Bad days. We all have them, and I’m pretty sure we all hate them. But what really makes a day bad?
A few days ago, I was about to go to bed when something upset me. I thought to myself, “Ugh! I hate when my day turns into a bad one right before it’s over. Everything was going so well!”
But then, a second thought passed into my head. Does one negative thing really make for a bad day?
The logical answer is no. So how does one tiny mishap make us feel like an entire 24 hours is ruined?
Well, even though the “thing” that turns a bad day from a good one may last no more than 10 minutes, the negative emotions that this “thing” sparks often last much longer. For example, let’s say you spill coffee on your shirt. Ok, great. You let out a sigh, clean up the coffee, change your shirt, and bam! The whole ordeal is over in a few minutes. Yet, if you’re anything like most people, you still feel like the day is ruined. Why?
Spilling coffee didn’t ruin your day; it just gave you a reason to feel upset. It’s like how getting a C on a math test doesn’t make you stupid; it just gives you a reason to doubt yourself. The situation itself is not responsible for the outcome. You are.
After you spill the coffee, if you go about the rest of your day with the mindset that you’re cursed and everything is going to go wrong, you’ll only notice the negative parts and the whole day will seem bad. The same thing happens in reverse. If you’re upset right before you go to bed, when you look back on your day all you will remember is the bad stuff, and you’ll conclude that the entire day was terrible.
When we let the negative emotions of one bad situation influence our perspective for every situation, we set ourselves up to believe that everything is bad-that our whole day is ruined.
To move forward, we have to get ourselves out of this cycle. We have to recognize that when a few bad things happen, we aren’t cursed, the world isn’t out to get us, and not everything will go wrong. That being said, we shouldn’t just ignore the negative parts of the day. Instead, we should recognize them, be annoyed for a few minutes, and then remind ourselves that what happened is in the past, and all we can do is leave it there and move on.
Try as we might to believe otherwise, bad days are not just caused by the accumulation of negative experiences. They are the result of letting one misfortune shape our perspective on everything else.
Spilled coffee only ruins our day if we let it. It’s a choice we get to make.