Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Funk

"I'm in a real funk, and I'm ready to get out of it. I feel kind of blah all day and have trouble enjoying anything. What can I do to be myself again?"

First off, read these symptoms of depression . If you have many of these symptoms for an extended period of time, you should talk to your doctor, counselor, or other professional. If this is just a case of the blues or a funk, I have one suggestion that may help: Service

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

Think about it. If you feel "blah" and have trouble enjoying anything, focusing on YOUR feelings is just going to remind you of how blah you feel. Instead, focus on another persons feelings and do what you can to serve them. You'll quickly forget about how you feel, because you'll be too concerned with the people you are helping.

Service is a miracle worker and not just for those on the receiving end. I remember during my time as a missionary in Santiago Chile, I was visiting a family who had stopped attending church. I couldn't stand this family! They were just so negative about everything. They did nothing but complain about their situation in life, the people at church, the weather, their family, anything and everything. Every time we visited them I was put in a funk, but we kept going because we felt like we should.

Then one day we discovered they were building a small extension on to their home so their daughter and new son-in-law could live with them and have a space of their own. We volunteered our help and things began to change. As I served side by side with this family pouring concrete and building walls, I forgot about my funk and was able to focus my attention where it should have been the whole time; on THEIR needs.

I grew to really care about the family, they started attending church again, and the new son-in-law joined the church. I believe that our service as missionaries helped them begin to have a more positive outlook, but what really helped is that as soon as they started going back to church, THEY started serving and helping other people. Suddenly, their problems weren't the only things on their minds.

They found themselves by losing themselves in the service of others.

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