Bad days. We all have them. But how can you stay positive when you’re having such a day?
We all experience those days when bad things happen. The stock market crashes and our 401k just lost a significant amount of its value. A president or some other elected official makes an outrageous decision that infuriates you. Your favorite team lost a must-win game. Life can be upsetting at times.
Often, these bad events or outcomes are not in our control. That’s even more frustrating and can make us feel powerless. Naturally, these bad experiences have a negative effect on our feelings and general mood. We can become angry, irritated, upset, and even depressed.
In addition to making us feel bad, these negative emotions also adversely affect our behavior and performance. But how can we change that? How can we maintain a positive attitude and stay effective despite being disappointed and upset?
The answer is much simpler than you would think.
Like anyone else, I also have my fair share of bad days. Furthermore, as a father of a child with disabilities, I have an additional set of challenges in life. So, I simply cannot afford to let a bad day make me feel miserable and become ineffective. As a result, I developed a very simple, yet highly effective formula for staying positive even on a very bad day.
The “Stay Positive” Formula
The first thing I do is a simple task, which involves some physical activity. In addition, this task should take a short time to complete, preferably no more than 30 minutes. Also, it should be something that you can fully control. Some good examples are: a short walk around the block, a short workout session, cleaning your bathroom, washing your dishes, etc.
The benefits of performing such a task are threefold:
- First, doing something that you can fully control gives you a sense of control over your life. You are not as helpless or powerless as you might think.
- Second, when we do a physical activity, such as exercise, our body releases endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in our brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body. That feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.
- Lastly, the successful completion of this simple task gives us a sense of accomplishment. This is a positive feeling associated with accomplishing something we needed to do. Also, it gives a sense of making progress during that day. That in itself contributes to a positive perception of our life.
In addition, if possible I go outdoors. We live not far from the beach and nothing relaxes me more than a walk on the beach. Another good option is a nearby park, or any place where you can experience nature. It’s amazing what an immediate and positive effect nature has on us. Scientific research has shown that it’s one of the best stress reducers. It makes you feel calm, positive, and happy.
So next time s**t happens, don’t let it derail you and ruin your day. Simply follow the simple formula above to stay positive and effective.