Zvi Bellin, PhD, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Rotating Header Image

Meaning Blog: Tips to Funk With

It is so easy to stay in a funk. I wake up in a dark room and my mind has already been spinning for a while, thinking about what I have to do and how I do not really want to do. Getting out of bed just seems absurd, yet I can’t really relax and enjoy being under the covers. Every now and then, I can catch myself and recognize the opportunity that is present. I am awake! This moment can frame my whole day. How can I engage this day with a zest for life? With joy and excitement? With moment-by-moment awareness?

Other days I expend energy in resistance. I might get to work on time, interact peaceably with friends and co-workers, eat three meals, and yet carry around the weight of resistance all day long. It can be simply exhausting!

When I have days like this, I do a few things that can help to shift this heavy bearing feeling.

First thing is to STOP & SHIFT. I find time to stop going through the motions and do something that is unusual. For example, I might take a quick walk outside before I eat breakfast to simply pay attention to the natural beauty of the world around me. Maybe I will play a game to say “good afternoon” to strangers on the elevator ride up and down from lunch. Perhaps I will send a 3 word text to someone that I have not connected with in a while – “Thinking of you.” There are so many tiny ways to shift the gear from complacency to creativity. And I find that a small act can make a huge impact on my mood.

Second thing is to PRACTICE. I cannot expect everything to change eternally in one moment. So I try out a STOP & SHIFT technique and explore how that impacts the stories in my head (and/or the feelings in my heart). I might notice some positivity creeping in and then a return to heaviness. I then know that it is time to try something else. You might think of this as taking a daily vitamin regimen for your heart, mind, and spirit.

On last tip for today…FEEL & BREATHE! If I am having a particularly “hard” day, where I am overwhelmed by negative emotions and thoughts, I take time to feel the feelings as they occur in different parts of my body. For example, a tight throat or a queasy stomach. I just sit down, in any position I feel like (or stand up if I am waiting for the train), breathe until my stomach gently fills with air, and take note of what is happening inside. I imagine that each breath is like a gentle wave that is helping to move any stuck emotions or persistent thoughts through my mind/body system. I do this for as long as I have time to, or until I become distracted. Distraction is part of the letting go process. The best part about this method is that I can do this anywhere, it’s free, and it has been practiced in every culture, across the whole planet, from the beginning of human consciousness. That is time tested!

Have you tried these tips before? How have they worked for you? Anything else that you do to help ease you out of your funk? Comment below and let us know.

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