How to stop being sad: 3 strategies that work
Today I would like to teach you how to stop being sad, guide you through a process of change in which starting from the acceptance and awareness of the present moment you can, in the shortest time possible, return to recover the smile. Will you let me accompany you? Let’s discover how to stop being sad.
How to stop being sad?
There are times when life puts you face to face with situations that in any possible way you would have liked to avoid …
You face losses; you do not feel wanted, valued, etc …
Other times you simply get lost, and everything around you stops making sense (or you stop using it)
Whatever the reason, there are times when you feel a deep sense of sadness and uneasiness that you do not know how to handle and that gradually builds up in your day to day becoming a gray blanket that dyes everything you do or that It happens around you.
Before giving you some guidelines to stop being sad, I think it is vital to understand a little more deeply this special feeling Let’s go to it!
What is sadness and why do we feel it?
Sadness is a basic or universal emotion (basic emotions are those that we all can feel and that form the basis of other more complex emotions) that is triggered by a loss or a perception of lack of competence.
How every one of the emotions that you are lucky enough to feel, sadness plays an adaptive role (that is, it has favored the survival of the species).
Sadness favors reflection and introspection. Invites you to take some time with yourself and to elaborate/digest that event that has provoked it.
For example when you suffer a breakup of a couple and you take time to reflect that you failed in the relationship to improve the part that corresponds to you in the future or when you lose a family member and feel that you need to fire yourself through some rituals or reflect on the meaning of life and our outdated stay in this world.
Another function that sadness fulfills is to provoke the empathy of others. It acts as a kind of alarm so that your relatives become more in you and help you overcome the bad drink.
Therefore, before asking yourself how to stop being sad, the question you should ask yourself is: Am I leaving sadness to do its job?
Am I giving myself space to reflect healthily (please in a healthy way, not with the whip of self-criticism and self-blaming) about the events?
Am I letting myself be helped? Feeling sad is not a bad thing, it is something natural and how the Buddha said “Pain is necessary but suffering is optional”
Why do we insist on suffering when it is not necessary?
It seems that human beings have a kind of addiction to suffering but in reality, what we have is a very low tolerance for uncertainty.
We try to find answers to all our questions and we need to point the finger at some culprit when we feel that we are not able to control certain situations.
Sometimes our questions have no answer (or at least we can not know what it is) and other times there are no guilty parties. Besides, what else does who is to blame? Is that going to change the situation?
We suffer because we cling to other situations, people, and we feel that we have to fight tooth and nail for them when maybe it’s time to let them go.
We suffer because we do not value ourselves, we do not know how to love ourselves. Also because we are afraid, afraid of the future, of our emotions, of not being able, not being enough.
When does sadness turn into depression?
In times of sadness the brain is extremely active (we remember, we think, we suffer, we reason for solutions, etc.), therefore it has a significant increase in its metabolism, consuming more oxygen and glucose and causing a feeling of exhaustion.
Serotonin levels are also reduced, a neurotransmitter whose levels show a close relationship with depression.
Also when we feel sad we tend to have more negative thoughts and spend more time alone being likely to leave aside social or leisure activities that are an almost essential component in emotional stability.
In this way, we are likely to get into a loop of negative thoughts – negative emotions and apathy that if we do not cut in time can trigger a depressive episode.
If you want to read more about the labyrinth of depression and learn some strategies to overcome it, take a look at these articles:
Factors of the sadness
Psychology has been studying emotions for years, including sadness. For this reason, we now count on hundreds of experiments and scientific evidence that allow us to understand that emotion and understand that it is nothing other than a reaction of our body to adapt in the best possible way to our environment.
It is true that sadness is adaptive, necessary and natural. But let’s face it, for most mortals, it’s an unpleasant emotion.
Also, as we have said before, if we do not manage it properly, it can end up becoming a depression.
For that reason, I am going to give you some strategies that will help you to stop being sad or rather to not be sad longer than strictly necessary for sadness to fulfill its function.
1 # Permit yourself to be sad
When you get sad, you think something bad has happened to you. The fact that something bad has happened to you is just an interpretation and then you try to escape. You want to go see someone, turn on the television, the radio, start reading the newspaper or do something to forget.
Or you may not feel strong enough to escape and fall into the field of rejoicing and self-pity.
To think that sadness is a bad thing is an erroneous belief that has been transmitted to you: There is nothing wrong with it. It is simply another pole of life.
Sadness and joy are part of the same polarity. So if you feel sad, allow yourself to be sad! If you feel like crying, Cry! and if you want to scream, scream!
Tears are therapeutic, they are part of the process of acceptance, of the process of letting go, they serve to release tension and even at the physiological level, a discharge of endorphins occurs after a crying attack.
The problem is when you identify with that sadness when you feed it with thoughts that are not real or adaptive when you enter your game.
Do not identify with the sadness, try to become your witness, observe it and enjoy it. When you manage to detach yourself from it, stop interpreting it and simply live it, you will discover that sadness has its own beauty.
2 # Take care of your thoughts
The mind is like water, only when it is calm can reflect the beauty of the world. The mind is like water, only when it is calm can reflect the beauty of the world. That is why it is of vital importance to take care of what goes through it.
The way of thinking is learned. Since you are born you are in a relationship with both you and the world around you, through this interrelation are creating thought patterns and mental maps depending on which you are going to interpret the world around you.
Although thought processes seem to occur automatically with practice and a previous work of self-knowledge can be changed. As we have said before when you are sad, it is natural to reflect and try to understand events that produce pain or cause loss.
However, the usual tendency towards feelings of sadness is not acceptance and detachment, but “spinning” those feelings and emotions.
In this way, the protagonist ceases to be the situation (or situations) that triggered that sadness and begins to be the emotion itself.
You begin to feel the sadness with your own thoughts and to think about those thoughts entering a vicious circle that nothing is going to help you to stop being sad.
We could say that the problem is not the sadness itself but your beliefs on how to manage that sadness that leads you to:
- Focus excessively on your own emotions and stick to them.
- Question your abilities to deal with the situation.
- Negatively judge your emotional states.
These strategies are just an attempt to control your emotions and the situations you are experiencing but the effect they have is just the opposite.
Emotions cannot be controlled, you have to live them, you have to listen to them and I can assure you that if you do not feed them they fulfill their function and they go away.
In fact, it is possible that you are living a period of low emotional state without an apparent clear motive and what is the mood itself that becomes the center of your worries.
The mechanism of turning one’s own bitterness does not just happen in the face of adversities or concrete situations.
At this point, I am going to give you three clues that can help you determine if your thoughts are preventing the sadness from leaving your life.
The questions you ask yourself focus on analyzing and judging the way you feel sadness. They are also tinged with a point of self-reproach and a view of the past that they try to explain why you feel the to way you are feeling. “Why can not I get better? Why can not I control things? Why can not I feel good? “
Your thoughts include affirmations in the form of negative thoughts about the consequences of your symptoms. “If I can not get well, I will waste my life, my partner will get tired of me, they will dismiss me from work, etc. But … Why can not I stop spinning it? If I continue like this … ”
Your thoughts question your personal worth or focus on failure, on not being up to the task, pounding your self-esteem without mercy: “I’m weak, I’m not capable, what will they think of me ?, I’m not enough”
This type of thoughts besides being the ideal food for feelings of sadness:
- They interfere in the implementation of behaviors aimed at the effective solution of problems.
- Increase negative memories.
- They favor pessimistic and fatalistic explanations that are not realistic.
- They produce great emotional strain and social support.
- Increase the fragility before stressful events.
I’m not going to tell you how you have to think, in fact only you are the only person with criteria to decide this, if I want to give you some strategies that will help you think in a more adaptive way and therefore to feel better.
#3 Do not stop your life
Stopping your life will not help you to stop being sad, but on the contrary, it will chronify this emotion.
It is true that sadness can tell you that you need a break and in fact it is very healthy to take that break and dedicate time to yourself.
You may need a few days to reflect, disconnect, think or be alone. But lengthen this period too much and stop doing your routine activities will make you feel worse in the long run.
When you are sad, you feel less about doing things and you enjoy less than those activities that were previously pleasing to you. It’s normal!
But if you get carried away by the lack of motivation and apathy is when you enter the vicious circle that we are trying to avoid.
Do you need accompaniment?
If you feel that you are sad longer than you would like or / and that sadness is starting to become pathological, check out the Online Workshop to overcome sadness and reach emotional balance and discover the most effective strategies of cognitive psychology and strategic coaching to recover emotional balance in record time.
Now is your turn! What did you think of the article? Do you want to share some personal experience? Would you add another strategy to learn how to stop being sad?