- How do we deal with sadness?
- Let’s look at a few coping strategies to deal with sadness through self help
- 1. Find out the cause of your sadness
- 2. Accept your feelings
- 3. Call a friend
- 4. Find the words
- 5. Have a good cry
- 6. Take deep breaths
- 7. Keep a journal
- 8. Do something you love
- 9. Listen to music
- 10. Exercise
- 11. Practice self-care
- 12. Throw yourself into work
- 13. Volunteer
- 14. Play with your pet
- 15. Consider therapy
- Be gentle and patient with yourself
Sadness is something everyone experiences in life. What can you do when sad thoughts weigh you down and make it difficult to focus? How to deal with sadness? How to become more resilient?
I’ve been thinking about this because of late, we are afraid of what the news may be when there are phone call or message alerts. The pandemic has claimed the lives of so many close friends and family and continues to do so, that we feel we might never get over the loss.
While we do try to carry on with our routine, denying or suppressing our emotions usually backfires. Our feelings only build up and complicate our lives even more. How do we cope?
How do we deal with sadness?
We all experience varying degrees of sadness. Some of us suffer more as we react differently. . Depending on how we are dealing with it, if the problem gets serious, we may even need to seek professional help. A good way to find out is to talk to family or a close friend and go from there.
Let’s look at a few coping strategies to deal with sadness through self help
1. Find out the cause of your sadness
Putting your finger on the exact problem or issue which is causing you to be sad can help find ways to deal with sadness. But this could prove harder than you may think. Perhaps it’s something that you need to try and meditate on, or maybe it’s something serious which you need to address and look into.
There are any number of reasons to make an individual sad. Open the newspaper and we find several cases of sexual assault, workplace injustice and other atrocities. In these instances, an understanding of the sexual assault statute of limitations may be necessary. If it was a workplace issue, you may need to look at setting up workplace mediation with whoever is responsible.
If you can’t quite put your finger on it, then consider talking to someone close to you, who can help you. You may also feel that it is better to talk to someone you don’t really know for a more objective view; whatever it is, pinpointing the issue will take you closer to feeling better.
2. Accept your feelings
We can only deal with sadness and heal when we acknowledge our feelings. During my childhood, I remember how sadness was considered a weakness. Any uncomfortable emotions were expected to be ignored in the hope that they would simply go away. But as I grew up, I learned this was not the way to deal with sadness. So, accept your feelings.
3. Call a friend
When you go through a difficult time or feel the frustrations piling up, talk to someone close to you—family or friend. By sharing your concerns, you’ll be able to put them in perspective and perhaps find new insights. Remember to do the same for your loved ones when they are sad.
4. Find the words
Expressing our feelings in words helps to clarify your thoughts. Where does your sadness stem from? Is it loneliness? Is it grief? These are two different experiences and you may be able to increase your self-awareness by finding the words to describe how you are feeling.
5. Have a good cry
There’s nothing like a good cry as a coping mechanism to deal with sadness. Shedding a few tears eliminates toxins and causes hormonal shifts that lower your stress levels and strengthen your immune system. So pick a safe time and place and allow yourself to cry.
6. Take deep breaths
The simple act of conscious breathing can make a big difference to how we feel. Practice breathing exercises. Inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply eases physical symptoms of sadness, like tension headaches or a lump in your throat.
7. Keep a journal
Journaling – writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you process them to deal with sadness. When you read what you have written, it gives you an insight into patterns and helps you reframe your thoughts. Pick a format that works for you. Practice writing a few minutes a day.
8. Do something you love
The problem with being sad is that you may not want to enjoy doing something you love. The good news is, once you actually start doing it, you’ll enjoy it. Maybe it is something as simple as painting. Or just getting outdoors for a jog or a walk.
To deal with sadness, think about something you love to do. Do it. If you are struggling to decide what you want to do, think simple. Find a hobby you’ve always wanted to try.
My favorite therapeutic activity is writing to channel my sadness. Feeling sad makes us more creative and encourages self-reflection. And that for me, is writing. You may be inspired to cook or draw or work in the garden. Whatever it is, do it.
9. Listen to music
Few things are more soothing than music, when we need quick relief from sad feelings. Put together a playlist of your favorite songs. Then sing along or dance it off. I enjoy rock when I want to just shake things out of my head.
Exercise has a long list of health benefits, not the least of which is relieving stress and uplifting our mood. Physical activity can be a powerful antidote for sadness and even some symptoms of more serious depression. Keep things interesting by designing a variety of routines using activities you love.
11. Practice self-care
Besides making regular exercise a part of your overall wellness program to deal with sadness and stress, remember to eat a balanced diet and aim for at least 8 hours of restful sleep each night.
12. Throw yourself into work
I know this is not the best tip there is, and it may not work for everyone, but for some, keeping the mind busy and on something else can have huge benefits. Think about focusing on your work life. Or maybe you want to put your mind on a side hustle. It can be whatever you want. Use your talents and skills. Throw yourself into it. Give yourself to the process entirely and the worry will hopefully ebb into nothingness. Just don’t overdo it. Remember, you want to treat the cause when you deal with sadness, not just the symptoms.
Doing things for others shifts the focus away from self. Do volunteer work online or in your local community. Lend a hand to your neighbors and coworkers. The solution to your own predicaments may pop up while you’re directing your efforts elsewhere.
14. Play with your pet
Research confirms that interacting with animals has positive psychological benefits. It is certainly less stressful than talking with other humans. Cheer yourself up by scratching your dog’s ears or taking them for a long walk.
15. Consider therapy
If nothing seems to work as you try to deal with sadness—and if your sadness lasts for weeks or gets in the way of your daily routine, you may be heading for clinical depression. Please seek professional help. You deserve to get better.
Be gentle and patient with yourself
When you’re feeling blue, effective coping strategies will help you thrive during those dark days and steer you towards happiness. So . . . be kind to yourself.