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What can you do when sad thoughts are weighing you down and making it difficult to take care of your responsibilities? Sorrow is a part of life, but there are ways to build your resilience.
Denying or suppressing your emotions usually backfires. Your feelings are likely to build up and complicate your life even more. Find more effective ways to cope by using these methods for releasing sadness.
How to Overcome Sadness – Steps to Take on Your Own
- Accept your feelings. You may have grown up in a family where sadness was considered a weakness, or uncomfortable emotions were ignored in the hope they would go away. As an adult, you can make positive changes. Healing begins with acknowledging your feelings.
- Find the words. Clarifying your thoughts helps too. Increase your self-awareness and understanding by distinguishing between different experiences such as loneliness or grief.
- Let yourself cry. Shedding a few tears eliminates toxins and causes hormonal shifts that lower your stress levels and strengthen your immune system. Pick a safe time and place and give yourself permission to cry.
- Take deep breaths. Simple breathing exercises provide relief too. Inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply eases physical symptoms of sadness, like tension headaches or a lump in your throat.
- Keep a journal. Maybe writing your thoughts down will help you to process them. A journal gives you more opportunities to spot patterns and reframe your thoughts. Choose a format that works for you and try to write for at least a few minutes each day.
- Express your creativity. Writing is just one of many options for channeling your sadness. Some studies suggest that sadness fuels creativity by encouraging self-reflection. You may be inspired to draw, do some adult coloring, bake, or cook.
- Work out. Exercise 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.
- Practice self-care. Make regular exercise one part of your overall wellness program for dealing with sadness and stress. Remember to eat a balanced diet and aim for at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
How to Overcome Sadness – Steps to Take with Others
- Call a friend. Talk with your loved ones when you’re going through a major setback or minor frustrations are piling up. Be ready to do the same for them. Sharing your concerns helps you to put them in perspective and discover new insights.
- Help out. Focusing on others is likely to make you happier. 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.
- Pet your dog. A large body of research confirms that interacting with animals is less stressful than talking with other humans. You can cheer yourself up by scratching your dog’s ears or taking them for a long walk.
- Consider therapy. If your sadness lasts for weeks or interferes with your usual activities, you may be experiencing clinical depression. Help is available. Call a hotline or follow your doctor’s recommendations.
Be gentle and patient with yourself when you’re feeling blue. Learning how to overcome sadness takes time. Developing effective coping strategies will help you to thrive during dark times and enjoy happier days.
Remind Yourself That Joy Follows Sadness and Pain
Try this self-reflection.
There are certainly some trying times that we go through in order to reach the other side of the rainbow. During these troubling times, I notice that if I focus on the pain and suffering, I continue to hurt and experience negative things.
Therefore, instead of focusing on the negative, I choose to focus on what the positive outcome of this pain and suffering might be.
I ask myself whether or not I can use this pain and suffering in some way. Is there a way that I can show others the good things that come from pain? Whether I am experiencing physical pain or emotional distress, can I learn from what I’m going through?
Yes, I can take the issues I face and find the silver lining, regardless of how difficult it may be.
I can find happiness within this sadness. I can draw strength from the inspiration of others who have experienced pain and sadness before me.
Today, I choose positive thoughts about what joy might come out of this sadness. Perhaps I can achieve new areas of personal growth. Maybe I can forge a stronger bond with my loved ones.
Maybe I can even learn how to approach situations differently in ways that avoid much of the pain and suffering.
Indeed, learning and growing through the pain and sadness is one sure way to experience joy and self-satisfaction.
Self-Reflection Questions to Help You Overcome Sadness!
- If I am honest with myself, are there lessons that I can learn in my sadness?
- What are some lessons that I have learned about my own strength in past challenges?
- Who are some others that have inspired me through their own struggles & suffering?
Simple Ways to Reduce Sadness
Everyone experiences sadness at times. Sometimes, life just gets you down. However, you don’t have to take sadness lying down. You can learn how to overcome sadness. You can actively combat sadness by changing your perspective or by doing something enjoyable.
The ability to self-soothe is one of the most important skills a person can have at their disposal.
Try these tips to take control of your emotional state and feel more joy
- Play with a pet. The science is indisputable regarding pets. They’re great for your mental health. People with pets are happier and have less anxiety. If you have a pet, get on the floor and spend some time nose to nose. If you don’t have a pet, go visit a friend that does or get your own pet.
- Listen to you favorite song. A good song can change your mood instantly. Keep a playlist of your favorite songs handy and use it regularly.
- Watch a funny movie. Spend a couple of hours with your favorite movie. A few laughs can keep the sadness at bay. You might dedicate a day to watching funny movies.
- Make a list of the good things in your life. If you’re sad, you might be spending too much time on the negative things in your life. Redirect your attention to the good things. You might be grateful for your health, your friends, your home, your faith, cheesecake, and a stable job. Make a list.
- Go out with a friend. Get out of the house and spend some time with someone you enjoy. Do something fun. You’d have to be in a better mood after that.
- Get off the internet. Too much time online leads to decreased satisfaction with life. Find a more productive and enjoyable way to spend your time. Maybe a new hobby is in order.
Make yourself a priority!
- Put yourself first. It’s easy to run yourself into the ground and feel miserable if you’re always putting others first. Try putting yourself first for a change. If the opposite is true – you’re always putting yourself first – put the focus on someone else for a change. Balance is the key.
- Take a mental health day. Call in sick to work and spend a day doing whatever you like. There’s nothing like a mental health day to feel better about life. Imagine how you would spend a perfect day at home and make it a reality.
- Have your favorite meal. Everyone loves to eat. Few things can boost your mood better than your favorite meal. Splurge and have your favorite meal. Better yet, share it with someone that makes you smile. Maybe you can prepare your perfect meal together.
- Read something that inspires you. Your life might be tough right now, but odds are there have been many people that have overcome worse situations. Read about someone that inspires you to be your best.
- Play a game with someone. Turn off your phone. Slotomania and Candy Crush will still be there tomorrow. Play a real game with a real person. Play cards, dominoes, or Monopoly. Pull out your favorite board game or go outside and play dodge ball or basket with the kids. Spend time with someone else doing something fun.
If you’re feeling down, ask yourself what would make you feel better and then do it!
You don’t have to wait to feel better. Empower yourself with these tips on how to overcome sadness. You can take steps to feel better right now. Take responsibility for your current state of sadness. No one else is likely to do it for you.
Give yourself the attention you deserve and make your happiness a priority. Call up a friend and have a great time.