September 7, 2018

The Best Way to Get Out of a Funk.

Every once in a while, I have a day where I am in a total funk.

Nothing particularly bad happens, but nothing seems to be going the way I want it to either. I feel tired, antsy, irritable, and generally unsatisfied with pretty much everything. In theory I want to do all the things; in reality I want to do none of the things.

And despite my best efforts at thinking positively, I can’t seem to get out of it.

It’s hard to accept these lackluster moments, because I know how good it feels when I am on a roll—when I am energized, inspired, and in love with the process of whatever I am doing.

The enthused energy of the good days makes the blah days a bit more difficult to tolerate.

And yet, these feelings are relatively benign—more like pesky annoyances than overpowering clouds of hardship and struggle.

There are times in our lives, however, when we do experience massive emotional turbulence.

I have gone through periods of overwhelming anxiety and I’ve been swallowed by heavy moments of lowness where all I wanted to do was lie on my floor alone, sheltering myself from the presence of other people. I have experienced intense heartbreak and immobilizing bouts of insomnia that left me wondering how in the world I was going to make it through the seemingly endless number of hours comprising the rest of an entire day.

Most of what disrupts our peace of mind on a daily basis are the lesser emotional disturbances, though—the tiredness, fatigue, crankiness, and restlessness.

And, while they are certainly less debilitating than the big stuff, they still throw us off balance.

But they don’t have to be as dominating as we sometimes allow them to be. They may not be enjoyable, but they are natural. Sometimes we feel undesirable energy and that’s okay.

With a little bit of effort, we can move through it. But we have to be willing to work with it. We have to allow ourselves to feel whatever unsettled energy is happening inside of us, because it is the truth of our experience in the moment.

The trick to getting out of a funk is to allow ourselves to fully feel it.

Acknowledging our feelings automatically eases the tension, because it takes a lot of energy to fight against it.

Resistance to our feelings increases our suffering, because we not only feel the original negative sensations, we then also feel even worse because we are upset with the fact that we are not feeling as good as we’d like.

We need to be willing to look at, acknowledge, and accept how we feel, because only then can we make a deliberate effort to move out of it.

And we do want to get out of it, because we inherently want to feel good—and it is okay to acknowledge that we want to feel good.

Suffering doesn’t come from understanding that we want to feel happy; it comes from clinging to the feelings of happiness without leaving room for everything else that shows up. It comes from attaching to that which feels good, while fighting relentlessly against that which feels bad.

We can, however, experience life differently. We can allow for present unpleasant emotions, while reaching for relief. We can be okay with whatever we are feeling, while simultaneously knowing that we are going to attempt to shift our experience.

It doesn’t have to be an either/or.

When I’m feeling out of it, I try to think about what I need in that moment to ease whatever dissatisfaction is passing through me. Usually, that means some form of exercise, fresh air, and good music.

Choosing to do things that bring relief doesn’t necessarily mean that we are denying or ignoring whatever negative feelings sparked our desire to feel better—it just means that we are consciously, intentionally deciding to shift our energetic vibration.

The other day, I felt bored and listless. Despite trying to do lots of different things, nothing appealed to me.

After spending several hours basically rolling around, while watching the hours fall through my fingers, I finally got myself to do a quick workout. Then I stretched and showered, sat on my bed, turned on Spotify, and started to write.

I listened to Sebastián Yatra’s “Por Perro” on repeat.

The energy of that song gave me life, and after a few rounds of feeling the rhythmic beats pulsing in my ears, I found myself starting to dance.

I noticed myself smile.

Sure, of course, I would have preferred to wake up that morning feeling like I could conquer the entirety of the world, but I didn’t. And while I still didn’t feel totally unstoppable as I sat in my bed listening to Spanish music and writing that afternoon, I felt better.

I had energy, I was smiling, and that felt pretty great.


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Lisa Erickson

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