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How to Turn Around a Bad Day at Work
12 November 2007 05:02 am
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Bad days happen to the best of us. Those are the days when you just wake up in a really bad mood, when something (or nothing) has made you angry, sad, frustrated, disappointed, or whatever. You still have to get up and go to work, but before you even get there, youre already seething inside. You try to do your job, but somehow all the angry, dissatisfied clients have conspired to call you and complain on the same day - though you have no idea how they coordinated that little feat. Everything your co-workers say to you sounds incredibly stupid. Everyone seems to be out to annoy you. Not much fun, huh? Luckily, you can do something about it.

1-Accept your bad mood. Being in a bad mood is not that bad! Being in a bad mood while trying to force yourself to cheer up is much, much worse. Fighting a bad mood only prolongs it, so if youre mad, be mad. If youre sad, be sad. This does not give you license to be rude and unpleasant to innocent bystanders, it just means that you need to recognize and accept your bad mood in order to be able to do something about it.

2-Tell others. You can try to keep your bad mood a secret, and put on your happy mask. Your co-workers will notice, and they will wonder what they have done to tick you off. The best thing to do is to tell the people you work closely with that you are not having a good day. Simply tell them, "Listen, Im in a really sour mood today. Im not sure why, but its nothing you've done. If I do bite your head off, I'm apologizing in advance."

3- Look inside first. The truly successful people are not necessarily the smartest ones, but the ones with the best emotional skills, that rely on being able to recognize and to deal with one's own emotions. We tend to think that a bad mood is always caused by something or someone else (like trying to deal with a difficult boss). A bad mood can't necessarily be connected to an obvious, external factor. Perhaps you just slept poorly, are coming down with the flu, or are just having a bad day. Do not try to justify a bad mood. Instead, try to look inside yourself first, in order to try to ascertain a possible precursor to your emotional state.

4- Remember the good stuff. When youre in a foul mood, everything is bad. But the good things you appreciated yesterday, when you werent as annoyed, are probably still there - youre just not seeing them. Spend a few moments thinking of at least one or two things that arent all bad (something you look forward to, a person you like at work, something nice that happened recently) and be thankful for that.
Let it pass.. Youve been in a bad mood before. It passed. So will this one. Its no big deal. If you can't shake the mood, simply wait it out....

5- Take some quiet time. To prevent yourself from doing or saying something that you might regret later, it may be a good idea to withdraw a little if you can. Take a little walk during your lunch break. Sit and work someplace quiet. Take a long bathroom break. Consider going home early, or taking the day off.
Start your day over. You don't have to wait until tomorrow to start your day over. Do it now. Leave your desk, work place, where ever you happen to be - leave - decide to start over, as if you went to bed and slept on it. Now go back to work with a fresh attitude. This really works.

6-Think in Your Next Good Mood. Once the bad mood does wear off, and you start feeling good, try to figure out what generated this change for you: was it a thought? a song? a friend? an event? When the next "red zone" comes, you will have developed an array of personalized positives to be used to pull yourself out.