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Are You Fighting a Blue Funk?

Ever feel like the world is closing in and you’re about to implode? If so, you’re not alone!

It’s going to happen. No matter who we are, there will be times in our lives where we get into a funk. Our motivation takes a back burner and we just get funky.

Darrel Larson

Even when you’re on the verge of implosion you can still shake off that blue funk – you can stand strong, you can resist a funk’s cascading pull and you can regain your power.  Shake off your blue funk – fortify your resilience with one or more of these restorative tactics.

Shake Off Your Funk with Your Very Own Pity Party

If you’re trying to pull out of a blue funk, why not start with PattiAnn’s advice and throw yourself a pity party so you can get that part of the funk over with quickly! Then, after you’ve done your time wallowing, shake off that funk because we need to get you back on planet earth…

If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.

— William James

Shake Off Your Funk With Laughter!

At first blush, the late Jean Kerr, author of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, and mother of six, might seem a bit contrary, perhaps even perverse – you see, she apparently started her days in a blue funk and figured everybody else did too:

The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up at seven-thirty in the morning feeling just plain terrible.

But this funny lady was masterful when it came to shaking off the funk – and her kids – if she was on deadline. According to the NYTimes.com, Kerr “cheerfully acknowledged doing most of her writing in the family car, parked several blocks away from the scrambling chaos of several children and pets, [admitting that] ‘There is nothing to do but write after I get the glove compartment tidied up.’” She was a masterful funk-shaker!  Here are more of Kerr’s apt observations about living life:

Do you know how helpless you feel if you have a full cup of coffee in your hand and you start to sneeze?

I make mistakes; I’ll be the second to admit it.

It’s easy to see how Kerr shook off her early morning funk – she looked for absurdities and laughed her troubles away!  But if you’re like me and didn’t get the comedic gene, let author Janet Evanovich’s character, Stephanie Plum, shake off your funk with her laughing-out-loud hijinks.  Any one of Evanovich’s Plum novels, from One for the Money through Explosive Eighteen will keep you ROFLOL!  And that will help you know the truth in this proclamation:

Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.

— Jean Kerr

Shake Off Your Funk With a Little Understanding

Never ignore a gut feeling, but never believe that it’s enough.

— Robert Heller

Just as Kerr turns to laughter, blogger Roni expresses her funky feelings so that she can find new understandings as well as relief. In her post, 5 Ways to Fight The Funk Roni suggests that when you find yourself in the midst of an un-fun funk, it’s good to:

Face the Feeling… Write an anonymous blog. Confide in a friend. Go to a group. Seek professional help. Whatever makes sense for you and your situation.

Then, once you’ve gotten yourself a little understanding, do what blogger Brad Wilkerson does: heed Pastor Steven Furtick’s counsel.

Don’t extrapolate your future based on your funk. A natural tendency is to think that your funk is permanent. It’s a sign of a major change in performance or motivation that will never correct itself. It’s not. Don’t mistake momentary moods for permanent paradigm shifts. Your funk is only a small part of your story. Just turn the page and start your next chapter.

In other words, do NOT lapse into analysis/paralysis!  A little understanding goes a long way… you’re looking for a way out of this funk, not a rationale for why you should make it your new home.

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why.

— Unknown

Shake Off Your Funk with New Perspectives – Reframe it!

How do you turn the page and start your next chapter? By going beyond the funky feeling: once you’ve acknowledged it, reframe it! I’ve explained reframing in a previous post and here’s another explanation from ChangingMinds.org to help you figure out how to use the technique:

To reframe, step back from what is being said and done and consider the frame, or ‘lens’ through which this reality is being created. Understand the unspoken assumptions, including beliefs and schema that are being used.

Then consider alternative lenses, effectively saying ‘Let’s look at it another way.’…

  • Challenge the beliefs or other aspects of the frame.
  • Stand in another frame and describe what you see.
  • Change attributes of the frame to reverse meaning.
  • Select and ignore aspects of words, actions and frame to emphasize and downplay various elements.

Thus, for example, you can reframe:

  • A problem as an opportunity
  • A weakness as a strength
  • An impossibility as a distant possibility
  • A distant possibility as a near possibility
  • Oppression (‘against me’) as neutral (‘doesn’t care about me’)
  • Unkindness as lack of understanding

Most of all, remember that this process – facing your funk and fashioning reframes – is a growth experience (don’t you just hate that phrase) and, like it or not:

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.

— M. Scott Peck

Shake Off Your Funk with Movement!

Right here, right now, turn on the music and dance!

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.

— Unknown

Too shy or self-conscious for that?  Then do something else that unleashes your spirit.  Among Blogger Roni’s 5 Ways to Fight The Funk, creativity ranks #3:

Discover (or Re-Discover) Your Creative Outlet… I think I take for granted how happy making things makes me. I’m not the craftiest person, but I do like to draw with [my son] the Little Guy and cook (der.) Both are a creative outlets.

… Sometimes when we get into a funk we don’t want to do anything at all, but what we really need is to focus on the things that provide us happiness. …just remember you can’t be in a funk if you are having fun!

Blog Editor Laura Crest shakes off her funk-induced writer’s block by finding a baby step that launches her forward:

Action restores a sense of control and positive momentum… start with something you can do just about immediately so you can move into the action phase of getting out of your funk.

What? You’re in such a blue funk you can’t think of an itty, bitty, baby step?  If that’s the case, then – may you find a song in your heart!

Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.

— E. Y. Harburg

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Cup o’ Inspiration

cup with steam swirl

Take a short break and consider the following:

“Whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality.”

Brian Tracy

Recommended Reading

Image of The Seven Whispers: A Spiritual Practice for Times Like These
Image of Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
Image of Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want
Image of Attitude is Everything Rev Ed: 10 Life-Changing Steps to Turning Attitude into Action