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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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?
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