Having A Bad Day
- Talk To A Good Friend
Here, the emphasis is on good. Trying to find support from someone with poor listening skills or who really doesn't want to support you can make you feel worse, as can someone who will engage in co-rumination instead of trying to help you pull out of things. (The best balance is someone who will listen to your feelings, empathize, and then help you look at things you may be missing or help you get into a new frame of mind in another way. Sometimes even the listening and empathizing can help you pull out of things on your own.)
- Take a Mini-Meditation Break
Meditation can be a great tool for helping people get into a different frame of mind. Even a 5- or 10-minute meditation can give you a needed break from what's stressing you and help you come back with a new perspective and a fresh start. It can also turn off your stress response you you're physiologically back to normal.
- Count Your Blessings
Gratitude has some wonderful benefits for stress management and well-being. It's also hard to focus on how bad things are when you're focusing on how good things are! Counting off 10 or more things you're grateful for, or really dwelling on 2 or 3, can get you into a whole different place, and turn a bad day around!
- Work it Out
I love to work things out with a good workout--the burst of endorphins and the ability to blow off steam can take the negative energy out of my day, even if the workout is only for a few minutes. And getting more fit is a good thing, too! (Read more about the benefits of exercise for stress management.)
Yes, this is a contradiction to the last entry, it may seem, but one small piece of very good chocolate, savored with a cup of green tea and a quiet break from stress, can help me feel a little pampered and do wonders for my mood if all else fails. (It's not for everyone, but, in moderation, this works well for me, so I had to include it! Read more about the benefits of chocolate as a stress reliever.)
- Accept The Challenge!
One piece of perspective that can make an enormous difference in your experience of stressors is your locus of control--whether or not you view your situation as a 'threat' or as a 'challenge'. It may seem clear-cut which you're experiencing, but a mild shift in how you view things can actually help you go from feeling trapped and overwhelmed to feeling invigorated and vital. And the best thing about this one is that you can try it under virtually all circumstances, quickly, and with no additional outside-of-yourself resources needed! Read here for more on developing an internal locus of control.