I was in a funk the other day, and not the good kind of groovy, breakin’-a-sweat-on-the-dance-floor kind of funk. It was more like the funk you find on leftovers that you forgot about in the back of the fridge. That kind of funk, emotionally.
I was frustrated, ticked off. I couldn’t believe that a phone company could have such bad customer service. I was right annoyed. And from that one frustrating event, I ended up getting into the funk I mentioned — an emotional confusion, frustration and general ugliness. It wasn’t full-blown anger but it wasn’t pretty. I was definitely not myself.
It wasn’t easy, but I managed to get out of that funky bad mood. Let me give you a few strategies to try that might help you when you feel crappy and don’t like it.
1. Feel the feeling. Don’t try to avoid the feeling, or pretend you don’t feel cruddy. Actually stop and “check in” with your body to see how that frustration or anger is making you feel. Stomach unsettled? Tension? Take a quick poll, and then breathe.
2. Ask yourself “how would I rather feel?” Would you rather feel content, happy, or even just blah? Usually when I feel cruddy, even just boredom feels like a relief. This can be a tough step, because you start to sense the big gap between how you feel now and how you want to feel. Just the same, it’s a good trick, because you can start to make a move to a better feeling.
3. What thoughts have you been thinking? If you have been thinking about how everything is unfair and nothing is working out right, then no wonder you’re funky. Try to identify what you have been thinking about lately. Act like a scientist doing research — try to be detached from the thoughts themselves.
4. Go general. Now, choose to think something different and start a little “good-feeling” rant in your head. It is always best to go as general as possible. It won’t work to try and criticize or analyze why that company had such bad customer service, for example. Instead, think that “this kind of treatment was unusual, because normally, people treat me well… generally, things go really smoothly for me… the sun in shining and things are looking up… whatever things in my life that aren’t perfect aren’t really a big deal… I am healthy and that is a huge blessing…” Any thoughts along general, positive lines are best.
If this is too hard or feels too fake, try this:
5. Distract yourself. It is absolutely perfectly okay to distract yourself from whatever is cheesing you off. Change what you are doing — go do something you enjoy. Play a game, call a friend (but don’t bitch at him/her), or listen to your favourite music. Do something with your hands. Go for a walk or move your body (this is great if you are caged in an office). If you are at work and can’t really leave, you can still change what you are doing, go for a coffee or other excuse to move your body a little. The point is to distract yourself from whatever was bothering you with something you enjoy. Like I often say, we are like corks; it takes considerable effort to keep us down. A little distraction is usually enough to let our spirit rise.
Hopefully, you will find these tips helpful to lift your mood when you need it!