You know those mornings when you wake up to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee, chirping birds, and the soft rays of the sun? How we wish we could all have days like that, everyday. But life happens. You wake up late, spill coffee on your shirt, are late for work, and you end up coming home to a messy apartment. Well, you tell yourself, things could be worse.
I used to feel terrible during those days. Until I attended one self-development seminar in college that totally changed my perspective on how I viewed bad days. The speaker said that “if something nice happens to you before 10AM, then the rest of the day is bound to be good”. The gist of his message for me was that, if we could only find even just ONE thing that’s good about that particular day, then it doesn’t have to be so bad.
1. Just Smile
I understand that when stress levels are high, it can be very difficult for you to see a reason to smile ““ but just try it! If someone greets you at the door, smile. Did your colleague crack a joke? Smile! You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel afterwards. I admit that there are days when all I want to do is finish my work and go home. But when I see smiling faces around me, it’s tough to stay in a bad mood.
2. Laugh with Someone
Be it your coworker, friend, or family member, laughing has been known to disperse awkwardness and ease tension. Try making a couple of jokes, looking at funny GIFs online, or reading a humorous blog post. Although giggling at your favorite comedy movie is good, why not invite someone to watch it with you? Having another individual to share the laughs with means twice as much fun. Plus, you’ll get to discuss the best parts of the film later on.
3. Listen To Some Music
Music has always had soothing properties. Whether you enjoy rock, ballad, pop, jazz, or soul, you’ll quickly find yourself more relaxed once you’re tuned in to your preferred songs. I personally love listening to classical or instrumental sounds when I’m feeling down. If you’ve had a bad day at work, put on your headphones and let yourself be carried away by your favorite tunes.
4. Immerse in a Hobby
Do you like cooking? Are you constantly doodling? How do you spend your free time? Having a hobby is one of the best ways to immerse in your passion, while staying productive. One of the most popular hobbies today is blogging. If you love expressing yourself through words, then maybe this is the pastime for you. I remember a time when I felt so annoyed with my neighbor that I could barely sleep the night before. In the morning, I decided to spend the entire day baking bread. Not only did I feel much better, I was less confrontational when we decided to have a talk.
Other soothing activities to try include: gardening, sketching, reading, and jogging.
5. Take a Bite
You know those days when you just want something deep-friend and smothered in chocolate? I’m an advocate for not eating your feelings ““ but I also believe in indulging in your favorite comfort food once in a while. There’s nothing wrong with eating a cup of ice cream or having cake with friends. Go ahead and treat yourself, especially after a long, tiring day. Happiness can come from small things, particularly in a bowl of hot, savory tomato soup.
6. Scroll Through Personal Photos
Selfies are not so bad. In fact, when you’re feeling down and out, swiping through photos can bring a smile to your face.
Remember that time when you and a friend attended a midnight party? Or how about those pictures from your family trip to Disneyland? It can be fun reminiscing about the “good ol’ times”, even if just on your phone. Who knows, maybe it would even prompt you to connect with old friends again.
7. Count the Good Things
This is one of my favorite things to do before going to bed. Although I’ve had a stressful, demanding day, I make sure to list at least 10 good things that happened. It could be as simple as a stranger holding the door open for me, to something big like a colleague who helped with an important report. Note that what matters to you. The point of this task is to remind you that no matter how bad a day gets, there’s always something to be thankful for.
Each one of us will have our own burdens to bear; days so bad we feel as if we’re only half alive. But remember this: you’re never alone. You have friends, family, and loved ones, who are all looking forward to seeing you smile. If you’re going through something difficult right now, know that storms pass. Yes, today may suck. But as long as you can find at least ONE good thing that happened, everything will be okay.