I have had one of those days. You know the days that start out, right from the get go, all wrong, and then the rest of the day seems to follow suit. It is as though we’ve been shot out of the wrong cannon, sailing over the wrong terrain below, and sure to land on a cactus after a free fall through the worst storm in centuries. To state it very eloquently, it’s just a sucky day.
So what do we do when we find ourselves going the wrong direction down a one way road called today, and getting into one collision after another? How do we turn around?
Step one: take at least 10 deep, very deep breaths.
First, start with your breath. Often when we find ourselves under extreme stress we will hold our breath–without even knowing it. Check it out. The next time something really sets you off, see how deeply you are breathing. I would hazard to bet it’s fairly shallow. Or the next time you find yourself crying, watch to see if the way you stop the tears is to hold your breath (without even realizing that you’re doing it).
Step two: step back and get some perspective.
Perspective, do you have it? As long as the house hasn’t burned to the ground, all of your loved ones are safe and sound, and you have not done catastrophic physical damage to yourself, there is no reason to throw the day away. Yes these disturbances may feel huge, may seem completely obnoxious, however they are somewhat like the pesky flies on the back of an elephant. They won’t kill you.
Step three: see your circumstances through a new light, and then send them on their way.
The reframe happens when we settle ourselves down, out of the fight or flight cortisol response that is triggered from the event, long enough to gain perspective–everyone’s still alive and the house is intact. When we reframe what feels like an awful series of events we can let them go, perhaps even laugh a little, and then change the direction for the rest of our day.
Life is a gift, each moment is a gift. Though it may be hard to turn a day seemingly gone all wrong back to right, it is not impossible. The instant something happens it no longer belongs to the now, and it does not have to belong to the future–leave it in the past. Wrong turns can only impact the next stretch of road if we let them.
When you breathe deeply, gain some perspective, and then reframe the situation so you can let it go, you can turn “ever had one of those days?” into “ever had one of those days!”