Clarity Junction Bad Day Rut Gillian M Duncan

No matter what you seem to do, there are days that just feel doomed from the start. Real-life ‘Friday 13th’s’.

You can’t say anything, do anything, or even think without attracting day-devastation. The day is on a downward spiral and you are just focusing on getting through it until you can go home and hide under the duvet until it’s all over. No amount of finger-crossing or good luck charms are going to help. You just need the day to be over so that you can start afresh the next day, and deal with fall-out of today.

You know what? We all feel like this from time-to-time. Sometimes, we even feel like this more times than we care to! It’s completely normal. Although it may be hard to believe, there is a way to salvage days like these. There is hope for them. You can turn a ‘bad’ day into a ‘better’ day.

Keep reading to find out how to climb out of that ‘Bad Day Rut’

Stop Hiding. It’s Time to Challenge the Day!

As tempting as it may be, remove any thoughts of just throwing in the towel and heading back to your bed!

Each day that we have on this earth is precious, and we need to make sure that we find something good in it. There’s no point giving up at the first hurdle of the day. Bad things happen all the time – but so do good things, and today is no different.

You need to regain control of your day, and you do this by regaining control over your thoughts, emotions and actions.

1. Stop the Drama

Yip, that’s right! We are all guilty of over-dramatising events that happen in our day.

By retelling the story over and over again – either in our heads or to others – we are reinforcing the negative event. Focusing on the negative and retelling the story only allows a negative emotion to keep replaying.

Our mind may start over-elaborating the event and will trigger off our body’s stress response. Before you know it, you feel like a physical and emotional wreck.

Do you ever find that one bad event always seems to lead to another one? Then another, and another, and so on? It’s as if you are a magnet, attracting only rubbish things towards you.

Well this not necessarily a coincidence. You are, in a way, acting like a magnet, pulling negative events towards you.

With your body and mind on danger-alert mode, you become highly sensitive and aware to your surroundings. Your body and mind are in a state of high awareness and ready to run or fight the minute it senses any danger. This might sound a bit extreme, as all you did was spray toothpaste on your top, then knock over the open mouthwash bottle into the sink, but by playing the negative repeatedly, you have reinforced the feeling and emotion of this inconvenience in your mind and triggered off the stress hormones in your body. Crazy, right?

It doesn’t sound just as crazy, though, if you nearly had a collision with a car while driving to work. After that sudden realisation of danger and fear of injury, your body and mind are acting to prevent you from encountering any more potential harm. Your senses become more sensitive and your muscles responsive. That said, your fine motor skills may become lacking and your mind my start to fog over or tire quicker.

This is the reason why you seem to be fined-tuned to more negative things happening to you. You are super-sensitive and are detecting every little negative thing. With your body and mind in a state of reactive chaos, you are not able to cope with situations in a way that you normally would. Indeed, you may end up creating more problems by your own actions!

When you replay the incident or focus on a collection of rubbish things in your day, you are only reinforcing the negative emotions in your mind and encouraging this stress response.

This prolonged stress is not good for your health and well-being, so you need to stop the ‘drama’ as soon as you can. Stop the cycle of negative reinforcement and allow your body to reduce its level of stress.

2. Regain perspective

So, you are trying to stop the drama over the negative event, but it’s not that easy. Your body and mind are fixed on the negative, and you are now wary of everything and everybody.

If this is the case, then it’s time to bring a sense of perspective back into your day.

Just because one or two bad things have happened, doesn’t mean that bad things are just going to keep happening to you and the day is a total write-off.

As mentioned, you may be in a state of stress which is not helping your situation, but you are more than likely expecting the worst because of your past experiences. In the past you have allowed the stress to continue and you have found that your day just continued to get worse.

It needn’t be like this. You are using past experiences to influence your present situation. When you think more about this, you will see how crazy this is.

You can’t predict the future and each moment of your life, from day to day, is different. You may do similar things during each day, but no 2 days are ever the same.

Have you ever tried to re-create a day from the past? Perhaps you had a great day out with friends, or delicious meal at a particular restaurant, then when you tried to rearrange that same outing or meal, it just wasn’t as enjoyable for some reason? It’s the small details that make the difference. You can go through the same paces, but there will always be new experiences to be had.

It’s the same when you experience bad days. Just because you had something negative happen, it doesn’t mean that, just like the last ‘bad day’ your whole day will be ruined. Perhaps it is just one negative event and no more?

For example, if the handle falls off your mug, it’s unlikely that the handle of the next mug you lift will fall off too.

If you start believing that one negative event must be followed by another, then you would never risk doing anything ever again, and what a waste of life that would be!

When you find that other ‘bad’ things do start to happen, try not to associate them with the previous one. Look at each problem individually.

It’s time to add in some perspective and stop looking for more bad things that may, or may not, happen. Accept the situation as it is and don’t anticipate more negativity.

3. Take Action!

Taking action is the key to all change. If there is something going wrong in your day, TAKE CONTROL and TAKE ACTION to LIMIT THE DAMAGE.

If you have forgotten to attend an important meeting then own up, apologise and reschedule. People will respect you more if you take ownership of your mistake.

If you have burned the dinner, clean up, then either start again or treat yourself to a takeout. Just make sure that you eat something as skipping meals will just feed your stress response.

If you receive a hefty credit card bill, start planning ways to pay it off as quickly as you can. Make a commitment to take the action to spend less, earn more, or whatever it will take to ensure bills like these will not ruin your days.

By taking action, you will be able to avoid any consequent ‘bad things’, you will also feel as though you are back in charge of the day and this will have an empowering positive effect.

You can also actively seek positive things that will help to lift your mood, lower your stress levels and restore your faith in the day once more.

This can be as simple as listening to a favourite song, taking a walk to get some fresh air and clear your mind, or treating yourself to a long soak in the bath with bubbles once you are home. Any action that will help to increase your positive energy is the key to lifting yourself out of that rut. Once the positivity starts to flow, you will find that you can face anything once more, with a clear and refreshed mind.


  • Don’t give bad things any more energy than they deserve.
  • Face them and put them into perspective.
  • Take the necessary positive action, then move forward.
  • Learn from the events, but don’t dwell on them. Life’s too short.

Go grab another mug and chill out with a cuppa, then get climbing out of that rut and get back into your day, full speed ahead!

Originally published on Clarity Junction


  • Gillian Duncan

    Author & Editor

    Clarity Junction

    Gillian is author and editor at Clarity Junction, a website that focuses on finding a clearer path forward for women when they come to a natural cross-road in life. Gillian is also author of the book, 'Sleep: Cure Your Insomnia, Improve Your Health & Feel Better Now', which is a holistic approach to improving the quality of your sleep. She is a BSc graduate in Biomedical Sciences, with a career background in Neuroscience and Psychology. Gillian is also a qualified NLP Life Coach, Yoga and Meditation teacher and brings all this knowledge, along with a wealth of life-experience, to her clients. When she is not writing or coaching, Gillian can be found playing her violin or piano, and studying for her next music exam along with her 2 teenage sons. Gillian also loves dogs, guinea pigs, Dr Who and the Avengers movies. Visit to find out more about her podcast, courses and membership for women.