Managing Yourself During A Funk

So, yeah. I was in a bit of a funk today, and I thought to express this in writing because I know so many people who learn something like psychology or NLP and they get embarrassed when they are in a bad situation.

The truth is that it happens (after all, doctors, too get sick), and one has to learn to rise above it. I’ll keep this short so you can take practical steps away. I mentioned in one of my Facebook videos about the difference between distress tolerance and distress relief. I think society conditions us to think about relieving ourselves the moment we have distress, and I think that is not always helpful.

Step 1: Sit with your emotion.

So, with this funk, I just sat down with the emotion and began to assess it. It was triggered by an unbelievably terrible customer service experience from an IT helpdesk. After sitting down, I recognized that I was drained and tired from a long night (for a different story), and I was also anxious because there were several things hinging on my ability to get this password reset (long story – I’m an external user to this company, they don’t do “reset password” links, and you need an internal employee to send a digitally signed cert) that were caused by the inability to access communication resources within the organization. So as I sat with this and recognized this, instead of getting even more frustrated, I sat with that emotion and processed it by thinking about what message it was trying to send me.

Step 2: The Messenger is not always the best Producer (or Enactor).

So I recognized that the emotion I was feeling was heavy and tight. By speaking with it, I recognized that it was sending me a message of urgency. There were two things I did. First, anxious urgency is not necessarily a bad thing, so I decided to anchor this emotion so I could use it again for subsequent situations where I was too lax. Second, the anxiety was not necessarily going to help me in my upcoming training, where I had to have a high level of composure and grounding.

Step 3: Acceptance and Leaning In

At this juncture, I simply accepted that this anxiety had a place in my emotions. I resolved to ensure I was well rested and that I would have a decent workout. That would take care of my self-care for the moment. The second was to appreciate anxiety for what it was able to do for me – flag an undesired state of affairs, so I could concentrate on achieving what was best for me at that time.

Step 4: Envisage the future and deliberate new behaviors.

So I future paced myself into an imaginary future for the day and began to utilize something called the New Behavior Generator. This helps me craft a future endpoint by identifying behaviors I need to get there. Part of it is about being conscious of my physiology and adjust it, and also the inner dialog in my own head. By changing those to what was more appropriate, the anxiety automatically eased.

Step 5: Building useful resourceful directions.

So instead of getting anxious, I decided to focus on the root issue which was how to keep myself empowered and energized rather than splitting at the seams. If I did not do this, any communication with others would be too curt and potentially ruin good communciation. I set up some compassion and peace anchors for myself, and it worked wonders (as it always has for the last 25 years since learning NLP).

Ask me anything about the NLP processes I used above!

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