Episode 9 – Making A Bad Day Better

The Random Commute Show
The Random Commute Show
The Random Commute Show
Episode 9 - Making A Bad Day Better

If you listened to the latest episode you could clearly hear that I felt down and slightly depressed. Those things happen and there’s no reason to beat yourself up for it. Sometimes life can be overwhelming, tiring, hard or depressing. The important thing if you have such a day is to accept it. With acceptance, you can put your mind behind it and change the view on the situation and focus on making a bad day better.

In this article, I want to share a few things you can do to achieve just that.

Making A Bad Day Better

Making A Bad Day Better: Practice Acceptance

Once you’re having a bad day it can get quickly overwhelming and the negative feeling might easily take over your day. This doesn’t have to be the case though. In the past, I have been struggling with the practice of accepting a lot (and I still do), yet there are ways to get better at it.

Making A Bad Day Better: Stop Complaining And Look For Solutions

Firstly, I attempt to quit complaining about the problem. This sounds obvious but is what many people are doing. The moment you keep talking and fixating about why XYZ is so terrible, your mind will stay focused on it and centres all the energy at it. This drains a lot of energy out of your body and will deplete you eventually. The same goes with negative people around you, their constant negativity puts you down and they suck the energy out of you. Take this as a reminder to be the opposite and be uplifting and positive instead. A way to do this and to stop complaining is to look for solutions instead.

Ask yourself what you could do to change the situation. What can I do to solve the issue at hand? “But I cannot solve the problem!” Maybe so, then ask yourself how you can use your energy more wisely by focusing it on things that you have control over. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. How you act on your feelings.
  2. How you interpret situations.
  3. Whether you listen or wait to talk.
  4. How often you notice and appreciate small acts of kindness.
  5. How nice you are to yourself in your head.
  6. Whether you think positive or negative thoughts.
  7. How much time you spend worrying.
  8. Whether or not you form expectations of people.
  9. How many times you swear in traffic.
  10. How often you think about your past.
  11. Whether you formulate a new plan or act on your existing one.
  12. How many negative articles you read.
  13. How much you enjoy the things you have right now.
  14. Whether or not you communicate something that’s on your mind.
  15. How deeply you breathe when you experience stress.
  16. There are many more of those ideas and they are simply suggestions. Use them when you want to be in control over a situation and cannot find a solution.

Making A Bad Day Better: Let Go

Once you went through the above it will be helpful to move on to the next step of your acceptance practice. In my view there are only those two options:

  1. holding onto the status quo, meaning the current problem. Things change, circumstances change. That’s part of life and one of the things you have no control over. You can now cling onto the past and focus your energy on events and times gone by or you
  2. let go. This is where the magic happens. Yet, this doesn’t mean it’s an easy task. Letting go and practising acceptance is a mental game. As with most anything you need to practice it. Starting small is a good way to go on this adventure. Instead of getting all furious because you forgot your headphones at home, smile about it and take in the sounds around you at its fullest instead.

Letting go is an ability and depends on your view of things. You can make the change. That’s why those small steps will be helpful. You can also use techniques such as yoga, meditation or loving-kindness to practice this. Practising music, learning something new or working out might be other tasks to help you. It depends on what you want to change your perception on.

Making A Bad Day Better: Enjoy The Beautiful Things

The problem about being all caught up in your negative mood is, besides draining you of energy, that it keeps you away from the beautiful things around you. The moment you let go you have the possibility to truly enjoy what’s happening here and now around you. The sounds of nature, the beauty of a smile, the smell around you. All of it can be beautiful with the right mindset and even if you have walked past this one tree a hundred times and it seems boring, remember: every moment only exists once, every moment is a new experience. Approach it with this fresh mindset and be curious.

Making A Bad Day Better: Practice Gratitude

Another great way to change your mood on a better day is practising gratitude. There are many different techniques to do so. Everyone has to find their own path and make it part of their lifestyle. One easy way to start with is to journal. That’s how I started.

Journaling has a few advantages. I personally enjoy the act of writing things down by hand. It makes everything more real. On top of that, you can revisit your journal entries when needed. You’d be surprised to see how many things you were grateful in the past that you have already forgotten. For that reason, I do my gratitude journaling usually in the morning and re-read it in the evening.

Making A Bad Day Better

There is no right or wrong when it comes to journaling. If you are grateful for a good night of sleep that is great. If it was that you woke up, perfect. Maybe you are grateful to have special people in your life or going on a specific trip or to an event. You can be grateful for tiny things, important, benign, mundane, big happenings. In short: anything goes. The key idea is to frame something positive into your thoughts. This positivity will guide you through the day and keep you in a more happy state ([1], [2] and [3]).

This has a positive impact on your life (see [2]) and if you want to share this with other people you can simply write people a note, text message or call them and tell them that you are grateful to have them in your life.

Making A Bad Day Better: Practice, Then Practice More

I hope by now you have a good idea how to turn your focus around when you had a bad day. By making a bad day better your problems won’t necessarily disappear, but in the end, you will have more energy to tackle what needs to be done. Even if it’s out of your hands you end up being happier.

That’s the best part about those practices, in the end, you are happier no matter what and life can be enjoyed fuller than before. Who wouldn’t like to live like that? I am grateful to have found those ideas and methods and love to share them with you.

I hope they will be equally helpful in your life as in mine. It would be great to hear your thoughts on this. Do you practice similar techniques? Have you other things that you do to stay positive on a bad day? Let me know, I am curious to hear your comments.

Lastly, I stumbled over a very fitting quote from Lucius Annaeus Seneca that I want to share with you:

It is another’s fault if he be ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so.

Making A Bad Day Better


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