Keira-Jess - Your Day is Up to You
We all experience highs and lows at work, at school and at home. We’ll have a day where everything seems to go our way and then a day or two later, nothing seems to be working out as planned. The plain truth is that we are all susceptible to one another’s energies. People’s moods and reactions have the power to orchestrate how our day plays out just as our energy and behavior can influence someone else’s day. It is easy to place blame when we are on the receiving end, and think, “Man, I was in such a great mood until she…,” but minutes later we could be ruining someone else’s day with a mean look and a few sharp words.
Jess walks into school feeling overwhelmed and very tired. Jess has a brother who is autistic and last night was not a good night for the family. Jess’s friend, Keira, on the other hand, spent last night revising a research paper for class. She feels proud of the work she has done but wants to share it with her best friend, Jess. Keira sees Jess and asks her if she can show her the paper during lunch. Jess rolls her eyes and says, “Why do you always have to show me before you show everyone else?”
Keira is hurt by the comment and immediately steps back, feeling attacked. She then becomes defensive and starts to explain that she doesn’t always have her look at her work. Instead of continuing with her defensive rant, however, Keira decides to walk away and in doing so, she gains perspective. Once Keira leaves Jess, however, she suddenly feels annoyed and frustrated with school and is not looking forward to the rest of his day. What had started out as a fantastic day has suddenly become discouraging and lame. Keira then becomes aware of the impact Jess has had on her. She looks down at her paper, reconnects with her feeling prior to Jess’s remark, silently wishes that Jess has a good day, and goes to find another friend in hopes of a different response.
Keira has just portrayed how we can unwittingly let others affect our moods and how, in the end, the choice is up to us. We can choose to give away our power or we can choose to own it. By regaining control of her emotions, she decided to take back her power and stopped the argument before it escalated. Keira could have let Jess’s comment affect her mood, which would have had a huge impact on the rest of her day. Instead, she recognized that Jess’s reaction had nothing to do with her, wished her a better day, and reconnected with her feelings regarding the work she had done.
Keira’s powerful realization proved to be effective in this particular scenario, however, there are times when it seems impossible to regain control over our thoughts and emotions. We keep replaying what the other person said and how we feel because of it. It is important, at times like this, to focus on things outside of ourselves. When these cycles begin, we tend to spend all of our energy on ourselves, focusing on how the other person has wronged us and how we were in the right. This, unfortunately, fuels the negative energy and, as I’m sure all of us have experienced at one time or another, does little to change our mood.
By replaying the message over and over again, we are reinforcing the negative message and our mood is unable to change. We must, instead, direct our energy and our thoughts onto something outside of ourselves that involves physically helping another person or thoughtfully wishing someone well. What happens when we do this is an instantaneous shift that changes everything. Our brain stops focusing on the negative message and starts zoning in on the positive one. By directing our energy onto making someone else’s day better or silently wishing the person a relaxing day filled with laughter, our initial anger and frustration will subside and our spirits will rise.
While my intentions are to help each of you have a great day, every day, I understand that some of you may find this method a little weird. All I ask is that you give it a try. It is the fastest way to beat the blues and can help you reclaim the power to create your day. The next time you find yourself the victim of a classmate’s bad day, let it go, do some good and wish them well. Cause at the end of the day, your day is up to you.