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Having a Bad Day? These Tips Will Actually Help You Snap Out of Your Funk

Chronic Evolution Issue 8

Hello! 👋 

Welcome to Issue 8 of the weekly Chronic Evolution newsletter, where I share mindfulness tips, tricks, and anecdotes to help you evolve your mindset in 5 minutes or less.

Let’s get right into it.

Having a Bad Day? These Tips Will Actually Help You Snap Out of Your Funk

The average American experiences two months’ worth of bad days every year.

That’s 60 days of your life gone.

For most Americans, it doesn’t take much to bring a bad day about – reasons range from serious (feeling sick, work stress, financial worries) to maudlin (plans falling through, no hot water in the shower, a bad hair day).

Sure, some bad days are inevitable, but do you really want to be at the mercy of your emotions for 60 days of the year?

I sure don’t. So I started researching how to turn a bad day around quickly. Here’s what I found.

What’s your single source of truth?

Our minds have an (unfortunately remarkable) way of creating stories based on small fragments of uncertain information – leading to all-consuming spirals that have you waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

Take a moment to identify the root cause of your negative emotions so you can pinpoint the source of your negativity and challenge it. Ask yourself:

  • Where are these feelings coming from?

  • Do I have to feel this way?

  • Can I reframe the situation to find a more positive perspective?

  • Is there a lesson to be learned or an opportunity for growth?

Make “happy time” nonnegotiable

Happiness is not a luxury — it’s your birthright. How would your life be different if you scheduled in time to be happy just like you schedule focused work or meetings with colleagues?

Starting today, prioritize happiness in your life. If possible, take a sick day from work. If you run your own business, what’s the minimum you need to do today? Move everything else to tomorrow.

By giving yourself this space to step away from the constant rush and stress of life, you create an opportunity to reconnect with the sources of happiness in your life. Consider what activities bring you joy and peace, then do one today! If you aren’t sure where to start, keep reading.

Bottom line: Create intentional micro-moments of happiness by giving them the same forethought you do your career.  

“You just cannot burn the candle at both ends, so that you are physically tired, and then expect yourself to have a cheerful attitude. So, the rule of thumb has to be: “I’m going to be very, very, very happy, and then do everything I have time to do after that.”

– Abraham-Hicks

Let creative expression be your lifeblood

There's something uniquely fulfilling about using your own two hands to construct something. The act of creating awakens a sense of pride, reminding you life extends beyond the screens you stare at day and night.

It’s also biologically impossible to experience positive and negative emotions simultaneously. When you immerse yourself in creative creation and the feelings of pride, joy, or satisfaction that arise, there's no longer any room for disappointment or misery to persist.

Not sure what to create? Try one of these activities:

  • Buy or make your own air-dry clay and create pinch pots for small plants.

  • Try woodworking, whether that’s a small project like making your own coasters or a more ambitious endeavor like building a cat tree.

  • Start embroidery, knitting, crocheting, rug hooking, or any other fiber-based activity.

  • Take up blogging and express yourself through the written word.

Walk your soul back home

Mary Davis has a quote:

“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.”

Sometimes we get so stuck in the routine of our daily lives that we forget about the beauty in our own backyard.

Today, head out in nature. It doesn’t have to be the forest, you can get the same solace from a nearby park or greenspace. Consider going a step further and grounding yourself by walking barefoot. (Yes, you will attract curious glances.)

As you walk, observe the resilience of the trees and animals around you. Remind yourself that, just like them, you will prevail through this challenging day.

Take a shot of happiness hormones

Performing a random act of kindness is like drinking a happiness cocktail. When you help someone, your brain releases a bunch of happiness hormones, including dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, which make you feel things like joy, contentment, and social connection.

Today, perform a random act of kindness for the pure enjoyment of knowing you’re putting a smile on a stranger’s face. Don’t post about it on social media or call your best friend to brag.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking about random acts of kindness:

  • Leave sticky notes with kind messages scattered along the forest trail when you’re out for a hike.

  • Paint kindness rocks and leave them around your neighborhood. (Be sure to use environmentally-friendly paint.)

  • Hide $10 gift cards for your local coffee shop around town.

  • Pay for the order of the person behind you in a drive-thru.

No matter what you choose, you’ll be creating a chain reaction of positivity. Let that be how you choose to remember this day five years from now — as a day of giving rather than grieving.

Embark on a laughter vacation

When you’re in a bad mood, the last thing you feel like doing is laughing. But sometimes it’s the best way to let your worries go. In the words of Milton Berle, laughter is an instant vacation.

But laughter is good for more than quippy remarks – its benefits are grounded in science. In one scientific study, depressed and anxious participants underwent “humor interventions,” which involved watching funny movies for an hour or two. After watching, the symptoms of their anxiety and depression were reduced. Pretty powerful stuff, isn’t it?

Watch your favorite comedy show, standup comedy act, or movie bloopers. Do whatever it takes to make yourself laugh.

At the end of the day, your mood is up to you

No matter what’s going on in your life to bring about your terrible, horrible, no good very bad day, you alone can turn it around by choosing better-feeling thoughts. I’ve given you some tools to get there, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to implement them.

You already know what good-feeling emotions you want to feel, so get out there and chase them.

“It can turn around fast.”

– Abraham-Hicks

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To your chronic evolution,


P.S. Know someone who would enjoy this newsletter? When you refer just two people, I’ll send you a complimentary copy of my e-book: How To Reduce Chronic Pain Naturally.

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