How to Get Out of That Funk

Recently, I was preparing to deliver a speech and found myself in a funk. I was experiencing an unusual amount of distraction and self-doubt. Fortunately, I had about four hours before I was to go on stage. So, I decided to call my wife, Gail.

Young Woman Running at the Beach - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/EricHood, Image #14052355

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/EricHood

She instantly knew I wasn’t in a good place. (This is one of the many benefits of long-term marriage. My wife can read me like a book.) After listening to me whine for a few minutes she said, “Okay, I want you to hang up and go for a run. Call me when you are done.”

I was tempted to blow her off, but I knew in my heart that she was right. I needed a big shift in my emotional state. It wasn’t going to just happen. I needed to do something.

When I called her an hour later, everything had changed. My emotional state had shifted—dramatically. I was focused, alert, and upbeat. I had a can-do attitude.

This was a good reminder of something we had learned years ago from Tony Robbins:

Emotion is created by motion.

If you want to change your emotional state, often all that is necessary is for you to change your physiology. I have experienced this first-hand again and again.

Don’t believe me? Try this:

  • Slouch in your chair
  • Round your shoulders
  • Take shallow breaths
  • Close your eyes
  • Frown and then sigh

If you are like me, almost immediately you will start feeling down—maybe even a little discouraged. As it turns out, discouragement and sadness have specific physical manifestations.

But so does joy and confidence.

This is why you can look at someone and say, “You look like you are having a difficult day.” Or conversely, “Wow. You look like you are on top of the world!”

Over the years, I have learned (and Gail periodically reminds me) that I can change my emotional state for the better by focusing on my physiology rather than my emotions. So can you. Try these five steps:

  1. Put on some upbeat music. This can dramatically alter your mood, because of the memories you associate with certain tunes. Gail recently created a playlist of Music for an Outstanding Day, which I borrowed. It is awesome!
  2. Stand up and stretch. Try to reach the ceiling. Get on your tippy-toes. If you are brave—and no one else is around—jump up and down for 60 seconds. Shake it out. Rotate your neck. Look up.
  3. Take several deep breaths. Oxygenating the blood makes you more alert and awake. Close your eyes and concentrate on breathing. Draw the air deep into your diaphragm (or gut). This is a great way to forget about what has you down or afraid.
  4. Get your body in motion. The more vigorous you can move the better. Go for a run, a bicycle ride, or simply a walk—preferably outdoors. This stimulates your blood flow and gets oxygen to to your whole body. If you do it long enough, your brain will release endorphins that elevate your mood.
  5. Focus on the positive. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he“ (Proverbs 23:7). Think strong, positive thoughts. Affirm what you know to be true. Give thanks for what you have rather than what you don’t have. Shift your internal narration to what you get to do rather than what you have to do.

I am now going through this process a couple of times a day, usually first thing in the morning, then again after lunch. It has given me the energy and emotional boost I need to be productive and stay productive.

Question: What relationship have you observed between your physiology and your emotional state? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://jhwist.tumblr.com/ Henrik Wist

    Great post again, Michael. It relates very well with me.

    On a side note: The link to the playlist is broken.

    Have a great day!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for pointing out the broken link. All fixed now.

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

    When I start feeling down, I start my spoken “drill” (words to this effect): “God absolutely loves me and I am blessed. There is nothing greater than God’s love. I am blessed. I love You, Lord. I am blessed. Both You and I love everyone in this world. We all are blessed. Father, today let everyone know that You love each and every one of us. We all are blessed. Make it personal to everyone and set all of us free with the understanding of Your love. We all are blessed. I love You, Papa Father, with everything I have. You are my life!”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent. That’s what I call taking control of the inner Narrator.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      I find speaking out loud about who God is also helpful. “You are the eternal God, the Almighty Father. You have raised up mountains, scooped out valleys, scattered the stars…”

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    Interesting post! I like to add REST along with these five great funk-busters. Sometimes overwork is the problem. Solution: stop what you are doing and take time to relax and rest. You may listen to a healing-Scriptures CD. Or put on some faith-building worship songs. Take a ‘power nap’. It works wonders!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am a firm believer in power naps. I take one almost everyday.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Lucy.Ann.Moll Lucy Ann Moll

        I am one of those peeps for which napping for any amount of time de-energizes me. It only helps during illness. Exercising and stretching — and getting a full eight hours at night — energize me best.

  • http://www.wol.ca/staff/lyons Charlie Lyons

    Great post! I’m going to try these things today when about 2:30pm or so rolls around. :) That’s my funk time of day.

    Thanks so much, Michael.

    • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

      Charlie, 2:30 or 3 is the time for me too. I’ve found that if I eat a healthy snack at that time, it picks me up.  I think that blood sugar is some how involved and once your lunch is gone having that little snack helps.  Best wishes!

      • http://www.wol.ca/staff/lyons Charlie Lyons

        Yep, that’s what I’ve found also, eating the healthy snack. Thanks for the good tip. Blessings!

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        That is a great way Kelly. I know I get a pick me up from a quick cup of yogurt or a nice apple for a mid morning and afternoon snack.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      That is when I my funk usually hits too. Hope it helps!

  • Damilola Okuneye

    Very simple, straightforward and easy to apply. Thanks Michael!

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    I’ve found prayer to be tremendously helpful. And also practicing gratitude – it seems I’ve read a blog post somewhere about that recently :)
    What helps me is specifically gratitude for my past successes. It’s hard to dwell on the negative when you see how far God has taken you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Isn’t that true? It’s all a matter of perspective.

  • Dianeoc

    Please re-send the fabulous playlist!!!! Now you have my curiosity up! I completely agree with everything you said, and would also concur with the other comments about rest, prayer, & praise.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I just fixed the link. Sorry about that.

  • Julieb

    Yeah, I’d LOVE the playlist and it’s broken.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It’s now fixed.

  • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

    That’s true. It’s amazing but your emotions often do follow your physical motions. I’ve had times I remember to force my mouth into a smile, and it picks me up every time. Not sure why it works, but it does.

    • http://blog.rumorsofglory.com/ Lucille Zimmerman

      Eric, hope you don’t mind if I share here. This from a chapter I’m writing: 

      Can
      you tell a real smile from a fake one? Did you know that biting down on a
      pencil, as you smile, actually makes you happy? That’s because it works the
      same muscles as the Genuine Smile. The Genuine smile, otherwise known as the
      “Duchenne smile,” involves both voluntary and involuntary contraction
      from two muscles, the zygomatic major (raising the corners of the mouth) and
      the orbicularis oculi (raising the cheeks and producing crow’s feet around the
      eyes). A fake smile, often the one we use when our picture is being taken, only
      contracts the zygomatic major. So when you’re looking through photo albums and magazines
      and you want to know who is really happy, look for the people with crinkles
      around their eyes, not the ones who are simply stretching their lips across
      their face.

      What’s going on in the brain that creates these two
      different smiles? Scientists have discovered that these two
      types of smiles are actually controlled by two completely different parts of
      the brain. When a patient with damage to the motor cortex on the brain’s left
      hemisphere attempts to smile, the smile is asymmetrical, with the right side of
      the smile not moving, as it should. However, when that same patient
      spontaneously laughs, the smile is normal with no asymmetry. The fake smile is
      controlled by the motor cortex, while emotion-related movements, like the
      Duchenne smile, is controlled by the limbic system (the emotional center of the
      brain).

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Thanks for that explanation. Love it!

      • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

        Lucille —

        What book are you writing? My son has read everything he can get his hands on about reading facial expressions and would be thrilled with a new book!

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Interesting, thanks for the story!

      • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

        That’s interesting. Thank you for sharing. Do you have a working title for your book? 

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I have notice the same thing. Most of the time I forget to do it (which is why I am writing this down) but when I remember it really does work!

      • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

        I forget to do it a lot too.  But it always works. I also have a playlist on my iPhone I call “feel better”. I started it when I was unemployed last year. I could always turn to those songs for a quick pick up.

  • Sarah Allen

    My eyes popped when I saw the title and read your blog post. I mean, what are the chances? Anyway, here’s my blog post, audioblogged earlier today (Sydney time) and then posted this evening, on just the very topic of yours.
    And the title? Get Outta that Funk. http://sarahallenconsulting.com.au/get-outta-that-funk
    All I can say is great minds funk alike!
    Best, Sarah

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is hilarious! Thanks.

  • kstephens

    WOULD LOVE TO see the playlist for the UPBEAT MUSIC. but it will not open. I see that others have already mentioned this.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I just fixed it. Thanks.

  • http://blog.rumorsofglory.com/ Lucille Zimmerman

    Every morning when I wake up and read your blog, I get excited. Another great one Mike. I’m definitely checking out the CD you mentioned. One of my favorite music CD’s — and completely different from what I would ever listen to — is Enrique Iglesias “Escape.” It never fails to get me in an upbeat mood.

    All your suggestions really do have power to change one’s mood. They also seem like small things but they make a big difference.

    It makes me laugh that Gail tells you to go run — my husband does the same thing with me.

    One other item I would add to your list. Smell the flowers. Smelling lavender, or baking bread, or cinnamon, all change the brain waves. Whenever I’m going in to my office and I’m a little nervous about a difficult client, I put some lavender lotion on my hands and hold it up to my nose.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love the idea about appealing to the sense of smell. This is one of our post powerful senses and can definitely make a difference. Thanks for the reminder.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      Good advice. Cinnamon, especially on toast or rolls, certainly elevates my mood. Just thinking about it is making me smile. Thanks.

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Right on. Telling myself that something GREAT is gonna happen today first thing in the morning helps me keep that in mind. (Stolen from Joyce Meyer). The days I forget I certainly notice. Do you take an afternoon nap? I thought I had read that in a previous post. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I do. 20 minutes almost everyday right after lunch.

  • Anthony DiMaio

    OK… very important stuff Michael… but did you leave maybe one thing out? On a spiritual level, there is clearly another dimension; and as a leader that can never be overlooked!  Scripture (Isaiah 61:3) speaks about a spirit of heaviness.  Also, there is the element that you might be (as a leader) experiencing the general state of the audience you were about to address.  All of this requires what you recommend, plus the, “Hey Lord, what’s your take today?”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great point. Thanks.

  • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

    Great post Michael.

    Maybe the playlist is the one Gail mentions here?:

    http://gailbhyatt.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/5-steps-for-harnessing-the-power-of-music/

    cheers,
    Paul.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, that’s it. I have fixed the link above, too. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Michael 

    I start my day in prayer, but I have had that funk as of late myself.  I always feel guilty if I stop and go workout or go for a walk.  But what you have done for me is point to how less productive I am and “stealing” from myself and others by not giving my best available because I am in a funk.  This state of funk becomes a longer lasting state that build upon itself overtime to the point you become accustomed to the load.     I have know this for a long time, but I have found that the more I am responsible for, the more I beat myself up.

    I am taking the time today.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you!

  • http://hoop.la Rosemary ONeill

    I love the idea of re-doing the wake-up after lunch…it’s intuitive to start the day that way, but sometimes you need an extra boost later.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I know most days I need a little extra boost after having a great lunch.

  • Anonymous

    I work in a large building with a community restroom/break area at the end of each hallway. When I’m in a funk (usually after spending hours isolated in my cube in the lab) I find that a brisk walk to the break area helps, but even more so if I encounter others and am able to exchange cheerful greetings. The positive human interaction definitely helps improve my disposition. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=73003476 Josue Sierra

    Michael, would you share that playlist?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The link is now fixed in the post. Sorry about that.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Helpful post, Michael. Along with your list, here are a few things that have helped me in the past.

    1. Take a short nap of 20 minutes or less. This makes a big difference in the afternoon.
    2. Get a cup of coffee. Stopping by a Starbucks or McDonalds usually picks me up.
    3. Read a devotional. Finding a positive commentary along with scripture works wonders
    4. Listen to a motivational audio book. Having Zig Ziglar in my ear usually changes the attitude
    5. Write some fiction. Takes my mind off my problems and lets the creative juices flow.

    And of course, checking in on your blog, and finding helpful articles like this can’t hurt either..

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I may try that last one. I would still be staying productive but in a different venue so it would not necessarily feel like I was working. Thanks!

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks for those professional and useful tips John! You always write insightful stuff!

  • http://checkmatesystem.com Mary

    Thanks for sharing great tips; I LOVE your wife!!  Her music idea is one I never considered; I don’t think I’ve even read that anywhere.   Gail rocks!

  • Tambradunn

    This makes total sense. The usual time in my day to have moments of shame or guilt is when I am trapped in my car in traffic. This is the most discouraging part of the day. I hate when it’s prolonged.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      A great question to ask yourself when you are stuck in traffic: what does this make possible? My car has been my prayer closet, my rolling university, and my news briefing room. I actually miss the commute now, because of these times alone.

  • Julie

    I tried following the link for the ‘upbeat music’ for the day.  I couldn’t find it.  Could you help?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, it is fixed in the post now. Just make sure you refresh the page.

  • Roger Griffith

    Michael,

    I appreciate your post. I needed to hear that today. Great advise.

    To hear that other leaders struggle at times with this as well, reassures me that I am not alone.

    Thanks!

  • http://youthnativity.org Christopher Wesley

    This is a good reminder, for me after I run my ideas flow and I find myself more productive.  Right now I have an aching back and it serves as a distraction.  Even if I can’t run I’ll try to get fresh air and loosen the joints before I head back to the drawing board.  

  • David Stevens

    Michael, excellent thoughts for turning our day around.  I have 7 Resets that I use that start like this: “I am on God’s mind again today (even if I just messed up). I really do matter to God and He is always thinking precious thoughts about me. Today, I will let God be on my mind too.” This is based on Romans 12:2: “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (NLT). See http://davidstevenstheresetlife.com/index.html.   It goes back also to your recent post about guarding our hearts.  I have shared your blog with several friends lately who now love your inspirational thoughts as much as I do.

  • Rob Sorbo

    So very true. 

    I’ve never been much of a sleeper, so every now and then I’ll be really tired. I find that the only time my lack of sleep gets to me is when I let it by slowing myself down and telling myself that I’m too tired to keep going.

  • http://archersinsa.blogspot.com Clint

    I was doing fine til I tried your funk inducing exercise. PTL you included the antidote. 
    This is my first comment here, but I’ve been cyber stalking your wisdom for a while. Thanks for making productivity fun.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ha! I wondered if that might happen! I’m glad you decided to comment.

  • http://www.mywritersconnection.com ErinKCasey

    I go for a quick walk when I have writer’s block. It works like magic.

    Also, it’s hard not to smile if you hold a pen between yoru teeth (as if you were holding a rose and doing the Tango). Push the pen back until the corners of your mouth turn up slightly. I read about this trick a couple months ago and have been using it on my 8-year-old when he’s in a funk. It works!

  • http://www.exceltoday.org Victor Ehiemere

    WOW!!! Thanks Michael for this! It brings the physio-emotional relationship to the forefront of my mind. Just tried a combo: Listened to upbeat music while speaking life to myself and said to go prayer, all done while running! AWESOME!!!!!

    Have an ‘OUTSTANDING DAY’!!!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am planning on it!

  • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

    The music one is my favorite! I love music and it effects me like nothing else can. I was writing a devotion book called “Rockin’ Revelations – Devotions based on hit songs of the 70s” with the notion that I would follow with the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately those song writers hold the copyrights tightly and expensively, and I had to bag the idea.  But music is so inspiring to me.

    Moving is the other one that works for me.  If I’m down I begrudgingly make myself go for a walk and then I do feel better.

    Attitude is a choice.  We can hunker down in our misery or we can fight it.  It isn’t easy, but it is worth it.  Thanks for the post!

    • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

      P.S. I always appreciate how you honor your wife with your posts.  It is a great example to the rest of us.

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/about Ryan Hanley

    Michael,

    As a hobby/2nd job I am a high school basketball referee and I’ve been doing it for 9 years…  I love it.  The exercise the electrified environment… I could write a book on the emotional and physical battle that takes place during every game as a basketball referee

    My point is the month of August, September and October are down months for basketball.  There really isn’t anything going on and this year I have been doing so much for work that I haven’t been exercising as Normal…

    Well Basketball season is back and I worked a set of 3 games last weekend.  I came home all jacked up and my wife asked what was going on because my mood was so upbeat.

    EXERCISE!

    Great post.

    Thanks!

    Ryan h.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      If I were a counselor, I would insist my clients did regular exercise. It solves so MANY psychological problems—or at least gives you the energy to tackle them.

  • http://twitter.com/YourVoiceCoach cynthiazhai

    Thank you for the openness & sharing!!!   I found doing exercises helps. It changes my state after that.

  • Amanda S

    I think you read my mind Michael! I’ve been in a funk lately and haven’t had any motivation to get up in the morning or do anything but go home and sleep after work. In the back of my mind I knew it had something to do with the slacking of my exercise routine. I usually work out 4-5x a day but this cold weather has been finding me hiding inside. Your post is a reaffirming sign that I really do need to have more motion in my life. I also love the idea of an outstanding day music playlist. Music can always get me in the right state of mind. Thanks for a great post! Today’s the day I’m going to start breaking out of my funk!

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      Good luck breaking out!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you! I appreciate you taking responsibility for making a change.

  • Agz

    I read this post just as an apathetic feeling was creeping up on me. This post reminded me how right you are indeed, and a shift in mindset,  is required to reboot us into feeling positive. 
    We have to find our button to reset….it may be exercise, music or looking at loved ones photos.
    Thank you Micheal…..this post appeared just when I needed cheering up.

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    I think these few simple things we forget so often something like putting up beat music can make a difference. 

    I will keep this list close to me to keep as a reminder. 

    I also use my partner to keep me in check we have been together for 6+ years but she does a good job of understanding when I need to go for a run or just get out of my chair. 

  • Shawnaknight

    Great post. Thank you. The link for the music doesn’t seem to work and I’m quite interested in what’s on it. Any chance of looking into that?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It should be working now.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    Physical motion certainly works, but I’ve found its benefits don’t outlast the activity itself. So the moment I stop moving, I’m essentially back where I was before. 

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      That’s a point worth pondering 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You need to do it longer. Try a good brisk walk (or run) for 45-60 minutes. It will change your biochemistry.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        Yes, I exercise every day, usually 50 minutes, but whatever little change in my state this brings about ends once my pulse has returned to normal.

        I once told a doctor about my relative lack of “runner’s high,” and she said I may be generally deficient in some hormone or neuro-transmitter or something.

        Although when I used to wait tables—an activity I loathed beyond description—the running-around part during the dinner rush rendered it somewhat bearable, because then I didn’t feel like I might keel over at any moment anymore.

        That’s what makes desk jobs so deadly for me. When I’m bored I must move around vigorously or I pass out.

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    As I read this I tried a couple. When I looked up, I seemed to have a glimmer of hope for the day. I had already started out today tired and a little defeated. After I type this up I am going to write them down and try them out for a few days. Thanks for the ideas!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Oonaugh-Wood/532511954 Greg Oonaugh Wood

    Thanks for the great reminder Michael.  I know that when I am down just before I go onstage I will jump up and down and stretch backstage, right up to and including my introduction.  My audience desrves to see me at my best. However,  I don’t think much about it when I am not on stage.  This has reminded me to get moving and listen to upbeat music whenever I am down.

  • Jack Lynady

    Nice read Michael. Hope I don’t hurt any pastors feelings here but the best worship i ever experience is when I go on a run. So thankful to Him for it.

  • http://strengths.jimseybert.com Jim Seybert

    Great reminder. Question is: Why dont I do this more often?

  • http://twitter.com/chris_rainey Chris Rainey

    After my workout this morning I was pondering this very thing. The morning’s I don’t work out lead to a less productive day in every area of my life – work, spiritual, family, etc… The days that I get myself out of bed early and hit the gym have a significant impact on the day.

  • Anonymous

    Great post!

    I would add to your list, making a point of brightening someone else’s day.

    It is amazing to me how much this improves my own attitude. 

    I can be standing in line at Wal-Mart, all in a funk, thinking about my own issues and paying no attention to the people around me.  Then I choose to notice the person next to me in line, or the clerk behind the counter.  I choose to take note of their projected attitude and to enage them in conversation.  I choose to say something encouraging to them.

    As I walk out of the store I am smiling and so is the other person.  Major attitude adjustment!

    When I say goodbye to my kids, for the day, I always tell them, “Be a Blessing!” (something I learned from my mother).  It is a choice, and it makes all the difference.

    Thanks, Michael!

  • Kevin Wax

    Great post! I had lunch with a lifetime friend yesterday who is in a long slump. We talked about many of these issues… and then, providentially, your post arrived this morning. I forwarded it to him. Thanks for being faithful!

  • Anonymous

    What a wonderful and timely post! I’m in grad school and working full-time and keep getting into a funk/rut. These are such simple ideas, but I think sometimes I forget about the simple fixes! 

  • Sheryl Bullock

    My husband says this is why he vacuums.  He said the sound of the motor, the movement, seeing the lines on the carpet, etc., give him a sense of accomplishment.  When he turns off the vacuum, he feels energized.

  • Tom

    You are correct. I feel a lot better and have a better attitude on days that I run as opposed to days that I don’t. Good Job.

  • Anonymous

    Great and needed advice especially as I recover from double mastectomy and head back to our small island with all eyes watching. Can’t do running but everything else.

  • Kodomo73

    I have learned that when I am doing absolutely nothing — i get headaches, body aches — become aggressively irritated….however…when I kick myself out of the chair — go outside — even for a few minutes — i feel so much better. just the motion of moving out — helps. afterwards — i really dont want to go back in.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I’ve noticed a huge connection to my physiological state and my emotional state since I have become more physically active. A short run breaks the bad mood I may be in, a quick set of pushups or pullups also brings a better mood.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      I like your new gravatar Joe! It’s good.

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Thanks Uma.

        I am also using it on my blog for a picture. I’ve had a few good comments regarding it but also a few comments that say it is out of focus. If you have a minute, could you swing by and let me know what you think?

        • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

          Joe! Just referred to your site. The photographer has slightly shaken while clicking you and as a result, the picture has slightly been blurred. And, hence the clarity has been reduced.

          • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

            Uma, thank you for taking a look. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to help me out. I’ll be swapping the picture out for a more clear one.

          • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

            It’s my pleasure Joe! You are always welcome.

            Subject: [mhyatt] Re: How to Get Out of That Funk

  • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

    During the winter, when my feet get cold, I start to feel anxious. Once I build a fire and put on slippers, my emotional state settles settles right down. But it took me years to recognize this reverse cycle of the effect triggering a cause!

  • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

    I appreciate the “emotion is created by motion” observation.

    I like to maximize my positive energy during the day. Being a morning person, I intentionally do my thoughtful work to start the day. This helps with a positive trajectory for the day.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, that’s fantastic insight on why long tense meetings stay long and tense.  I will throw breathing and stretching into my bag of tricks for facilitating difficult meetings.

  • http://kathleenomalley.wordpress.com/ kathleen

    I want to be that kind of wife! You’ve inspired me to work out during my lunch break. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Just tried your prescription (raked leaves).  It worked!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Awesome!

  • http://avajae.blogspot.com Ava Jae

    Wonderful post, and so very true. I’ve made it a point recently to tell people right away in the morning that I’m having a good day–the more I say it aloud and to myself, the more I start to believe it. Mindset changes everything!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      So true. Our words matter. They also shape how we perceive reality.

      • http://avajae.blogspot.com Ava Jae

        They most certainly do. Words are a powerful thing. 

  • Anonymous

    Thank goodness for wives with chutzpah!

  • Anonymous

    Great post. Always a wonderful reminder — MOVE! BREATHE! BE HERE NOW, not lost in fearing the future or regretting the past.

    My way of dealing with a foul mood combines two of Michael’s suggestions. I get up from my desk, go outside and take a “Walk of Gratitude.” I direct my attention outside myself as I walk through God’s beautiful world. I take note of nature’s wonders. I take a deep breath and thank God for my health. I say a prayer of thanks (no asking, only thanking). By the time I return to my desk I’m in much better shape.

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  • Don

    Mike,

    Great thoughts, and thanks for the connection to Gail’s blog. Loved her post and immediately played “We Are The Champions” from Queen to start my day.

    Also read “Good-bye To Nelson”. So sad…..my condolences.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Don.

  • elise

    My husband and I have gotten into the habit of taking a 3-mile walk early in the am. This has been a boost physically and a mutual opportunity to share our thoughts, goals, obstacles, etc. Today, my husband was not available…and I was so tempted not to walk. I pushed myself to do it anyway. It turned out to be a refreshing way to clear my thoughts, pray, and meditate. By the end, I was energized and even had some new ideas to consider.
    BTW, I really appreciate the way you consistently honor your wife in your blogs.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      We don’t do it often enough but I agree with you on walking together. That energizes both my body and my marriage.

  • Lindsay

    If you’d like a diagnostic term for the physiology of funk, you can use mine: Slugblood :-)

    My best friend and I will let each other know when we suffer from slugblood. Symptoms include being bored, tired and cranky-with-a-smidge-of-self-pity — but also a literal feeling that our blood isn’t pulsing as swiftly, as energetically as it should. Yes, indeed, movement and music are great cures! Maybe that’s why my dog likes it when I tell him I have slugblood. He knows we’ll be going for a walk soon.

  • http://twitter.com/thegospelwriter Wanza Leftwich, TGW

    Again, you absolutely right. I’m learning that my mood can change. I don’t have to be stuck in a sad mood all day.

  • Anonymous

    We don’t always think our way into a new way of being, but we act our way there.  Sometimes just pretending with your actions that you are doing well soon turns it into reality

  • Francarona

    Would love to know what’s on that playlist, Michael.  Link didn’t work.  Good post, as always.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Link should be working now. You may have to refresh the page. Thanks.

  • Tommy Kiedis

    Thanks Michael. I appreciate the point about simply getting up and moving around. It DOES make a difference.  Here’s my post, “How David Got His Groove Back,” when King David was in a serious funk and how he got out. http://tommykiedis.com/2010/09/17/how-david-got-his-groove-back/

    Thanks for the great help you have been to me!

  • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

    I find that just walking down the driveway to the mailbox can be a “pick me up” when I’m in a funk!

  • Jordi

    Hi really enjoy your post, actually , I am doing right now AR cds about Personal power, he was saying the ratio for deep breath should be 1/4/2, meaning (7sg/28/14sg), very interesting that you have similar comment today

    best Jordi

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That series was my first exposure to Tony. It was a huge, positive shift for me.

  • http://twitter.com/jnthnhrrsn Jonathan Harrison

    Thanks, Michael! Amy Cuddy has a great TED-like video where she demonstrates that even 2 minutes in a “power pose” (think hands behind your head, feet up on your desk) significantly increases testosterone and lowers levels of cortisol, making you feel like you can tackle more. Worth the watch! http://vimeo.com/30932119

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is an awesome video. I am going to post it tomorrow on my blog.

  • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

    I hope it’s OK to make two comments on a blog post. I’ve seen a lot of people asking Michael for a playlist. I find it to be an individual thing. I keep a playlist on my iPhone I call “Feel Better”. I started it when I was laid off early in 2010. I’ve had some songs I turn to a lot for inspiration or a lift. Before I was laid off, I hit a point in my job where things got pretty miserable. I listened to The All American Rejects’ song “Move Along” a lot. Also, “It Is Well With My Soul”, and “Praise You In This Storm”. “Amazing Grace” never fails to deliver. I have a lot of other songs that either lift me spiritually or just get my blood flowing because they’re good songs. I’m sure all of our playlists are somewhat individual.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You can leave as many comments as you like! Thanks.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    To be honest, I was wondering how the picture tied into your article. Smart guy that I am, I figured it had to do with more than a pretty face.

    I usually get up groggy in the morning but play basketball with a group of guys at 6:30. I can testify those 45 minutes of activity energize me for a good morning’s work. A dog in need of a walk helps get me out in the afternoon, even in the current frigid conditions.

    I noticed I had less of the blues in colder climes when we lived in Russia as opposed to northern Wisconsin. The big difference was lack of a car meant more outdoor walking in Russia (plus sunnier days–oh, the importance of sunshine!).

    I agree. Motion does help determine emotion.

  • Patty

    Hey Mike this was great information.  I get this way a lot about quite a few things. Too often in fact.  You are very fortunate to have your wife to encourage you when you need it. I need to talk more often to my confidant my Lord And Savior for encouragement.  I spend way too much time trying to get over the humps through other means… eating, Pinterest, you know. Have a great day!

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Great stuff!  And so true!  I’ve noticed that I get down easier when I am not feeling the best physically.  I think our attitude is largely connected to our physical state.  TRhanks for the great suggestions!  This is going inot my evernote folder for future reference, and parts of it might even get into my life plan!

  • http://golfwisdomlife.com Larry Galley

    Thanks the reminders Michael, they bring energy to the attitude I choose.  Energy + attitude are key determinants in the emotions I experience.

    Larry Galley

  • Highfuelprices

    6. Say a prayer and trust God to hear his voice. 

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  • http://twitter.com/DebPreachuk Deb Preachuk

    Thank you Michael – I enjoyed this post very much and am going to share a part of it with my readers.  It resonates with everything I teach and do in my private practice.

    Bless you! 
    http://www.painfreeposturemn.com

  • Paige Willey

    When I talk to my mother on the telephone, she can always tell if I haven’t been for a run that day because my attitude is so poor. Running is among one of the best ways I keep my emotions in balance. 

  • Anonymous

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  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    Good advice – my challenge is when I’m in a “funk” – the last thin I want to do is MOVE!  But so true that when I do – mood changes! 

  • Sk1959

    Wow, that really makes sents. I need to drill that into my head somehow.

  • Connie Mills

    My husband just had a quadruple heart bypass and saw this post as I was reviewing the e-mail I missed from last week. We’re on day 3 in the hospital. What good advise to pass on to him. He won’t be able to go for a run anytime soon, but a positive outlook is going to mean everything to his recovery.

    I so appreciate your blog!

    Connie

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You might also try watching lots of comedy shows and funny movies. Laughter releases all kinds of good hormones into our system. The science is compelling! It will help him heal faster.

  • Cslamber

    I believe the reason I exercise is more about the lasting enhanced mood and confidence.  Even as I work-out, I can feel myself standing straighter and moving more easily.   Thanks for the post.

  • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

    I recently read in Dr. Jim Loehr’s book Stress for Success about how he teaches athletes to practice their acting.  Sure they don’t like to call it “acting”, but he notes that the relevant parts of the brain that help control emotion don’t know the difference between acting and not acting…so the whole “fake it til you make it” seems to have some weight here.

    Of course, my point isn’t to fake anything, but rather start being what / who you want to be (upbeat, happy, curious, interested, calm)…and you will begin to trigger the parts of the brain that actually make it so.

    Another relevant source: Dr. John Ratey’s book: Spark. ..about exercise and the brain.  Want to feel stimulated and get the juices flowing upstairs?  Get the body moving.  Just do it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I loved Stress for Success. That book had a very positive impact on me.

  • http://www.meeklabs.com meeklabs

    I find music is my best mood changer as well as just getting out of the cube and going outside.  I use fast music to just tune everything out, music from fun movies like Pixar’s to lighten my mood, powerful Christian songs to get the blood pumping, and jazz to focus on reading.

    When in a foul mood, cranking up Christian rock and singing along in my truck (no one, including me wants to hear my voice) almost always does the job of putting my soul in a good place. :-)

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  • Anonymous

    Hi Michael,
    Thank you so much for this post. I have made exercise a big part of my life, I workout for at least an hour a day and in particular I get a big adrenaline rush from spin class. I noticed that when I workout I am more alert, and it’s so true about the endorphins release. If I should miss more than a day I feel it in my mood and attitude so that’s why it is now a priority. I am also learning the power of confessing God’s word and trusting my life to God’s sovereign control. I do my part by obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit and I trust God for the outcomes. I tend to get anxious when things are not moving as fast as I like but I meditate and recall the truth of God’s word about who I am and it calms me.

    Thanks again, I love this blog!

  • http://www.idatix.com Samantha

    When stuck in a rut at work, I often am not able to go for a jog or listen to music.I found a good break for me, and usually inspirational, is to read and catch up on other blogs and TED talks.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patti-Schieringa/100000060620784 Patti Schieringa

    This is a good page to put in my medicine cabinet. Better than hints from Heloise.
    Thanks so much.

  • Jttourville

    Quite ironic I just read this post.  I came back from a lunch with a guy that is very depressed and perhaps has “over-spiritualized” the issue.  While I rarely tell people what to do (consider that very dangerous territory), my suggestion to him was “get your butt up and exercise”.  I know for me, motion does creation positive emotion. 

  • Teresa

    What a great message. Your post was so helpful to me that I decided to share it with friends and colleagues. Many of us are in a tough spot or funk right now — lack of work and money, world problems, etc. I wanted you to know that your message was positively received. Those who responded were very grateful for your suggestions. Thank you from all of us!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m so glad to hear that. Thanks!

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  • http://www.odd-news.com odd news

    Amazing post, thanks for share.

  • Gail Kasper

    In my self-help book, I introduce
    the Systematic Attitude Development-Technique™ (SAD-T™) which is a readily
    available self-empowerment tool. A systematic method that gets you the results
    you want, when you need them the most. A series of steps you can take to get
    unstuck whenever you find yourself trapped in an unproductive pattern.

    Gail Kasper

    Author, Another Day Without A Cage: My Breakthrough From
    Self Imprisonment To Total Empowerment and Unstoppable: 6 Easy Steps To Achieve
    Your Goals

    http://www.gailkasper.com

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  • J.D.

    Yes, you are right on..i will go for a run and twenty minutes into the run…pow the brain give me a great mental boost…its so true, the hard part is starting the run. enjoy the day

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510445025 Elizabeth Gordon

    Just found this blog this morning and put it into practice right away by collecting favourites for a Good Morning playlist. I blogged about it here: http://www.elizabethgordon.net/2/post/2011/12/good-morning-music.html

    Thanks for a great post! (Gail’s was good too!)

  • http://www.cosmicquotes.com Quotes

    Great post, and very helpful! Thanks for sharing those insights!

  • Anonymous

    This is great – Thank you for sharing! I completely agree with you in that staying in a logical state of mind over emotional will keep you moving forward, I even wrote a book about it! The 5 steps you’ve provided to escape the emotion are useful tools!

    Gail KasperMotivational Speaker and Author, Unstoppable: 6 Easy Steps To Achieve Your Goals

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  • http://twitter.com/PainFreeMN Deb Preachuk

    Great post!  I’ve shared and linked it into one I wrote.  Thanks for the inspiration and honestly sharing your experience.  It changes lives!

    http://bit.ly/z34L9Z 

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  • http://www.livebeyondawesome.com/ Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

    Excellent advice Michael! I can so tell when my “emotional tank” is running low – I get cranky, negative, and whiny.  It usually happens when I have been laser focused on a particular area for too long and have avoided putting things such as exercise and touching base with the positive influences aside for an extended period of time. Short bursts of this is fine to get things done, but NOT over the long run. By running my emotional tank on low, I find it usually takes me more to “refill my tank” then just keeping it filled. 
    LOVE how you broke this down!
    Live Beyond Awesome.
    Jen
    Twitter: @TheIronJen:disqus 

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  • Carter Little

    Thank you ^.^ the last few days i’ve been in a serious funk, I read this and I’m going to try some of the things on here. Nonetheless I really appreciate this website. Thanks ^.^

  • mcnairwilson

    No.1 for me is to completely BREAK MY ROUTINE (at the moment). Along w/ all the good suggestions above: Change location (even in my house or a cafe): MOVE to different room at home, or (in cafe) new chair, different table. Next, if I am working on my Mac: Save, Sleep, close Mac. Open sketchbook and write longhand or sketch-doodle-design-work on same project, but VISUALLY. Open one of 2 books (always with me) that I am currently reading. Next, refresh or change my drink. (I always have several favorite hot teas, juices on hand. EVERY STEP is about waking my system. AND (as suggested above) get some favorite music on.

  • Pam Taylor, The MomCourager

    :-( Playlist is not available this evening. Great post, Michael. I love how practical you are!

  • Jonathan Burston

    Great advice. We all go through moments of ‘funk’ from time to time. Having experienced the ‘funk’ very recently and that ‘funk-time’ running for longer than usual, it’s made me think about how I can flip it quicker. 1 and 5 are part of my usual routine for the ‘funk’, but will also try the others.

  • Erik Bloomfeldt

    Spectacular! Just tried it and went from lethargic to energized.
    Thanks Michael

  • Kathy Barkley

    I have also found that if you are unable to participate in a physical activity at the time,

    that biofeedback is an excellent practice and works just as well!

  • missyLovage

    Thanks! I’ve been having a rotten go of things. I completed a morning jog a few days past and ended feeling fabulous! Thank you for the reminder that I was on the right track.

  • Mona

    I appreciate you Michael Hyatt. I just adjusted my posture, called a friend and will be working out first thing in the morning.