It’s Ok To Have A Bad Day

By Dr. Perry, PhD

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

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91 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 7 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 8 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 4 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 3 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 5 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 4 people

  17. tamarakhodr says:

    Thank you for this! Positivity is not about ignoring negativity, it’s about alchemy.
    Dr. Perry, you touch my soul with every post. Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. 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 4 people

  19. 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 4 people

  20. 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 3 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

  21. 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 1 person

  22. 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 3 people

  23. 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 1 person

  24. Liz says:

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

    Liked by 2 people

  25. 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 1 person

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