How to overcome sadness and regain one’s well-being?
We usually think of sadness as a negative emotion that ruins our lives. It is often repressed in an attempt to avoid it. However, every emotion has a reason to exist. It is one of the ways our brain communicates valuable information to us.
Letting this feeling express itself can therefore be a real opportunity to learn more about ourselves and move forward. But it is not a question of carrying it around indefinitely. This is why I propose 9 effective strategies to overcome sadness.
Sadness is a primary emotion in human beings. Overcoming sadness does not mean ignoring it or pushing it away. Like any problem in life, running away is not a solution. It will not disappear as if by magic. Therefore, it is necessary to tame it, it is the very first step to take.
1. Identify the source of your grief
To do this, you have to learn to recognize it in its smallest details. To welcome it properly, start by identifying the source of your melancholic state. Sometimes we don’t always know why we feel sad. In this case, reflect on the various events that have taken place in your life. There are many reasons for this:
- The loss of a loved one;
- A separation in love;
- A friendly break-up;
- Hormonal upheaval;
2. Describe the emotion
Once you have identified the causes of your despair, describe this feeling on a piece of paper. Explain how it affects you. Sadness can come in many different forms. Are you feeling down? Have you lost the taste for food? Do you no longer have any motivation for anything? Do you isolate yourself to hide from others?
Sometimes sadness can also be masked by anger or disgust. Reflecting on the ways in which it affects your condition allows you to better understand it and therefore, to know yourself better. However, it is obvious that self-knowledge is the necessary basis for you to be able to carry out actions in accordance with your own values.
3. Accepting the existence of one’s sadness
The most effective way to move forward is to accept your emotion. According to psychiatrist Stephanie Hahusseau, acknowledging it and accepting that it is going through you allows you to move towards a happier state. This therapeutic feeling is natural, so it is not of your will. Since you are not responsible for its presence, it is not useful to ignore it. Daring to say “I am sad” is crucial.
Acknowledge sadness simply as it is, without minimizing it. Allow it to express itself by letting your tears flow freely. Indeed, crying is the body’s natural and gentlest way to relieve itself. More soothed, you will have more distance to face the situation and act effectively to free yourself from your torment.
Overcoming sadness through action
Sadness tends to generate immobility and withdrawal. You acknowledge that you are sad and you have identified its origin. You are ready to take the next step: Act. Taking action allows you to regain your self-confidence and reengage the mechanism of creativity. Not standing still is essential in the process of liberation.
4. Practicing a pleasurable activity
If you’ve interrupted a leisure activity that you enjoyed and felt good about, don’t hesitate to resume it quickly. Initially, you enjoy reading, scrapbooking or playing an instrument? If you don’t feel sufficiently motivated because the wave of sadness hasn’t completely disappeared yet, don’t be discouraged. You have only just tamed it.
Nevertheless, force yourself to return to your former occupation, knowing that your grief will gradually subside. If you don’t have any hobbies, find out what you enjoy in your daily life. Do you usually enjoy hot baths? Do you enjoy listening to music, tinkering, trying out recipes or watching movies? Just get to work. You’ll soon reap the benefits.
5. Playing sports
Here again, it is a question of forcing oneself into action. Which sport to choose? Above all, the one you love. If you have an interest in jogging or swimming, go for it. But train regularly to make sure you get a daily feel-good routine. Indeed, moving, jumping, being on the move stimulates the release of endorphins and dopamine. These are neurotransmitters known to create a feeling of fullness after exercise.
What’s more, if you think you’re ready (or almost ready) to get in touch with your body, you can do so.
For example, ask a friend who runs at your own pace to join you on your running outings. Or why not try dancing as a couple? Or a collective sport? The sharing and the communicative smile of your partner or teammates will be a real resource for you to find joy again.
6. Practicing meditation to overcome sadness
The combination of meditation with strength training is ideal to alleviate your dark thoughts. Indeed, when you live in overwhelming conditions, the way you perceive the world around you is distorted. You then enter a vicious circle, because thoughts based on this representation come to reinforce your grief.
It goes on and on until you look in another direction. Practicing mindfulness meditation is perfect for gaining a comprehensive view of your thoughts, present emotions, and body sensations. You will then be able to establish new intentions for yourself. To overcome sadness, meditate in this way:
- Sitting in a seated position with your eyes half closed or closed, focus your attention on your breathing;
- Then, gradually as your sadness comes up, let it come to you. Stay in the moment and observe it;
- Finally, voluntarily focus your attention on your body’s sensations.
Overcoming sadness by releasing it
Letting your bitterness express itself through your words, your words or through your sense of creativity is fundamental to expelling it out of your being. You will thus overcome your torments.
7. Communicating with those around you
In trying situations, receiving affection and empathy is a tremendous opportunity because it is always reassuring to have a shoulder to lean on. Interaction and open-mindedness in sharing is also a necessity for psychological improvement. To face difficult emotions, confiding in those around you brings considerable relief.
And even if your friend or loved one is not able to fully understand what you are experiencing, sharing your grief with them will be of great help. Indeed, saying words that define your discomfort will help you avoid keeping the sadness buried deep inside you. Otherwise, this would cause wounds that would scar badly heal and this feeling could resurface.
8. Keeping an emotional journal
There is a time to talk to the people you love and a time to devote to yourself. Alone, in a quiet place, it is easier to connect with yourself and listen carefully to what your emotions have to tell you. Keeping a diary is then ideal to put any kind of emotion to bed. Of course, writing only what is gloomy may plunge you into pessimism. So also describe your least pleasant feelings, complete with pleasant feelings creates a balance in your vision of life.
Write down what you have gained from sports or meditation, for example. When you put your feelings on paper, you allow them to express themselves freely through your pen. This is an effective way to get to know yourself better. Consequently, you will develop your emotional intelligence. You thus offer yourself a perspective to evolve towards calmness, fulfillment and creativity.
9. Expressing yourself through art
Sometimes words are not enough. In this case, painting, drawing or modeling are also effective ways to free yourself from sadness. Verbal language then gives way to the language of creativity. Art thus becomes a new way of undertaking personal work. It offers you an opportunity to express your feelings in tactile or plastic and visual forms, by appealing to your senses.
By setting yourself in motion to give shape to a canvas or a blank sheet of paper, to a clod of earth, you draw from deep within yourself to pose the problems of the unconscious on a concrete support. We all know that a work of art can only be conceived with the emotions of the artist who transmits a message.
You now have all the cards in hand to put an end to sadness. This natural state is only temporary and benign. If you rigorously apply all the strategies mentioned, you will feel all the beneficial effects.
However, if you continue to get up exhausted, lose weight, suffer and feel no furtive satisfaction, even in front of a humorous movie or a pleasant memory, the key is to get professional help. Because these are signs that are similar to depression. Depression is not a natural emotion, but a pathology.