Episode 79: Not Feeling Like Yourself Lately? How to Get Out of a Funk.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | RSS

Sometimes we can’t think our way out of a funk, but if we don’t, we will create a heavy cloud over our careers and life. In this episode, I discuss: 

  • How to get out of the mental crevasse
  • How to support my mind and central nervous system during a funk
  • Why changing your state of mind and physically moving will help the mind-shift 
  • The difference between mood and mental state
  • My top tips to get out of your funk

“State of mind” is defined as the quality of one’s consciousness as it relates to the outside world, as well as the perception of inner thoughts and emotions. 

Mentioned on the show: 

Email us at Hello@jillgriffincoaching.com to let us know how you get out of your funk

Grab a Strengths & Strategy Session HERE

Check out my Recent Article on FastCompany.com: 4 Ways to Fight Ageism in Your Job Search

Follow @jillGriffinOffical on Instagram for daily inspiration. 

Visit JillGriffinCoaching.com for more details on my private and group coaching programs. 

Read the Transcript
Hey friends, 

I am really glad you are here and I appreciate you all. This week I want to talk to you about something I have been personally experiencing in hopes that it will help you all too. 

It’s how to get yourself out of a funk. Lately, things have been feeling really heavy, yeah, I know it’s my thoughts, and my thinking and the continued management of my mind is helping however, sometimes, when we cant thought-work our way out of something. 

And to be clear, I am not talking about clinical depression; for that, you have to work with a therapist. 

I am talking about feeling down, in a funk, maybe sad, anxious, or depressed – the garden variety kind of funk. 

Nothing looks appealing. 

You can’t focus. And you keep running the same fear-based thoughts in your head over and over. 

Even though I have been doing this work for over 20 years, I still fall into funks. 

The beauty today is that I know when I am in one, I can usually recognize it within a day or two. And now I know the actions I need to take to get out myself out of a funk. 

And if you’ve had funk-brain, you then know it’s really hard to show up at work and do your best work.

Sometimes you are clawing your way out of the mental crevasses so that you can get back to life and work. 

When I am feeling this way, I know that first, 

My CNS is probably in overdrive and I need to give it attention. 
And Second, I need to physically change my state. 

First, let’s unpack the CNS side of things. 

When I am in overwhelm, stopping and acknowledging this is where I am and how I feel and knowing it will shift at some point, but now being nice to myself and not burying it is helpful. 

So first stop is I need to soothe my CNS. 

Second stop, I need to get into action. 

Researchers at NYU found daily variability in a physical location to be associated with increased positive affect in humans. For most people when you have variety in your daily experiences, you generate a happier mindset. 

Amy Johnson, a psychologist and the author of the book Just a Thought, suggests that the idea of switching things up in your daily routine can “wake up” the brain.

 “Suddenly, our brain has to work a bit more to take in the new sights and sounds of our new environment, to scan for potential threats, and to make sense of, and tell a story about, what’s going on,” she explains. 

“When you change things up, your brain is forced to be a little more open, receptive, and outside of the box to some degree. This can absolutely affect our mood and our outlook. 

You’re thinking thoughts you didn’t think yesterday. This is why something as simple as working from a new room in your home can feel like it brings on a burst of creativity, or walking outside during a heated argument can feel like it clears your mind and brings new perspective,” she explains.

I just tore apart my office and it’s getting a new shade of paint too!

Our brain is an incredibly efficient machine. 

To be as efficient as possible, it habituates most of what it does, and it loves to go back to the same familiar, safe, efficient thoughts and ideas it recognizes from the day before. 

When we feel like we’re on autopilot, this is what’s happening. Our brain is staying in its comfort zone. Nudging it out of its comfort zone is scary for the brain but can be great for the human’s creativity, perspective, and mood.

There are different ways to get out of a the comfort zone, a funk and sometimes shifting your perspective or “state” can shake things up. 

“State of mind” is defined as the quality of one’s consciousness as it relates to the outside world, as well as the perception of inner thoughts and emotions. 

It includes your mood and your mental state at a certain point in time. 

Depressed, anxious, rational, critical, and engaged are all examples of states of mind. You can even be in more than one state of mind at a time.

State is different than mood. Your mood is fleeting. If someone interrupts you in a meeting you may feel slighted. 

Or if you jump on social media, you may feel depressed. Even if you then go through the entire day feeling that way, it’s still just a bad mood

Your state of mind is on a higher level of consciousness – and you have control over both. 

When you’re in control of your state of mind, you’re the thinker and not the thought, you have the possibility to change your mood, get out of the funk, and change you day. And life. 

Getting coached or going to therapy are some of the best choices but if you find that those aren’t available to you – and sometimes they aren’t here’s what I do. 

My ideal shift is to get out in my kayak and paddle around a bit but that’s not always available. I have a few playlists that can help soothe and relax me. I may exercise, jump on the peloton, or do some speed walking. I also find that scent and aroma is really helpful. 

I am a clinical aromatherapist and I formulate products for my well-being regularly. Here’s why it works – Inhaling essential oils stimulates the olfactory system, the part of the brain (amygdala and hippocampus) connected to smell, including the nose and the brain. 

Molecules that enter the nose or mouth pass to the lungs, and from there, to other parts of the body. These molecules are plant-based chemicals that have healing properties. I mean, it’s where we originally got the medicine from. 

As the molecules reach the brain, they affect the limbic system, which is linked to emotions, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and hormone balance. In this way, essential oils can have a subtle, yet the holistic effect on the body. 

When you breathe in essential oil molecules, researchers believe they stimulate these parts of your brain and influence physical, emotional, and mental health. 

I create an anti-anxiety formulation of clary sage, geranium, and roman chamomile. Frankincense, Sandalwood, silver fir, Cardamom, NARD, and fennel are some of my favorites. 
Before I learned how to formulate, I would just inhale the EO straight from the bottle, your local health store can direct you to some essential oils that you can keep on your person and inhale as needed. 

One of the concepts in a coaching container is that we use a tool called a life wheel. . Picture an old fashion wagon wheel with spokes. Each section between the spokes is a slice of your life and what’s important to you. The areas can be a career, health/diet, family, community, friends, spirituality, relationships, hobbies/recreation, exercise, personal development, and finance, I’ve threaded through purpose and possibility and adopted this concept for my private coaching clients and I find it helpful to get me out of my funk pretty quickly. 

It’s really simple. I look at one or two of these areas and decide what’s the immediate or acceptable goal, and what’s the ideal or future goal. 

For instance, In your career, you can make an immediate decision to reach out to a mentor or a colleague for connection and thought leadership, and you can decide that an ideal goal would be to find a networking event this month. 

For exercise, you can decide that a few sun salutations are an acceptable immediate action. You may also strive for the ideal goal and sign up for group strength training class later this week. 

Spirituality you may decide to get centered and say a prayer or a mantra immediately and then search for a mediation class or find a local church or temple to attend next week. 

For diet, you may choose not to have a sugary snack for a pick-me-up. And the ideal would be to choose the most loving options for your body for the rest of the day.

And relationships it may be to make an immediate call to a friend and then plan a date for later this week. 

You get the picture. We have to change the state and create action. 

When I find that there is something I can do right now, It shifts my state. And then when I have a goal or a plan of action I can look forward to, I also can shift the funk. 

It’s accretion, lots of little shifts that eventually add up. 

For me, the most important thing was not to judge myself. There’s the funk and then theirs the judgment of the funk and beating myself up, questioning why I am here again, or finding another way to fake it to ya make it, just doesn’t work for me anymore. 

The attention to my CNS and State was what got me out of this last funk–but listen it took me a few weeks and I know eventually the low tide will happen again and I’ll be in a funk again. 

Knowing it’s normal and that it will shift is what keeps the funk less intense in the day-to-day. 

Ok, my friends, LMK what you do to get out of your funk. 

I’ll put my email in the show notes, or you can hit me up on Linkedin or Instagram. 

Have a beautiful week and I will see you next time.