I had a coworker come into my office this week, slump down in the chair in front of me and ask, “how do I get out of a funk?” “I am in a bad mood and just can’t seem to break out of it.”

We all have those times where, for whatever reason we are in a bad mood, or just don’t feel like ourselves. Often times we can’t even put our finger on the root cause.

It could be something as simple as a negative trigger that registers more on the subconscious level. A song on the radio that reminds you of a breakup with a significant other. An envelope that triggers all the bills you haven’t paid yet. A messy office that causes a feeling of overwhelm and a loss of control. It could stem from a few negative thoughts that popped up out of the blue, which now has you thinking worst case scenario, or focusing on all the things that aren’t going well at the moment.

Either way you have a choice. Do you want to stay in your funk, or do you want to take control and get out of it? It sounds like an easy question, but sometimes we are actually meeting some needs by being down. Every emotion can be effective at one time or another. Maybe it is your brain and body’s way of getting you to slow down and recharge.

However, in most cases, I know I want to snap out of it and get on with my day!

Here are a few ways that I have found to be most effective to jump start you out of a bad mood:

Movement – Nothing can shake off the blues quicker than getting moving. You don’t have to hammer away at the weights, or run yourself to death on the treadmill. Sometimes just something as simple as taking a walk outdoors is enough to turn the tide. There are many benefits, but for one it will increase your oxygen levels and boost your circulation. If it is during the day, the sun can even give you an added vitamin D boost, something many people are deficient in. If you don’t have the time or are unable to walk outside, just doing some jumping jacks will work, or strike a power pose mentioned in one of my previous posts. Just get moving!

Music – It is hard for you to sit in your chair with a frown on your face when your favorite song is blaring! Select some of your favorite tunes and you will be on your way in no time. Our brain actually responds differently depending on the type of music we are listening to. One study showed that the type of music participants listened to affected and influenced how they interrupted a neutral expression whether the music was happy or sad. As a bonus, dance around a little bit and you are hitting both M’s with Music and Movement!

Drink Some Water – Your brain uses up to 20% of the water and nutrients that you ingest (or don’t ingest). Unless you are walking around with a water jug all day, you probably aren’t drinking enough water. Even “mild” dehydration affects the way you feel and can cause you to have lower energy levels and decreased mood. Typically “thirst” doesn’t kick in until you are 1 – 2% dehydrated, which means you could already be in the mild dehydration zone. Next time you are feeling down, or low in energy,  grab a big glass of water and you will be surprised at how well it works. I have been doing this for years and it still amazes me how many times my low energy is due to lack of water and how quickly it comes back up after I drink a few glasses..

Change Your Focus – The great news is that we can control what we are thinking about, focusing on and doing at any moment. The bad news is that we rarely actually do it, instead flowing down the river of our external stimuli.  If all else fails, grab an inspiring book, watch something motivational on YouTube, look at pictures or videos of your kids, relive a big accomplishment, or count your blessings. Wherever our thoughts or focus goes, so does our feelings and emotions. Change your focus, change your mood. Sometimes we just need to put things in the proper perspective.

What else works for you?

Now it is time for me to go get a big glass of water and go for a walk!

Your partner in success,

Josh Paulsen


Happy one year anniversary to the SiteGoal Blog! It was last June when I posted my first blog post, many more to come. Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any topics you would like me to write about.