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- “Usually when you feel like crap, you’re reacting to something unconsciously.”
- If you’re struggling with being in a rut, here are five tips to try TODAY to get out of your head and back into your rhythm.
- “Sometimes the way to get presence and connection back with life is through somebody you care about, somebody you love.”
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- When you feel like crap, it’s hard to get going again. Learn how community plays a big part in brightening your mood!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)
When you feel like crap, do not pretend that that is a mystery. That feeling that you have when you’re down, you’re sad, you’re in a funk, you’re bored, you just don’t like the negative emotions you might be feeling. Stop pretending that that feeling just took over your body and, “Oh my gosh, I don’t know what to do with it.” Because what I’ve learned is usually when you feel like crap, that’s coming from three specific places. Number one, when you feel like crap it’s often just coming straight up from fatigue. You didn’t sleep well, you didn’t eat well, you didn’t manage your physical body so now it’s catching up with you. Right? You had too much wine two days ago and now it caught up with you 48 hours later and you didn’t even realize it. Like your body is depleted. You feel like crap when you need rest, when you need recovery, and you have to listen to that, you all. You’ve got to do a better job of listening to that. When your body is saying, “Hey man, we need a break here. We need a break from the caffeine or the alcohol or the lack of sleep.” The first thing is to start taking better care of your physical body. The more you take good care of your physical body, the less likely it is you’re going to be feeling like crap over and over and over again.
Now there are emotional things, and there are the ways that you manage your mind. We’ll talk about those. But often when you feel like crap, it’s just kind of a hangover effect. If not alcohol, a hangover effect of poor sleep, a hangover effect of not eating well. It’s just like you’re really tired and lethargic by the way you’ve managed your body. And I asked this question in “High Performance Habits,” my last book, and in “The Motivation Manifesto.” I said, “How is it that very few of us would go to the neighbor’s house and you know, just break through the windows, throw garbage in that house, vandalize that house—and yet so many of us on a daily basis vandalize the temple that we have been given by our Creator?” We vandalize our own physical body.
CAUSE #1: FATIGUE
You know, we don’t take care of ourselves, and then we end up feeling like crap and we’re surprised by it. I don’t want you to ever be surprised again. I mean, I think that’s one sort of mark of real maturity or consciousness, is you learn to anticipate how you’re going to feel later on based on your actions today—is that you learn to dig deep and understand, “Why do I feel the way that I feel right now?” And when we are more able to anticipate how we’re going to feel based on our current actions, and when we do feel a certain emotion or feeling that we don’t like, we have the wherewithal to take a step back and go, “Why am I feeling this?” Meaning we’re more conscious of the feeling and we explore it more. Do that over and over and over and over again and you’ll have less bad days. Not to say the world isn’t going to throw something at you because as I said, there are three reasons I tend to feel like crap. Number one is just straight up fatigue.
CAUSE #2: REACTION
Number two is reaction. Every time I feel in a funk or in a bad mood or some negative/positive range, I’ll say, “What am I reacting to right now?” Maybe somebody was rude to me this morning. Maybe somebody popped in and gave a poor comment. Maybe I’m reacting to an email I got. Maybe I’m reacting to a negative thought I had this morning. Maybe I’m still reacting to that guy who cut me off in traffic this morning and I’m still freaking out about it. But usually feeling like crap is actually coming from a reaction. So I ask, “What am I reacting to?”
Because usually when you feel like crap, if you’re not sure of why, you’re reacting to something, but you’re just reacting to it unconsciously.
You’re not aware of it. You’re not in tune with what’s really happening. And so this funk is on you. But secretly in the back of your mind something happened that really upset you and you’re still tracking on it.
So I always look for, “Am I reacting to something that just happened to me? Am I reacting to something that was triggered for me? Am I reacting to something because someone said something? Am I reacting to something because I’m embarrassed? Am I reacting because I did this and I shouldn’t have done it? Am I reacting because I feel behind?”
Right? Sometimes overwhelm creates this reaction, right? There’s all this stuff, you react to it, and what do you react to it with? Stress. You react to it by getting tense. You react to all these things on your plate with anger—”Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I over commit myself?” And we get mad at ourselves. And that’s the stuff I’m talking about with reaction. When I’m in a funk, I almost always know I’m reacting to something. “What am I reacting to?” So I’ll sit down and I’ll journal. I’ll sit down and I’ll think, “What am I reacting to in such a way that I feel this way? What am I reacting to in such a way that I’m feeling this way—feeling this negative feeling or feeling this boredom or feeling this funk?” I think it’s really important, right? Reaction often comes from sadness, right? Something could have happened two, three days ago but you’ve been so busy it’s just now processing in the back of your mind.
I mean, have you guys ever had that before? Think about it. Something negative or sad happened three days ago. You didn’t feel it then because you were busy, but then you had a moment to breathe or you go on a workout and you’re coming back, and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, why do I feel like crap?” And you realize you’re just reacting to something that happened three or four days ago. So be aware of your reactions.
CAUSE #3: RUMINATION
So I said there are three things. Number one that makes me feel like crap sometimes is fatigue. It’s the way I’m caring for my physical body. Number two, it’s reaction. Number three: rumination. What does that mean? It means you get on a topic in your brain and you keep spinning it over and over and over again, like playing a broken tape. You know? You’re just playing it over and over and over again. What do we do? Well, we get upset about something and you just can’t get off it. You just keep thinking of it over and over and over again. So you’re ruminating usually on a negative circumstance, negative result, negative emotion, negative feeling, negative interaction, and you are running on that thing over and over and over again.
And so it’s like—what happens for a lot of people, as an example—is maybe some day you feel doubt, you feel upset about something, you’re unsure if you can handle it and you let doubt stop you, when all doubt is is a signal.
Doubt is just a signal to learn more, to skill up, to ask questions, to get ready. To acknowledge you could improve in this area. To acknowledge you may need some help in this area.
And what happens though is when you get doubtful, many of us get on a merry-go-round of doubt. Right? We think of why we’re doubtful. “I’m insufficient, I’m not good, I’m not worthy, I’m stupid, I’m not as good as them.” And we start spinning that like a merry-go-round in our head, and all of a sudden we just spin the doubt so many times it turns into fear and then turns into self-disgust. And then we’ve got to throw up. You know, we feel terrible. So I’m here to urge you, be thoughtful about what you are ruminating on.
If you feel like crap, I promise one of these three reasons is usually going on for you. You’re tired, that’s fatigue. You’re reacting to something you might not even be aware you’re reacting to. And number three, you’re ruminating. You’re thinking about something consciously over and over and over and over again. And you need to interrupt that pattern.
SOLUTION #1: GET UP AND MOVE
So how do you do that? Well, here’s how I get out of feeling like crap. I mean, the first thing I do is I get up and I move. I change my location and I change my movement and my breath.
So what do I do? If I’m sitting here working for you guys, you can see I have my podcast mic today filming for The Brendon Show—and I feel like crap, I mean, I get up. You can’t see here, let me grab this camera. But you guys see out there—just this is Instagram only. You guys see that? That’s the ocean. So that’s how close the ocean is to where I’m at right now. So what do I do? I hop up. If I feel like crap I’m like, “I’m going to get up, I’m going to go outside, I’m going to take a walk.” But for me specifically, I go out, I jump in that ocean, I swim a bunch. I mean, maybe even literally two, three, four, five minutes. Swim, come back in, take a cool shower, and I get my brain back on track.
What I had to do is just change my location and change my physical movement—like, move. If you’ve ever been to—some of you guys have been to HPX, or High Performance Academy, my event. And what we train you to do is just stand up, bounce in place with your eyes closed taking 10 deep breaths. After you do that, set your intention for what’s next, and go! It’s just taking breath and moving your body a little bit. You know what the easiest thing to do is when you’re in a funk? Sit on the couch and watch 40 hours of Netflix. But that doesn’t make you feel better. And even if it does make you feel better, it takes so long. And the other behaviors you’re learning to do there—disengage from uncomfortable feelings, munch on things—all of the sudden, maybe you feel better but it’s just time away from your thoughts. But there’s a faster way to recover than that and that’s just to move your body. That’s the first thing.
SOLUTION #2: SET INTENTIONS FOR THE DAY
Second thing that’s huge for me is setting an intention. “Okay I feel like crap right now, got it. Get up, move. Maybe jump in the ocean, maybe take a cool shower, get some water, take 10 bounce-in-place, take 10 deep breaths. And then say, “Okay, what is my intention now for this next hour?” Notice I’m not trying to say, “I’m going to look at all of my goals and go achieve and change the world.” I go, “No, what would be a win in this next hour? What would be one, two, three, four things I could do just in the next hour? Just in the next hour to feel better, to feel like I’ve got momentum again, to feel like I’m progressing again, to feel like I’m back in charge. I’m back in control. Not this negative emotion, not this negative thing but I’m back in charge. What would that be for me?” That’s the thought that goes in my mind.
SOLUTION #3: CONSUME SOMETHING POSITIVE
Third big idea. If I move my body, if I set my intention and I take small actions towards what I need to and I still feel like I’m in a funk, right away I’m going to put some positive audio in my ears. I’m going to grab these little earbuds and put them in and I’m going to listen to a positive podcast, positive music, a positive audiobook. I’m just going to like, interrupt it. Literally put this in, turn it up and listen to something positive. Or if I’m totally geeking that day and I’m just in a super funk, I’m going to go straight to go on YouTube and I’m going to watch some 10 most emotional, amazing American Idol surprises, or something like that. Or America’s Got Talent. I’ll watch some talent thing for two, three minutes of somebody who did something inspiring that you didn’t think was going to be amazing. Something goofy like that. But that’s going to help me change my feelings because I’m listening or consuming something that’s really positive.
For me, many of you guys know, I go to my books. I’ll read. Yes, from my books or from a shelf of books I have on positivity, self-development, self-improvement, self-help, some spirituality. I’ll just read some things that will help kind of reset me. Because you know what? Sometimes reading or listening helps put some new thoughts in your brain to interrupt that rumination.
SOLUTION #4: TAKE ACTION
Fourth big thing I do is action. So I said what I’ll do is I’ll say, “What are three things I can do in this next hour to get myself back on track?” But then I’ll say, “Okay good. I’ve got some momentum here, I’m feeling better. By the end of the day—what five things can I do by the end of this day to pat myself on the back, to feel like I’m doing something good, to feel like I’m moving ahead?” Just taking action because sometimes you want to feel like you’re back in command. And getting back in command, that might mean for you, you do the laundry. You make the bed, you straighten up the office. You answer those 10 critical emails you’ve already flagged. You do something that actually moves your thoughts or moves your dreams forward. Because your mind is just saying, “Hey, let’s grab a little control here, let’s have a phenomenal day, let’s get ourselves turned around.” I know you get what I’m saying.
SOLUTION #5: SHARE YOUR VULNERABILITIES
Last big idea for you today is to share that vulnerability with a good friend or a partner or a spouse. If you’re just in a funk and you’re like, “Dang, I’ve been in a funk for like two, three days.” Tell somebody that! If you’re in a funk for two, three days and you’re just like, “I’m sad. I’ve done what Brendon said. I’ve moved, I’ve walked around, I’ve set my intentions. I’m getting some momentum here. I got some rest or I meditated to recover from fatigue. I’m eating better but I’m still just not feeling it.” Then what’s happening is you’re usually just off that path or that journey. You’ve lost a little sense of presence and connection with life.
And sometimes the way to get presence and connection back with life is through somebody you care about, somebody you love.
Connect with them and say, “Hey you know what? I’m just in a funk. You got an hour? Hey I’m in a funk, you want to go for a walk? Hey I feel like crap, want to go to the movies? Hey I feel like crap, let’s go get something to eat. Hey I feel like crap, let’s go work out together, let’s take a long run together.” Go do something with somebody who you like.
I know that’s so basic but the world is full of sadness. But it’s also full of sadness because we have separated ourselves. So we can connect here, but you and I both know lots of people can connect on social media but they don’t connect in real life with people. And they haven’t challenged themselves to be vulnerable, open, courageous, authentic, and real with other people. Especially when the negative emotions hit. But listen.
If you hold your negative emotions to yourself your whole life, that’s not going to be a life well-lived. You’ve got to learn to connect with people and say, “Here’s where I’m at, it sucks, I don’t like it. I’ve been trying to get over it but I’m just struggling.”
And if you’re not ever sharing that, I’m telling you what, it’s going to create a great obstacle for you to grow. So share, connect with somebody, and just let them know, “I’m in a funk. I don’t know what to do. Want to hang out?” That’s all you have to say. “In a funk, don’t know what to do, want to hang?” That’s all you have to do. Don’t over architect it, just get around people. And if you get around great people and more often more positive people, that will change the game for you.
I know I’m going to see a lot of you guys at HPX which is HPX LIVE in San Diego. If you don’t have tickets for that, make sure you click the link as the tickets—I don’t know if it’s closed out yet or it’s pretty close to sold out. Over 2,500 people will be with us in San Diego to spend three transformational days. So if you’ve been really stuck or you’ve just been bummed out and you want some more advanced training and you want to get around 2,500 incredible people from wherever it is—40 countries around the world. Join us at HPX. You can get tickets from the link. It’s called HPX LIVE. It stands for the High Performance Experience. It’s coming up in San Diego.
So I hope this has served you guys. I really want you to realize, when you are in a funk you are still in control. When you are in a funk, you can take back over. The first thing is to do is ask, “Am I just fatigued? Have I not been taking care of myself? Let me take care of my physical body more. Maybe I can rest, maybe I can sleep. Maybe I can meditate, maybe I can eat healthier. Maybe I can move.” Number two: You had some reaction to something that’s been happening and you’re unaware of it. So ask, “What I am reacting to that’s making me feel like I’m in a funk? And how can I flip that a little bit?” Number three: What are you ruminating on? What are you negatively thinking over and over and over again? Get off that merry-go-round of doubt or rumination, and get on a merry-go-round of affirmation, of thinking about what you want, of thinking about your blessings and thinking about what the opportunities are for you, and thinking about how you can serve or care for other people. Simple tactical things you can do—five simple things.
Number one: Get up and move. Like I said, I hop up from this chair, I go out to that ocean and I just swim. That’s Puerto Rico by the way. I hope you all go to Puerto Rico one day. And so I get up, I go swimming, I change my state, I breathe, I bounce in place taking 10 deep breaths.
Number two: I set my intention for the day. “What do I want to do in this next hour that will move me forward? And what do I want to do by the end of the day to make myself feel more positive?”
Number three: I pop in some positive audios, great podcasts, great audiobooks. I watch some videos that motivate me.
Number four: I figure out what are some major actions I can take towards my goals and start doing that this day. Even if it’s just one or two big things by the end of the day.
Number five: Share. Talk with your spouse, your friend, your partner, somebody you care about and just let know where you are at.
And I hope that will serve you.