No Bad Days (Member Blog: Paige Cornell)
Ever heard of the phrase “no bad days”? It’s a lie. EVERYONE has bad days. And they are extremely important for our development.
Could you imagine if no one ever had a bad day? How would we know what to do when a disaster struck? Bad days are a part of life. Bad days are curve balls, not blockades.
It’s easy for us to be derailed by trying situations, and to even classify our whole day as “bad” even if only 1 difficult thing arose. This often happens when we don’t validate how it has made us feel. If we try to “get on with it” without acknowledging how it’s affected us, we are much more likely to hold on to those feelings (often without even realizing). Acknowledging your feelings, big or small, will allow you to respond more effectively.
So, what comes next? WE LEARN! By having bad days, we learn that we can overcome difficulties. We learn that we are not what happens to us. We learn that there is always a way forward.
There are neural pathways in the brain that become strengthened as a result of on how we respond to adversity time and time again. These responses to adversity therefore influence the development of resilience. Resilience is “the ability to recover quickly from difficulties”. To say you are resilient is not to say you “get over it”, it’s to say you have learned from your experiences in a way that serves you well when faced with future difficulties.
Sure, life would probably be more convenient without bad days. But how boring! We would never know what we are truly capable of. These lessons ultimately make us who we are.
When reflecting on a bad day,
1. Be curious about what the experience is telling you (e.g. is it a recurring event? do you need to make a change?)
2. Allow your bad day to teach you something
3. Recognize how stressful events can affect you so you can be on top of them the next time (e.g. are you more irritable? do you seek comfort food?)
4. Be kind to yourself. Allowing a negative outlook will only take up much needed mental energy, so don’t beat yourself up.
5. Practice self-care
Sometimes life gives you little tests just so you remember how strong you are. And sometimes life just reminds us to take it less seriously.