Don’t let a bad day at work sap your energy, joy and ambition — or, even worse, ruin tomorrow. Take charge now, before the negativity has a chance to fester. Don’t worry: It’s easier than you’d think. In fact, there’s a number of ways you can turn things around. Let’s take a look.
1. Know You’re Not Alone
On any given day, an average of 7 percent of the world’s population is having a “bad day,” according to a report from Pew Research. If you allow yourself to vent to a trusted, empathetic friend, you’ll feel better instantly. No confidants readily available? Log on to 7 Cups of Tea, a free, anonymous online support resource that lets you browse volunteer listeners by life experience so you can talk openly with someone who’s been through what you’re dealing with.
2. Brighten Someone Else’s Day
Giving back has a way of boosting your spirits. This day may go down as one of the worst for you, but in just a few minutes, you have the power to turn someone else‘s day around completely. Before leaving the office, zip off an email praising a coworker to your boss. Write a positive review online for the lunch place you frequent on break. Call Grandma. And if you want to take this idea a step further, submit an application to work the local soup kitchen so you can serve others more regularly. The change of focus will not just help your current mood, it’ll reorient your entire perspective.
3. Channel Your Frustration into a Productive Pursuit
Working your frustration out by punching a pillow is temporarily gratifying, but really, why destroy a good pillow? Instead, funnel your feelings into a constructive task that requires brute strength. Rearrange furniture, jog with business buddies to brainstorm or do that heavy yard work you’ve been putting off.
4. Imagine the Best
Throughout history, therapists have treated distressed patients using a technique called visualization. With imagination alone, you can actually change your own mind about a scenario. Here’s how: Start by closing your eyes and relaxing each muscle from head to toe. Next, envision your day tomorrow. Opt to relish your breakfast, look forward to seeing your coworkers and approach your work with gusto. You’ll feel better-equipped with the new game plan.
5. Just Breathe
You’ve likely heard this one before. Breathing techniques are among the first thing doctors prescribe for high blood pressure, stress and anxiety. It’s free and easy to do, and it takes just a few seconds. In fact, experts at Harvard Medical School recommend a mobile app to show you how and when to breathe for maximum stress relief.
6. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward to
A great cure for a bad day at work is taking a look ahead. How? By investing in you. Order something online that you’ve had your eye on, sign up for a painting class (with wine!) or accept an aging invitation to do something fun — or better your professional self. You have direct access to iLearn from My TotalSource®, where you can pre-register for both self-paced and virtual classroom courses to score college credit toward a degree.
Terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days: We’ve all had them. Good days are ahead, but until you get there, try some of these tactics. Putting things in perspective can stop negativity in its tracks.