I was recently caught up in a mental funk that led to low energy, negative perceptions of my life, and just an overall bad mood. Compounded upon this mental state, was my semi-conscious belief that the state would last forever.
In Buddhism, they speak of the arrow of suffering that penetrates us all given that we are involved in the human condition. The Buddha warns against adding “suffering arrows” by judging oneself, focusing on the negative situation, or basically wanting to feel something other than what is present for you. The arrow of suffering is enough, we don’t need more arrows!
In my case, I need to get out of the house and start moving towards completing unfinished tasks (like writing a blog post ) to enable the energy inside of me to start flowing fluidly again. I also had to laugh at the fact that I was “thinking” that this state I was in was going to last indefinitely.
We can internally de-bunk the myth of permanence of our mental state that our mind creates by remembering that even this state is temporary and will soon pass. The notion of “this too will pass” is a widely used phrase. However, when someone says that to you and you get pissed off, irritated, frustrated, etc. you are still resisting the mind state you are in.
Next time you get wrapped up in a mental funk, close your eyes, feel into your breathing, and notice if any information arises as to why this state is present. If something arises, listen to it and follow your gut of what steps to take. If nothing arises, simply rest in complete acceptance of your current situation. You have to be sincere in this effort, really open your heart to whatever unpleasant mental state you are in. When you find that acceptance (you will know by your body and mind relaxing just a bit), you can then hold a greater perspective that what is happening now will not continue happening forever.
This small realization can open up the possibilities to finish that to-do list, take a walk, go the gym, smile for no reason, or do something that gives you a different experience and therefore changes your perception. The next time you feel a funk coming on, trust that it will be a temporary guest and use some of the aforementioned strategies to move back into your center.
Have a beautiful day!