Do I even need to ask if you have ever had a bad day? Didn’t think so.
Whether something legitimately went wrong or you just woke up ready to go back to sleep, on a bad day it seems like you can’t do anything right.
Luckily, there’s a quick way to even things up.
For example, the other day I offered a muffin to a coworker who was looking stressed.
Give Yourself Credit for What You Don’t Do
She waved it away from her and said, “Oh, no. That would just make my day worse, but thank you,” and wandered back into her office just as stressed and in just as much of a bad day funk.
Happiness is relative. We can be more happy today than yesterday, or less happy tomorrow than last weekend. So if we can do that mental math, why can’t we give ourselves credit for things that we aren’t doing or feel relief from things that aren’t happening?
When you get home and you feel totally nuts and you say to your spouse or roommate, “Hey, I feel nuts. Leave me alone for a few minutes so I’m not mean to you,” give yourself some credit for not picking a fight and ruining someone else’s day!If you are having a lousy day and the thought of a huge cupcake passes through your mind to escape the pressure, give yourself credit when you don’t go eat one. You’ve avoided a huge sugar spike and subsequent crash that you know will leave you feeling miserable on an already awful day.
If you really want to get into it, why not appreciate not having had a accident on your way to getting right here right now (of course, if you did have an accident…. sorry!).
By doing a little negative mental gymnastics, you can appreciate all the things that could go wrong that aren’t wrong right now and score some free “Hey, I’m actually doing a good job at this life thing,” points along the way. It might be just the perspective boost you need to turn your day around.