Funks funking suck. Especially when you don't know why you're in one.
But they don't have to suck, and there are ways to get out of them.
What not to do when you're in a funk
In my experience, there's a proper way to deal with being in a funk, and an improper way. Let's start with the improper way.
Oftentimes when we're down, we try to find answers.
Am I hating my job?
Is my relationship failing?
Am I depressed?
Why am I feeling this way?
What's wrong with me?
The very choice to explore these questions while we're in a miserable state often leads us further into despair.
One moment the voice inside our head tells us we're miserable; the next moment it claims things aren't that bad. One moment it says we love our job, the next moment we hate it. At all times, the voice is either for us or against us.
We watch the thoughts go back and forth like a tennis match, unsure which side to believe. The problem with most of us is that we're currently watching the match while standing right in the middle of the court. We're so close to the players that we think we're playing the game. Meanwhile, in reality, we're up in the stands.
The truth is, both sides are nonsense. Neither of those voices is more "you" than the other. The real you is the one who's aware of the voice.
Our minds will always try to figure out what's wrong, but it will never be satisfied, so the best thing to do is ignore it. No, that doesn't mean we should suppress our thoughts. Don't push them back down. Just wave hello as they come up, and goodbye as they go.
The only reason your mind keeps talking is because you keep listening.
The chatter of the mind has a funny way of quieting down when we don't listen to it. You have the power, and the right, to ignore it, and ultimately command your attention and action into more productive matters.
The next time you're in a funk, try this:
When you're in a funk, just experience it. What does that mean? It means don't judge it. Don't try to put words to it. Don't try to figure out why it's there. Don't even question it. Going down that path will only lead you deeper into the funk. To do this, you must be aware of your inner state. Otherwise, you won't remember to do any of these practices.
The only real way out is to stop trying to change it. Stop trying to fix it. Stop believing the narrative your mind makes up about it. Haven't you noticed that for every solution your mind invents to get you out of the funk, it'll invent two reasons why that won't work?
The very attention you're giving to your funk is the reason it's still alive. So just let it pass. Give it space. Like everything, it will pass, but you have to be willing to experience the momentary discomfort of it.
All you have to do is relax. You can use breathing techniques, visualizations, or whatever helps you sit back and experience it without judgement.
As a result of constant relaxing, you'll soon realize that your head is clearer, and your heart isn't hurting as bad. In this state, you might find yourself more willing to engage in productive activities because you're no longer caught up in your melodrama.
Any time disturbances show up in our lives - whether it's stress, anger, sadness, or a mysterious funk - it will always pass if we let it. But we have to give it space. We have to let it run its course. We have to accept that it's here.
That doesn't mean we enjoy it. It doesn't mean we have to giggle at it. It just means that it's here, it's the current reality, and we have to be okay with it. If we can't be okay with what's in front of us, we simply can't be okay with life.
Live with substance!
When you're in a funk, allow yourself to simply experience the discomfort. Realize there's a voice in your head and it doesn't know what it's talking about. Relax, breathe, and don't listen to the voice. Keep relaxing. Keep breathing. Eventually, it'll pass.