It’s safe to say that almost everyone knows that some days are better than others. On those not so great days, which we will call “a funk,” we can feel sort of flat and disconnected — not really up and not really down, but just kind of unmotivated and feeling blah.
Whatever the reason(s), sometimes we all sink into a funk, or to use another term, a rut. If you have those days, you’re perfectly normal, because no one, no matter how rich, famous, powerful or upbeat, can escape an off-day.
“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” — Ralph Marston
Knowing everyone can experience a funk doesn’t make living through one any better, but, here’s the secret: since everyone has down days, it’s all in how we respond to those days that matters — that response to a funk is what makes it look like some people never have off days.
If you’re in a funk, it could mean that you’re stuck in a repeating pattern of negativity — you don’t like your job, where you live, how you look, etc. You might not immediately realize it, but this could be because you’ve neglected your own needs and happiness and that needs to change.
That need for change leads me to the first tip for getting out of a funk:
1. Acknowledge the reality. For whatever reason, you’re in a funk and the first step, as hard as it might be, would be to face it directly — acknowledge the problem and figure out why you’re feeling stuck. The tricky part in this first tip is that a lot of times, we don’t want to face-up to the issues because it seems too hard. By doing this, we let it simmer and fester and that just makes it worse. The key is to take the power back from your bad mood and minimize the effect it’s having on you by dragging the reasons into the light. Writing it down or talking about it with a trusted friend or professional often helps. Once you know what’s causing the funk, tackling it becomes less daunting.
2. What are your ‘bad days’ teaching you? Once you know the causes, analyze what’s bringing you down and get a sense for what put you in the funk and as important, why. What can you learn from this analysis? Is it your job? Do you hate where you’re living? Do you feel lonely? What can this analysis teach you? Perhaps you know that you hate your job, but you just keep doing it anyway — the lesson could be that you need to be more decisive and take action to change your job.
3. Have gratitude to improve your attitude. A bad mood can cause havoc with our harmony and putting things into perspective is essential. When you’re in a funk, count your blessings and examine all the good things you have in your life. Remembering the good very often helps to mute the negative impact of the things you view as a negative.
4. Connect with people who uplift you. If you don’t have that “go-to” person, find one. We all need friends because we’re social animals at heart and having someone to talk to is key. Whether it be a friend, family member or a Therapist, connect with someone you trust who can help lift you out of your funk — sometimes, just talking, or spending time with a positive person can really lift our mood.
5. Immersion therapy. Listen to upbeat music. Read a good book or watch a movie. Take a walk in the park. Take a nice hot bath. When we immerse ourselves into something we enjoy, very often, our funk melts away, even if only for a while. While spending time doing fun, energizing things may not solve the funk, we can’t let ourselves become mired in it without a break…so take that break and infuse some positivity into your life.
The lows in life can often times lead to greater personal reflection and soul-searching. The key is to look at it honestly and rationally so that we don’t become bogged down in perpetual negativity. When you’re feeling down, do some candid self-reflection and make sure to have a workable plan to get passed the funk — and if needed, never hesitate to seek the support of a qualified professional.
“What lies ahead of us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when you bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.” — Henry David Thoreau