Six things that will help you have a good day

Perhaps it is time to take control and make a good day happen. … Just for one day, do not compare yourself to anyone else or criticize yourself in the mirror.

by Irene Conlan — 

When was the last time you had a really good day? Hmmm. Been a while? Perhaps it is time to take control and make a good day happen.

Take a moment to think about what would make your day better — maybe even great. What would that be? Seeing the face of someone you love who loves you back? Hearing your favorite music? Knowing there is a purpose to your day and to your life? A friendly smile? Money left over after the bills are paid?

Think about the small things, as well as the big things, that would meld to make your day great. Me? I listen to a little Bach, hear my grandson’s giggle (even if it is only in my mind), take a deep breath and I am good to go. What would work for you?

Some things that usually work include:

1. Visualize success and then drop your expectations —  You have a plan, a to-do list or an idea of what you need to accomplish today. You have visualized achieving success every step of the way. Now drop your expectations of the outcome — just for today. If everything gets changed and nothing goes as planned, you can deal with it better if you have not hinged everything on rigid expectations.

For example, you have just completed a big project and will present it to the boss this morning. You have given it your best shot. Now drop your expectations of the outcome. No matter how it goes, you will not be disappointed.

If it is praise you receive, bask in it. If it is criticism, the fall will not be as far as it is from the pinnacle of high expectation, and it will be easier to accept suggestions for improvement. If the boss cancels your meeting altogether, you will not wither with disappointment. Dropping expectations now and then makes it possible to enjoy whatever happens, or at least to adjust more easily.

Do not get me wrong — I am not saying never to have expectations. Sometimes anticipating a good result is what keeps you going. I am saying try not to always predict the outcome. Do the best you can and let what happens happen.

2. Spend some time with yourself — Take a few minutes of quiet time or meditate. You are the best possible company you can keep, so spend some time getting to know yourself better.

You can use the time to meditate or write in your journal. You can think about all that you appreciate, the people you love and the kindnesses you have been shown. You can think about your strengths and consider different ways to use them to improve your life and the lives of others. You can use the time to think about what you really want in life or on this day. Your day will be better if you spend some time with you.

3. Think as positively as you can, just for today — Unless your job depends on it, do not watch the news today. Instead, read about something good, uplifting, new and creative, or watch a video on YouTube that is inspiring or so funny that it makes you laugh out loud.

Just for one day, do not compare yourself to anyone else or criticize yourself in the mirror. Be aware of negative words like: cannot, will not, do not, could, would and should. Drop them from your vocabulary.

4. Sing — It does not matter if you sound like a cat with its tail caught in the door, just sing. Singing does something wonderful for the soul and lifts your spirits like nothing else can. If you sound worse than the cat or are always around people, sing inside your head. Avoid the “somebody-done-me-wrong” songs or any other music that brings you down. Pick something you like, and sing.

5. Breathe — Yes, I know that you are already breathing, but are you consciously doing it? Take a deep breath — as deep as you can — and hold it while you think about all that fresh oxygen going into your system. Breath is life. Think about how fantastic it is that your body breathes without you having to direct it. Now exhale and let go of what no longer serves you. Take another conscious, deep breath. Three of these will do wonders to relax and refresh you. Without breath you would not have a day at all, much less a good one. Enjoy your breathing.

6. Smile — Even if you do not mean it right now, smile. Your face will not crack. Smile, even if there is no one around to see it. And be sure to smile at the next three people you see — give each one a big, dazzling smile and see what happens.

These are six ways to help you have a better day. I know none of them is a new idea — just the same old stuff. But often it is the old stuff that works. Try one or all of them and see what a difference it makes. If for some reason your state of mind is not improved, do this: Go out and do something nice or needed for someone. I promise that a good day will always be in store if you make a goal to perform one or two small acts of kindness.

Now go out with a smile and enjoy the day.


Irene Conlan has a master’s degree in nursing, is a certified hypnotherapist and a certified past-life regression therapist in Scottsdale, Ariz. or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 2, April/May 2011.


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