5 Tips to Turn Around a Bad Day

anxiety and stress Jul 13, 2023

Let’s face it, we’ve all had some rotten days where it just feels like no matter what we do, nothing is going our way. Sadly, we don’t have a reboot button to rewind time. However, it is possible to change the course of your day when it’s gone off the rails.

As you may know, emotional resilience is my jam!

I love teaching people how to make mindset shifts, release stored trauma from their brain and body, and learn to look at the world in a different way. One way that I accomplish all of this is by helping you understand where emotional pain comes from.

If I were to make a little chart about emotions and thoughts, it would look something like this:

Thoughts --> Emotions --> Beliefs --> Actions

When you have a thought, it creates an emotion that lasts for 7 seconds. That’s the half-life of emotions in your body. Crazy right?!

 To sustain an emotion, you have to keep thinking thoughts that will elicit the same emotional response over and over again. Otherwise, the feeling will extinguish after only 7 seconds.

Also, thoughts that you continue to think repeatedly will eventually create a belief. Then, your actions will be dictated by a combination of your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs.

Recently, I had a session where a client was telling me about a bad day. When I asked her how she handles a bad day, she said sleep was the only thing that helped. Then, she would hope the next day would be better. I’ll admit, sometimes I’ve used that strategy myself, but it isn’t my favorite because our thoughts program our subconscious.

If you go to bed thinking about all the horrible things that are happening in your life, then you’ll program your Reticular Activating System (RAS) to pay attention to negative events.

Your RAS is a tool the brain uses to determine what is important to you, what needs your focus, and what beliefs or memories are committed to long-term storage. So, if you go to bed thinking about everything that’s wrong in your life, reliving every bad thing that happened in your day, and how the future is stressful and hopeless, then the RAS will make sure your brain believes it.

That is the opposite of what we want!

There are lots of ways to turn around a bad day. Finding something that works for you consistently is the key. I’m going to go over a few strategies and offer some tips about how you can use them to your advantage. If one technique doesn’t work for you, then move on to the next. Think of it as having lots of tools in your emotional toolbox.

Option 1: Engage in an activity to shift your focus to something more pleasurable.

This recommendation can be a little controversial. Some people view distraction as harmful instead of helpful because you’re not “feeling your feelings” until it’s all better. Here’s my take on it, if things are super crappy and every thought is just making you feel worse, then doing something fun for a while to rebalance yourself is ok.

Playing a video game for 30 minutes, reading a fun fiction book, cooking and eating your favorite meal, or watching a movie to get your emotional state back to neutral will help interrupt a pattern of negative thinking.

When you’re feeling a little better, then start shifting your mindset, dig into your triggers, and feel all the feels when you’re not in danger of drowning in them. Distraction becomes harmful instead of helpful if you’re skipping the last step of dealing with the problem when you’ve achieved a little emotional balance.

If you find yourself using distractions to get through life, then it’s time to use another tool in the toolbox.

Option 2: Vigorous exercise or cleaning

When you’re feeling extreme stress or anxiety, channeling that energy into movement will help you get out of your head and interrupt the flow of negative thoughts. By focusing on your body or the task at hand, you’re showing the brain that something other than your painful thoughts require its focus instead. At the end of your exercise or cleaning session, you generally feel more relaxed.

Option 3: Meditation with music

There are so many different types of meditations that are available ranging from a few minutes to hours. My favorite program is called Insight Timer on my iPhone. You have the option of selecting guided or musical meditations.

If you’re a beginner with meditation, then you may find guided ones helpful. Most of them have a particular goal or focus and include some type of background music. Personally, I prefer music only meditations so that my mind is free to create whatever beautiful scenery that it wants.

When it comes to meditations, there are no rules. You can sit or lie down, guided or music only, and have a session lasting for a few minutes to a few hours. Whatever works for you!

Option 4: Journal it out

Writing down your thoughts, fears, hopes, and dreams is a powerful way of getting things out of your head and onto paper. Your subconscious wants you to know all the terrible things that may happen if things don’t go your way. So, it will keep sending you negative thoughts over and over to reinforce your problems. This isn’t what we want!

Putting things down on paper provides an outlet for the subconscious brain to feel seen, heard, and taken seriously. Whatever you’re feeling, pour it onto the paper. What you do with it afterward is up to you. Some clients feel better when they burn it, shred it, or just keep it in their journal to look back on later and see how much they’ve improved.

Option 5: Subconscious Reprogramming

Obviously, my favorite mind/body technique to reprogram your subconscious is the Three Brain Realignment Technique (TBRT), but they all work in different ways. The reason TBRT is my favorite is because it addresses the survival brain (your unconscious) where we store fears about our safety, security, family, and money.

These issues are so important to modern day life and pop up frequently for everyone eventually. However, I’ve also used other techniques like EFT (tapping), hypnosis, affirmations, and working with chakras, flower essences, and crystals. Remember, it all works! So, find the technique that you’re willing to practice consistently and that resonates with you.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by bad days and negative thoughts, then book a consultation or appointment HERE to get some relief today!

April Darley is a Resilience Coach specializing in helping people release stress, anxiety, pain, and sabotaging behavior. Through the Three Brain Realignment Technique (TBRT), you'll learn how to step into your own power, comfortably deal with life's challenges, and stay calm and balanced. 



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