I was having a bad day. Several things had gone wrong with some assignments, the trains were running late and to top it all off it was 102 degrees in the shade in New York City. When I finally got off the train and began to walk home in the blistering heat, I had an epiphany. Despite all of the unpleasantness the day had contained, still I was happy. Unequivocally happy.
As I walked past the storefronts along Fulton Street in Brooklyn, I began to wonder what I was doing now that contributed to my overall satisfaction with life. And thatís when it hit me: Itís not what I was doing, but rather itís what Iíd cut out of my life that had made all of the difference.
I was no longer catastrophizing. Iím an excitable person who in the past felt that any mistake or life reversal was the absolute end of the world! But as sure as Iím sitting here typing this, with lots and lots of mistakes behind me, Iím living proof that you can go on after even a major screw up. Iím only 40 years old so Iím sure there are plenty more missteps waiting for me on the horizon. Iíll make them, learn from them and move on.
I was no longer linking unrelated bad events together. Have you ever done that? Something unfortunate happens which causes you to think of another unfortunate event and another and another until youíre completely in the dumps. Instead try to think of the ďbadĒ event as an isolated occurrence and switch gears.
Say for example something untoward happens at work, take a moment to think of your successes. This is why itís a good idea to keep a list of your accomplishments, not only for review purposes but also for inspiration when youíre having a bad day.
I didnít put myself down My internal dialogue went something like this: ďYou had a bad day, however this is not a reflection of your life overall. Plus itís over now and tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow will be better.Ē
I didnít talk much about the negative events. That evening when my husband got home from work, I spent a few minutes telling him about my day and then I changed the subject. There was dinner to cook, the library was open late that night, Iíd recorded a great television program which was waiting for me on the DVR. Plus Iíd come up with a great article idea I was eager to work on. By the end of the evening, my bad day was all but forgotten.