When I am in a good mood, I radiate. When I am not, I can feel like a dark and heavy cloud. As an empath, I am highly sensitive to the subtle energies within me and other living beings, and this can lead to both blissful highs and heart-breaking lows. I've had a lot of practice at learning how to get out of a funk. Here are some of my tips:
1. Figure out the message of your mood.
Before being able to move through something, we need to acknowledge and listen to it. Our moods are more than random occurrences. The rise in the diagnosis and medicalization of mood disorders can make a person think they are crazy to experience variability in moods. Don't worry, you're not crazy. But it's important to remember that if we don't try to understand our negative experiences, we are doomed to repeat them out of ignorance.
It's valuable and important to take a moment to investigate what possible causes for your funk is. Was it a behavior that you or someone else did? Was it a recurring thought of yours? Could this actually be someone else's mood that you are sensitive to and picking up on? As much as possible, but without stressing about it, get the message of your mood. If it's something that you or someone else did or thought, you might want to spend 5-10 minutes processing it in a journal. If you're not sure, you might just ask "Is this my energy?" and notice what you hear/see/feel the answer to be. If it's not yours, often that information will come to you, and you can intend and visualize sending the energy back to the source.
Very important: once you get an idea about the message of your mood, get out of your head! Rumination, or obsessively thinking something through, leads to anxiety and depression. If you're intellectual and analytical like me, it can be hard to separate from the monkey mind. I find it extremely effective to visualize taking my brain out of my head and breathing my heart energy up into my skull. It sounds crazy, but it works - try it! Going into nature helps with this too - see step 4 below.
2. Set up a sacred space.
If you don't already, I suggest having a dedicated space in your home where you go to reflect, meditate, journal, pray, etc. on a regular basis. Sacred self-care ritual is an extremely valuable tool in nurturing the immediate and future reality you wish to experience.
Let this be a space in your home that is quiet and comfortable and fill it with things that inspire in you a feeling of calm and expansiveness - candles, photos, art, words, pieces of nature (crystals, rocks, shells, feathers, flowers etc), statues of deities if you like, and sage, palo santo, or incense - and whatever else speaks to your spirit! Be creative and intuitive. When you regularly do self-care activities in this space, specifically those that connect you to your higher power, and you utilize all your senses in these rituals, you anchor into your consciousness the association between being in this space, seeing these objects, smelling these smells, with a feeling of calm, connection, and inspiration.
When you are in a funk, whether you feel in the mood for it or not, sit in your sacred space, light a candle and your favorite scent. Even if you just sit there and stare for awhile, there will be some movement of energy. You can write in your journal, read some inspiring writing, sing, cry, pray, do whatever you need to, knowing that this is a safe space to feel and express. Once you let it out, you will be more open to receive the inspiration that flows to you in this space.
If you need some grounding while you are away from home and can't access your sacred space, you can carry sacred objects and regrounding tools with you. For example, I always burn sage in my office before and after private clients, and take rose water to my agency job where I spray the group therapy room. Simply smelling sage or rose water reminds my system what it feels like to feel positive and balanced.
3. Honor the hurt part of you.
Shaming ourselves for our bad moods, because we think we are supposed to be happy and positive all the time, is half the problem. Put a hand on your heart or on your cheek and give some nurturing to that part of you that is not feeling good. Like you're talking to a child who needs love, let that part of you know that you understand what they are going through, that you love them, and that it's all going to be ok. In my experience of working with regression hypnotherapy, so much comes back to the necessary healing of the inner child. Simply using the image of your inner child helps you connect to the vulnerable and innately good part of you, which inspires the self-love that can often help to create an emotional and energetic shift. I keep a photo of myself as a baby in my sacred space to help me connect to this important healing quality. Additionally, I find that when you use words to nurture that part of you, you end up channeling a lot of wisdom from your higher self. As you are in this state, you can ask that higher part of you what else you might do from the next step below that will help you deal with your mood.
4. Get active.
Whatever kind of funk you're in, the fact is that energy has to get moving. There are so many ways to achieve this, and you can ask deep within yourself which will serve you best in the moment (even if you don't feel like doing it!) and go with your instinct. One great option is physical activity - one of my psychology mentors once said to me that the cure for anxiety and depression is not xanex and prozac, it's simply physical exercise. If you can, getting out into nature is extremely beneficial, as the different elements react with your own body and nervous system to transmute negative energy and facilitate grounding and connection. Plus, the sense of awe and wonderment of nature has been shown to be an antidote to rumination, a major cause of anxiety and depression.
You can also get stagnant or overactive energy in the body balanced out by doing different breath work techniques (perhaps I'll write another post about all the options soon!). Being of service to another (person, animal, even plant!) is also extremely effective in spreading positivity both within and around you by getting you out of your brain and into your heart.
It is when we least want to do these things that we need to do them the most. Even if you are in the most stubborn of funks and can't seem to find your way out, know that in time it will most certainly shift, as all things in nature cycle. Remember, you have survived 100% of your hard days so far.
Let me know if you find these techniques helpful, or if you have any great ones that I missed!
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