Freeletics researchers found that the average American has 60 bad days a year caused by work-related stress (80%) and lack of sleep (67%).
Other reasons for a bad day included being sick, financial worries, cancelled plans, bad hair days, feeling unclean (25% no hot water for their morning shower).
Eight percent said that their day could feel wrecked by their favorite sports team losing a game.
Edmonson Cardiology’s John Edmonson said the real important thing is not to get rid of bad days, but how to manage them. He said they can actually be good for you, if you can channel them, which is called “flow”.
“You accept the experience as it is—they call it radical acceptance—whatever it is you say yes to what it, because that’s what’s happening, yet you perceive it differently,” said Edmonson. “Setting goals for yourself and gaging on how you respond to these events, as opposed to how you’re able to control other people in these events,” said Edmonson.
Bellaire clinical psychologist Dr. Laurie Baldwin said what we do have control over is how we think about what’s going on.
“The more that you focus on what’s not right about a situation, it’s so easy to spiral into what’s not right about your whole life, or your whole day,” said Baldwin.
She said to compartmentalize.
“Every given second of every day is a potential new starting point for the day and it doesn’t have to all be bad,” said Baldwin.
She said the worst thing you can do is catastrophize and engage in black and white thinking. Instead, get up and move and do something mundane-a mindless task.
Of course, exercise is crucial to overcoming stress. Edmonson said it changes your neurochemistry and releases endorphins.
95 percent of those surveyed said that a stressful day could be made less difficult by spending some time at the gym.
Half of the respondents indicated that working out gives them more energy at the office and 44% said exercise simply makes them feel more motivated.
Half of the survey respondents said that they were more likely to eat unhealthy foods after a tough day, and 34 percent said that they were more likely to drink alcohol.
Edmonson said in the end, be kind to yourself.
“You’re doing so much better than you realize. All those mistakes you’re making during the day are important to learn from and grow from and try to avoid,” Edmonson said. “But, really, the view from the outside is usually better than the inside. You may be being more hard on yourself than you need to be.”