We are spiritual beings learning how to be human, so, go easy on yourself if your emotional and mental wellness isn’t 100% on target. Nobody’s is, and those who claim it to be are simply putting on a brave, public face.
We all have a public and a private face. Last week my partner and I had an argument and then had to meet friends. We were not faking it when we turned up totally happy, enjoying each other and laughing and chatting with everyone. However, the second we walked back home, it all changed again. This is natural, not fake. It’s the duality of nature. There’s two sides to everything and everyone. So, lets start this advisory article by saying that: you are worthy of love no matter what you’ve done or not done, at least at a spiritual level.
We learn to be human by making mistakes, facing challenges, being hurt, hurting and in many ways through trial and error. It’s easy to buy a book and try to fit the mould of a Christian, a Moslem or jew, or Hindu or Buddhist. But that’s really your public face and the more one sided you become about yourself the more likely you’ll be giving yourself hell in private. Only then, your partner and family get to see the “other side.”
Corporations have codes just like those of religions. Moral and ethics books they call culture and values. These keep your public (at work) face in check but have little or no respect for the consequences this one sided public face at work might drive as the opposite at home.
So, lets begin with a few easy suggestions:
To prevent your mind becoming funky or blocked or even overwhelmed with emotion, is far easier than a fix. So, lets lay track in the realm of prevention first:
Stay busy….. A busy mind is one that’s learning, texting, excited, activated, challenged, engaged and focussed. A busy mind is not the one watching tv or doing social media. A busy mind might be reading but the mind that is reading and not learning is not busy, it’s distracted. So, step 1 of prevention of mind funk, a busy mind.
Speak the Right Words …. These words are great to avoid mind funk. Yes, maybe, probably, desire, choose, love, inspired, inspiration, enthusiasm, generosity, kindness, compassion and thank you. These words cause mind funk and should be avoided: Should, could, got to, have to, hate, cold, and the worst, ALWAYS or NEVER. Bad words polarise the mind into black and white thinking and trigger lower consciousness feelings.
Look at the bright side… this is not positive thinking which is another way of polarising things, instead try to be thankful or at least ambivalent (it is what it is).
Hang out with proactive people who are ambitious and not simply self absorbed. When people talk about how they feel all the time you know their mind is trapped in a cycle that is not healthy. You also know that when people criticise others, or judge others, that their mind is going to be judging you and themselves. It’s easy to be influenced by such thinking and end up doing it yourself. It’s a deliberate choice to avoid this mindset so you’ll need to be acutely aware of it.
Exhaustion …. Whether from alcohol, lack of sleep, parties, late nights at work, challenges with the children, sickness, worry or poor eating, exhaustion is a definite precursor to funky thinking. So, if you’re feeling funky, go to the vitamin cabinet, bed and sleep. (not lye down in front of TV)
TLC – Tender loving care is my favourite funk prevention mechanism. Giving it is more important than receiving it. Give love, lots of it, be humble and affectionate (not to those who are professionally or not personally engaged with you or you’ll end up in a harassment complaint). But TLC can be a verbal compliment, an act of silence, listening, as well as the physical expressions we are all conscious of.
Exercise … for those of us who exercise daily, missing our morning jog, ride, swim or ashtanga yoga class … is like missing a morning coffee and by mid morning we’re going to be in a funk. Go running or whatever and remember for every 20 minutes of exercise you get roughy 4 hours of heightened metabolism (feel good).
Eat “goodly” …. I believe that diet impacts mind more than any one single aspect of life. With the right food you can go through hell and stay strong. However, typically, we surrender when we feel bad and begin to gorge on sugars which, inevitably lead to feeling “badder.”
Once funk has set in, cure must be found. Don’t let it linger for more that a few hours otherwise it will become chemically sustained and reinforce itself. Go for a long walk in nature and try to distract yourself with the beauty of what you see and smell. Don’t be gone forever, and it need to be more than an amble where you feel like shit and walk at about the same pace as that.
Drink buckets of water… avoid coffee and alcohol … avoid sugar drinks
Treat yourself to a few things you enjoy, but make them small .. bit of chocolate, an ice-cream, a nice meal. Again avoid alcohol.
Speak to someone who knows how to fix things, not just an empathetic ear. Choose a counsellor or coach or educated friend in emotional awareness.
Sleep always helps
Exercise is essential
Be around friends
Put on a brave face
Last but not least my favourite: Take a pen or pencil that won’t poison you, put it horizontally across your mouth to force a smile and walk around like this for an hour or two, at work or home, you don’t need to be embarrassed and there are other things you can use. Most important make sure the material you have in your mouth is non toxic, and not sharp. (we don’t want you looking like the Joker in Batman) –
Posture. Put a broom handle behind your back and put your arms back over it so you are forced to puff out your chest. An open spine (arched backward) stimulates the brain into production of all the good vibe feelings of a happy day.
Breathing … without doubt in a funk your breathing is going to be in the ratio 4 counts in, one count out. We need to reverse it. 1 count in, (quick inhale) and 4 counts out (slow exhale.) be mindful not to get dizzy. Panic attacks are 1 in and 6-8 out.
Light … bright colours and sunlight stimulate happiness and dark colours and indoors stimulate calm or sadness. So, if you’re in a funk, and you live in a land of eternal winter, move.
Watch a great movie (best is comedy) and listen to Baroque music. Both cause happy vibes.
Love…. more than TLC love for self, family, friends, cats, dogs, plants, god, nature, work… will all help you get back on top of funk.
The FUTURE….. I’ve left this until last. read below
By far, the greatest influence on cause and cure of mind funk is the future. When the future is in doubt we become funky. Doubt creeps into every corner of our heart and we become what is clinically called, depressed. Depression is future funk. When we doubt we are in the right skin, job, family, country, sport, suit, shoes, world, or even car, we can become totally funked.
This is the key role of a performance coach. To make sure on one side that you don’t get ahead of yourself. On the other side to make sure you stay 100% committed with conviction that you’re on track to your dreams, goals, and visions.
These visions must be believable and so, the path you set to your vision needs to be set clearly. This is the responsibility of your mentor coach to keep that path clear, pull weeds, put hand holds and keep you focussed.
Funk is human and the solution is to evolve. You can do it.