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Rewriting Your Bad Day
Rewriting Your Bad Day. No day is 100% bad. You can train the mind to recognize both the good & bad, helping you see clearly the enjoyable moments.
Having a Bad Day
We all have those days where nothing seems to be going our way.
You may be feeling under the weather, emotionally exhausted, or overwhelmed with
Labeling the day as a “bad day” may feel right, but it is often inaccurate—
no day is 100 percent bad;
there is almost always something good, however small.
You can train the mind to recognize both the good and the bad,
helping you see clearly that there are likely also pleasant and enjoyable moments during the day and that none of these moments is permanent.
When you do have painful moments, you can respond with compassion and rewrite the story of the day.
This practice works well when you are in the midst of a difficult day.
Find a quiet place and a few minutes to sit in silence.
Closing the eyes, begin by settling into the body.
Feel yourself sitting still, the connection of the body with the chair or cushion,
and the movement in the body related to breathing.
Bring to mind something difficult you have experienced today.
Use a specific event, a general feeling, or whatever arises naturally in the mind.
As the feeling of your “bad day” arises, pay attention to what that experience is like.
Notice if there is a feeling in the body or any thought processes in the mind.
Steer clear of picking it apart too much; instead, tune in to the overall experience and emotion.
Ask yourself how it feels to be having a tough time today.
With awareness of how this feels, begin offering yourself some compassion.
Retain some awareness on the experience in the mind and the body.
You can silently offer these phrases:
This is a moment of pain [or difficulty, discomfort, or suffering].
May I tend to this pain with caring awareness.
After five minutes of offering compassion to yourself, let go of the phrases.
Bring something to mind that has brought you joy or contentment today.
See if you can find a moment in which you weren’t enveloped by the discomfort or pain.
It may be when you first woke up, a nice conversation with a friend or coworker, or the time you were eating lunch and not focused on the difficulties.
As something comes to mind, connect with how the experience felt.
Recognize that although you may be having a hard day, here is a moment of freedom from the pain.
Offer the simple phrase “May I appreciate this moment.”
Continue bringing to mind other times in which you experienced some contentment during your day.
As each new one comes up, sit with it for a few deep breaths and repeat the phrase.
As you run low on pleasant or enjoyable experiences, look for the neutral moments in your day.
As you finish the practice, reflect for a minute on the whole of your day.
Without denying your own experience of having a bad day, also recognize that the entire day was not unpleasant.
Tune in to the fact that many moments were pleasant or neutral.
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