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9 Ways to Turn a Bad Day Around

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9 Ways to Turn a Bad Day Around

By Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project via DivineCaroline

A few days ago, I was extremely upset. It’s too complicated to explain the whole situation, but an encounter left me feeling anxious, agitated, under attack, and sad. I did what I could to resolve the situation, but I still felt terrible.

When I have a day like this, I try to make it a Good Bad Day. I take the steps that tend to make me feel better or, if they don’t make me feel better, at least give me the kind of day on which I can look back with satisfaction.

To have a Good Bad Day, I make sure to:

1. Exercise. For me, exercise is a key element to managing my moods. It calms me and energizes me at the same time. Its rituals are comforting. It’s productive, but not intellectually or socially demanding. Also, exercise is so obviously a key to good health that if I manage to exercise, I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile in my day, no matter what else happens.

2. Do something nice for someone else. The first part of the Second Splendid Truth is “One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy” (also known as the “Do good, feel good” provision). I sent out some emails that I knew would be useful for other people. It doesn’t sound like much, but it took a lot out of me.

3. Stop ruminating. My inclination was to go over and over the details of the upsetting episode and to conduct imaginary arguments. Instead, I tried to keep my resolution to find an area of refuge. Studies show that dwelling on negative thoughts amplifies their power in your mind. In fact, some researchers suggest that the reason more women suffer depression than men is that women are more likely to “over think,” while men are better at distracting themselves from negative thoughts.

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At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

465 comments

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1:59PM PST on Nov 8, 2012

Excellent thank you.

9:51AM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

sometimes getting it off your chest relieves the stress build-up... but you doi need to find someone to listen, and not criticize or say this is what you should have done...

9:51AM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

sometimes getting it off your chest relieves the stress build-up... but you doi need to find someone to listen, and not criticize or say this is what you should have done...

9:51AM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

sometimes getting it off your chest relieves the stress build-up... but you doi need to find someone to listen, and not criticize or say this is what you should have done...

9:33PM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

thanks

12:21PM PDT on May 29, 2011

noted

9:19PM PDT on Sep 11, 2010

If you can't make it - fake it. A good mood is always infectious!

1:47PM PDT on Jul 20, 2010

Thanks =)

10:45AM PDT on Jul 20, 2010

thanks for sharing

9:55AM PDT on Jul 14, 2010

ty

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