Be Grateful for Your Worst Day

I read something over the weekend that hasn’t left my mind since.  I can’t remember where I read it or what the exact wording was, but it really struck me, and helped me put things into perspective.  I happened to be having a great day anyway, but I hope I remember this when things aren’t going exactly my way or I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps. be grateful

Do you ever think about the big, major gifts in your life?  I practice daily gratitude (my journal is still going strong!), but sometimes it helps to take a step back and realize how fortunate I am overall.  I am healthy, I have an amazing, supportive, and healthy family, I am married to the best husband in the world, I don’t have to worry about whether I’ll have food / shelter / clothing each night, and I am able to follow my passions of helping others improve their lives every single day.  Just typing these things out makes me feel guilty for ever thinking that I’m having a “bad day.”

So next time you are having a bad day, acknowledge your feelings – it’s certainly OK to realize that everything isn’t rainbows and unicorns all the time, and really feeling our ups and downs is healthy – but then take a step back, account for all of the great things in your life, and feel gratitude for all that you do have.

So tell me in the comments … How do you put things into perspective when you’re having a bad day?

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32 Comments

  1. Arman @ thebigmansworld on May 12, 2014 at 6:47 am

    This, as usual, comes with solid timing my friend.

    Sometimes when I have a really rough day or difficult frame of mind, I try and put myself in the position of someone else less fortunate and then tend to reassess the situation in better light.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…12 Marvellous memories through the yearsMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      I’m glad the post came at a good time, but I’m sorry that means you were having a bad day! Heads up, and keep doing the amazing things you’re doing!

  2. Amy @ The Little Honey Bee on May 12, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Beautiful. So simple yet we often forget and think our lives are soooo terrible. For me, this perspective has come with maturity. Everything seems like the.worst.thing.ever. until you take a step back and assess the situation with your hear rather than your heart. I think the most important thing for me is to separate the emotion.
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee recently posted…VIDEO: You Asked, I Answered {Video Q&A #1}My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      You’re so right, Amy! It’s hard to separate the emotion in the heat of the moment, but it really does make everything seem more manageable.

  3. Michael Anderson on May 12, 2014 at 7:32 am

    I have two thoughts:
    – First, appreciating what we have is SO important. I was reading something that said that for the majority of workers in our country, making more money doesn’t impact happiness – they pay off a couple of things, fix a couple of items they’ve neglected, maybe replace that old car – and then are back to the same effective income. Only looking from the outside do you actually see how much they have.

    It is easy to take it all for granted – my kids have more than I did, and I certainly had more than my parents did, and so on. We all start with a baseline.

    So I think practicing a daily appreciation of our gifts is important. I regularly talk about how fortunate I am – I have never struggled with money or material things.

    But here’s the thing – embraced too deeply, we can allow the ‘other people have it worse’ to effectively invalidate our feelings, which is not good either. I mean, there will ALWAYS be someone worse off, so while we appreciate what we have and do what we can for others, we have to allow ourselves the natural joys and sadnesses of our own lives.

    It particularly bothered me that you might ‘feel guilty’ about having a bad day. Why? Because someone else has it worse?

    My mantra is to appreciate what we have but fully own our own feelings. You need to keep it in perspective (or sound very entitled), but we all live our own lives, and cannot live anyone else’s.

    Know what I mean?
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Happy Mother’s Day!My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Michael, I really appreciate your perspectives, as always. I love the “money doesn’t impact happiness” point … I’ve read a few studies where, after the point at which your basic NEEDS are covered, adding extra income really does not increase happiness, as you say. Very interesting! And yes, daily appreciation is something we agree on for sure.

      You’re right about feeling invalidated being a bad thing. Actually, I remember several months ago when I posted a similar sentiment, and your comment really made me think (if I can recall correctly, I think it had to do with depression actually increasing when patients were told that their situation was “not that bad” compared to others). That is actually what made me include the portion of the post that referred to FEELING your feelings and acknowledging the ups and downs.

      But you “caught me” on the guilty portion. You’re right – I shouldn’t feel guilty! And rationally, I understand that. If I’m having a bad day because someone insulted me, and I compare that to someone who is dealing with a serious illness, then yes, their problems are “larger,” but I should still feel justified in feeling upset by the insult. However, what if I’m having a bad day because I think my business isn’t growing fast enough? And then I sit there and realize that I live in a gorgeous home, have an amazing education and resume, and I DO actually have clients and love what I’m doing? I guess I still do feel ‘guilty’ for that initial thought of having a bad day because my business isn’t growing fast enough. It’s something I guess I need to work through more, but yes, I understand your point, and appreciate it!!!

  4. Lora on May 12, 2014 at 8:08 am

    We think alike! Great post. SO so SO important to put everything in perspective and ALWAYS practice gratitude. 🙂 I keep a journal too, isn’t that the best help?
    Lora recently posted…#PassLove: Gemma Fountain & Risquerobics in St. PeteMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Yes! I love the journal, Lora! Hope you keep it up!!

  5. Karen on May 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Ama used to say “always take time to stop and smell the roses.” And I love that thought and often try to do just that. BUT……..I also really liked Michael’s addition that “we all need to be comfortable in our own lives (skin) and allow ourselves to feel our own personal joys and sadnesses.”
    This reminds me of my Africa experience at an orphanage where the children had so very very little but they were so happy and sang and danced their hearts out for us. It impacted my life forever and made me truly believe that happiness is a choice.
    Great thought provoking post Megan – I like it.

    • Michael Anderson on May 12, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Thanks Karen – I was concerned what I said had come out poorly.

      I really do think it is incredibly important to ‘count our blessings’ … one of my younger son’s new friends lives in a trailer park and was very embarrassed about it … but none of us care about that at all, but he gets a hard time from some people about it. Which is really sad.

      It is important to remember how good and easy we have it, if we are blogging and have smartphones then we don’t have to worry about the ‘basic needs’ of food, water and shelter, security of life, and so on.

      That Africa experience must have been amazing, Karen.
      Michael Anderson recently posted…Happy Mother’s Day!My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      Yes, I believe happiness is a choice, too, Mom … but when we don’t or can’t choose happiness, we need to recognize that it’s OK and our feelings are still valid. Something I’m working on!! And yes … I stole the picture from Kevin 🙂

  6. Karen on May 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

    BTW………..LOVE that picture. 🙂

  7. Davida @ The Healthy Maven on May 12, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Such an important reminder! We really are so privileged. Sometimes it takes having shit hit the fan to realize that so I guess some good always does come out of the bad (even when the bad isn’t so bad after all!).
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…{Weekend Recap} Staycation EditionMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      Couldn’t agree more that some good ALWAYS comes from what we initially think is bad!!

  8. Morganne @ Nut Butter Runner on May 12, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Such a beautiful post! Such a simple sentiment that can be hard to grasp and is always a good reminder. I try to remind myself that we have to have bad days to appreciate the good ones. It is certainly hard to fully appreciate the bad ones, but definitely worth the struggle!
    Morganne @ Nut Butter Runner recently posted…Food Prep: How To Tackle The KitchenMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      I agree with you, Morganne. I think it’s something we’ll all have to work on constantly – it doesn’t just happen overnight! Keep it up!

  9. Michele @ paleorunningmomma on May 12, 2014 at 11:04 am

    It can be so hard when you’re in the throws of a challenge to have perspective and realize all the things to be grateful for, it is also hard for me to accept and surrender to bad days or challenging times. Now I just try to remember that it all balances out, always has and always will. Also agree that feeling guilty for struggling with “1st world problems” is not productive and won’t give you perspective!
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Rubin Run 10k RecapMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts, Michele! Thinking about how it all balances is out is great perspective. It can be hard to do, like you say, but it’s worth it!

  10. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on May 12, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you for this post! I really needed this today. I started off having a bad week by sleeping through my alarm and missing my workout. Your post reminded me though to be grateful for the extra sleep that I desperately needed.
    Megan @ The Skinny-Life recently posted…Healthy Food Substitutions – Jicama FriesMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      Yikes! So glad you got that extra sleep, Megan. Sometimes we can beat ourselves up for missing workouts, when our bodies were really sending us the right signals all along!

  11. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine on May 12, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks for this important reminder! I do try to think about how lucky I am when I start to feel bad or when I am having a bad day. It can be difficult at the time, but like you said, it also important to acknowledge those feelings! I always find it helps to talk to my husband when Im having a tough time- he can usually help me put things in perspective.
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Food and Workout Planning/Prepping Week of 5/11/14My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      That’s awesome, Lisa!! Glad you and your husband can talk it out well. I never want to talk about things to Kevin, but he eventually draws it out of me and makes me feel better!

  12. Chrissy on May 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Oh, man. I needed this today. Thanks for the reminder! I’ve been in a such a funk lately with health issues, and thinking about those that are sitting just down the street from me in hospital beds that have it so much worst. We can’t be reminded enough to be grateful for what we have!
    Chrissy recently posted…Acupuncture Update: The Game of Wait and SeeMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      I’m so sorry you’ve been in a funk, Chrissy. Thinking about you!!!

  13. […] we had the great series from Laura, a heart-felt update from Sara on her struggles, a reminder to appreciate what we have from Megan, and on and […]

  14. lindsay on May 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    i so agree! i love the quote that says “your blessings are someone else’s prayers.” How true is that?!
    lindsay recently posted…Are You a Health Blog Junkie?My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on May 14, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      That’s a great quote, Lindsay! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Gary on May 15, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Meg: The first email I read every morning is your blog post, usually while I am drinking my coffee and while my cell phone is beeping non-stop messages of what i know are people who need my help with their lives that are spinning out of control, usually through no fault of their own.. Your inspirational messages give me the jump start I need to be able to “jump into the fray” and by the end of the day, I do believe that i have helped so many people improve their days, and their lives. Thank you so much for making my mission in life a bit easier each day. – Gary

    • Megan Lyons on May 21, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      Thank you so much for saying this, Gary. I really appreciate it! It made my day when I first read it, and it made my day again today. My entire goal with blogging is to help people live healthier, happier lives, and so if I can make even one day of anyone’s life better, I have succeeded! Thank you for always reading and supporting me :).

  16. […] the same time, one of the best things I read this week was Megan talking about being grateful for your worst day, meaning that you should live in the reality of the situation and your feelings, but never forget […]

  17. Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles on May 19, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I saw this quote circulating on FB last week and it struck a chord with me too. I always tell myself when things feel really bad that there is always someone who would give a lot to switch places with me. “It could always be worse” is a phrase that comes out of my mouth quite often, I really try to put everything in perspective, sometimes I don’t do the best job of it, but I’m getting better as I get older.
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    • Megan Lyons on May 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      Good for you, Sara! I think the attitude of continuous improvement is so important – none of us have all the right mindsets mastered, but we can all work to improve!

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