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Bad Days. We all have them occasionally. It might be illness, work, the weather, returning to routine after a sublime holiday (ahem!) or even for no particular reason.

When we wake up on the proverbial wrong side of the room it’s easy to stay grumpy. After all, aren’t we entitled to feel rubbish? We’re having a bad day!

While we are entitled to feel what we feel it is important to distinguish between things that help and things that hinder. Making space for unpleasant emotions is a positive, necessary step to moving through them; wallowing for the sake of it is not.

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Here are four ways to make a bad day better (without faking it)

Check your expectations

A lot of times, when we perceive something as negative, it is simply that it doesn’t match up to our expectations. When you’re feeling out of sorts about something, stop and reflect on whether you are demanding too much of the situation. Sometimes, a simple acknowledgement that the world doesn’t run to our schedule is enough to help us lighten up and let go of our unhappy mood.

Slow down

The constant rush of daily life can create a feeling of anxiety and discontent — even when nothing specific is wrong. If you are irritable or frustrated for no reason you can put your finger on, slow down. Instead of hurrying to get all of it done (whatever it is) take a few minutes to move deliberately, noticing your breath and heart rate. Spend a few minutes doing Pranayama breathing to calm your body.

Play a tune

Music is a great way to calm our minds and boost our mood. Upbeat styles like pop and dance will lift your spirits almost despite you — even more so if you spend a few minutes bopping along! Reflective soul or chilled out sounds can soothe the stress of a bad day, helping you regain perspective.

Be grateful

Gratitude increases happiness. No matter how sideways your day is, there are always reasons to be grateful. Sometimes it’s tempting to sulk for a while but truly, we are all blessed, and taking the time to acknowledge it tends to shift those self-pity tendencies. If you can’t think of anything big to be grateful for, be grateful for little things: friendship, good food, safety, shelter.

What are your best tips for overcoming the blues? Share in the comments!