If you're having a bad day, here's how to stop it dead in its tracks

When you're having a bad day, it seems as if one unlucky break piles on top of another.

For singles, bad days can turn into bad weeks, bad months, and a bad life. But only if you let them.

I've had plenty of "bad" days when I woke up with a sinus headache, banged my elbow getting dressed, froze my fingers scraping the ice off my car windshield, then had something break at my house that required a costly repair.

How I wish I had all my "bad" days back, to live over.

Let's take a look at how we all get into this self-destructive habit, and how to get out of it—for good.

Don't turn yourself into a victim

Please, please don't do what I did for much of my life and develop a victim mentality. Don't let yourself think you're a victim of bad luck or that the world's out to get you.

I've said over and over on inspiration-for-singles.com that how we respond to events is more important than the events themselves.

Let's not get carried away and claim a bad diagnosis from your doctor is an opportunity to grow or that losing your job is the best thing that could happen to you. There is evil because the world has been ruined by sin, and sometimes that evil hits good people. That's a fact of life.

But on the other hand, let's not catastrophize everything either.

If you're having a bad day and want to stop it, one sure-fire antidote is to stop overreacting to every potentially stressful event. When we complain that we're ready to snap, we set ourselves up for a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead, try to cultivate the ability to say, "Huh! This is inconvenient, but God and I can handle it." That attitude turns turns "bad" events into solvable problems.

That may be easier said than done when you're having a bad day, but isn't it better than the alternative? We can always think of somebody who has it much, much worse than we do. That doesn't remove our problems, but it does put them in the proper perspective.

And perspective is what we're going for here. The mature adult realizes he or she has to avoid a persecution complex at all costs. It's self-defeating. It turns a what could be a happy life into interpreting every nuisance as a personal attack.

The weapon of realistic expectations

Your most powerful weapon when you're having a bad day is having realistic expectations. It's good to be optimistic, but it's foolish to expect a problem-free life. This is the real world, single friend, not a Disney cartoon.

Having realistic expectations takes the shock out of daily aggravations. Instead of feeling outraged and reacting, "How dare this happen to me?," you think, "Well, this is inconvenient, but let's deal with it and move on."

Knowing things cannot run smoothly all the time helps eliminate that "I'm being picked on" mentality. It also prevents you from seeing yourself as a bad luck person, someone who, for whatever reason, accumulates more than their share of misfortune.

Responding maturely to everyday setbacks helps build up your "problem-solving muscles." When you conquer difficulties as they pop up, you'll build your confidence so these things don't unnerve you in the future.

Some people won't use the word "problem" any more. They talk only of "challenges." Let's be realistic, though. While some problems do not have solutions, some challenges don't either. Accepting that we can't overcome everything tempers our confidence with humility.

Time is precious. When it's gone, you can't get it back. To paraphrase the slogan of the United Negro College Fund, "A day is a terrible thing to waste."

Having a bad day: Who is FOR you?

The apostle Paul dropped a potent reminder in Romans 8:31(b): "If God is on our side, who can ever be against us?" (TLB)

Make no mistake. God is on your side. When you're having a bad day, it's tempting to blame God instead of thanking him for being there to support you. Let's remember God is our ally, not our scapegoat.

And when it seems as if everyone and everything are against us, how does their power stack up against God's? When you do the right thing—when you follow God's commands—you can know he's working behind the scenes to help you. It doesn't always feel that way or seem that way at the time, but God protects those he loves, whether in this life or the next.

Just knowing God is for you turns a bad day into an exercise in patience. I like to concentrate not on the predicament but on the good things in my life: my salvation, my health, my freedom, my family, my other blessings. Doing that shrinks the latest obstacle down in significance.

And don't forget, if you're a Christian, heaven awaits you. There will be no bad days in heaven, only good days—great days, in fact. For the rest of eternity. Forever. How terrific will that be?

Common sense solutions--that work!

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