Embracing Bad Days

Updated on April 30, 2018

Today I woke up and although the sun is out, the birds were chirping, and everything in the previous days seemed to have been great, it wasn't. It feels like a heavy burden, like dark grey skies and just chaos everywhere. But how did it get like this? I just remember everything being right but now it feels so wrong. And emotionally, I don't feel good.

These bad days just show up out of nowhere. Without a cause or warning. And it typically just feels like a heavy feeling that I need to carry with me throughout the day. Sometimes the reactions that come with it are very bitter, cold, and construed as irritated. It pushes people away and makes it harder to hold a relationship. But then, there's acceptance of this bad day.

Acceptance is a hard concept to grasp because how could one accept that heavy feeling. That heavy rain cloud just makes me want to curl up in a ball and not even go outside because I ultimately feel protected in my own home. But I feel like I should protect everyone else from the raths of this bad feeling. But when I accept it, my day turns out completely different than what I expected.

I've been reading Dare: The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks Fast by Barry McDonagh. And it was such an eye-opening experience to read all these feelings and situations that I endure on a daily and weekly basis. But what caught my attention the most was the section about depression and how to overcome the feeling. In it, he says, "allow the anxiety around depression to be present and mindfully sit with it without trying to force it away or beat yourself up for feeling this way." So what are you saying Barry? That I should acknowledge that bad feeling and I shouldn't force myself to be happy?

Oddly, it works. Being mindful of the present feeling is part of accepting that I'm not feeling so great. And it allows me to stay present with the feeling without having it ruin my day.

Learn to let go and let your body do what it does best. Think of all the years your body has managed perfectly without your anxious mind's input. You must learn to surrender and trust again.

— Barry McDonagh

This passage is easier to read than to put into practice, but honestly, try to remember the last time you were care-free and your bad mood or anxiety did not dictate your day; where your mind was free and relaxed. And then think about the bad days; when you thought that everything bad has already happened. When you learn to let go of those bad feelings and negative thoughts, you can start seeing the positivity in your day and in your life.

Barry McDonagh has helped me realize that a bad day is only a bad day if you officially declare it a bad day. From the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, if you declare it a bad day, it will be a bad day. But if you've had a bad situation happen or you wake with a bad feeling, bring it along with you during the day. What it means is to acknowledge that feeling, and just say "hey, this day sucks, but I'm going to go along with my day as planned." And you start figuring out that the bad day is just a feeling and you start living your life normally.

Don't force yourself not to think about the feeling either. I've noticed that it makes my situation much worse. The anxiety is filled with rage and anger. Making my day feel much longer. I tend to just think about the situation and then I focus on something else. My thoughts come and go. But when it's acknowledged, it doesn't stay for long.

A bad day sucks but we're human and we need to acknowledge our feelings. These bad feelings of anger, depression, and worry are just feelings. And they won't make a day any worse. I will not let a bad feeling dictate how my day will turn out. I will just carry on my day as planned. And focus on the day ahead. But hey, "bad day," you're invited. Let's spend the day together and see how it goes.

How's your day?

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