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It's possible to turn your day around by simply changing your mindset. Try this expert advice for dealing with those little joy sucks.

October 13, 2014

Ever feel like it's been one of those days? We've been there, too. Luckily, it's possible to turn your day around by simply changing your mindset. See below for expert advice on dealing with those little joy sucks.

That "Here I am again, walking to work again" mundane feeling

Remove your blinders and take in your surroundings. One Harvard study had 2,250 people rate their happiness levels, noting what they were doing and whether they were focused on it. In terms of contentment, it mattered less what they did than how immersed they were in it, the researchers found. Check out the architecture of the buildings you pass. Feel the sun on your shoulders. Breathe in that pile of garbage. (Um, OK, not that.)

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That "Work stress is gonna kill me" feeling

Reminding yourself what you love about your job can help ease tension, especially the kind that comes from feeling like nothing is under your control. "Prepping for teaching is a buzzkill for me," says professor Nicholas Epley, PhD. "So next to my computer, I keep cards from graduating students saying how much they appreciated my class. It helps me remember who I'm creating the class for."

That "I'm so going to miss my train" feeling

Fake out the end of your day, Epley recommends; if you have to leave the office at 6, pretend the day is done at 5:30. That will leave you half an hour to tie up loose ends so you don't have to sprint like a crazy woman. Set an alarm on your computer to remind you that the end of the day is near.

That "My husband isn't listening to me" feeling

Maddening, isn't it? You spend five minutes telling him something and he says, "Can you repeat that?" One helpful approach: "Cue your husband that you need him to listen," suggests relationship expert Vagdevi Meunier, PsyD. "I like to say that the UPS package isn't delivered when it's dropped on your doorstep but when you sign for it," she says. "To make sure your message is taken in, say, 'Do you have a minute? I need your attention.'"

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That "I just got home and need to chill" feeling

Resist the urge after work to dash to your room and change into sweats, says productivity consultant Julie Morgenstern: "You're fighting the order of things. If you give the kids your undivided attention first, they'll be happy, and then you can go take care of yourself." Also smart, she adds: "Before you get home, jot down a few tasks you need to do. Otherwise chores can feel overwhelming."

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