart, even though it wants to help, it can only create a future based on what it knows. Not always a good thing. Think about some of the things in your past that you’d much prefer don’t show their pretty little faces again, and you’ll get the picture.
The big trap
Who hasn’t fallen down the rabbit hole of being outer distracted? It’s too blooming easy to get caught up in what we want to accomplish that day, that week, or in our life. My mind was basically caught up and very much attached to it’s own personal agenda. And probably very busy at recreating my past as my future. Because it can’t do anything other than that.
I was entertaining all kinds of thoughts about relationships, things that happened yesterday and last week, even delving into things from years ago.
Then I’d be focused on how I was going to solve a problem I thought I had…don’t yell…I do know that trying to solve a problem with the same mind that created it is the height of silliness. What can I tell you, I was totally enslaved by old thinking.
So what was I going to do about it? Good question.
Time to slow down
Since our bodies are expressions of our mind, you won’t be surprised to know that having thoughts rushing from one thing to another meant that I was dashing around like a demented fool, unable to stop and take a breather from this crazy experience I was calling my life.
We are all capable of having a sudden ‘flash’ of awareness that we’ve been running on automatic. The trigger might be as simple as we can’t find our car keys, or our reading glasses [yep that would be me] or a not very nice experience with someone, or a crummy phone call. Anything. The most advanced souls among us can suddenly wake up to the fact that they’ve been deeply unconscious, although for them it might be a few seconds rather than a few hours, days or weeks.
Thank you Lord. I had that flash…can’t remember the trigger…it might have been as simple as taking a minute to give thanks for the gorgeous blue of the sky or the radiance of the fresh new leaves on the spring trees. Or it might have been looking at a pile of vitamins in front of me and not being really sure which ones I’d taken. Okay that’s the true story.
I breathed a deep slow breath and slowed down. It was enough to get in touch with the essence that was truly me.
The here and now
I began to say to myself, be here now. And I was brought right into the present moment. And being in the present moment allowed me to relax and that in turn expanded my perspective on life.
Much of what my mind had been focused on looked pretty trivial from this perspective. I felt energised and more in touch with what soothed my soul. It was a peaceful, easy experience. And I remembered I wasn’t alone…we’re all in this together. So my ego didn’t need to view me as some forlorn orphan in need of its help.
For regular readers you know that I ‘ve confessed to being something of a serial controller, wanting to control outcomes and events…yes, I’m still practicing the releasing technique for this…you can find it here and here.
And I discovered that reminding myself, often, to be here and now, meant there wasn’t any need to control outcomes, I was simply here.
Instead of being focused on all that old stuff I was able to let it go and with no effort I could see the incredible treasure in this moment.
We can’t see the joyful moments when our mind is racing, running along pell mell, entirely missing the point and missing the main event, which is to live the pleasure of each moment in unbridled joy.
My awareness, my inner being was once again awake and alert and in charge, and I was given the gift of time. Time to respond and not react. Time to say, hmmm this is what I’m feeling, how do I want to respond? And time to ask what was I thinking and so be in a position to change those thoughts that would most definitely drop me down the rabbit hole again.
When we slow down and relax, life itself will carry us to our next best adventure. No need to worry over a bad day, don’t be discouraged, your bad day might just be the next stepping stone to your success.
Allow it to be and it will all come to you naturally.
Can you relate to this topic? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below with your ideas and strategies for dealing with a bad day. As always your voice might just be the one someone needed to hear today, so do share.
Encourage one another.
18 thoughts on “How To Make Your Bad Day Better”
Good post, Elle. I like your idea about slowing down, and asking ourselves what we are thinking and feeling and what we might need right now.
Thanks for stopping by Susan, always good to see you. 🙂
I can definitely relate. Don’t give me food and my mood will drop and I will become very depressed and any insight into myself will disappear and every mistake I have had will come to the forefront of my mind. Taking care of myself allows me to slow down and make my life better. Without doing that I fall apart and get lost in things. Thanks for the post!
Interesting Sebastian and how great that you’re aware that you’ve found a way to keep your moods high and so take care of yourself. 🙂
Usually my “bad” days are in my head. My mind decides when a day is bad and so it gets me feeling terrible. The way I usually snap myself out of this is by talking to myself, pacing around the house.
I remind myself what makes me awesome, what I’ve got that others would die for, and that I always come out of these bad days alive anyway.
You’re so right Vincent, it’s all in our heads isn’t it. I’ve heard people say to me before that moving can make a difference in how they feel and add your awesomeness to the equation and it sounds like you’re on to a winning strategy. Do appreciate you sharing with us. 🙂
Elle, I found this to be another delightful article, light of tone and heavy with the fruit of your wisdom. You’re right of course, we’ve all experienced less than joyful days and times. And we’ve all tacitly given those bad moods their own power by not recognising them as just a mood – a mood that can be just as easily exchanged as embraced. And you have helped to illuminate that option to us with such humor and love. “live the pleasure of each moment with unbridled joy” – that is brilliant. Thank you.
Write on, Elle !
Why thank you Joseph…I like the way you put that, a mood can be as easily changed as embraced…wish I’d written that. 🙂
Great reminder! I do think it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it is a linear trajectory with any type of growth – but especially spiritual…
That’s why I love the Tao Te Ching – it ‘s the paradox, the opposites that makes life complex. Out of darkness comes light- The light can’t sustain itself for ever – there is a cycle…
Yes, yes, yes – to falling back into old patterns -as you witnessed with me earlier today. The good news is that when you catch yourself, you can amend it and not feel ashamed of your ‘falling off the wagon’.
Thanks Fran…it’s just what we were talking about earlier today. And thanks for reminding us of the Tao Te Ching…life surely is paradoxical…and shame has no place in it. None, zip, zilch…it’s a waste of space. 🙂
Hi Elle -two things that I’ve been doing consciously when facing bad days has helped turned those days around. One is prayer and two, as Vincent mentions, gratitude. Prayer gives me the strength to deal with challenging days and gratitude starts giving me a change in perspective. So I’m focusing on more positive and less negative.
Being present and in the moment as you mention are also a couple positive ways to turn a bad day around. I think the awareness of having bad days helps – calling it out allows us to do something about it. For example, I’m having a bad day so I will now do something about it.
Thanks for the tips here and I’m looking forward to reading your linked posts as well.
Welcome Vishnu, nice to see you here. Thank you for sharing your geat ideas to support us in moving beyond those not so good days. Awareness is always out starting point as you say, we can’t change a darn thing whilst being unaware…and I especially like the idea of calling those bad days out. 🙂
I have felt that moment when I realized I needed to wake up to life. Sometimes it takes a knock from a boulder to wake us up. Life changed for me and and I began to see the value of living for today, letting go of the regrets of the past and worries about tomorrow. My bad days have turned into learning experiences and were an opportunity for growth. Thanks as always for the encouragement.
The picture of a boulder giving us a knock made me laugh Cathy. I must have that strange British sense of humour. 🙂 Your insights, as always, are fabulous. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Good days and bad ones will come like the sun and rain.Its a given.What do you do then?
There are numerous studies and approaches on problem solving .All worth implementing.Yet it is good to remember the famous quote “It’s not how far you fall that counts,but how high you bounce”.
When you meet a problem next,see yourself as a good problem solver.Want a more creative approach?Then I personally recommend considering that you’re attending a problem solving workshop ,albeit a real life one.This is a “power” attitude.One that is far more likely to solve your case,than whining and fretting about it.
I haven’t heard that quote before, Rich, but I like it a lot. Great tips for us all to absorb…what a little gem you are. 🙂
Hi Elle really loved your article and the style it was written in. You recognized the power of our thoughts and how they can create havoc, until we relax into the peace that is always there. Your article reminded me of the three principal teachings which I love and also in the course in miracles a good suggestion when life comes to us as a challenge “I am prepared to see this differently.”
Look forward to your next article.
Welcome to the conversation Karen and what a nice way to put changing your perspective into I Am prepared to see this differently. Like it a lot. Great additional insight and perspective. 🙂