How many times have we heard it?
Attitude is everything.
Hearing it when we're having a bad day, however, feels like an invitation to punch that person right in the neck.
A bad day is a bad day. Nothing we can do about that. How are we supposed to fix a crappy boss passing us over for a promotion while getting a flat tire in a thunderstorm? What attitude are we supposed to have then?
The truth is: bad things are going to happen. To deny the existence of bad things is not what a good attitude is all about. If someone urinates on your leg, it's not raining lemonade. It's gross. To say otherwise is disingenuous--and annoying.
But things don't have to stay awful. Just because a bad thing happens, that doesn't mean that everything is all bad forever. That's also disingenuous.
In a perfect world, our game plan should be to accept the bad event, learn from it, and drop it in 90 seconds (the Tony Robbins Rule).
That sounds great in theory. I think we'd all love to be able to bounce back from adversity and be strong again in 90 seconds. Does anyone really want to stay depressed for as long as possible?
The question is: How do we do it?
How do we fall in garbage and climb our way out?
Here's a list 3 ways to cure an awful day:
1. Watch some stand-up comedy. Did you know that you can't be happy and sad at the same time? It's kind of like trying to sneeze with your eyes open. Can't be done. If you can replace sadness/rage/melancholy with laughter, everything changes--just like that. Nervous about a job interview? Watch some stand-up and go in relaxed. Angry about work? Watch some stand-up and feel the anger disappear. Facing a small tragedy? Laughing can help get you through.
2. Go for a bike ride. I know it sounds childish. I know you may not have had a bike since you were a kid. But here's what I know. If you have problems before you get on a bike, they'll be gone by the time you're done with your ride. The key is to make sure your ride isn't stressful. Don't ride in traffic or through a lot of busy intersections. Find a smooth place to pedal aimlessly and cruise for maybe a half-hour. I promise, it works every time.
3. Get into nature. This also is an anti-stress agent. Getting out of the city, away from people, and into nature is an amazing attitude adjuster. The New York Times even wrote about how being in nature actually changes the workings of our brains. If you've had a bad day, a walk in nature can help turn it around.
It's not the awfulness that brings us down, it's our inability to brush it off. Using one or all of these techniques should help you bounce back.
And if you don't have a bike or don't live anywhere near nature? Then maybe you could just settle for this.