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5 Ways to Get out of a Funk

5 Ways to Get out of a Funk

Do you have big dreams, but find yourself struggling to get out of bed some days? You might be in a funk. The thing is, acknowledging that you’re not happy is half the battle. Despite what most people think, getting stuck in a funk doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Being sad is not a sign of weakness — it’s a sign that there’s room for growth.

The next time you get stuck in a funk, don’t get mad at yourself. Embrace the truth, which is that it’s a blessing in disguise.

1. Acknowledge that it’s up to you to fix it.

When things don’t go your way, it’s easy to put the blame on other people and outside factors.

“My coworker keeps interfering.”
“I always get selected last.”
“I can never catch a break.”

Recently a good friend of mine and I were catching up over dinner. She mentioned how long she’s been struggling to get a job. Interview after interview, and still no callbacks. The reason? She speculated that it’s because she’s overqualified. We could have spent the entire dinner speculating over why. But the “why” isn’t the question we should be asking. It’s “what.” In this case, “What am I doing wrong and what can I do better at?” Only then, by acknowledging there’s room for her own improvement, can we talk about ways she may be able to do things differently.

No matter the situation, you have two choices: you can either spend your time making excuses or acknowledge responsibility and find solutions. You can’t do both.

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2. Disconnect from your norm.

Wake up. Eat. Commute. Work. Eat. Work. Commute. Eat. Sleep.

Chances are you follow an iteration of this same schedule. Oftentimes, we forget that we’re humans and not robots, designed to do one thing over and over again. If you find your days all beginning to look the same, you’re susceptible to falling into a rut.

Incorporating change in small ways can do wonders. Switch up your morning routine. Change elements of your diet. Try a new hobby. Take a different route to work. Change up your social media profile. All of these simple changes can help you get out of a funk.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

—Albert Einstein

3. Find positive people to be around.

When you become an adult, you take on the responsibility for your own actions and choices. This includes the food you eat, and the types of people you choose to hang out with. If you eat bad food, it’ll impact your health negatively. The same goes if you hang around negative people. They will inevitably rub off on you.

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“I think it’s important to get your surroundings as well as yourself into a positive state — meaning surround yourself with positive people, not the kind who are negative and jealous of everything you do.”

—Heidi Klum

While on a visit to my mom’s, she told me a story about one of her neighbors. She mentioned that the neighbor has been really struggling lately, and has been calling and visiting more often to talk, sometimes at really late hours. I probed further, and my Mom said that she talks about her illnesses, lack of money because she can’t work and a bad relationship she’s in. However when my mom tries to offer solutions or even talk about her own life, the neighbor would get defensive and cut her off right away. The neighbor even called her rude for it.

Although my mom feels like she’s being a shoulder to cry on, this lady is a classic case of being an emotional vampire. She prays on people who are willing to listen, to fuel her own relentless need for negativity.

There are many reasons why you should avoid negative people, but most importantly, recognize that negative thinking is a chosen mindset. If you spend your time with negative people, realize that they’ve made a conscious choice to put excuses above solutions. Remember: it’s their decision not yours. You should decide who to hang out with to become the best version of yourself.

4. Stop fighting reality.

Just because something happens that we don’t like doesn’t mean it wasn’t supposed to happen or that you can’t turn the situation into a positive one. If you put yourself into a mindset that you are exactly where you need to be. Your mindset shifts from reactive to active.

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You have to make a consciousnesses decide whether you want to spend your time reveling in the past, fussing over future problems that haven’t happened yet, or enjoy the journey that is today and now.

“Sometimes when you’ve had a long series of disappointing things happen, you can get into the very bad habit of just expecting more of what you’ve already had.”

—Joyce Meyer

No matter what you decide, the world continues to spin through space at 1,040 mph and your time on the planet continues to count down. Make good use of it.

5. Map your success.

If you’ve ever been on a trip where your GPS ran out of battery or you forgot your map altogether, you know how important navigational tools are. The same goes for goals in your own life. Without a direction in mind, you’ll end up going in circles.

One of my biggest life lessons came to realization when I was deeply unhappy. I was a world traveler. I went to all the coolest parties. I had plenty of friends. But I was the furthest thing from happy. It was hard to wake up because everyday felt the same. I was literally in my biggest funk. Reality finally hit me that I tied my happiness to a world I let others control. I lived on a whim and built my life’s foundation on everyone else’s dreams.

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It took me reaching my unhappiest to recognize I was headed in the wrong direction.

Although starting from square one (rock bottom) was one of the toughest decisions I made, it gave me the opportunity to realize that I have goals and I’m capable to reaching them, including become a writer. It’s my dream to write for LifeHack.org, and here I am!

Without a map, you are simply reacting to road signs and conditions. If my own journey taught me anything, it’s that I didn’t know what my goals and dreams were until I set a course and ended up hating where I arrived. Knowing what you don’t want is as fruitful as knowing what you want. Where are you headed next to reach your goals?

Featured photo credit: snapwiresnaps.tumblr.com via pexels.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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