Turning a Bad Day Around: The Key to Building Mental Resilience and Thriving in Any Situation

I woke up this morning feeling anxious and couldn’t seem to shake it off. Hoping to clear my head, I decided to take a trip to the beach, one of my favorite places to relax and recharge. On the way, I thought I would treat myself to a cappuccino from a nearby cafe.

As I walked through the parking lot with my hot coffee in hand, my mind was still racing with anxious thoughts. Before I knew it, I had squeezed the cup a little too hard, and coffee and whipped cream went flying everywhere. I almost burst into tears right there in the parking lot, feeling overwhelmed by the small mishap on top of my already anxious mood.

But then I stopped, took a deep breath, and reminded myself, “Today can still be beautiful.”

This mantra is something that is from a habit my mother taught me from a young age. Whenever I faced a challenging situation, she would tell me to “think positive.” At the time, I hated when she said that, but now I understand that she was teaching me a valuable lesson in mental resilience.

Here’s the thing…

Life will always throw us curveballs, and it’s up to us to decide how to handle them. Even on the toughest days, there is always the possibility for beauty and joy.

Here are a few tips for improving mental resilience and choosing a positive perspective, even when things don’t go as planned:

1. Practice gratitude: Make a habit of listing things you are grateful for each day, even if it’s something as simple as the sun shining or a warm cup of coffee. This can help shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones.

2. Embrace self-compassion: Be kind to yourself, especially when you make mistakes or experience setbacks. Instead of beating yourself up, practice self-compassion by treating yourself with kindness and understanding.

3. Focus on what you can control: There are many things in life that we cannot control, but we can always control our own actions and reactions. Focus on making positive choices and taking actions that move you toward your goals, rather than dwelling on things you cannot change.

Remember, even on tough days, there is always the possibility for beauty and joy. By practicing gratitude, self-compassion, and focusing on what we can control, we can choose a positive perspective and build mental resilience that will serve us well, no matter what life throws our way.

Allison Tibbs is holding a coffee cup on a beach in puerto rico.