Friday - - Living -

We all have them – the days that just don’t go right. A work project be­comes a night­mare, the wash­ing ma­chine floods, your heel snaps or some­one prangs the car. “It’s in­evitable that some­times we get bent out of shape by ev­ery­day life,” says clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Dr Tara Wyne at The Light­house Ara­bia. “But it’s how you han­dle th­ese sit­u­a­tions that mat­ters. When some­thing goes wrong, we of­ten end up with an af­ter­shock ef­fect – mulling it over and re­gret­ting what’s hap­pened, or at­tempt­ing to bury the ex­pe­ri­ence, even though it may still be gnaw­ing away. The key is to be mind­ful of what’s hap­pened but move on, rather than let it im­pact and spoil what comes af­ter­wards.”

And there are phys­i­cal fac­tors from a bad day to con­sider too. “When we have a neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, our brain is flooded with the stress chem­i­cal cor­ti­sol, which causes our mus­cles to tense and blood pres­sure to rise,” ex­plains UK-based psy­chol­o­gist Sue Firth.

“Coun­ter­act­ing this by en­gag­ing in some­thing en­joy­able and pos­i­tive is es­sen­tial be­cause it re­leases feel-good hor­mones.”

So what are the best ways to let things go, feel hap­pier, or at least re­gain per­spec­tive? The good news is it doesn’t usu­ally take much. Sur­pris­ingly sim­ple strate­gies can of­fer respite and soothe body and soul. And al­ways re­mem­ber, tomorrow is another day! It takes just one twen­ti­eth of a sec­ond to boost your mood when you lis­ten to up­beat mu­sic be­cause it ac­ti­vates parts of the brain that trig­ger the nat­u­ral feel-good hor­mones, ac­cord­ing to au­thor of self-help book Be Pos­i­tive, Rich­Wood. So make your­self a sound­track of all the sounds you re­ally love and have it ready and wait­ing for days like th­ese. And singing along? Sci­en­tists have found

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