7 Steps to Ruin Your Day

By Sunitha Chandy Psy.D.

Sometimes our negative self talk can sound so ridiculous when we actually say it out loud! An important step in changing our thinking is stepping in to gently correct unhelpful thoughts. Learning to laugh at ourselves can help us to have self-compassion when we notice our faults.


So let's walk through some great ways to ruin even the best of days!


1) Focus on all the things that could go wrong.

If something positive or hopeful happens just attribute that to luck. If any random thing doesn’t go your way, make sure to blame yourself for it.

Ok but seriously - a lot of things aren’t in our control, even if something does go wrong we can control our response, we can feel good about how we chose to respond.

2) Don't take any breaks,

A well ruined day is one that you sprint through while being exhausted the entire time.

Ok but seriously - If you are feeling exhausted just taking a moment can allow a little bit of soothing and rest to creep in. Slowing down, even just for 30 seconds, might give you an inch of space to keep moving forward.

3) Avoid the present moment.

Make sure to stick to the regrets of the past or the fears of the future.

Ok but seriously - Focus on what you can do right now in the present moment. Set aside the things that are either out of your control, or can’t be solved right now. This can help you feel a sense of accomplishment for what’s in front of you, and peace for the things outside your control.
4) Look for the worst in others.

Nothing erases a bad day like feeling loved/cared for- focus on the failings of others to keep yourself feeling isolated and alone.

Ok but seriously - people aren’t perfect and you can love and be loved even when others aren’t at their best. Remembering how you are connected can help support you during a tough day.
5) Look for the worst in yourself.

If you have trouble seeing the worst in others, try spending the day dwelling on how much of a disappointment you’ll be to everyone around you.

Ok but seriously - Flip back and remember you are loved and can love even when YOU aren’t at your best. Bad things don’t erase the good and that’s true about us too. Don’t believe me? If you aren’t feeling good about yourself, go do something kind, for yourself or someone else, and prove that even when you're not feeling great you can still bring good things into the world around you.
6) Remember that you are already behind.

Ignore the fact that there is always more work than can be accomplished in a day, and definitely don't notice all that you've accomplished- keep your eye on that ever growing pile in front of you

Ok but seriously - There is always more than 24 hours of work on our to-do list. Instead of focusing on what you haven’t done, take a moment and list out what you did do. Not only that, take a second and think about who benefited from the work you did. Take a moment of gratitude for doing your part, and a moment of thankfulness for those around you whose work you benefited from.
7) Just try harder.

A well ruined day is cemented by the mantra that a perfect day is possible if you just try harder and cover up your mistakes. Because if you ever admit to failing at something, it will only make things worse.

Ok but seriously - even the worst of days can be saved by remembering that the small quirks, errors, mishaps and moments of humanity are often the moments where we feel seen, heard and known. When we create space for our weaknesses, we actually create space for growth.