Feeling Depressed Here Are 10 Ways To Get Out Of The Funk
Feeling depressed? You are not alone. Depression is a feeling that can be triggered by many factors, but its important to know the difference between feeling sad and feeling depressed. If youre feeling depressed, you must take action as soon as possible before the feelings worsen and become too difficult to handle on your own. Keep in mind that depression is a serious mental illness that needs professional help. If youve been feeling down for more than two weeks, there may be an underlying problem that needs professional attention. Fortunately, there are 10 ways to help get out of the funk!
Always Have Something To Look Forward To
I call it The Horizon Line of Good Events: the importance of having things to look forward to in the immediate, intermediate, and far-off future.
- Immediate future: something stimulating or exciting that is scheduled for today, tomorrow or in the next few weeks. You may be in a bad place now, but you are finally seeing Hamilton next Saturday.
- Intermediate future: things you have planned over the next several months or year, such as a graduation party, bar mitzvah, or vacation.
- Far off future: goals for how you envision your life down the line, like how and with whom you want to spend your retirement.
Funks can be unexpected events that bump you off course and wreck your mood. Episodes eventually pass, but these tips can help you climb out of funks faster and empower you with proactive tools to utilize in the future.
Coming Soon: The first story in our three-part series about living with depression will be available later this month.
Direct Your Focus To Others
This is such a simple act, yet its probably the #1 quickest way to get out of a funk. Get outside yourself and focus your attention on others. Smile and say hello to strangers at the coffee shop , call a family member just to see how theyre doing, and try having an entire conversation with someone where you ask them questions instead of talking about yourself. Bad mood? What bad mood?
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Accept That Relationships Change & Embrace The Progress
All relationships, romantic or otherwise, are exciting when theyre new. Eventually, though, the newness wears off. Rather than seeing this as a bad thing and a warning of impending boredom or doom, recognize that this is a healthy and normal progression of a relationship.
Accepting that newness wears off can allow you to experience your relationship mindfully, being in each moment without judging it. Then, with this perspective, you can implement the other tips to avoid feeling like youre in a funk from which the only way out is to end the relationship.
Being in a funk is a normal part of life, but you can use the strategies here to get out of your funk. Remember that everyone experiences a funk from time to time, so know that youre not alone and that theres nothing wrong with you. You can take action, such as using the tips mentioned above, to more quickly get out of a funk. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to funk-busting, however. The best way to feel better and move forward is to personalize your plan. Find ideas that resonate with you, and focus on those.
Away From Your Screens
When youre in a funk, prolonged exposure to the artificial examples of human success and happiness on television certainly doesnt help. Take a T.V. break your shows aren’t going anywhere. In addition, use social media sparingly. In your current funky state youre more likely to absorb news on your Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram feeds through a #distortedfilter. Additionally, Social Comparison Theorythe idea that we determine our own social and personal worth based on how we stack up against othersmay kick into overdrive. If you are posting and waiting for Likes and comments to fill your balloon, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. To boot, you might actually post something in this funked-up state that youll regret.
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When To Seek Professional Help
Any level of depression should be taken seriously and the faster you address the symptoms, the less likely you are to develop a more severe type of depression. Seeking professional help is a sign of bravery and self-respect because it shows that you are dedicated to caring for your mind and body. A therapist can offer more clinical advice and guide you through treatment with approaches that are more tailored to your specific situation and needs. However, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, tell someone you trust and seek assistance immediately.
Everyone experiences low points in their life and their mental health, but depression is a treatable mental illness and you can recover. Whether you or a loved one is feeling depressed, every persons experience with mental illness is different but help is available. Visit our Key Services page to learn more about the treatment methods we offer and to explore our list of additional health and wellness classes to support your overall mental health.
If you are in a crisis, please call us at 303-425-0300 or by calling the crisis line at 844-493-8255. The 24/7 crisis walk-in center and withdrawal management program is open at 4643 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.
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Live In The Present Moment As Much As Possible Instead Of Worrying About Future Problems Or Regretting Past Mistakes
Living in the present moment is not only good for your mental health but can also make you a happier person. Worrying about tomorrow may seem like a natural response, especially when were faced with problems today and regret from yesterday however, this leads to the emotional baggage that weighs down on us each day as well as preventing any joyous experiences or opportunities coming our way because they are overwhelmed by thoughts of what could go wrong.
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Connect With A Loved One
It can be tempting to isolate yourself when under the influence of a funk, but this is the last thing we need.
In connecting with others, we get to share the burden were struggling under. Having another person simply to listen, or distract us from any external problems, can be enough to bring us out of a funk.
When you notice youre in a bad mood, think of family members who make you laugh or simply feel safe. Whatever you do, try not to isolate yourself at this time.
What Constitutes A Depression Funk
First things first: Theres no official medical definition for a depression funk.
Its important to understand that a diagnosis of depression means that someone has experienced sad or hopeless thoughts regularly or daily for a period of time, typically several weeks or more.
More than that, though, to receive a formal diagnosis of depression those depressive feelings need to go so far as to impact a persons life: potentially hindering work, relationships, or happiness.
A funk, then, is a catch-all term for a period of off-feelings, and research shows that the term funk is often used to describe the early feelings that something is off with mental health.
A 2013 study on teens found that the subjects experienced the funk as the result of a slow-growing period of mental distress, just before they begin to consider whether or not they have some form of clinical depression. In this usage, the funk could be considered early stage depression, or pre-depression, depending on the individual.
Someone might describe themselves as in a funk when theyre actually experiencing a type of depression called seasonal affective disorder , which tends to affect people during the coldest and darkest months of the year: winter. For these people, the funk might be the depressive period itself, given that the onset is correlated with a season of dreary weather.
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Spend Time With Friends And Family
Having the support of friends and family can be very helpful in managing mental health and depression. By sharing what is making you feel depressed or spending time with those who support and care about you, you can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness that are often associated with depression.
Write A Gratitude List
At first, you may struggle to think of something to be grateful for, and your mood may even take an initial nosedive at the first attempt of this task. However, this is the exact inner environment that the gratitude list thrives on if you give it a chance.
Its an exercise that encourages you to seek out the parts of your life that dont suck. At first, it might be as mundane as a working washing machine or the sound of rain. Like with all of these practices, the more we return to them, the stronger the effect in the long run.
A regular gratitude practice, for example at the beginning or end of each day, can actually train the mind to spot more instances of positive aspects in our lives. Not only can this be a great pick-me-up if were in the depths of a funk, but it can also help combat future slumps we may have found ourselves in otherwise.
If you need some inspiration for your gratitude list, herere 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life.
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When Is Not Feeling Like Yourself Something To Be Concerned About
Most funks are short lived. A couple bad days here and there is really nothing to be too concerned about, says Brodsky. Its when the bad days or negative feelings seem to be lasting longer and longer.
A telltale sign that you might be dealing with something less serious is the ability to have breakthrough moments of joy. You might feel sad, but you find that talking to a friend or grabbing a coffee at your favorite cafe helps to perk you up. Try to identify moments of your day where you feel OK and take note of how long it lasts.
An indicator of something more serious is the inability to identify happiness or good times in your past. It might be cause for concern if you have the sense that things wont ever get better or if nothing improves your mood.
When were dealing with clinical depression, at times the person is not able to identify happy moments from their past, explains Brodsky. Its when you think that youve felt this way forever and its starting to really impact how you function or your obligations.
Clinical depression looks different on everyone, but hallmark signs include changes in appetite, feeling tired or exhausted all the time, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed or even physical pain or achiness.
If youre not experiencing any little joys or breakthrough moments of happiness, it might be time to reach out for support. A mental health expert can help you work through and manage your feelings.
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Listen To Upbeat Music
Music has a way of directing our moods. Choose music you really like and listen to it or have it playing in the background as you work.
Try humming along. If you can, try blasting music and making your house your personal dance floor. If you are driving, play the radio and sing at the top of your lungs.
Testosterone: The Feeling Of Power
Testosterone is the hormone of power, strength and capability. For both men and women, testosterone can completely change the way you feel. Now, testosterone is a tricky onetoo much and it can make you feel aggressive . Too little, and you feel powerless, lethargic, and limp . Some crazy facts about testosterone:
Basically, I want to know
How long is your finger?
Sounds dirty, doesnt it? Now, now, get your mind out of the gutter. Im talking about moods here! Heres a photo of my hand. For some reason, it feels weirdly intimate posting a picture of my hand. Oh well!
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Talk To Someone About It
Sometimes, your really do need to talk through whats going on instead of just trying to get over it. Sometimes I think that Im in a funk for no reason, but when I really take some time to pinpoint whats nagging at my mind, Im able to focus in on something thats got me anxious and worried. Often, simply identifying the problem is enough to help me reframe the situation in a more positive light, but talking through it with a trusted friend is usually the most fast-acting medicine to lift my spirits.
Image by Michelle Nash
Read An Uplifting Book Or Inspirational Quote
Depression is an ugly beast it will try to silence you, but dont let it. anonymous
It can be difficult when we feel down and out of our minds because nothing seems promising. Its easy for depressions negative influences like fear or anxiety to take over your life- telling themselves that if they didnt have this problem then everything would turn around soon enough . These feelings make us think there are no options available other than staying sad forever which leads into more dangerous territory: suicide rates among people dealing with severe mental health issues have increased dramatically in recent years. Get out of depression with the power of words. Read an uplifting book or inspirational quote to get your mind off those blues!
Check Your Brains Health
There are a ton of reasons why we might be feeling like were in a funk.
Depression, anxiety, and mood disorders are all thought to be related to neurotransmitter imbalances. Pulling ourselves out of a funk is one thing, but if one of these underlying conditions is the cause, youre going to want to know about it.
Serotonin, Dopamine, GABA, and Norepinephrine are the four main neurotransmitters associated with mood. Imbalances of any of these in our brain can absolutely wreak havoc on our mood. You should consider talking to a mental health professional about how youre feeling, to help determine whether you might have any neurological imbalances you should know about.
Other factors, such as testosterone levels, can also play a role in our mood. This is a bit easier to detect, as your physician can have your testosterone levels checked quickly and easily with a simple blood draw.
While I always recommend seeking professional help when things get tough, it is my personal opinion that long-term drug prescriptions should be the last line of defense against mental health disorders. Sometimes they may be necessary, but you are doing yourself a disservice if you do not exhaust all of your other options first .
What Is Wrong With Me
A slump, rut, funk is a fairly short lived bad day or bad couple of days, says Brodsky.
Sometimes our slumps can be reactions to something that happened to us. Maybe youre feeling lonely in quarantine or youre upset because you were passed up for a promotion at work. Perhaps youre feeling like all of your friends are getting married while youre still single, or it could be that a toxic friendship is starting to take a toll on you.
Other times there doesnt seem to be anything specific that triggered the funk, which can be frustrating and confusing.
When you cant pinpoint or identify a reason for why youre feeling the way that you are, try talking to someone, says Brodsky. Often times getting an outsiders perspective can give you a better viewpoint of whats really going on.
Another way to help you work through a hard time is to show yourself some self-compassion. Consider talking to yourself as if you were a friend. Often times were harsh or inpatient with ourselves when were feeling sad or down, but if a friend came to us going through something similar, wed show them kindness and understanding. Wed assure our friend that everything is going to be OK and wed remind them that theyre a good person and that this wont last forever.
So go ahead and show yourself that same grace and gentleness.
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Ways To Get Out Of A Depression Funk
As we travel along our own spiritual path and dredge up what no longer serves us there is bound to be times when we feel like we are getting sucked into a depression spiral. Where things seem bleak and happiness is nowhere to be found. If you havent been there hooray but also why are you reading this? I know I have been there. Often. Of course, use your own intuition to decide if its best to go see a licensed doctor to help you deal with your depression. This advice is only complementary to what youre already doing.
Before sharing 5 ways to snap out of it, I wanted to remind you to take care of some basics first:
- Be sure youre hydrated and have water on hand.
- Be sure youre fed for example, my body doesnt handle sugar or white flour well, so I know if Ive slipped up and consumed this that it will contribute to my depression and water and sleep are my best bet to let it out of my system.
- Be sure youre rested. Exhaustion will feed depression. If on the other hand, youve had plenty of sleep but still feel blah read on.
- Be sure youre grounded and have gotten sunlight. Yes it can be as simple as a few minutes of sunshine and the earth beneath your feet.
Take these suggestions and roll them in your own intuition or try each of them to see what does the trick for you. These all require a deep drive to want to feel better, even if you dont feel like you deserve it or have any reason to improve hold on to that sliver that you want to feel better.