“Sometimes good, sometimes bad. That’s how today, tomorrow and the next day will be. Accepting that this will be so, removes a layer of anxiety. It also allows you to get on with whatever, if anything, needs to be done now.”
This quote from my Daily Bell, with which thousands of people start or finish their day, depending on where they are on the planet, is among the most popular of the ‘bells’ I’ve sent out, judging by retweets.
It states a simple fact about the day, week, month, year, decade, ahead – it will include both good and bad. Acknowledging and accepting that fact – that it will include both good and bad – brings relief and I think that is why it’s so popular.
It’s easy to get yourself into a bad mood first thing in the morning by going over what annoys you from yesterday or the coming day. Sometimes this leads you to make a plan to do something about it, which is a good thing if it’s a sensible plan.
Just a habit
But sometimes your grumbling is just a habit – it’s about something you can’t or won’t fix. Or it may even be part of a general complaint that the world won’t revolve around you, which also is something you can’t fix. In this case it’s healthier to step out of your complaining and lower your stress and blood pressure.
How? By diverting your attention to something useful in the real world. That could be taking a shower, making a coffee, meditating, walking, driving, talking or any of the many activities that are better than brooding.
Acceptance that things will be ‘sometimes good, sometimes bad’ is a basic Buddhist philosophy – I am not a Buddhist but a lot of my work draws on Buddhist ideas. Though that philosophy dates back more than two millennia, it very much speaks to us today.
Acceptance may or may not change what’s going to happen – though whether you approach events in a state of equilibrium or in a frantic state may affect the outcome. The main purpose of acceptance though is to change how you relate to events and so much of mindfulness practice is about that.
Post updated 8th March 2020
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