Did You Have a Good Day? Our internal experiences have the biggest impact
Many evenings, as our day is winding down, my husband will ask me, “Did you have a good day?” He’s checking in, connecting, and showing that he cares. When he asks, I pause, reflecting on what happened that day. Was it good? At first, I can’t remember. What even happened that day? As my mind travels back in time, I recall the various moments, the satisfying and the frustrating, the happy and the melancholy. As I finish my reflection, I make my assessment. “It was a good day.” is my most common response. Not every minute is perfect and not every situation is what I would choose, but the overall quality of my day is usually very high.
What makes a day good? We tend to think of the external things that happen around us or to us. Some we like, some we don’t. The “bad” things that affect our day and are out of our control can leave us stressed and frustrated. But we do have some control. How many times are we going to replay that argument in our heads? How stressed are we going to let ourselves get about that bill? How long do we let ourselves feel frustrated when our co-worker challenges our idea?
The truth about what makes our day good is more strongly based on our internal experiences; our thoughts and feelings. How quickly did we recover from a negative experience? Did we notice and appreciate when things were going well? What did we choose to think about when our external world was uneventful? Did we remember a past drama or did we recall a good memory?
Of course, some days are harder than others to choose our thoughts and responses. But take a minute right now. Are you having a good day so far? What kind of internal experiences are you creating for yourself? What could you do to make it a better day?
Tina Hallis, Ph.D., is a speaker, trainer, and founder of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping individuals and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures.