It’s an obvious statement that unfortunate life events naturally cause a person to feel sad. We’ve all felt sadness at some point in our life from things like rejection, loneliness, the death of a loved one, or just seeing the injustice and suffering of others on tv on the nightly news.
If you do happen to come across someone who’s never felt sad, find the nearest exit; because they might have a dangerous personality disorder.
Being sad is a natural part of our range of human emotions. Feeling it and allowing it to run its course is the healthy thing to do.
Unfortunately, in the name of being and feeling tough or appearing strong, some of us choose to hold our sadness in instead of simply letting it out. We make either a conscious or unconscious decision to not let it show to others or ourselves. Going further, we seek unhealthy distractions to numb the pain. We even pretend it was never there to begin with, and we avoid thinking about the thing that made us sad at all cost. All of this is like slapping a coat of paint on a wall that’s already painted. Unless you scratch that bottom coat off, it’s still going to be there. As a matter of fact, it’s always going to be there, despite being invisible to the naked eye.
In the same way, we slap on a fresh coat of paint over emotions we don’t want to feel, including sadness.
We may fool others, and we might be doing a phenomenal job fooling ourselves. But we’re definitely not fooling our brain, which just took an emotional hit. With more and more untreated (ie unfelt) emotional blows to the
The only way to chip away at the bottom coat of paint or treat an emotional blow is by allowing ourself to feel. Otherwise, the sadness builds up and festers over time, making way for depression.
If you feel sad ask…
- Am I trying to deny, hide, or avoid feeling?
- Have I allowed myself enough time to feel?
- Am I making myself feel more alone and isolated by hiding my feeling from others?
If you feel sad know…
- It’s OK! It’s completely normal, and it’s not a sign of weakness. Unfortunate life events should naturally cause you to feel sad.
- Not allowing yourself to feel doesn’t take the feeling itself away, it just submerges it into your subconscious and adds to the emotional baggage you carry with you every day.
- Allowing yourself to feel first before trying to move on is the healthy thing to do.
If you feel sad do…
- A good cry is one of the best and most cathartic ways to release sadness. So if you find yourself holding back some tears, don’t. That’s your body’s way of telling you there’s an emotional blow that needs to be treated–felt–released.
- After you’ve wiped your tears away or just felt, reflect on your sadness in order to put it into perspective. Consider why you feel the way you do and the lesson you’ve learned from the experience. Afterward, practice gratitude for the lesson(s) learned or for other things that are going well in your life.
- Talk to someone who is going to be supportive and understanding. Hiding your feelings from others is only going to make you feel more lonely and isolated in the way you feel, which might just make you feel even sadder.
Once you’ve deeply felt, reflected, and maybe vented, you can now begin to move on in a more healthy and positive way.