How to restart a bad day.

By David Joel Miller.

If your day is off to a bad start, you can restart it.

starting your day over.

Restart Your Day.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Have you ever gotten up and had something go very wrong first thing in the morning? Remember the day you went out to find your car had a flat tire? Maybe you spilled something on that brand-new outfit you just put on.

Those of you in relationships, or with school-age children, probably know exactly what I am talking about. They are just so many ways a day can get off to a bad start.

Was your first thought “this is going to be a bad day?” Thinking that, expecting the worst, is a sure way to create a terrible day. The secret you need to know is that no matter what has happened so far today there are ways to restart that day. You do not need to let small things first thing in the morning cascade into a simply dreadful rest of the day.

Some of you are probably thinking that some days in your life, something awful did happen. I grant you that the major things in life may take more than one day to get past. However, for the bulk of things that set people’s days off in the wrong direction, there are some ways to reset that day and make a difficulty into a small set back.

Here are some techniques for resetting a day that is off to a bad start.

Take a deep breath.

When something happens to knock you off your game, the first thing most people do is hold their breath. Some people begin to breathe rapidly and shallowly. The result of failing to breathe normally is to increase your anxiety. When your brain feels a shortage of oxygen, it goes into a panic mode, anything to get some more air.

Pause long enough to take some deep breaths, linger over those breaths and give yourself enough time for that oxygen to reach your brain. Deep and slow breathing is a sure antidote for the anxiety that takes over when you have had a setback first thing in the morning.

Center yourself.

When you begin to feel scattered, look for a way to center yourself. Some people find a simple prayer helpful. You might have a favorite poem, quotation, or personal affirmation, that you find useful in bringing yourself back to the present.

Many people use a small object as a way of grounding themselves. Whether it is a religious object, a rock or something else from nature, or a small object that brings back happy memories, objects can be very useful in centering yourself.

Move around, take a walk.

Fear likes to shut things down. Once one problem happens, you are likely to freeze. Don’t stay stuck there ruminating about how bad this day will go. Unstick yourself, move around a little bit, go for a short walk, or do a few simple exercises. Some stretching exercises or yoga postures can go a long way toward shifting your focus away from the issue.

Straighten up your environment.

When your life is feeling out of control, getting back control of even a little bit of space can be helpful. Did something spill or break? Cleaning it up is a first step in regaining control. Got a mass of bills, mail that needs an answer? Go through the mail, throw away or delete the junk and the duplicate items. Getting organized can cut that mountain of paperwork down to a manageable size.

Use your support system.

Feeling overwhelmed? Try reconnecting with your support system. A phone call to a family member or friend can turn your day around. Even a brief email or short text can help you shift your attitude and get you going again.

Plan something fun.

Today doesn’t look so gloomy when you have something to look forward to. It is easier to get through today when you have something positive to look forward to. As adults, we often forget how to play. Avoid the kind of fun that can result in a physical or emotional hangover. Get together with positive friends. Spend time with pets. Take yourself to a movie or the park.

Listen to your music.

Find a way to play your tunes. Look for music and songs that put you in a good mood. People in a negative mood often play sad or angry music. Make it a point to search out and collect up positive and relaxing tunes.

Say a prayer.

Many people will tell you about their religious faith, but when things are going wrong, they often forget to have a conversation with that higher power they report they believe in. Prayers don’t need to be reserved the life-and-death moments, the end of the world, try asking for the strength to get through the daily difficulties.

Meditate.

Meditating does not need to be complicated. Clear your mind of distractions and focus on something positive. Think about a happy place you have been, maybe a time you went to the mountain or the beach. The more time you spend focused on the positive, the more your happiness expands. Focus on the negative, and it obliterates those happy memories.

Read something inspirational.

Seek out inspiration. Keep a helpful book at hand. When you find things that are helpful, copy them down and save them for the next time you need to restart your day. Collect helpful saying that will help you to reset the next day that starts out the wrong direction.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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Has Negativity take over your life?

By David Joel Miller.

How can you tell that negativity has taken over your life?

Negativity

Is Negativity taking over your life?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Negativity is a trap. If you are around others who are negative they can sap you of all your strength. Your own negativity can undermine your life goals. Sometimes that negativity beast creeps in without you noticing. If negativity has taken up living in your family, your home or in you, then you need to recognize it and banish it from your life.

Here are the top 14 ways to spot negativity camped out in your life.

1.You can’t stop worrying.

If you find that you are worrying all the time and about everything your world has turned negative. A little worry may protect you, but only if after considering the possible problems you take action. Constant ongoing rumination about what could go wrong is guaranteed to keep you living negatively.

2. Your life is run by should and have to’s.

A life ruled by the “should’s” and the “have-to’s” is a life drained of joy. Take another look at all these rules you are living by. Where did the “should’s” come from? Consider if you reached a point in your life where you have outgrown living by others rules.

3. You’re always on high alert – hypervigilant.

People who are ruled by negativity are often excessively jumpy. Do you startle at the least little noise? Do you frequently find that you have been startled by something that others would ignore? It is likely that you are on the high alert for the things that can go wrong in life.

This hyper-vigilance, rather than keeping you safe is misdirecting your attention away from the good and the beautiful to the scary and the negative. Work on becoming a happiness expert.

4. You are afraid to let people know the real you.

In negativity land, people hide their real selves, constantly afraid that if others knew who they really were they would be rejected or attached. Hide the real you from others long enough and you may discover you have lost you.

5. You are always expecting the worse.

Are you the person who can always see the gray part of every cloud? Once negativity moves into your life it obscures every positive thing. If you are always looking for the negative you will find it. When the good things walk by, you will neglect to invite them in.

6. You are always looking for the bad news.

People who have become slaves to negativity are always looking to see what other misery they can find. Misery not only loves company it goes out of its way to create it in every life. When you spend all your time looking for the bad news you are sending the good news down the block to visit someone else.

7. You are very sensitive to criticism.

If you are mistaken about something and someone points that out you can take this as helpful, you now know something you didn’t know before. Negative people think that if they do not know everything they are failures. Being wrong about a fact makes them a “wrong” person.

If criticisms are valid, then take it to heart and use this as an improvement opportunity. If it is incorrect let it go and find the home it needs to live in. Do not adapt every critical comment and make it a permanent part of your emotional family.

8. You can’t accept a compliment.

Related to being overly sensitive to criticism is the converse behavior, rejection compliments. If you are so negative you can’t allow a positive feeling in your life you will reject any compliment offered to you.

Rejecting compliments does not make you modest. Accepting compliments does not make you arrogant. Constantly rejecting others compliments does make you insufferable.

9. Everything is yes-but, no-but.

If you are one of these people who sneaks a yes-but or a no-but into every conversation what you are doing is making excuses for why you want things to stay in the negative realm.

10. Any change is undesirable.

Negative people are terrified of change. They will assert that no matter how horrific things are now if they were to change then things will only get worse. Intractable people are in love with their misery and afraid that they do not deserve for things to get better.

Which do you prefer, the misery you have now or the risk of taking an action and having your life become unpredictably happy?

11. You don’t try because you might fail.

Negativity tells you don’t try you might fail. Negativity lies to you. Not trying does not protect you from failure, it guarantees you will not accomplish anything. You miss all the shots you do not take.

12. Nothing gets you excited.

Live without passion is life in the negativity zone. Caring about something, anything brings positivity into your life.

13. You’re afraid of good news because something will go wrong.

Negativity tells you to be skeptical of anything positive because good things come to an end. Negative things in life can be dragged out for as long as you want them to last. Letting go is the first part of moving on.

14. You have stopped caring about others.

Negative people can’t care about others. People who genuinely care about others find themselves becoming less negative. One of the fastest ways of getting out of the self-negativity is to do something for someone else.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books