Sadness Can Lead to Depression
Everyone feels sadness at some point in their lives. It’s unavoidable. Sadness is a natural response to the loss of someone or something that you value.
Sadness tends to hang on longer than most emotions because you usually spend more time thinking your sad thoughts. You replay them over and over again in your mind. But continually contemplating your gloomy thoughts can develop into depression. That’s why it’s important to deal with sadness when it comes up. Here are several ways to overcome sadness.
It’s Okay to Feel Sad
It’s important to allow yourself to feel sad. You don’t want to deny or suppress those emotions. Acknowledge your feelings of sadness and gain more awareness of what triggers them. Try to be extra gentle, kind and patient with yourself right now rather than judging yourself for having certain emotions. Accept your sadness for what it is. Don’t resist it but remind yourself that these feelings will eventually pass. Acceptance will help you manage your sadness better.
Exercise Elevates Your Mood
One of the most effective ways to shift out of sadness is physical movement. Same thing for depression. Research has shown that exercise lifts your mood. Exercise releases endorphins and other chemicals which help you feel better. Whether it’s a walk around your neighborhood, cleaning the kitchen floor or pulling weeds, just start moving. Aim for some type of physical exercise at least 20 minutes five days a week.
Nature Can Provide a Natural Boost
Getting outside in nature can give you a big emotional boost. You may not feel like walking through the woods or sitting by the water but being in nature often makes a world of difference. Force yourself to go outside and breathe the fresh air, observe the clouds, listen to the birds. Leaving the isolation of your home, going outside and meeting folks will help lift your sadness.
Music Lifts Your Spirits Quickly
Beautiful music is extremely effective at relieving sadness. Research has shown that happy, upbeat music alters brain chemistry. Listening to music will not only soothe and relax you but it will quickly improve your mood. Music will also produce healing effects.
Crying is Your Body’s Natural Response to Sadness
Regardless of what you’ve been led to believe, crying is the most natural response to sadness. Crying helps release pent-up negative emotions like sadness and frustration. When you cry, “feel-good” endorphins flood your body. This natural chemical response effectively elevates your mood and creates a relaxing reaction.
Resist the Urge to Isolate
When you’re sad, there’s a natural tendency to isolate yourself. You want to curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket, eat comfort foods and binge-watch TV. That’s exactly when you need to hang out with a friend instead.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass . . . it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” —Vivian Green
It may be tough to force yourself to get out there in the world again but it will be immensely beneficial. Interacting with others can increase your body’s production of oxytocin. Known as the “love hormone,” oxytocin helps you feel better.
Redirect Your Thoughts Away from Sadness
Shift your focus away from your sadness and what you don’t want. The more thought and attention you give something, the more it grows. It’s imperative to always give energy to what you want, not what you don’t want. Where your attention goes, energy flows. Put your focus on the things that you do want: happiness, not sadness; peacefulness, not stressed; acceptance, not resentful.
Nothing Really Lasts Forever
“Everything we are currently experiencing in our lives comes about in order to assist us in evolving to a higher level of consciousness. Even what we now perceive as bad, sad, negative or upsetting is here to assist us in seeing life in a more peaceful, forgiving and loving way.” —James Blanchard Cisneros
One thing that is constant in life is change. You will experience change in jobs, relationships, material possessions . . . Nothing is truly permanent. Everything is here to help us grow and evolve.
It doesn’t help to wallow in pain and sadness longer than necessary. When you experience a loss, acknowledge it, grieve it, and then let go of the pain and move on. As C. JoyBell C. wisely said,“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy.”
Don’t allow your mind to control you by endlessly playing with sad thoughts. Control your mind and redirect it. Despite your mind wanting to continually lead you down dark, painful alleys, redirect it to a brighter path by focusing on gratitude, happiness, hope. It’s always a choice. Your choice.