The day we have isn’t something that simply happens to us. With the right techniques and lots of practice, we can train to have more great days.
By Monika Roots, MD
November 18, 2021
Have you ever stopped to think about how you learned to tie your shoes?. It didn’t just happen. It took someone, likely a parent, teaching you the right technique, and then practicing over and over again until you got it.
There are many examples of mastering a skill because someone taught you the right technique. In other words, many things in life take practice to perfect.
When we have a bad day or a good day though, do we ever really stop to think about whether we practiced enough to control the type of day we had? Why is that? Well, probably because we don’t think about practicing or training for a good or great day. But I have news for you. We can all learn how to train to make every day great.
This is an especially powerful skill for those who have had a mental health concern. When addressing our mental health, it’s common to learn, train and build new skills to cope when we have a bad day. So, why isn’t the opposite more common? Can’t we learn and then train to have a great day in the first place?
Here at Bend Health, not only do we focus on training and skills for coping, but we also help teach how to train for making a great day. We train teens, and their families, on the techniques to have a great day, and then we help them practice those techniques to make more and more great days happen.
The building blocks of this type of training rest in our understanding of how our own thoughts, feelings, behaviors and interactions with others are all interrelated. From there, we can learn and train on ways to manage a good day or change our perspective for the better.
Let’s take a look at an example of how this works. If making a new friend makes us anxious, we may be thinking “I am not good at making friends.” Or, “No one likes me”. This is the type of thought process that leads to anxiety and resulting avoidance behavior.
Avoidance is a quick fix to make the anxiety go away in the short term, but avoidance does not address the long term anxiety of making new friends. This is because we have to learn how to stay in the situation and train on managing those building blocks of thoughts and behaviors to eventually make the situation easier. Not only can we work on thoughts, feelings, behaviors and interactions, but we can also work on ways of sleeping, eating, and exercising that can help foster both mind and body fitness.
Life can be hard and there are a lot of ups and downs. But if we learn how we can best navigate those ups and downs and train to have a good day, we are more likely to overcome these challenges. Over time, we’ll feel more empowered and resilient, and create more great days.