Written by Dr. Eric Perry, PhD
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein
We all have bad days. Have you ever had the kind of day that makes you think, “What is it all about?” We might start questioning our jobs and even our lives. Pretty soon we find ourselves spiraling into sadness. It is important not to get stuck in a whirlpool of negativity. Always keep moving forward because tomorrow will be a better day.
Here are 7 ways to uplift your mood:
1. Acknowledge your feelings
Start by asking yourself on a scale of one to ten how bad do you feel? Accept where you are emotionally. Don’t resist how you are feeling. Denying your feelings only keeps you in the current mental state. It might even make it worse. Think of denial as a dam that disrupts the flow of a river. In order to process how you feel you must remove the mental dam before you can move forward.
2. Don’t catastrophize
When we feel like we have done something wrong we may begin to imagine the worst possible outcome. For example, perceived rudeness by your employer can easily be catastrophized into thinking you are about to be fired. Take a moment to reframe your thinking. Acknowledge that perhaps your boss is having a bad day and his or her actions are not personally directed at you. Stay in the moment and don’t let your happiness be sabotaged by a need to predict the future.
3. Stop ruminating
It is important to avoid replaying negative images or scripts in your mind. It is pointless to keep telling yourself you should have acted differently or you shouldn’t have said this or that. You can not travel back in time to change the past so why dwell on what cannot be changed? Accept the day as it occurred and remember that you did your best. And, no matter what anyone says, your best is ALWAYS good enough. Again, stay in the moment. Life is full of lessons. Don’t beat yourself up over perceived missteps. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
4. Reach out to others
Don’t isolate yourself after a bad day. When we are having a tough time, we might want to close off and avoid people. It is important to know the difference between healthy alone time and complete isolation. Talk to someone that cares about you. It helps to get someone else’s point of view. By sharing with others what you are going through you can be reminded that you are not alone.
5. Make a list of what makes you happy
Take a moment and write down 5 things that make you happy. As you make the list, visualize the happiness you feel when you experience the things you are listing. You will be surprised how much better you feel when you get to the bottom of the list. If you decide to do this please feel free to share your list in the comments section below!
6. Treat yourself
After a hard day it is important to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself to something nice. This does not mean to go buy yourself some new material possession. Self-kindness can take many forms. It can be a long hot bath or a long walk. Do something nice for yourself!
7. Let’s hear from you
What would you like to add to this list? It is always nice to hear thoughts and reflections from my dear readers!
The thoughts expressed in this blog post are my own and are not meant to create a therapeutic relationship with the reader. This blog does not replace or substitute the help of a mental health professional. Please note, I am unable to answer your specific mental health questions as I am not fully aware of all of the circumstances.
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
M.A. in Clinical Psychology
B.A. in Psychology
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