How You Can Get Out of a Mental Funk

How You Can Get Out of a Mental Funk

I have been in a bit of a mental funk lately. I may seem calm and happy on the outside, but in actuality, my brain is just spiraling with negative thoughts and also trying to figure out problems in my life. This is something I am breaking slowly. Stopping myself from thinking this way, and perhaps thinking in a bit more positive light. I am what you call an optimistic realist. But sometimes, when it comes to thoughts of myself and my 'problems' it's usually negative and I end up feeling a bit hopeless.

Half of the thoughts of course are not true, yet I believe them and that's why they stay with me for longer than they should. So, I have learned a few ways to deal with these thoughts, and also put them into perspective. 

Perhaps they can help you too :)

Is It In Your Control?

First of course is putting it into perspective. I learned recently that worrying about what is out of your control is not my business, but since I am a Christian, it's God's business. We need to focus on what is right in front of us, and how to deal with it with our actions and attitude. 

 

At a conference, one of our speakers was talking about contentment and complacency. One exercise she recommended was the Circle of Control. She told us to draw a large circle on a piece of paper and a smaller one inside. In the smaller one, we write our problems that are in our control, and the larger circle, we write what is out of our control. 

It's an exercise that has been around for a while but is definitely helpful to put our life into perspective. 

Next!

If It Is In Your Control

This is how I deal with the problems that are within my control. Pretty basic and solid advice that I get from everyone, and it's repeated so much because it does work. Try them whenever you have a problem and maybe it will help you out. 


1. Journal

Write your problem out. I always need to get my thoughts on paper. They are all jumbled up in my mind. Once on paper, they seem much simpler and clearer for me to understand my problem entirely as well as find a way to proceed from there. 

I do this by brain-dumping. I have a whole blog post about that. I’ll put a link here. But the idea is that I get a blank piece of paper and pen, and start writing. I do not care a thing about how everything is spelled or grammar. I just want all my thoughts to flow onto the piece of paper. 

 

2. Make a List of How to Fix Said Problem

This is to write action steps. To solve your problem. Mostly I notice from writing that I am the problem, but we all need action steps to fix the issue. Whatever it may be, a mental block, an issue with a person we work with, or even just getting yourself to work out. These are all problems that can be solved if we set our minds to it. Write a step-by-step of what to do. Or perhaps just the next step of what needs to get done.  

Granted sometimes you can't solve it all on your own. 

 

3. Talk to a Friend 

A friend or family member whom you trust to give you wise advice is one I recommend to ask for help or at least vent to them about everything going on. They see your problem from a different perspective, and they may see the solution as clear as day. It's funny how many times that actually happens to me. It's quite annoying at times. Not them, but just that the solution was so simple to begin with. :D 

 

4. Pray 

Not everything is simple or can be talked through. Sometimes we need a higher power. It makes me feel at ease knowing that there is someone out there who is actually looking out for me and truly wants the best for me. So, whenever I have even the smallest problem. I pray about it to God. I feel reassured afterward, and know everything will work out as He wishes it to be. It's a calming assurance to have such a God in my life. 

Not in Your Control

Well, sadly most of what I ponder on is out of my control. Plans, fears, and other people's problems that I think I could fix if they would let me (that's not true at all). Well, this is what I do when I am overwhelmed with the negative thoughts that I can't change or even with the ones I can but am not ready to face. 

 

1. Do Something Physical

Physical movement gives us endorphins or happy chemicals in our brains. Take a walk, run a mile, or go to the gym and work out the frustration you're feeling. The movement will help your brain clear up and think about the problem clearer than before. I never regret one of my walks, well unless a loose dog was roaming our neighborhood. Then I truly freak out and regret ever getting the idea. :D 

But I feel all the better after the walk or run. 

 

2. Work on a Project

This seems to occupy my mind. It's more to give you a pause on worrying about your problem and focus on something else just for a moment. This can be a mini art project, finding a perfect gift for someone, or finally moving the furniture around your living room. Anything works to get your mind to focus on something else and problem-solve something simpler to get a bit more confidence as well. 

 

3. Self Care

Personally, I am super tense and anxious about a problem I can or can't solve. I noticed that a bit self self-care helps me relax a bit. Doing my nails makes me feel put together. Taking a long warm shower eases my tense muscles. Or even putting on a hair mask makes me feel like I am doing something to improve myself, and therefore in a weird roundabout way, I am solving the problem. 

Try your favorite form of self-care and that can help you feel better in a way. 

 

4. Clean/Declutter

This one is just pure genius, because it works. There is always something that is cluttered in my house, and once I need a moment to ponder my problem, but need to be working with my hands this is what I do. Declutter the crap out of my closet works wonders. I feel amazing afterwards!

Try this trick and it will make you feel better no matter what. 

 

5. Eat 

The saying, "I'm sorry for what I said when I was hungry." is ever so true for me. I can't think straight, I am grumpy, and all I want is to be alone with my food. :D After eating. I could see the light shine and the problem didn't seem too bad because I was being dramatic about it. After all, I was hungry. There must be some science behind this one, but eating helps a decent amount. 

My family is starting to get to know me, and make sure I eat when I think I'll be completely fine with them for the next 4 hours without eating. They are smart people. 

 

6. Go Out For a Bit

Go see a friend, have lunch with your mom, or just go shopping and call someone. It helps distract you as well, plus with the bonus that you can vent to them. Tell them what is bugging you and that itself will make you feel better and get you out of your mental funk. Though they don’t give you the solution, it can still make you feel better. Just make sure it is a person you trust, and won’t bring back the problem or make things worse. Not everyone can be trusted with your venting. 

Thankfully I see my family and friends a lot during the week, so I always have someone to talk to. 

 

7. A Hug From a Loved One

When has a hug from someone you love never feels comforting. I feel that a hug can fix all of my problems. Maybe it's the idea that you feel seen and understood without saying a single word. Well, a longer hug. Hug your mom, they are always open to hugs. :D We probably don’t hug them as much as we should anyway. 

 

8. Distract Yourself

There is a reason why I am up to date with all of the shows, and read a decent amount of books. I like distracting myself from my problems. If anything this can be an issue for me. I escape way too much and completely forget about the problems. But they still need to be dealt with. 

So, take this one lightly. If you need a break from your thoughts and problems, delve into someone else's problems on TV or in a book. Their problems are usually way worse than our problems, and that itself makes me feel better. You know, I may be having an issue with my stupid computer, but at least I don't need to fight off a dragon or find my father’s murderer. 

 

9. Gratitude

Sometimes, our problem is not actually a problem. We just convince ourselves it is one. I do this a decent amount. Yes, a certain family may be bugging me about something, but they are still with me. That counts for something. Being grateful and writing down a list of things we are grateful for makes your problems smaller in a way that you can deal with them or have them disappear altogether. Reality strikes, and we no longer have the need to feel sorry for ourselves. 

Of course, there are real problems in this world, and I don't want to diminish anyone's feelings and challenges. But I do believe our attitude and mindset change how we see our world. 

10. Cry 

TMI, but when my friend shows up at my time of the month. I can get pretty emotional for even the smallest things. In this case, the best thing for me to do is to cry. I feel ten times better afterward, and somehow I can deal with the problem or at least get the strength to face it.

Granted there are times when I do just need to cry about a problem especially when it is out of my control. There is nothing left to do, but cry and deal with the emotions flowing through me. I am not a crier for just anything, so I hope you find it okay to cry once in a while even if it's at night when no one is there to hear you.

 

11. Take a Nap

I put this one after crying because that is usually what I do next. I cry, then fall asleep. I wake up a bit refreshed. With a feeling that the problem doesn't seem as daunting. It's still big and needs to be faced. but not as bad when it was nighttime. 

Taking a nap is a great way to reset and try again. Perhaps if all else fails, you need a nap.

Conclusion:

I am not saying I can solve your problems with these tricks. But maybe one of these can help you when you are in a mental funk and can't seem to get out. It truly helps me to try one or three of these, and I do hope they help you too. I do feel better already, and a bit more hopeful of the future.

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