Fixing a bad day

PAIGE LISTON | COLUMNIST

You wake up 20 minutes late. You run to your room to get ready and burn yourself with the straightening iron. You sprint across campus to class and trip in front of everyone, scraping your knee in the process. As it starts to pour down rain, you finally make it inside, only to realize you forgot your assignment back in the room.

Sound familiar? Bad days happen to all of us, whether you are the most positive person in the world or a complete Debbie Downer.

We have all heard the expression, “When it rains it pours,” which means when something good or bad occurs, it tends to all come on at once within a short period of time. I know when I seem to be having a bad day, one bad thing after another happens to fall into my lap.

This made me wonder, are thousands of bad things actually happening to me, or is my negative attitude shaping the way I perceive these supposedly bad situations?

In an article on lifehacker.com, Peter J. Bentley, author of “Why Sh*t Happens: The Science of a Really Bad Day,” said it is our fault when bad things tend to keep happening, based on our perceptions of what constitutes as a bad day.

“Statistics show that people who believe in bad luck will have more accidents on Friday the 13th,” Bentley said. “Those who have a negative attitude are more likely to endow normal little mishaps with some mystical significance. Some psychologists even suggest that it’s a way of subconsciously avoiding responsibility for our actions.”

If people have the mindset that something bad will happen to them, then most likely it will.

For example, someone could perceive a full moon as an omen for bad events, and begin to catastrophize even the smallest of issues. Or someone who has experienced several mishaps in a row and is just waiting for the next bad thing to occur will most likely find more bad in his or her day than good.

In reality, a bad day is an entirely fabricated notion that we conjure up in our heads. Simply accepting that a day is going to a be a bad one throws away the entire rest of the day, leaving no room for positivity or improvement.

We remove the responsibility of having a good day from ourselves and place the blame on the universe for giving us this day of unfortunate events.

I believe that everything happens for a reason, whether we realize it at the time or not. I have to believe in this, otherwise I would go crazy, wondering why bad things happen to good people.

Although I believe in a higher reasoning for all situations, I also think that in order to have a better day, or even to have a better life, people have to help themselves first. Instead of blaming the universe for various problems or a bad day, people need to take responsibility for their own actions and outlook on the world.

Earlier I said bad days can happen to anyone, whether you are a negative or a positive person. That is just the way life works. However, the way you choose to deal with that day or those bad circumstances can define much more than the here and now; it can define how you deal with situations for the future.

Improving your outlook and choosing to handle those unfortunate circumstances with grace and responsibility, can improve a supposed bad day.

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