Written by: Dr. Michael Mulick, DO
The work we do can be extremely stressful. There may be life and death issues. More often we can be stressed by interpersonal conflict. Whatever the situation, it’s important for to know how to cope with bad days.
1. It’s critically important to talk it over with someone. Depending on how bad the day was, that person might be your supervisor, attorney, or friend. You should also debrief a second time with your significant other. This is one of the most important things we can do. Humans are social creatures and our well-being and longevity is dependent on how well and often we relate to other people.
2. There are wonderful meditation and visualization techniques at your disposal. You can even try them out on your phone. Sometimes just a 10 minute stress visualization can be a game changer. It works like self-hypnosis where you systematically relax your muscles from the feet up to your head. These techniques are very effective and I encourage people to try them out even if they haven’t had a bad day.
3. I recommend cognitive behavioral therapy techniques such as the triple column technique. This was described in David Burns book “feeling good.” I made a video about it here. You attempt to identity the mistake in thought process and then rewrite it in a more rational manner. Generally that brings the intensity of the event down a few levels.
4. Exercise. Even just a short walk to cool off will help.
5. Listen to some music.
6. Write in a journal. Try and write both positive and negative things. It gets the thoughts out of your head and onto paper and changes the we perceive the things that have happened to us.
What do you think? Do you have anything special that works extremely well for coping with a bad day? I’d love to hear about it!