How to Flip the Funk and Create Your Very Own Good Vibe Tribe
By Caroline Cosgrove
You have been there. Your friends and family ask you what’s the matter. “You are withdrawn,” they say. “You are acting weird,” they claim. Though you aren’t feeling great, you cannot pinpoint it so, you offer them the F-word as assurance that nothing is wrong.
“I’M FINE,” you say, somewhat annoyed that they are on to you.
It’s coined “being in a funk” and by definition, there could be no known reason why you are edgy, irritable, maybe even lazy. Sometimes we snap out of it easily, while other times, being in a funk is like a destination with no bailout.
Two years ago, I was at a conference for private club managers in Orlando, FL. If you are unfamiliar with the industry, it typically requires 70 hours a week in season. If you live in the Northeast, in season means summertime, when your family, friends and well, quite frankly everyone but you, is vacationing in the Hamptons and Fire Island. It means missing weekends and holidays and explaining to your children why mommy or daddy cannot be there for Thanksgiving dinner. You find yourself reaching that last straw quickly. I found myself there every Wednesday, just before the longest part of the week, the weekend.
There were 3 things I remembered about that seminar – 1) Ted Talks 2) Quit Complaining and Do Something, Stupid! and 3) If you are not happy, change your company.
I started talking to people while I was there and noticed that there were those that were either as miserable (if not more than I was) or, found a way to embrace the work/life balance and who in turn, were living a meaningful life. The difference between those in the funk and those who were not were very similar to what I heard throughout that seminar. So I started implementing a few changes into my life and suggest you try too! They are easy, take only a few minutes a day and the results are almost immediate!
1. Introduce The Power of Being Positive
If you are unfamiliar with TedTalks, it is an online collection of speeches from the worlds leading doers and thinkers and freely accessible through YouTube. Speakers range from people who have risen above tragedy to live a meaningful and inspirational life, to entrepreneurs who are living their dream and raising the standard of living for others.
I encourage you to find one that speaks to you. Most are not more than 20 minutes long. Designate that time to sit quietly, maybe during your commute at work. The more you listen to other peoples success stories, the more likely you will be to step out of your comfort zone and make your dreams a reality. As you continue this practice, creating your own positive thoughts becomes much easier.
2. Complaining Makes You Stupid
According to a recent survey, 70% of Americans claim to be unhappy with their job. If you work in an office of 10 people, that means 7 are bringing you down, or maybe even sucking you into the banter. Studies show that constant subjection to negativity, even for just 30-minutes a day, causes damage to the nerves in the Hippocampus, the area of the brain that is responsible for cognitive functioning and problem solving.
3. Be Part of the Solution
Finding ways to remain positive may seem difficult but, it is crucial to your well-being. Instead of getting sucked into the negative, be a part of the solution. If you cannot change it, remove yourself from it. Chances are, people are unhappy because they are not being recognized. Studies show that people prefer being reprimanded and criticized to being ignored (which probably explains why so many people stay in unhealthy relationships). Ask your boss if you could create an appreciation committee. Create challenges among employees, such as coming up with ways to improve customer experience, or 5 things you can implement to improve communication. Acknowledge the “winner” through mass emails and shout-outs. Recognition does not translate into monetary compensation. It merely means being appreciated for the work that you do. The overall morale and teamwork in the office will improve as you and your co-workers feel more connected to the overall success of the business.
4. If You Build It, They Will Come
Sometimes, the funk doesn’t fester inside you, but in the company you keep. You have heard the saying before, “you are an average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” If you are surrounded by chronic complainers and negative nellies, well my dear – you are likely to pick up some of that! What do you do? BUILD A GOOD VIBE TRIBE! Studies conducted at the University of San Diego found that just reading positive posts has the ability to boost your spirits, while reading negative posts and stories can make you feel bad. And the positive outweighs the negative, according to this study, by 2:1! There is a reason why online coaching is so popular these days. Because it works!
5. Create A Community
Here is what I suggest and have done quite successfully! Find an interest, a passion and create a social network group promoting it. Start by inviting your friends and then friends of friends, Before you know it, you will have a group of like-minded people feeding into each other’s passion! If you love to cook, create a page designated to helping others create works of art in the kitchen. Take pictures and post! If fitness is your thing, create a page geared towards motivating others to reach their fitness goals. If you are an artist, create a page that welcomes the sharing of artwork. Create a page that connects members in your local community. At a time when social media is being demonized as being the ruin of modern socialization, it is actually a great tool to create and foster a positive community.
Caroline Cosgrove is the founder of New Beginnings Health and Fitness Coaching, focusing on raising awareness of the health effects caused by the Standard American Diet. A Certified Holistic Health Coach and Online Fitness Coach, she educates her clients on the importance of creating a healthy, happy and balanced life, focused on exercise and nutrition. Her programs consist of both group and individual education, as well as children’s nutrition education.
Caroline is the mother of a healthy and happy 5-year-old girl, Sienna. Together, they are currently working to bring an organic vegetable garden to the school and to create a healthier school lunch program.
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