Life happens. We cannot stop time from moving forward. Life has ups and downs for every person. Every person has challenges that they have to overcome. When we wake up each day, we have another opportunity to change our lives or someone else’s life. We can choose how we feel and what we do every day. Allow me to propose a few options that could change your perception of today, tomorrow, and the next day after so that you can have a great day:
- Do not be discouraged. I know this is easy to say. I am sure some reading this are saying, “How can I avoid being discouraged after all I have been through and all of my failures?” Like most things in our lives, being discouraged is a choice for I say “most” because I am not a mental health professional and could not possibly cover everyone with a mental health condition. For most people though, we can decide how we feel when we get up, when we go about the day, and when we finish the day. I propose that we change our expectation. Instead of anticipating all the things that could go wrong during the day, we should expect that something good and extraordinary is going to happen each day. We do not have to know the specifics of what good thing will happen; we just need the belief that something good will happen that day. When we change our view of the day, then we can look to tomorrow with a brighter expectation even if we have a bad day.
- Change a few words. I believe that words can completely change how we think. I am sure most people have heard someone or some advertisement say turn the words “I can’t” into “I can.” I am an advocate for using positive words to encourage others and ourselves. The following word changes are two I heard sitting in a church service, and after putting the changes into action, I have seen the change within myself and wanted to share. Instead of saying the words “I have to” and “I need to,” we should change those phrases into “I want to” or “I get to.” When we want to or get to do something or go somewhere, our attitude is different. An easy example of this is “I need to go to work” or “I have to go to work.” Are we ever overly excited when we have to or need to do something? We still might do whatever it is, but we are not particularly excited about it. However, if we said, “I get to go to work” or “I want to go to my job,” then our attitude would change. It may seem like a simple change, but it has changed how I view my day.
- Smile more. I noticed that as we get older, going from childhood to adulthood, we do not smile as much. Many people I meet or see do not smile often. Whether it is because of stress, having a bad day, or for some other reason, we seem to have forgotten how wonderful smiling is. I mentioned this because it is hard to have a bad time while smiling. When we have a genuine smile on our face, we feel better. The other advantage of smiling is that we can use our smile to help other people smile. I have walked around during a day and just smiled at strangers all day long, and the result was I received many smiles back. I had a better day knowing that I had helped someone else smile.
- Get out and about. Make it a point to go somewhere during each day. I am not talking about just going to an event, movie, or on vacation. I am talking about going for a walk around the neighborhood, going grocery shopping, going for a drive, doing a day hike, etc. I understand staying home and doing nothing sounds like a good idea at times. However, I would suggest leaving the house and doing something is a better alternative. We can choose to do something active or go to a park and put up a hammock and relax. The point is that you will feel better when you are out of your house and taking in some fresh air, seeing other people, or being somewhere different like a coffee I have had some of the best experiences and met some of the most interesting people just on a random trip to a grocery store or when I am out for a run. Start small with a short walk or a quick trip somewhere and then do more from there.
These are all suggestions that I believe can help turn any day around. These minor changes have helped me tremendously, and I hope at least one of the mentioned suggestions help you have a better—or even the best—day going forward.