We are the sum of our choices. Yet some choices become more prominent than others. They linger on and fester, creating an imbalance in your emotional state. Your emotions come in a complete range, as described by the American psychologist Paul Ekman who believed that there were six basic emotions – anger, happiness, surprise, disgust, fear and sadness – which rise up whenever you encounter certain situations, which can be either positive or negative.
Emotions are potent. They have power over you. They dictate your outlook on life. When you’re happy, you can take on the world. Everything seems easy and clear, and you feel like you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Yet when you’re sad, you have no hope for the future. You feel depleted and lethargic, and that everyone is out to get you. It gets hard to get through the day.
What does it mean to be sad?
Sadness is associated with loss, disappointment, grief and helplessness. Yet, it’s inevitable. It’s a normal part of life. There’s nothing you can do to control the circumstances that result in you feeling sad. What you can control, however, is how you deal with your sadness. You have a choice to dwell, reliving it day in, day out. Or you can choose to go through the proper steps of grieving to fully heal, coming out stronger, wiser. Even though you may not want to admit it at the time, but sadness defines and builds your character. It helps you appreciate joy because without going through a bout of sadness, you wouldn’t be able to fully grasp what it means to be truly happy. “We enjoy warmth because we have been cold. We appreciate light because we have been in darkness. By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sadness,” says David Weatherford, writer and child psychologist. Sadness may even open up new possibilities you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
The healing process
One of the best things you can do when you’re sad is ‘self-care’. We’re programmed to do everything that’s asked of us before we think about our own personal care and health. Young, old, men, and women – we all do it. So, a great way to heal from your sadness, and gain some insight from it, is to do indulge yourself. Here are a few ideas:
Go on a nature walk. Being outside in the sun, among trees and birds while getting some fresh air is great therapy. It clears your mind, so you think about what’s making you sad from a clearer, more centered perspective. Plus, you get a little bit of exercise which is a great stress reliever.
Get a massage. Massages flush out toxins from your body so you’re left feeling lighter and fresher.
Find a hobby. Think of a fun activity that makes you happy; reading, knitting, drawing. It’s a great way to relax and get your mind off your sadness.
Drink up. Make some soothing herbal tea. Hot drinks calm the nervous system and increase focus. Choose an herbal tea that’s known for its calming properties, like chamomile, peppermint or green tea.
Instead of battling your sadness, just accept it. Sadness is unavoidable, but temporary if you deal with it the right way. As the great writer Khalil Gibran once said, “Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.”