Do you feel that you have lost your sparkle? Life is guaranteed to knock us all down a time or two. What’s important is that we get back up. The hard part is overcoming the apathy that comes with loss of energy and feeling a little ‘meh’. We’ve all been there; everything sucks, everyone is stupid & in your way, you can’t do anything right and nothing is ever going to get any better.
When you were little and the teacher asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, you surely didn’t answer “miserable!” At every stage in life, unhappiness is not a state to which we aspire. Emerging research shows that while the impact of life’s circumstances has a profound impact on the brain, the brain is not as hard-wired as previously thought. We can learn & retrain ourselves to be happier.
When you’re in a funk it can be really, really hard to see your way out of it. I’ve experienced my fare share of funks & it’s good to wallow in it for a while, as staying with the emotion and embracing it can bring about some insights. But having said that we don’t need to stay there forever, as like Thich Nhat Hanh (a Zen spiritual teacher) says we might “miss the wonders of life”. So I want to provide you with some easy, practical ways that have helped me get out of that nasty funk!
1.) Stay connected with others. Isolating yourself doesn’t protect loved ones nor help you. Just being around others in silence is better than hiding away. Getting the support you need plays a big role in lifting the fog of your funk & dealing with it better. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain perspective and sustain the effort required to beat your funk. The thought of reaching out to even close family members and friends can seem overwhelming. You may feel ashamed, too exhausted to talk, or guilty for neglecting the relationship. Turn to trusted friends and family members. Share what you’re going through with the people you love and trust. Ask for the help and support you need. Try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it. When you’re feeling blue, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell. But being around other people will make you feel less funky.
2.) Limit the overwhelm. You don’t have to take on everything at once in your life. Do one thing well and move on to the next. The key is to ACT NOW. Don’t let these things pile up until they seem too big and scary to manage. The minute you think about it, DO IT! Take things one day at a time and reward yourself for each accomplishment. The steps may seem small, but they’ll quickly add up. If you tend to be a people pleaser & take on other people’s ‘stuff’ or keep adding to your to-do list, watch my video on How to say NO without feeling guilty
3.) Acknowledge & express your feelings in a tangible or creative way. When you feel distressed, don’t make it worse by beating yourself up for being upset. When you give your feelings respect and attention, they usually begin to shift on their own, and you start to feel better. Write about your loss & what is happening in a journal. Something that helps me move a little towards getting out of the ‘funk’ is to write down one thing I was grateful for that day. It does not need to be huge, any little step helps.
4.) Look after your physical health. The mind and body are connected. When you feel good physically, you’ll also feel better emotionally. When we’re feeling down we tend to gravitate toward junk food and processed foods but they are only going to exacerbate the situation. Your body actually needs good stuff to run properly. Get enough sleep as sleep deprivation will definitely put you on a one way street to funky town. If I don’t get my beauty rest, let’s just say my more crabby side comes out. Get out and be in nature, exercise for 10mins/day. Sometimes listening to rock & roll gets the body moving & the spirits up, so find some music to get you bouncing. And don’t forget to check in to see if you are holding your breathe. When stressed we tend to shallow breathe, so if you notice that, take some deep breaths in and out. It will help calm your nervous system down as well as get some more oxygen to your cells.
5.) Work with your thoughts. What’s that little voice inside saying? Is it cheering you on or is it saying, “You suck. You always mess everything up. Why do you even bother, you are just going to fail in the end like you always do.” I don’t know if anyone ever moves entirely beyond the negative self-talk but the very least we can do is become conscious of it and make a change. My little trick is that anytime I start to engage in some not-so-nice self talk I repeat a mantra/affirmation over and over again. In her book You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay states that the average person has between 300-400 negative thoughts per day. WOW!! Now try to think how many times you say something positive to yourself, & look at the comparision. See yourself as your best friend, would you treat her/him that way? Catch yourself & tell it thanks but your opinion is no longer needed.
6.) Invite more fun into your life. When last did you have a good belly laugh? It really is true that laughter is the best medicine. We change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues….and psst ladies, it is rumoured it helps burn calories. To help get you chuckling away watch this video, then go find more that make you laugh out loud.
Do something that you used to love doing and take a few friends along for the ride. Sometimes as adults we get so bogged down in our routines that we forget to play, so go play
Listen to music that uplifts your spirits and gets your booty moving.
Know someone currently residing in funky town? Why not send them this link. Help lift their spirits and empower them to get back on the wave of good vibes and great times. And don’t forget to add your comments below.
Artistic credit to Toosh from www.tooshtoosh.com