When you are in a funk - you are in a funk! Profound, I know. But it is good to remember that detours in our journey are normal. The key to a life that keeps moving forward is to not go completely off the road. #beaturtle
I have been having difficulty writing encouraging words as of late. A funk is upon me. There are a few reasons for this - some physical issues and an up-coming surgery that makes me nervous, feeling lonely for family and long-distance friends, being reminded that when others are busy with kids and grandkids that I will never be surrounded by them. I could add to the list - unmanaged funks tend to send the mind toward all that is wrong or missing in your life, and my funk has been not been managed well. #managedepression
What is the key to fighting funk? What the heck are we supposed to manage?
There is a process our minds go through when faced with stressors called a thought chain. A thought chain goes like this:
Stressor ---> Negative Thought ---> Negative Emotion ---> Negative Reaction ---> Adds Stress ---> Process Continues.
Left unchecked, each time you come to a negative thought, it can expand and become an ugly hideous monster that leads to depression. So, this thought chain thing is a big deal. #thoughtchain
How then do we manage it?
We insert a direction correction somewhere in the chain. Sometimes we can nip the whole thing in the bud at the stress point. Say no to one more volunteer request. Can I change how I handle interruptions? You get the point. #directioncorrection
Most of the time, however, what really stresses us is not controllable or at least not easily so, such as chronic pain, impending divorce, loss of a job, kids making bad decisions. In these situations, we must insert our direction correction somewhere else along the chain.
what really stresses us is not controllable or at least not easily so
We could choose to change our reaction to things. This is what the success guru Stephen Covey called being proactive, not reactive. However, our initial emotion is not really ours to control.
If I get flipped off by a tow-truck driver for not getting over to the left lane (this happened recently and there were cars in my way), my gut emotion is anger. I have a choice though what I do with that anger. I chose not to honk my horn at him or other such actions!
This is good! But it is not a long term strategy. It is more a minute by minute thing that in and of itself can add stress.
The best place to insert our direction correction is at the negative thought.
How on earth do we do that? Well, since this blog is getting too long, you will have to come back in a few days to find out!
In the meantime, remember that we always have choices in life. We may not be able to choose what happens to us, but we do choose, even if we do not think we are, what we do with what happens to us.
Until next time, my your funks be few.