I Had a Rough Day! Let Me Tell You All About It
When you’ve had a rough day, do you ever vent or complain to your family or friends? Maybe you had to deal with a difficult customer, or there was a frustrating meeting, or you just had too much to do. It’s normal for us to remember and share all the bad things that happened to us. It’s part of our survival instinct to replay and dwell on problems and stresses in our lives.
But what if you also shared some of the good from your day? This can take some effort and intention because we have to override our survival instinct that tells us to ignore all of the positive stuff. This primitive part of our brain tells us we don’t need to notice the good because it’s not a threat and doesn’t require us to take action to protect our survival. In fact, it would tell us that anything positive is boring!
For example, how often do you appreciate the green lights when you’re in a hurry? How often do you notice the easy customers compared to the difficult ones? How often do you thank your helpful co-worker compared to complaining about the one who never seems to get their part of the project done?
Remember, this is normal! But we can train our brains to get better at also noticing the good by intentionally talking about it.
Try this exercise. Every evening at dinner or bedtime, think back on your day and recall three good things. These can be simple, easy things like having that green light when you were late or the fact that your favorite socks were clean. Then either write them down or share them with a friend or family member to change your brain even faster. I used to love doing this with my daughter at bedtime when she was little. Now that she’s a teenager, I go to bed before she does!
Give it a try for a couple of weeks and see if it doesn’t get easier.