5 Questions That Can Help You to Lift Yourself Out of a Bad Day

“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”
Henry David Thoreau

“If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.”
John A Simone

Some days go well. Other days can feel lackluster. Some days may start out pretty good but turn bad.

What can you do when you are having a bad day?

I like to ask myself a few helpful questions. These questions help me to regain a more optimistic and constructive perspective when I feel like doing nothing, dwelling on a problem or when I am in a bad mood.

Sometimes they help me to switch my perspective quickly. Sometimes they at least help me to see a bit of sunlight at the horizon and slowly I make a transition from having bad day into something a bit better.

1. Am I making a mountain out of a molehill right now?

It’s very easy to fall into the habit of making mountains out of molehills. You think and think about a small problem until it becomes something that you believe may ruin your life.

To snap myself out such a thought pattern I like to question and reevaluate by using this question. It makes life lighter because few things are real mountains. Most issues tend to be  molehills exaggerated by overthinking, listening too much to other people’s pessimism or not asking yourself helpful questions.

2. Does anyone on the planet have it worse than me right now?

I like to use this one when I am stuck on focusing on the negatives, when I feel like a victim and like things are going against me.

The answer helps me to remember and understand that I have much to be grateful for in my life.

This question changes my perspective from a narrow, self-centred one into a much wider one. It helps me to lighten up about my situation.

3. What can I learn from this situation and is there an opportunity here to grow in some way?

Whenever I am having a setback with my blog or am having a bad day in another area of my life I pause. I then ask myself this question.

And in almost all cases I can learn something new and/or change the direction in my actions so that I or some part of my life becomes better. Many times the bad days have in retrospect turned out to be blessings in disguises because they have been points when I have changes things in some way and made my life better.

So, when I wind up in a negative situation nowadays there is also often some curiosity and optimism that bubbles up within me.

4. What is one small step I can take right now to get ball rolling and to start turning this situation around?

Instead of spending too much time on dwelling on the problem or negative feelings see what you can do about the situation right now. By just getting the ball rolling in some small way by taking an action right now or today I usually feel relieved and a whole lot better.

I feel good about myself and I feel good about being on a path towards a solution or towards improving my day.

5. Can I just accept that this is how I feel right now?

Some issues you may not be able to take action on today to start resolving.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot feel better about what is happening.

I can often feel better in these difficult situations by asking the question above and by fully accepting that this is how I feel right now.

Now, it is often a natural impulse to try to deny negative feelings or thoughts when they show up in your life. Perhaps you try to not think about them, perhaps you try to push that feeling away.

I have found that in many cases it is actually better to just accept that the negative feelings and th0ughts are here right now (although it can be hard to sometimes convince your brain that this is a good option as it wants to deny or reject what is).

By accepting that you feel this way and that these thoughts are floating in your mind you stop feeding more energy into them and you stop making them strong. After a few minutes of fully taking in this uncomfortable feeling and thoughts and accepting that they are here then they start to lose steam. They just seem to float away and you once again feel more open and are able to think more clearly.

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • jan

    hi. im feelin down for several months already. when i read your article, it MAY probably help me. ill try try your 5 questions now. if it makes me better, ill tell u about it. if it doesn’t, then i will just ignore this. thanks anyway..

  • Elizabeth Ann Stewart

    These questions are great! I think I sometimes get stuck in #1 making a mountain out of a molehill!

    Something that I find valuable is to remember what my purpose is, what am I trying to achieve? Once I do that, I usually laugh at myself.

    Sometimes though, bad stuff actually does happen and I go to #5 and accept the fact that sometimes I just feel bad. I had to realize that it is natural to feel the whole range of human emotions and that there is nothing wrong with feeling bad sometimes. Lol as strange as it sounds, it actually makes me feel better to realize it’s ok to feel bad. I stop worrying about the fact that I feel bad and just lighten up on myself!

  • Ranveer

    Bad times are just a phase of life, it doesnt last forever. those who stuck up to courage during these times eventually get over it