Could You Be Running From Sadness?
Do you drink too much? Are you addicted to drama? Are you perpetually over-scheduled? Is a vacation always around the corner? Do you shop too much?
Why Denying Sadness Doesn’t Create Happiness
When we’re happy, we’re light. Things are easier. Life flows. Everyone wants to feel that, so it’s quite common for us to avoid sadness. The problem is, that doesn’t really help us to be happier because it’s not real.
When we deny our feelings, we get out of alignment.
Something inside us rebels.
It may be imperceptible – especially if you are used to ignoring your body and emotions – but more important than feeling good is the inner yearning for authenticity. This can lead to worse symptoms and a deepening of the sadness.
Sometimes we have judgments about happiness. We might think that we have to be happy in order for people to like us.
While it’s true that most people don’t want to be around someone who is perpetually a downer, our true friends will stick through a wobble with us. Having a rough moment doesn’t define who you are. In fact, it can make you healthier and a better friend.
How Feeling Sadness Makes You Healthier
Being willing to admit that you’re down is honest. And honesty is the doorway to true connection with yourself and others.Sharing your sadness makes you vulnerable. This can help you to create more meaningful and deeper relationships.Sadness is a reflection of loss. Loss is normal. Feeling loss shows that you were in the game. You cared. You invested in something or someone and it’s come to an end. It’s the price of aliveness.Sadness can sometimes alert you that things aren’t what they ought to be. This can be a signal to make a shift. If you turn off your warning light, you could miss the next ten detours!
What Healthy Sadness Looks Like
One reason that people don’t do sadness is that they don’t know how. They don’t have healthy role models. Here are some tips to help with that.
Journal it. Bringing things out of the mind and into the apparent world transforms them. It relieves the crammed, busy feeling in your brain, gives you perspective, and can make you feel lighter.Talk about it. Find someone you trust who is willing to listen and let go. A burden shared is a burden halved.Compartmentalize it. You can be sad and feel grateful (or anything else) at the same time. This acknowledges the sadness, but keeps it from overwhelming you. Remember, no one is ever 100% sad. Let the not sad part have some space too.Cry. That’s natures way of releasing sadness and washing things clean.Self-soothe. Find something that makes you feel comforted. Do that. Maybe it’s a hot bath, a cup of warm tea, a walk in nature, a squeeze ball, or pet your kitty.
How to Tell the Difference Between Depression and Sadness
Sadness is an emotion. Emotions come and go. They are linked to specific events and do not last. Sadness is normal and healthy.
Depression is a mood. Moods are fairly stable, do not shift quickly. Moods are generalized. They are not related to a specific event and persist in most situations. Depression is a state of dis-ease and may require treatment.