Practice Positive: Flip the switch

A bad day doesn't have to stay that way, writes Cloverdale Reporter columnist Dawn Carson.

We have all had those days. You know the ones where we wake up and stub our toe getting out of bed.

We proceed to use bodywash in our hair instead of conditioner.

Then we spill our coffee on our freshly pressed shirt. Well, actually I don’t drink coffee and I definitely don’t iron my shirts, but you get the idea.

Some days start off poorly and before we know it we are enduring a terrible day.

Everything goes wrong – one thing after the other – and it seems out of our control. We just chalk it up to a bad day.

Does it have to be this way though? Not really.

How we react to situations is our choice. This may be a hard pill to swallow, but it is true.

When we stub our toe, we choose either to freak out or to laugh it off. Think of how differently the day would flow, if we didn’t pour our energy into getting angry at ourselves for silly things like that.

We would find that we start the day off laughing for one thing. Seeing the humour in situations really helps to diffuse tension and negativity.

In the grand scheme of things, how big is a stubbed toe really? The next time you do something silly choose to laugh it off after the initial shock wears off. I call this flipping the switch.

Sometimes life seems to throw you curveballs. When we are in a rush, we seem to hit every red light. When we need to appear calm we start sweating profusely. I sometimes think this is a sort of cosmic joke.

So how can we flip the switch in these sorts of situations that are not our own doing?

Perspective is the key. Realize that by hitting every red light you are being reminded to drive carefully. Maybe you speed too much and need to learn to slow down.

Perhaps you are sweating because you are taking a situation too seriously. You could learn to lighten up a bit.

It is always possible to flip the switch. The key is to flip it the first time and not wait until everything is going wrong. When you flip it early you will avoid becoming emotionally attached to the outcome.

Laughing off a stubbed toe at the beginning of the day is a lot easier to do than shrugging off the tenth bad thing later on.

– Follow Dawn Carson on Twitter @DawnCarson

Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook. View our print edition online.

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