You know those days where it feels like absolutely everything is going wrong? It starts out with something small, and then before you know it, you’re yelling at the sweet cashier, crying over a paper cut, or plotting your move to a remote island where you don’t have to interact with anyone. (No? Just me?)
On days that just feel awful and no good, it’s easy to let things spiral. One crappy thing turns into ten, and then before you know it, you’re swearing that your whole life sucks. (Sidenote: it doesn’t.)
We’ve all had those days, and today, I’m sharing my favorite question to ask when I’m having a bad day. Check out the video, and hear how I used this question in the middle of a recent, less than awesome, pretty tough, bad day.
Remember, your brain is wired to focus on the negative. (See why here.) So when you’re having a bad day, your brain is going to look for all the confirming evidence that the day totally sucks.
So if you want to continue to have a bad day, letting it get worse and worse, then just do nothing. Because your brain will get you there real fast, just noticing all the negatives and glossing right over the positives.
But, if you want to turn things around, then ask this.
What is going well today?
You are going to have to use every single ounce of energy to direct your brain to see the good. It won’t want to. It will want to dwell on the negative, snowballing a few tough things into a full blown awful, terrible day. But you can choose to see the good.
“What is going well today?”
This question isn’t about erasing the bad or pretending that the crappy difficult things didn’t happen. They did. End of story. But it’s not all bad. Not everything is going wrong. Challenge yourself to see and name the good, no matter how small.
You woke up late. You spilled an entire carton of milk in the kitchen. The train was delayed by an hour going into work. Your forgot your lunch. You lost a project you were working on. These are crappy things, no doubt. I give you full permission to acknowledge them.
But I also ask that you acknowledge the good, no matter how small. You were the last person through the light before it turned yellow. You remembered a granola bar at the bottom of your purse that will hold you over until your break. A stranger smiled at you. You have a working car. A coworker acknowledged your efforts on a recent project. You coffee had the perfect amount of cream. The sun is shining. Your heard your favorite blast from the past song on the radio.
No matter how many crappy things have happened, some things are going well. By actively choosing to look for and name these things, you take back some of the power, changing the vibe of your day.
So when you’re having a bad day, ask yourself this question. “What’s going well today?”
It might take some effort, but oh is it worth it!
PS: Want to know the single best thing you can do to be happier? Watch this.