How to Prevent a Bad Start to Your Day from Getting in Your Way

Take a breather. Now let's get rid of that chip on your shoulder.

 Ralf Hiemisch/Getty Images

By Jane Burnett

There’s nothing like getting off on the wrong foot at the beginning of the day. In fact, research has even found that witnessing rudeness in the morning will ruin the rest of the day, but confidence was found to help participants combat the effects of rudeness that played out.

Here are four other ways to take a breather when you start work with a huge chip on your shoulder.

Find a quiet spot to think

Give yourself some alone time, away from your chattering coworkers and manager’s demands. Instead of living on autopilot, this can help you process the morning you’ve had, even for a few minutes. Take a second to stop rushing around and see where your mind takes you. Whether it’s on a walk or over a cup of coffee, hit the pause button using mindfulness while you can.

Also, think about switching up your daily routine and working in a different setting for once.

Focus on what you can control — not what you can’t

Don’t waste time stressing out about things that you have no control over. This will only add more unnecessary fuel to a blazing fire.

So settle in and stop taking responsibility for every negative thing that’s happened to you that day, and do what you have to in order to move forward. Throw yourself into your work. Listen to music or a podcast. Read your favorite weekly column. Make yourself busy. After all, life goes on. Why shouldn’t you?

Practice gratitude

Rough commute? Think about the fact that you didn’t have to make your train today, but you managed to anyway.

Or the fact that your apartment’s air conditioning system isn’t broken in this crazy summer heat, or that you’re wearing your favorite outfit to work. Your list could probably go on and on.

If you slow down for a moment, you’ll realize that even if your morning has been one of the worst you’ve had in a while, you ultimately still have a bunch of things to be thankful for.

Think about those exciting plans on the horizon

On the worst days, it really pays to give yourself something to actively look forward to.

Are you going on vacation with family soon? Or meeting up with friends you haven’t seen in the longest time? Are you taking yourself to dinner, or going to a fun conference soon?

Your plans don’t have to be extravagant — just positive — to potentially change your mood for the better.

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