How Can You Feel Better If You're Having a Bad Day?

10 Oct

Make a Listing. Break the routine.

"Why am I doing this?" Teanna McDonald, the owner of a media marketing firm asked herself in this Denver Post report by the Associated Press. "Do I really want to do so?" McDonald had reason to be mad. After weeks of hard labour, her company had only lost a major proposal to a competitor. McDonald was having a lousy day. You get it. So do we.

Does Chris Post. And Jeff Hoffman. And Adrienne Smith. In accordance with the exact same Denver Post/AP narrative, all of these business owners have had their bad days too. Following an acquisition, Post found himself in a role he disliked. Hoffman's tech industry frequently lost work to competing superstores that offered lower costs. Smith found herself in a difficult spot when a key employee in her bakery suddenly quit. "I prayed and prayed for advice," she admits.

These people have had bad days. Quite awful, down-in-the-dumps, gloomy, gloomy, poor days. Everyone has them. But should you run a business, or you're an executive or leader in a company, your poor days might appear even worse than others', largely because they affect so many others? When you're down, people know it. Negativity packs negativity. Your team gets doubtful, uncertain, nervous. As a company owner, we’re not allowed to have bad times. However, needless to say, we really do. We simply can't let anyone know about them. Our customers do not wish to hear about it. No one does. Everyone is coping with their own problems. If anything they want you to pick them up, not bring them down.

Thus, what to do when you're having a bad day? We have learned from countless customers that we all have our own means of dealing with them, and no way is any better than another so as long as it works for that individual. McDonald, the marketer, leans heavily on her loved ones. The post takes long holidays. Smith turns to God. Fair enough. We here have this simple trick for you if your are having a bad day.

Make a list. And then break the pattern.

When you are feeling down in the dumps, sit down and list all the reasons. Generally, there are just a few things on it and -- thank goodness -- rarely anything medical. It's normally a customer problem. OK, maybe three or two customer problems. An overdue invoice. A hassle with a few of your kids. A massive bill coming due. A tough situation with a worker. Whatever it is, you literally must compose all that's getting you down. You will able to do so with a laptop that you mostly carry or with a smartphone too.

Personally, when I record these problems, two things happen. To begin with, I feel a little better after recording them. It is emotional, I know, but reading them on paper or a screen somehow makes them less private and less significant. The second thing that happens is a viewpoint. Because I've been performing this trick for quite a while, I use the chance to reverse back to the problems I wrote down weeks, months, months and even years back. And you know what? I am still here! Those issues... what exactly were they? Oh, yeah. These items only finally get resolved and then replaced by new problems which will also be ultimately solved, one way or another, over and over. Perspective gives me comfort.

And then I break this routine. I stop what I am doing and leave. I will go into a batting cage. Just take a very long walk. Telephone a friend I have not spoken to in a little while. Workout. Watch a TV show in the centre of the day (my problems are nothing in comparison to Rick's conflict with Negan in a post-apocalyptic world filled with walking zombies, am I correct?). This isn't my invention. I heard many years back how important it is to"alter your condition" if you're feeling awful, and to achieve so you need to break the pattern. That means just stopping what you're doing and doing something entirely irrelevant.

Go ahead, next time you are having a dreadful or horrible day -- and you know that time will come -- try this: Write down your "issues," and then divide the pattern. It's a simple trick. And it works. When you finally return to your "issues," you may realize that they're a lot easier to manage. Also, remember that whatever "problems" you have now, you will be dead and murdered just a hundred years from now. Much like all the business owners before us and all of the people around you who are wrapped up in their issues also.

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