As I was wandering through Costco recently, I was struck yet again by the increasing price of food.
I was bothered by this thought more than usual. Perhaps it’s because I’m still recovering my strength after having had COVID. Whatever the reason, I felt my mood dip noticeably.
My feelings were further disturbed when shortly after returning home, I received an email saying my Christmas flights to England had been canceled. I booked my tickets months ago and have been looking forward to it more than I can explain. My already challenged feelings took another little nosedive.
Fortunately, I recognized that I was standing on a precipice. I could let these events take charge of my mood, or I could choose to view my circumstances with a more positive filter.
“The optimist sees the donut; the pessimist sees the hole.”
Here are a few ways you can make a bad day seem less horrible.
• Limit your social media exposure
Reading posts about the amazing things that are happening in other people’s lives can cause your confidence to slump. Research suggests that the more time you spend on platforms like Facebook, the more likely it is that your self-esteem will drop.
• Share your situation and ask for help
You may feel vulnerable opening up to a friend or family member about the challenges in your life, but a trouble shared really is a trouble halved. Choose someone who’ll listen with sympathy and compassion. They don’t need to have a solution but be willing to accept their advice or an offer of assistance. Acts of kindness are an amazing way to increase happiness. Receiving help from a friend is a win-win situation.
• Be grateful
Studies show that experiencing gratitude boosts feelings of wellbeing. Being thankful for the little things in life is just as important as appreciating the big stuff. It’s easy to lose sight of this fact, especially when you feel like you’re drowning in problems. Think about your cup of coffee, the roof over your head or the people in your life. Spend a few minutes concentrating on the good things. They’re there, even though they may not spring to mind immediately.
• Tomorrow is a new day
Things almost always look brighter after a good night’s sleep. Hold on to that knowledge as you work your way through a bad day.
• Do one thing you have control over
This could be writing an email, making a call you’ve been avoiding or crossing something off your procrastination list. Even choosing to go for a walk or eating more healthily will leave you with a greater sense of empowerment. I can’t control rising prices, or make WestJet reinstate my canceled booking. I can however choose what to spend my money on and contact the airline to see if they can put me on alternative flights.
As the world become less predictable, worry and disappointment can seem to be just a heartbeat away. Don’t let the events that surround you sabotage your day.
Everything in life is a choice. You can wallow in self-pity and feel victimized by the things happening in your day, or you can choose to embrace a positive perspective.
When life gives you lemons, appreciate the brightness of their colour, breath in the sweetness of their peel and then decide whether you want lemonade, lemon meringue pie or margaritas.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.”
Corrie ten Boom
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.