What To Do When Things Go Wrong

Life can be hard to compartmentalize, and when something bad happens in your day—whether it’s a meeting, an interaction with a co-worker, or a call—it has the power to send you into a negative spiral that ruins your day and even impacts others. That awareness is half the battle. The good news is awareness allows you to do something about it. Here are seven tips to help you recover from a negative incident. You can use the tips in order or just pick and choose what you want to do based on your situation or available time:

  1. When something bad happens in your day, be aware of it. Don’t simply dismiss it and pretend it didn’t affect you. Most of us are lousy actors. Can’t you tell when you’re interacting with somebody who is having a bad day? Don’t kid yourself. Others can tell, so be aware.

  2. Take a break. Disconnect if you can. Just stop before you go on autopilot to the next agenda item. Just like a lot of things in life, we need a break to rejuvenate our mind and our spirit.

  3. Do something physical—not to someone, of course! Get out of your chair. Take a walk. Change your breathing pattern. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Doing something physical will help you disconnect from what just happened.

  4. Get it out. Call a friend and vent about the incident. When you let out that negativity, it can clear your mind. Another option is to write down what is upsetting you. This way you don’t have to spend any mental energy trying to remember what you are upset about.

  5. Think about something that makes you happy. You could write down five things you appreciate, or even share those on the phone with your friend after you vent. Focusing on what you are grateful for will help you to reboot and reframe your mind.

  6. If the issue lingers in your mind, stop what you’re doing and jot down lessons you can learn from the situation so that it will not happen again. I have found this tip to be incredibly useful. It helps me to not only get over the situation, but to grow from it.

  7. Surround yourself with good, positive people. Remember: Input drives output. Garbage in is garbage out. Rid yourself of the downers so they don’t infect your mind. Positive, encouraging people will help you to engage and look forward to what is next in your day and your life.

    No one can ruin your day unless you allow it, but sometimes it takes effort and focus to keep it from happening. Don’t let anyone derail your day. Use these seven tips to move forward and stay on track.

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