Life is challenging, and seasons of loneliness, sickness, stress, and sadness are painfully unavoidable on this side of heaven. Thankfully, one of our greatest gifts from God happens to be an ability to maintain joy even during what we call “funks” of life or those lengthy seasons of “blah-ness” where nothing seems to go right, and we feel as inspired as a piece of charcoal. Here are some practices to get yourself out of a funk.

Praise and worship.

If worshipping were a sport, some believers would be gold medalists. You may have gotten injured in the kitchen while praising or been caught praising in the woods while jogging. You might’ve also escaped some accidents while worshiping in the car with a little too much abandon. Some of these times might’ve happened while going through a rocky divorce, not having enough money to pay the electricity bill, or crawling through a stressful season at work. Why? Because we’re not praising God for our circumstances. We’re praising Him because He’s the only one that matters. No matter where the rabbit hole our emotions are leading, we can praise God because He’s ours, and we’re loved.

We can praise Him because He’s good to us even when we don’t deserve it, and He’s always faithful. When it’s almost impossible to feel any joy or happiness at all, we can still relish the fact that we’ve found the source of eternal life when so many others remain lost. Even during the darkest times, when facing money concerns, a health diagnosis, or family drama, we can still praise God because He’s still in control. There’s nothing we can do or not do that can stop His good plans for our life, and there’s nothing He can’t get us through.

Read Psalms.

Let’s look at David. He had a challenging season or two, running from a homicidal king and feeling some regret and shame, but his writings can pull you out of some dark, hopeless chasms. The Psalms are proof that we can still have joy and hope, even amidst extreme depression and anxiety. David made some mistakes in life, but he’s the only human in the Bible to be revered as “a man after God’s own heart.” David’s almost puzzling ability to worship during challenging times came from his intimacy with God. He knew God so well that not even the homicidal groups of enemy soldiers could stop his faith in God’s provision, goodness, and sovereignty. Aside from being our provider and protector, another one of the best Psalms, Psalms 18, says God delights in us. Something about God delighting in us makes it hard to stay upset. When it feels like everyone’s letting us down, even our spouses, best friends, and kids, God’s right there, watching for a way to redirect our minds and lead us back to Him.

Make a gratitude list.

It’s tough to stay angry when feeling genuinely grateful. The issue is it’s so easy to forget how God has miraculously and graciously come through for us over the past days, weeks, months, and even years. Even after the big blessings and answered prayers, like a job promotion, a new home, or a healthy newborn baby, we’re so conditioned to automatically focus on the next area of improvement, problem, or object of desire. We rarely meditate and relish daily on everything we’ve had and all that He’s done. God Himself is the greatest gift this life can offer, and all else is simply icing on the cake of life. The ultimate funk-buster is to keep a list of answered prayers to keep yourself appreciative and aware of God’s goodness towards you.

Think about and pray for others.

One of the best ways to suppress self-pity and ruts is to compile a list of the needs of those in your life, whether it’s neighbors, family, co-workers, or church friends, and commit to praying every day. This takes the spotlight off our disappointments and gripes and reminds us of how good we have it. It’s not easy to continually pout over your weight gain when you’re praying for a friend who’s battling depression or thinking about our isolated neighbor next door. The next best step would be to join an activity or group that actively serves/helps others. Imagine getting involved with a women’s shelter and hearing the stories of women who’ve been abused or mistreated. Listening to their stories can bless you more than you can even put into words. Sadly, when we’re enduring a rough patch, other people are struggling so much more. Everyone has their moments, but we should refuse to be the one God’s gaze falls upon to find continually pouting over disappointments in a fallen world.

Go into nature.

Something happens in our minds when we get alone in nature. Even unbelievers can feel God here, but they may not recognize it. A significant part of our Westernized anxiety is related to our lack of activity and not being outside enough. Unless you’re in an urban area with no green space, you can typically find some part of nature that’s safe to at least take a walk with God and renew your spirit. In Gary Thomas’ Sacred Pathways, Thomas describes several different ways that believers can connect with God. One classification is “naturalists,” which means loving God through the outdoors. It can be challenging for parents with young kids or those with challenging work schedules, but it’s worth considering ways to add exposure to nature and the outdoors when getting yourself out of a funk.

Most importantly, when enduring a tough patch or the “blahs” of life, remember that worship is warfare. Anxiety, sadness, depression, shame, anger, and regret can’t exist when our spirits connect with God in praise. Worship shifts the atmosphere around us, both spiritually and physically. When we praise God, we declare to ourselves and the enemy that the spirit of God lives within us and reigns here, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there’s freedom.

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad