How To Turn a Shitty Day Around (It's Not What You Think) - E008
Have you ever had a bad day? Positivity and mindset are important. Life happens though and those shitty days will come your way without asking about it. But there is a way to move through that. So you might ask yourself how do you move through the day when shitty things happen to you?
My best advice is to feel the emotions and not try to avoid them.
Go ahead and listen to this episode so you can have the whole plan of how to deal with a bad day. Got questions? Dm me on Instagram and ask away!
> How I approach positive thinking (01:48)
> How my day is and how I deal with bad days (03:50)
> The day sucks but how do you move forward? (05:09)
> Follow through this exercise - ask why 5 times (08:55)
> We have to know what we aren't in order to know what we are - The importance of letting yourself feel the emotions (11:02)
E008: How To Turn a Shitty Day Around (It's Not What You Think)
[00:00:26] Welcome back to this episode of What We're Not Talking About. I hope you guys are having a fantastic and fabulous Friday. I am not. And that's why this episode is going to be a good one. So essentially what we're going to talk about on this episode is how to get over a bad day. Or a really shitty day where everything is going wrong for you.
For instance, yesterday, I was talking to a friend and she had all this crazy stuff happen. She was being audited by the unemployment agency or whatever it's called in the United States. I don't know what it's called. For her unemployment claims we're in a pandemic like let's just assume these people are telling the truth. Maybe you should pay attention to that $750 tax bill your president paid. I digress.
Then she got hit with a parking ticket, and she got reminded of a parking ticket. And then all this random stuff that sucks, but is an everyday life thing, piled onto her yesterday. She was feeling super upset and discouraged, and she just kept talking to us about how “I know I need to stay positive. I know I need to stay positive, but how do I do this? How do I do that?”
And it really got me thinking.
We live in a society that says when bad things are happening to you, you have to be positive.
And look, I get the root of that message. I understand that the reason that people say that is because at the end of the day, positivity and mindset are important.
But the problem with that is that it doesn't allow us as individuals to feel our real emotions. The ones that are causing us so much anxiety and stress and prolonged unhappiness. Because we're constantly in this cycle of, “You've got to think positive. You've got to think positive. You've got to think positive.”
My friends, a lot of them, (though not all of them) are pretty self-aware human beings and they know so much about the world, about themselves. And they also know not a lot about the world and themselves just as me, just as you. But I like to think that they've got a pretty good head on their shoulders.
So when they're talking to me about this, it really shows me that we're living in a world where society doesn't want you to feel any bad day you may have. It doesn't want you to acknowledge the hurt and the pain and the strife and all those nasty emotions because eight times out of 10 to society, (actually I'd probably say 10 out of 10) society is actually the reason or the catalyst for the pain.
With my friend, she got a ticket. Who's responsible for that? The government or an independent parking company, depending on where this ticket came from. But that's the system that's not anything else other than society, right? It's a collective agreement that we've said it's okay to be ticketed when we park on the street after hours or without paying a small amount or whatever it is.
How do we move through a bad day?
How do we move through the day to day when crappy things happen to us? And I'm going to give some advice that is much easier to say than actually do, but it's the best advice I have, if you're having a bad day. So for me, It's 12 in the morning. I've not had the greatest start to the day.
[00:04:05] I spilled a huge cup of coffee all over my white rug in my bedroom that is pretty new. It’s quite expensive. I think I got most of it clean. I'm not sure. I got to go back and check, and I’m very bummed about it. And it's right in the place where you walk into my room and it's just staring you in the face.
I also broke a glass jar that my mom brought me back from Jamaica. And I'm not sure if you know, but we're not really traveling in 2020, so who knows the next time I'll be able to replace that type of jar. It was really cool and it was very utilitarian for my life. You probably know what I'm talking to and I'm bummed and I'm upset.
But, I've made all these promises to myself today that I would record this episode and that I would do some schoolwork. Then also I'm going to visit my grandmother who lives in an old folks' home. And I have to go cause I have to schedule it a month in advance because this whole pandemic thing is really difficult. But anyway, again, I digress. What do you do? The day sucks. I'm just going to say it: the day sucks.
How do I move forward after a bad day?
Instead of doing what they (society I mean) tell us to do, which is turn a blind eye, pretend like it's not happening, and internalize everything for it to come and rear its ugly head at a later date, I'm going to challenge you guys to actually feel the emotions. So I'm going to work through this with you. You can use what I’m going to tell you to help you through your bad day.
And I know the examples that I'm using in my own personal life right now seem pretty small in relation to maybe a lot of the issues that you're dealing with. But I like to use real life experience. And since these are two things that are going on in my day right now, I thought I'd just use that. So this whole coffee thing is way more intricate than just I was clumsy and spilled a cup of coffee on the rug.
I have had a whole life of basically learning to trust myself and my intuition.
And this morning I woke up and I was like, “I don't think I want a cup of coffee today,” which is very out of the blue for me. I love coffee. Love it, love it, love it.
So, I got up, I took my dog for a walk and I was like, “You know what? No, I'm a creature of habit. Like I want to coffee. It's really easy to get, the lines are super short, so I'm just gonna go and get one.” So I get it. And then not only do I have my coffee in my bed, which I only do maybe one out of every 20 days, but I also put it on my carpet, which I never ever do. Little did I know what a bad day it would cause.
And the funny thing was that right before I spoke the coffee in my head, I thought, Hey, you're going to spill this coffee. Then what happened? I spilled the coffee. And the emotions that came up was just this visceral anger of “You don't trust yourself, you're so clumsy, you've done it again. Who the hell do you think you are? Like why? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
All these voices in my head construct of, “I'm not good enough because I spilled a cup of coffee” or all these ridiculous things are really just insights into what's still going on in our subconscious.
By ignoring those feelings and ignoring the events that cause us to feel anxiety or distress on the surface, we're ignoring the opportunity to learn more about ourselves.
So, initially what I would have done, if I didn't know to actually lean into the feelings was to just be like, “Amy, it's fine. You made a mistake. It's okay. Whatever, just move on.” And it may or may not have turned into a bad day from there.
I'm still saying this to me, but I'm also allowing myself to feel the bad stuff that comes up. Because if you don't feel those bad emotions, they're going to stay. What we ignore persists, always. So that's why it's really important to feel into it. And it's scary. Some of these emotions for a lot of things and experiences, if you go deep, if you go really deep, can bring up some really heavy stuff. And I mean heavy stuff.
This whole rug thing might not look very heavy to you, but it actually is. I had a father who yelled at himself for doing things, clumsy things like I do all the time. And I mean literally yell at himself.
He had mobility issues with his arms and he would drop things regularly and he was just so angry. For the longest time, he ignored all those feelings of why he was angry with himself. And, in fairness, he ignored them until he died.
I saw how it ate him alive. And I wondered if, “okay, what, instead of just yelling at himself and being mad about being clumsy, why don't we look at the reason he's mad for being clumsy?”
[00:08:52] There's always another layer.
I always like to ask myself why five times.
This is a very common exercise.
Why are you feeling upset at yourself that you spill coffee on the rug (one)? Because now I have to clean it up.
Why is that inconvenience (two)? It's an inconvenience because I had all this stuff planned for the day and I feel like it's derailed my day and I'm very upset about it.
Why (three)? Well, I have a really hard time being consistent and motivated, and I'm feeling a little lazy today. It just kind of puts a chock into the day (or whatever, I don't know what that word is). And that sucks. Now my energy's low, I'm feeling weird, and I'm starting to doubt myself.
Why (four)? Well, I'm starting to doubt myself because I don't trust my intuition all the time. This coffee is just a reminder of something that I should have listened to because I didn't want the coffee in the morning. But I went and got it anyway because I'm a creature of habit. I wanted to be awake even though I didn't know if I was tired or not.
Why does that bother you (five)? Because I didn't trust myself.
It's simple, it really is simple. It's something that is so seemingly random, but when you go deep into it, you can really see massive insights into what is going on in your subconscious. So instead of running away from the pain, I really encourage you to ask yourself why this is happening and to feel it. This is a great exercise to do on that bad day.
Feel the upset that you feel with yourself, feel the disappointment, feel the anger.
Feel the annoyance that for the 19,000,000th time when you haven't trusted yourself (in my case anyways). Take it, learn from it, and move forward. Then after you go through this process, that’s when you return to positive thinking.
It's not positive thinking right away. It isn’t because there cannot be light or good without the bad. One of my favorite quotes is, “We have to know what we aren't in order to know what we are.” That's the idea that we have to see all our darkness in order to feel and see our light.
And by constantly ignoring the bad stuff I can guarantee most of you, me for the longest time included, are ignoring the good stuff. That's what's making life long, exhausting, and hella unfair. That causes our bad day. This being said, I know the world is absolutely crazy. There's a bunch of people that suck.
On an individual level, this is just an individual me-to-you, human-to-human, nothing, no real life circumstance of marginalized groups, of sexualities, things like that. I'm taking that out of it.
We have to feel that pain in order to work through it. We have to. If we don't, we're just going to keep in this perpetual state of, “I know I need to be this way, but I can't be. And because I can't be this way, I feel shitty.”
[00:12:14] That is what so many people are suffering from right now. I've seen it in the self-help industry, in political science, and even a little bit in the psychology part of the world. I continue to see it on an everyday basis. It's sad because the healing is not through that means.
Healing is through feeling all of the stuff.
All of it; the good, the bad, the ugly, disgusting, the amazing, the beautiful, the ecstasy, the passion.
And if you ignore the bad, you're gonna ignore the good. So, next time you're having a bad day, acknowledge that one, bad days happen and they suck and it's normal. Two, allow yourself to feel all of the emotions: the good, the bad, the ugly. And then three, when you have a bad day, when everything's going bad, when I'm challenging you to lean into the negative feelings.
I'm also challenging you to lean into the positive feelings. Remind yourself through experience that everything is impermanent, your happiness, your anger, your sadness, your depression. And granted, some people's impermanence can feel like forever, but it will change
So don't ignore your feelings. Know that you are doing exactly what you need to be doing. And if you need to reach out to anyone to talk about what you're doing about your shitty day or about the hard and heavy stuff that you're going through or even the good stuff and you want to celebrate and show gratitude, reach out to friends, families, support groups.
And if you don't have those, you can reach out to me. My Instagram is Amy.Demone, and I will always chat with you because no one should ever feel alone. Talk to you next week.