Today, something feels off.
Actually, you’ve been feeling off for a while.
Over the past few days, weeks, maybe even months you just haven’t felt ‘right’. Something has gone awry in yourself or your life, but you just can’t quite put your finger on it.
Your routines have slacked; you feel driven, motivated and excited but that energy isn’t enough to compel you into action. You have that bubbling feeling alive in your stomach: it flurries and tingles at the thought of a bright future, yet your present self is unreactive to its dreamy whispers.
Something’s just not right today. It wasn’t right yesterday, and it hasn’t been right for a while now.
You keep exercising, drinking water and eating healthy, hoping that it’s a mere nutritional deficiency. You don’t feel sad, per se, just flat, so there’s nothing a doctor can do about it. They’d probably tell you to get more sun which, for a huge chunk of us, that won’t be possible for a few more months.
Still, it was sunny at the weekend and you felt this way, regardless.
You’ve picked up a few books which sounded enticing to you but, alas, you can’t get into them. Every word you read reminds you you’re missing something, that something isn’t right, and every activity you engage in serves as a painful reminder that ‘this isn’t it, chief’.
You text an old friend to see if they wanted to talk but they’re too busy. So is your partner. You stroked a few cats at the street and sat on a few random benches, watching the people pass by.
You can’t even talk about it because you don’t know what you’re talking about.
There’s something missing, there’s something not right about you, but you don’t know what it is.
You’ve tried to write it down in your journal, but how can you write about an unidentifiable thing being missing? In fact, how can anything be missing from you? You’re a human, not a puzzle; it’s not like bits of you can get hoovered up or dropped down the side of a sofa.
Taking naps helps, but only momentarily. Brief unconsciousness subdues all sensations of incompleteness. The relief is welcome, but within an hour, you return to feelings of wrongness.
Perhaps you need to change jobs, partners, countries, friends or hobbies? Maybe you need a life coach, a new mentor or a talk with a therapist.
Or maybe, just maybe, you need to pay more attention to your thoughts.
Your thoughts determine your feelings, meaning that your feelings of emptiness, wrongness and “funk” are nothing more than an ineffective cocktail of thoughts swirling around in your subconscious.
Meditation seems boring and pointless to most, particularly those Type A individuals who just want answers now and will throw everything and anything at a problem mindlessly hoping one of them will solve the issue for you.
But you can’t keep throwing solutions at a problem you don’t know the details of. There’s no use changing your diet, taking cold showers and waking up at 6 am when you do not understand what thoughts are pulling you down and making you feel this way.
Overcoming a funk requires a methodological approach, one which focuses on yourself and your current state in life.
It demands you take time away from social media, the computer, your phone and the easily accessible opinions on Reddit. The answers to your problems lie within your own thoughts, but uncovering them requires you spend some alone time excavating them over the next few hours, days or weeks.
No article on Medium or video on YouTube can give you the step-by-step guide to overcoming a funk because the cause of your funk is too unique. The complexities of your psyche aren’t suitable for a brief, click-bait narrative to encompass effectively.
But hey, if you think 5 am cold showers solve your microcosmic existential crisis, by all means, be my guest.