“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions. When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?” – Gabrielle Roth
“There are a million reasons to feel bad, but there’s only one reason you need to feel good, and that is because you can” – Jesse Elder
Highly conscious people are typically pretty happy with themselves and their lives. But even the most highly conscious person can have a down day and get into a funk. What’s a funk? A funk is that mood where you know you’ve got lots of things to be happy about…and yet in that moment you’re not happy. No one likes being in a funk. So here are 50 ways to get out of one, divided between seven categories: Self-Love, Perception, Spirituality, Emotion, Health, Connection, and Rituals.
1. Practice actively loving yourself
Loving yourself, by first accepting yourself, forms the foundation of being fully human. Whisper “I love myself” to yourself every day. Make it an active part of your daily thought process. This HighExistence article about Self-Love has some more fantastic insights on the practice of self-love.
2. Create an environment that is conducive to your bliss
When you organize your living space, does the organized space make you feel good? When you buy things, are those things adding to your good feelings or not? When your space inspires and fulfills you, it’s easy to feel good when you’re in it. Put up quotes and phrases you like all around your room or even in the bathroom. Place candles and incense on a cupboard, giant (inspiring) world maps on the walls, healthy groceries in the fridge, a glass of water next to your bed. Make it easy for yourself to do the things that make you feel good by including all those things in your living space.
3. Carve out solo time
This is a crucial one for a lot of people, to the point where some can’t function properly without some regular personal space and time. Meditate, nap or journal for 20 minutes or so on days you’re crunched for time, and on more open days take a whole morning or afternoon just to spend time with yourself.
4. Practice acceptance – of yourself and others
Acceptance, full acceptance of yourself will automatically give others the feeling they can do the same. Accepting others as they are, as they do is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Feel the weight fall off your shoulders when you stop “trying to be this or or that” and you are just you. You are completely fine as you are.
5. Increase the number of light sources in your room
This simple tweak in your living space will give you a real sense of well-being. Light some candles, turn on some lights, or open the curtain to the bright sun outside.
6. Take a break, take a nap
We tend to push ourselves all the time. When you’re feeling zoned out in front of your work, step away from it for a few minutes. Take a short nap if you can. You’ll come back feeling recharged and focused.
7. Prepare a hot drink for yourself
Sometimes the simplest steps can have the greatest impact. Drinking tea may seem too small to truly make you feel better, but the warmth from the beverage spreading through your body along with the careful preparation can make you feel comforted and loved.
8. Watch a movie that inspires you or makes you laugh
Though they are enjoyed passively rather than actively, movies are powerful. Movies with inspiring messages and stories may uplift your mood, and comedies can turn your funk on its head by making you laugh. Laughing and smiling make you happier. Just try watching this short video of a man with an infectious laugh, and see if you don’t feel happier after.
9. Read a book, or listen to one, or a podcast
Of course, reading a good book can really be morale-boosting since it’s a form of self love. You get your hot drink, nestle somewhere comfortable and start reading. Audiobooks and podcasts are an even more relaxing way to enjoy a story or satisfy your need for high quality information. You can even listen to it while doing the dishes, driving to work, or getting other mindless tasks done..
10. Catch yourself. Recognize when you are in a funk.
This step is essential in the process of getting out of the actual funk. How can you get out of a funk if you don’t know you’re even in one? Remember David Foster Wallace’s story of the two young fish and the old fish? The old fish asks “How’s the water?” and one of the young fish wonders “what the hell is water?” Being conscious of how you feel is a win unto itself. Listen to your mind, and when you realize you’re in a funk, smile. Appreciate your own awareness.
11. Be aware of your language
The ancient Aramaic phrase “Evra Kedavra” translates to “with my language, I create.” Even over two thousand years ago, people knew: your words create your experience. Think about how you typically speak. Do you talk about what you dislike and hate, or about what you appreciate and love? Do you find yourself saying how clumsy or stupid or lazy you are, or how skilled and smart and diligent you are? Whichever you do, try doing the opposite for a day and see how it makes you feel.
Meditation is a multiplier of awareness. When you meditate you become more aware of your thoughts, your words, your actions and your feelings. There are many ways you can meditate: walking, sitting, and even lying down. You can choose to think about what you want, or not think about anything. If you have difficulty clearing your mind of thoughts, focus on taking slow, deep breaths. If you’d like a focus, envision your perfect day in as close detail as you can. Here are 100 benefits of meditation.
Whenever you’re lost in thought, or in your troubles, center back to your breath, like a tiny act of meditation. Realize that just a breath is a gift, that although everything may seem bleak around you right now, there are always positive aspects to everything if you but choose to see them.
14. Practice active appreciation
Active appreciation, also known as gratitude, is one of the most rewarding activities you can practice. Practicing appreciation is like receiving everything you already have all over again. Focusing on that which you have engenders more of the same. Help yourself focus on what you’re grateful for every day with this app/book: The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day
15. Realize that right now you don’t have any problems
Your “problems” exist either in the future or in the past. Right now, in this exact moment, there are no problems. Take that a step further and you’re in luck, because every moment is “right now,” so there are no problems! It’s your idea about the problem that’s the actual problem. Your story about the problem is called suffering. A really profound book about this subject is from Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.
16. Write down your wins
Winning feels good, doesn’t it? Recounting a whole lot of wins feels extra good. Write down every win you can think of, even if they’re tiny like “I caught myself thinking about things I don’t want to think about,” or “I enjoyed that it rained outside while I was all cosy inside,” or “I had a great conversation with a friend today.” The more little wins you write down, the easier it will be to get big ones (this is how Michael Phelps prepares for his races, incidentally!) A nifty app to write down your wins is WinStreak, which can also remind you to write them down daily if you want some extra accountability around this action.
17. Imagine a future that is better than you’re currently experiencing
You’re gifted with this thing called imagination. Use it! Napoleon Hill spoke the now famous words: “Anything of which you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.” Imagination is powerful. If you can’t even imagine the things you want, how do you imagine you’re going to go about getting them?
18. Realize you are enough
You don’t need anything outside of you, in order to be happy. Right now, you are enough, wholly and completely. You don’t have to have, do or be anything else then you have, do, and are right now.
The common belief, propagated by the media, is that there’s always something wrong with you. This is indeed a big, big myth, everything is usually much more okay with you than the outside world wants you to believe. An unhappy, fearful person is simply more profitable to them. You don’t need to be that person! You are you and you are enough.
19. Stop worrying
Worrying is like wishing for bad things to happen. Worrying is one of the most counter-productive, time-wasting, success-destroying activities in the world. When you feel yourself begin to worry about things going wrong, consciously change your focus to imagine those things going right instead. It will take some practice, but it’ll be worth it.
20. Abolish criticism
On the path of self-mastery, self-development and improvement we often tend to think that the fault lies in other people. We are so inclined to first see the splinter in someone else’s eye before we see a whole branch in our own. Unfortunately, criticism will often only activate someone’s defense mechanisms. People don’t like to hear what they’re doing wrong, and the minute you start criticizing them, their defenses go up, so that even if you are giving constructive criticism the message will not get through. Instead of criticizing, focus on positive reinforcement and encouragement, and if you must criticize, first ask if the other person is open to feedback.
21. Abolish complaining
Complaining is the verbal form of maintaining a negative focus. Remember how your words shape your experience? If you spend all your time complaining, what kind of experience do you think you will shape? Catch yourself in moments of negativity, and don’t let yourself be drawn in by the complaints of others. Elevate yourself and everyone around you by focusing on what you DO love, appreciate, adore, revel in, etc. Become a bringer of light, not a host to darkness.
22. Do something you like or are good at
When you’re in a funk, you tend to forget about all the wonderful things you enjoy and are good at. So when you feel the funk approaching, choose to do some of those activities to combat the funk. Play an instrument, do some acrobatics, write a poem, practice a sport. Doing something you’re good at will cheer you up and can also reinforce your self-confidence.
23. Express – push out!
If you feel frustrated or angry, it can help to let those feelings out by doing a primal scream, or some air kick-boxing, or taking a pillow or mattress and unleashing your rage upon it with your fists. As you do this, feel your anger gradually flowing out of you and being replaced by calm. If there’s something more nuanced that needs to be expressed, like a thought or a feeling, you can write a letter about those feelings, put the letter in an envelope, and burn it. As the smoke rises, feel yourself letting go.
24. Teach someone else something you know
According to Tony Robbins, contribution is one of the six human needs. We need to have the feeling that we contribute to other people, that what we do means something. Teaching someone else can fulfill that need. When you teach something you know well, you naturally feel good because you get to demonstrate your own skill to a captive audience. It’s interactive. Plus it’s doing a good deed, it’s giving. And giving feels good.
25. Conquer the fear of missing out (FOMO)
Allow yourself to stop dwelling in the past or worry about the future, or all the things you “could” be doing right now. Enjoy and appreciate the things that are in front of you and you won’t be bored one second. Enjoy the path that you chose and have peace with that. If you keep thinking about the other path you COULD have chosen, how can you enjoy your current path?
26. Stop watching the news
Although things are slowly changing, the news is still mostly fear-based information designed to make you worry, fear, complain and criticize. Most of the time the news doesn’t concern you directly, and besides, the news isn’t a truthful reflection of what’s going on in the world. 99.9% of the time everything everywhere is going just fine! Feeling bad about the 0.01% the news puts in front of you doesn’t serve you or the world, only the media outlets’ ad revenue.
27. Distract yourself
An experiment described in the book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength put a pile of marshmallows in front of a bunch of kids. The kids were told they could get one marshmallow immediately, or they could get two marshmallows, but had to wait a couple of minutes first. The kids who succeeded in getting two marshmallows most often succeeded because they distracted themselves from the boredom of waiting. Distraction often gets a bad rep. When you’re distracted you’re not focused, right? Well, yes, but what if you’re focused on the negative thoughts in your head? You want to distract yourself from those! Good ways to distract yourself from your mind often involve using your body–breathing, moving, doing something active.
28. Go for a walk
Getting up and going for a walk changes your mindset automatically because it changes your environment. Exercise is the best antidepressant, and walking is the simplest and easiest exercise most anyone can do. You may have the added benefit of breathing better, because there is fresh and oxygenated air outside (trees+plants) and because you’re moving instead of sitting still.
29. Smile while moving
While running, walking or whatever move you’re making, smile! The act of smiling alone will release chemicals in your brain that make you happier. Smile, think about how awesome it is that you got the gift of breath today and smile some more!
It’s just SO MUCH FUN to dance, by yourself or with another person. You’ll almost always mess up some moves, so don’t sweat it–everyone’s done it a time or two. Smile all the way through the dance because it just feels so good to move to the music. Try going to a place where everyone dances with everyone, so you can learn, teach and experience different kinds of dance partners. Or, if you’d rather, cue up some lessons on YouTube and practice in your home!
With the music, or solo. Pour yourself into it, let out the song inside of you. Singing is usually something you do when you feel good, like dancing and laughing, but try singing when you’re in a funk and you’ll find that the reverse is also true: just doing it will make you feel good. It’s simple mechanics. http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/singing-happy.htm
32. Masturbate wisely
Get your energy unstuck and in flow. Masturbation is all about restoring and unclogging your energy, and getting to know yourself while you’re at it. Try masturbating without porn, focusing instead on your energy and feelings in the moment. (If you feel you may have a porn addiction, check out Your Brain On Porn or ask for professional help before you try this step.) If you’d like to try more advanced self-care, do some research on full-body orgasms, orgasm without ejaculation, and other deep masturbatory practices.
33. Drink water
Usually the simplest and most basic fundamentals are forgotten, yet they are also the most essential. Drinking water is one such thing. Drinking enough water will get you more energy, and energy – surprise surprise – feels good to let flow. More information here.
Stretching, especially when you’re sitting long hours, feels good. It’s definitely a mood booster.
Doing yoga, which incorporates a lot of stretching, can have a meditative, calming and grounding effect. Try it, you’ll be surprised how good it feels.
35. Get sweaty
Working out is the best and most natural anti-depressant, releasing endorphins, dopamine, and many more hormones that make you feel good. By sweating you rid yourself of toxins and exercise will keep your body in a good condition, which in turn feels great, which in turn will get you out of a potential funk. Don’t overthink what workout to do, though. Remember: the best workout is the one you do. If walking is what you can get yourself to do, then by all means walk.
36. Eat healthy quick meals
Rather than unhealthy snacks. Or eat enough bigger meals so you won’t even feel the need to snack. Making batches of healthy food will give you plentiful leftovers you can use to make quick meals or snacks rather than reaching for the chips, cookies, or fast food.
37. Give yourself enough breaks
As noted above, taking breaks can allow you to break a work funk and feel invigorated and focused again. Planning and scheduling these breaks ahead of time will boost your productivity in the long run. Make sure each break is a real break, though–what you don’t want is this purgatory-like facebook-dwelling state where you forgot what you came there to do and end up wasting an hour. Scheduling breaks is a cycle where the one extreme of relaxation will induce a deeper level of concentration.Use it to your advantage and avoid ending up in an impasse where neither concentration nor relaxation is taking place.
38. Improve your sleep
No one is happy when they don’t get enough sleep. Your subconscious mind is constantly absorbing stimuli, so if you have a lot of stimuli during the night, your subconscious mind has a hard time to calm down, and thus reach deep sleep. Ways to reduce those stimuli are having good curtains or having an eye-mask that won’t press on your eyes directly and ear-plugs. Open your window when at all possible for extra oxygen. Here’s more: 12 steps to better sleep
39. Hug more
It feels good to have a sincere hug, doesn’t it? A 20-second hug releases oxytocin, the love hormone, in our bodies. It relaxes us, makes us feel safe, releases anxiety, stress and fear. When there’s really nobody around, hug yourself and massage yourself. It feels really good. Make a habit out of hugging people more (just remember to ask first!)
40. Do a frenzy of connection.
Start a conversation with lots of people at once and feel the buzz. Opening up to so many people will get me into a state of heightened alertness, activity, flow and cheerfulness. It feels good to be in touch with people. It feels even better sometimes to indulge into a frenzy of connection.
41. Give a gift
Give yourself the gift of feeling awesome by giving something to someone else, or doing a random act of kindness for a stranger. Have you ever noticed how good it feels to give? When you express a good feeling to someone else, the first person you’re giving that good feeling to is yourself! By giving it, by expressing love, joy, happiness, appreciation, you feel it yourself in the act of giving and expressing it, regardless of how the other person responds to it.
42. Throw a party
This is one of those things you may simply forget about when you’re down and out, so here’s your reminder! This is the real-life equivalent of indulging in a frenzy of connection. Call up all your favorite people, or invite some fun new friends–you’ll be feeling better in no time!
43. Surround yourself with people who believe in you
It has been said you become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. The people around you have more influence on you than you might initially think. Surround yourself with as many people who are doing, being and having what you want to do, be and have, and watch your world transform.
44. Be the source. Be the change you want to see in the world
If you want to get out of a funk, it’s you who has to make the first step in that direction. Waiting for your surroundings to make you feel better is what is commonly called the “victim mindset.” It comes down to thinking you’re unhappy because of something outside of you. You are the person who has most control over your experience. Choose what you want to focus on. Choose what you want to say, choose what you want to feel and what you want to do. If you’re in a funk, choose to work your way out of it!
Rituals (AKA Habits)
45. Rise Early
How can rising early be a mood-boosting hack? Do you remember a day where you woke up particularly late? You noticed how you felt like you had somehow “wasted” the day, right? Rising early does the opposite: it makes you feel productive (even if you aren’t THAT productive).
46. Explore your purpose
Fulfilling your purpose and being on a mission feels great. Once you have a mission you want to put your heart and soul into, that motivates you, you feel inspired, invigorated, and before you know it your funk is gone! If you aren’t sure what your mission or purpose is yet, you can start with “I want to know what I want!”
47. Turn up the music!
Sometimes all you needed was a little jolt, a spark of energy. Upbeat music can get your heart going to get you out of a period of lethargy (or a funk).
48. Listen to music that uplifts you
While we’re talking about music, listening to uplifting, happy, positively charged music can also help bring you out of a funk. Make a playlist of songs that empower, inspire uplift you. Consciously choose to listen to those songs when you’re in a funk and see how it affects your mood.
49. Change your passwords
Passwords imprint multiple times a day into your brain, that pop up whenever you see a login box. Why not consider changing your password to include a word that inspires or uplifts you, so you’ll see and be reminded of it every day? This recent article is a good illustration of how that practice could work.
50. Start a 30-day challenge to add a good habit to your life (and/or push a bad one out)
Challenge yourself to insert a new habit into your life such as meditation (choose your fashion and length), healthy eating, doing a daily run. For more inspiration go to https://habet.co and hold yourself accountable.
There! You don’t have to do all 50 of these, but any one or even a few of them will help you to get out of that funk. Good luck!
Note: This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something through a link on this post I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please remember that I never promote anything unless I have used it and loved it myself. Thank you!
– Roman Korver
Team member of HCM, Roman Is a life-enthusiast, curious and in wonder about the splendour of life all around. He’s a habit mechanic and inspired blogger, writer, lay-outer, archer, positive thinker, life-art-and-action-philosopher. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. Visit RomanKorver.com for more free insights.
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