- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Dealing with a Frustrating Day
Have you ever had a day where you feel frustrated and things keep going wrong? A day where you wish you hadn't gotten out of bed? Well, if you are alive and breathing, you probably have had a day like that, if not many days like that.
These kind of days have a way of discoloring our lives. This kind of day can make us forget about all of the good things that we have in our life, and then we choose to focus on the negative instead.
How can we get through these kind of days? We can deal with a frustrating day by using the tools I have talked about in this blog. First off we can "choose" to think about our frustration with mindfulness. Ask yourself if this day is truly as bad as you are making it. Usually it isn't. Most of the time we create more frustration by dwelling on it in our minds, over and over, again.
For instance, if something has gone wrong, reliving it in your mind again and again, just makes it feel worse. Instead of focusing on the problem, stay focused on what you can do to find a solution to that problem. Distract yourself from the negative thoughts with positive thoughts, or engage in a healthy activity like exercise or reading a good book.
Look at your bad day and ask yourself if you are 100% sure it is as horrible as you have made it. Most of the time, it isn't. Think about the times in your past where you thought something was just terrible, but looking back on it you can see that it was not nearly as bad as you made it out to be. This is usually the case.
On a day where things seem to be dark and without hope, do your best to change those thoughts. Remember "The Four Agreements" book by Don Miguel Ruiz, and the section on "Always do your best"? (see blog on Four Agreements) You can call upon his teachings for these frustrating, hard to get through, days. Do your best, whatever that may be, during days that seem to be difficult.
As you have probably experienced before, difficult days pass and better days come. As my mother always said about days like this, "This too shall pass". There is such truth in that. All days pass, even the spectacular ones. There is no difference with the frustrating and hard to get through days.
Meditation is also a great tool for those tough days. Sit in your quiet meditation, or take a walk for some active meditation. Clear your mind of the negative chatter and make room for thoughts that will help you with your frustration and negativity. Believe and know that this is a momentary situation that will go away and be replaced with a good day.
It is all a choice. No matter what it is that is frustrating you, it will change. It always does, and it always will. By focusing on the negative of a situation, you can make it last longer. You can choose to end the frustration by thinking about it being temporary and by not giving it all of your attention.
This is simple, but not easy to do. I have to practice it all of the time when I have a day that seems filled with problems. I can tell you that I feel better about these days when I am mindful of choosing better thoughts. If I don't, I keep myself in unnecessary misery, that ultimately was a waste of my time and energy. It has never helped me in any way to give so much thought and attention to the frustration. It only distorts it and magnifies it way out of proportion.
So when you have a frustrating day where nothing seems to be going right, use your mindfulness, meditation, and exercise tools. Be in charge of these days, and don't let them get the better of you.
The sun always sets and rises again with the promise of a new and better day to look forward to. You are in charge, take control!