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Read This the Next Time You’re Having a Bad Day

17 November 2015

Allison read How to Turn a Bad Day Around by Amy Gallo on HBR.org and nodded her head as Gallo explained some important happiness best practices by Shawn Achor and other experts.

Tags: allison read, amy gallo, balance, gratitude, happiness, mindfulness

In How to Turn a Bad Day Around, Gallo sites best practices from several experts but primarily focuses on Shawn Achor’s advice in The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work. I first learned about Achor’s book when Rachel blogged about it 2011. She went on to design a course for us called Happiness Matters. (I watch her teach it whenever I can!)

In her article, Gallo explains how Achor and others recommend people handle a bad day. The first step is noticing when you start to feel badly and taking action before you begin to spiral down into a rotten mood. For most of us the slide down into a deep funk happens pretty fast. Once we’re in that bad place, we often make snap decisions we come to regret later. So it’s important to become an excellent observer of yourself. Once you do that you can more easily follow the advice Gallo summarizes in each of these sections of her article:

  • Pinpoint the problem
  • Take a moment to be grateful
  • Take action
  • Change your routine
  • Reset realistic expectations
  • Learn from your bad days to prevent future ones

After Gallo explains how to do each of these things, she then shares two case studies about how people put these principles into practice. I’ve had several clients recently who have been struggling with what happens when they get hijacked by a frustrating interaction with a fellow team member, disappointing news, sadness about a family situation, or an angry customer. They are self-aware enough to know it’s worth talking with me about the incident, and I like to think I provide a lot of good advice. But now I’m especially glad to have this article to share with them since I think it’s something they can actually read in the midst of a bad day to see if they can turn things around.


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