It’s Ok To Have A Bad Day

Written by Dr. Perry, PhD
Image Credit: Pixabay

“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I believe in maintaining a positive attitude in my life. But I also acknowledge that life is not perfect. It is impossible to live your life in an inexhaustible positive state of mind similar to a sugar high. Everywhere we look we are being told to be happy and that we have the ability to manifest our perfect life. Keeping up with the wave of positivity can be exhausting and at times, depressing. We can’t allow ourselves to be pressured to live a life constantly rushing from one positive high to another and avoiding any sadness or negative emotions.

Surrounded by the illusion of eternal positivity, it is normal to blame ourselves when life takes a downward turn. It is also normal to develop an aversion to anything but happiness and positivity. I do firmly believe that blatant negativity is to be avoided. But, life’s hard times must be lived and processed much like nature has to go through the slumber of winter in order to experience the rebirth of spring. We have to accept that there is much to be learned from life’s storms. Sometimes we need a thunderous jolt of reality to be awakened by our self-imposed happiness stupor.

We need to learn to sit with what we perceive as negative emotions even if it is uncomfortable. We are constantly evaluating our feelings and tend to judge feelings that make us uncomfortable as bad. We do this so often that there is little if any awareness that we are on autopilot and unconsciously judging certain feelings. We then naturally will do our best to avoid these negative feelings. This behavior leads us to manifest the defense mechanism of avoidance and disconnect from our feelings. The ability to take negative feelings and sublimate them into positive action is a healthy skill to develop. However, the overuse of sublimation leads us to unknowingly avoid and repress feelings which may later manifest themselves as anxiety, depression and an overall discontentment with our life. It is important to learn how to process negative emotions.

Here are some steps I recommend to my patients:

1. Identify
It is important to pause and identify what you are feeling. By recognizing how you really feel about a situation, you can begin to shed light on your true emotions instead of suppressing them.

2. Accept
Take a moment. Take a deep breath and embrace the feeling. Lean into the storm of uncomfortable emotions. By doing this you can begin to normalize the feelings and shift your relationship with these emotions. If the feeling is overwhelming, it is ok to temporarily sublimate these feelings into a positive physical activity. Just remember that the goal is to slowly and steadily begin to acknowledge and sit with these feelings.

3. Tolerance
By identifying and accepting your feelings, over time you will develop tolerance to uncomfortable emotions. In a sense, you are developing your discomfort muscle to handle more negative emotions.

4. Reflect
After a period of time, reflect on what you have learned and gained from the negative event or interaction in your life. More often than not you will find that you have learned something. Perhaps you will discover an inner strength that you were not aware of or a higher purpose for your existence.

We must learn to live a balanced life as too much positivity can lead to denial and too much gloom to a life of existential anxiety. Walking on the tightrope of life we precariously balance on the path we chose avoiding the many distractions that try to topple us from our goals. Embrace being present and live your life authentically, feeling your ups and your downs. Remember, there are no bad days in life, only bad moments from which we can learn lessons that will last us a lifetime. Thank you for taking a moment to visit my blog. I hope you enjoyed this post. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Dr. Perry

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
M.A. in Clinical Psychology
B.A. in Psychology

“I specialize in a solution-focused approach to treating depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and narcissistic abuse.”
Verified by Psychology Today

“Reframe Your Pain is a Facebook group I created to bring together struggling individuals to inspire and uplift one another.”

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134 responses to It’s Ok To Have A Bad Day

  1. Sue says:

    Thank you for this post. It’s true about everyone pushing happiness on you. Life is about contrasts. Good and bad. Ying and Yang.

    Liked by 10 people

  2. Bill says:

    Love this post. Thank you for the tips Dr. Perry. It really is about being present and not filtering your emotions and life.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      I am happy to hear this. Thank you for sharing your positive feedback as it motivates me to continue writing and sharing my views✨

      Liked by 7 people

  3. Goff James says:

    Thanks for another interesting post. Life like a painting is constructed of many different paint strokes shades and hues. That’s what makes it so exciting. Have a great day.

    Liked by 10 people

  4. shineb4 says:

    This was exactly what I needed to read! The last few years of growth had been getting to me lately and was worried I had hit a brick wall. I can be so hard on myself sometimes so much thanks!

    Liked by 9 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      I am so happy to hear this post helped you in some way. Just remind yourself that the good and the bad days are part of the same journey✨

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Kathy says:

    Hello Dr. Perry, there is something so special about the way you write. You are able to make me feel what you are saying. It is a wonderful ability that I hope you continue to share. Blessings

    Liked by 10 people

  6. Vivian says:

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom! 😊 Suppressed emotions can actually become trapped in our bodies making us physically sick. I’m a classic case of that. Better to feel the emotions and deal with them. It’s healthier emotionally and physically.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Fiery K. says:

    This post really helps me, thank you so much.

    I am still healing from a traumatic break up. And I feel like I should feel silly for not just “getting over it” quickly. But I’m self aware enough that I have recognized that I need some down time (not dating) in order to grieve, process, and heal. Your article has helped validate my course of action to myself. It’s so hard to give ourselves what we need sometimes. It’s hard not to view our needs from society’s eyes instead of our own and with compassion.

    Thank you for being the objective outside voice that helps me do what I need to do for me.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Aditya K says:

    According to me, a bad day is a bad day if one doesn’t learn anything from it. Reflecting is one key aspect that many miss. Well articulated post, Dr Perry. Thank you🙏

    Liked by 4 people

  9. But, life’s hard times must be lived and processed much like nature has to go through the slumber of winter in order to experience the rebirth of spring. We have to accept that there is much to be learned from life’s storms. Sometimes we need a thunderous jolt of reality to be awakened by our self-imposed happiness stupor.


    As there is day and night, there will be good times and bad time. If we accept this truth, it will set us free. Thanks for sharing, as always, doc.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. Positief says:

    Without darkness, how will we recognize the light? Without pain, how could we know true happiness.
    You articulate this very accurately. Thank you

    Liked by 6 people

  11. I really appreciate this post. Balance really is what it’s all about. “Into each life some rain must fall”. My husband is a diabetic and we have been dealing with his heart disease and kidney failure for several years now. It is a daily struggle. Sometimes it is overwhelming. But there is sweetness in the lessons and the reminders that life is fragile and should be treasured. My prayers are often for faith and wisdom as well as for gratitude for strength given. Thank you for this timely reminder.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Jemagold says:

    Awesome post! I went through each step as I reflected back on “negative issues” that bother me. Definitely helpful towards living a balanced life! THANK YOU!!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. pjlambert says:

    Thank you for this, Dr. Perry. As a survivor of domestic violence – but an eternal optimist at heart, it’s hard for me at times to “allow” myself a bad day now that I’m out from under the burden of oppression of DV. I feel that I should appreciate every day as a blessing since during my “troubles” I didn’t know if I’d see tomorrow. However, I still do have trying days, but I feel ungrateful if I allow negative feelings since nothing will ever be as bad as what I went through with my ex husband. This blog helps tremendously!

    Liked by 6 people

  14. B.L. says:

    Great post. I have to admit I am tired of reading how you can manifest a perfect life. I see a lot of these posts on wordpress. I don’t think it’s that easy. Life is tough. It has good times and bad times and you can’t just think away the bad times.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Matt says:

    Thank you for another well written and thoughtful post. Whenever I have a bad day I remind myself that tomorrow will be better. I just have to hang on for one more day and it’s usually better.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. laronda65 says:

    This is so very important to teach our children – hopefully by example. I believe that learning to accept the tough things in life and process them in a healthy way would have a significant impact on substance abuse and suicides. The thing adults have learned that young people haven’t is that bad things will happen and, yes, they’ll happen more than once; but they can be survived. Good post!

    Liked by 6 people

  17. Thank you for sharing. I have to remind myself that every now and then I’m going to have a bad day. We all have them. Thanks for giving me a reminder. I’m going to share this article with my sister. She is currently fighting Lyme Disease and she has a lot bad days. I think she could be encouraged by this. Thanks again and have a great evening! You’re so awesome!

    Liked by 5 people

  18. Susi Bocks says:

    Not being familiar with the term “sublimation”, I had to initially laugh when I understood the main definition – a chemical process where a solid turns into a gas without going through a liquid stage. But then I found that in psychology, it’s a different meaning. 🙂 Hallelujah! LOL Your suggestions are spot on. Emotions are what need to be dealt with not what we think would be considered “societally acceptable behaviors.” I always enjoy your posts!

    Liked by 6 people

  19. The title grabbed my attention as yesterday was a bad day. I lost my job and once again have no income. It’s not always sunshine and roses. Life is a rollercoaster for me right now. Lately, it’s been more downs than ups, but I have been doing so well with not isolating and that’s huge. The fact that I don’t want to be hospitalized again is what drives me. I am so glad I found you and your blog!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      I am so sorry you lost your job Dottie. I read your blog and I can see you have people that care about you and you are not alone! I wish you the best Dottie and that you will find a new job soon. Also, congratulations on getting a top grade on your paper!✨

      Liked by 3 people

  20. I just can’t describe how wonderful your post felt to me. I totally believe in this that it’s ok when you are not having a good day or things not going good. Everything is part of our journey of self-development. Growth doesn’t only mean going upward sometimes it’s about those deep, dark and low moments.
    Love & Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Thank you for writing this
    I try so hard these days to avoid the negativity, i work with alot of negative people which is sad, however, i am able to tune them out by just focus on my job and myself, and do not interact with them, because i know they are bad for me, i do be polite to them, smiles and wave type of thing.
    When it comes to out and about, i try to stay away, i had an issue this weekend i was at the retreat, and some negativity was going on, and it was hard to stay away, i ended up having an anxiety attack i left in tears in my room just trying to calm down. it is really hard to tune out people in a social event. I was not going to let it control me. at times i start feeling social concious too, people gets annoyed with my upbeat esp the first thing in the morning, that is who i am.
    thanks again

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Great post. I know I have trouble letting myself off the hook if things don’t go right. We blame ourselves and feel we are defective somehow. I think acceptance is extremely important.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Liz says:

    I really needed to read this today! Thank you Dr. Perry. I appreciate everything you write. Have a wonderful weekend ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  24. I really appreciated seeing this in my inbox this morning. Yesterday was a super bad day, and I was trying to focus on the positive, and it was very hard, but knowing that God never left me, no matter how badly I reacted, kept me going. Thanks for your post!

    Liked by 3 people

  25. This is such an important post. I’m all for positivity and optimism, but I know that negative emotions and negative life events have value too. More often than not, we learn from negative experiences – they end up being valuable learning experiences – if we’re willing to (like you said) pause, reflect, and accept, in order to make sense of what’s happened and how to move forward with it. Negative emotions are also important sign posts that signal our emotional state – the ups, downs, and upside-downs – and how we must find a way to integrate both positive and negative emotional states to come to a wholesome creation of our emotional world. Thank you for writing this!

    Liked by 4 people

  26. gayilkg says:

    What you say is very true.. instead of forcefully imposing positive vibes, once in a while it pays to listen to what negatives have to say.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Thank you, Dr. Perry. I especially like #2 Accept. Reality is my friend. When We fully accept where we are we can move on. Great post. I appreciate your insights.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Hi Dr Perry. A great article. I think the myth of ‘always stay positive’ is pervasive in the new age mind, body, spirit genre. You remind us here (as do many of the people commenting) that life is about contrasts, roller coasters and exploring our shadow selves. Connecting to our emotions, sitting with them and understanding them. This seems like a lost art in our modern world and one that is deeply lacking in our mass consciousness. Thanks for sharing. Very thought provoking. Mary

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Loved this post. I learned a long while ago to stop trying to put the misery I was feeling, and the things that made me feel it, into boxes. I learned that when I accepted them they couldn’t hurt me as much. As Lao Tzu said many years ago where there is good there is bad, and where there is bad there is good.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Rabindranath Pradhan says:

    Lovely post. Tips are awesome. The negative situations will come and go. Unless we learn from them, we can not be strong enough to handle the future negative situations. Thank you for sharing this post.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. I enjoyed reading this post. I agree that we all need to remember that it’s ok to really feel the negative feelings and try and learn from them. Thank you for the reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. I think there are bad days, like the days when people or pets die. And then we have to work our way through that grief. I also find that I have emotional lows about once a month or so, and I have chalked it up to biorhythms. On those days I just have to remind myself of that and then be careful not to take my bad feelings out on anyone. I am usually back to myself by the next day. Thanks for another great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. This is a wonderful post. I am learning to experience the bad times and to accept them for what they are and to learn from them the best I can. Lately I seem to be more thankful and appreciative of the good times that do come along. I really enjoy reading your posts, it is that little shot of positivity that is so appreciated when life is weighing you down. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      You are most welcome. I am happy to know my blog brings more positivity into your life. Have a wonderful day✨

      Liked by 2 people

  34. I can tell you are a wonderful therapist, Dr. Perry. For many years, when things weren’t going well I’d say I was a having a “bad” day. But, I’ve grown to realize that my “bad” day is a luxury problem compared to others in an awful plight such as having no housing or food, living in a war zone, etc. I’ve trained myself to more quickly change my thoughts to one of gratitude, remembering in this exact moment I am fine, and sayings like “This too shall pass.” Participating in 12-Step ACOA and Alanon meetings helped me shift my perspective and further studying the Tao has led me to greater acceptance of things as they are. Thank you for the wonderful posts on your blog; I love reading them!

    Liked by 3 people

  35. I totally agree with you. Life is all about balance. One can’t remain positive everytime. Sometimes you have to accept what’s going around you and stop living in denial. That’s part of the life.
    I have always been a very optimistic person. No matter what happened ,I always tried to look at the brighter side of the life. And I still do. But few months back something happened which shattered all my hopes and dreams. I felt empty and directionless. And instead of accepting what I was feeling I went into denial mode. I’m a optimistic person so how can I feel unhappy and sad, I started questioning myself. Slowly it turned into frustration. Then I started reading many self help books and all talked about accepting your feelings and detachment. I started working on that and eventually everything went back to normal.
    So yeah, life is full of ups and downs, and
    we have to accept and embrace both. Your post summaries everything beautifully. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  36. sandymancan says:

    People forget about the balance of life there is a positive charge the negative is just as large, each will fire along the same line, our actions manage the balance over an extended period of time.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. You wrote: It is impossible to live your life in an inexhaustible positive state of mind similar to a sugar high. Everywhere we look we are being told to be happy and that we have the ability to manifest our perfect life. Keeping up with the wave of positivity can be exhausting and at times, depressing. We can’t allow ourselves to be pressured to live a life constantly rushing from one positive high to another and avoiding any sadness or negative emotions…..And then…:It is also normal to develop an aversion to anything but happiness and positivity.
    This describes exactly what I have been going through for the last 8 months. I have major depression well treated after 10 years of changing meds around. Once the happiness turned from hours to days to weeks, I developed the aversion to anything that slightly got me low again. I work extremely hard at staying positive through affirmations, positive reading and videos, gratitude and lists of every positive emotion I have at one point in the day………………..I am just scared to go back to 21 hours of sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. catch2223 says:

    Dr. Perry, as usual you have hit the nail on the head. It is hard to experience negative feelings, but ignoring them does not allow us to live authentically and truly. I am grateful for your poignant description of the need to express ourselves in all situations and grow from each one.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Thank you so much for shedding more light on the topic, growing up as a child I often take things to heart but then very scared of breaking down so I won’t be laughed at for being too weak. I tried my best to fake being strong and it became a life style, now I understand why I’m always anxious. Will try my best to start working on it now. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Really enjoyed reading this post. I have been applying this way of thinking for the past 2 years or so and it has made a significant difference in my state of mind. Thank you for sharing the tips 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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