In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal 10 steps and ways to overcome sadness and be happy.
First a quick update:
I have now written and posted 300 Success Newsletters on my blog since my first on June 6, 2006 called “Take control of your life and emotions” and I have a total of 554 articles on my blog including quizzes.
“10 Reasons why women have affairs with married men”
Why do some women find married men so attractive? What is the lure of the man with the wedding ring? Why did actress Kristen Stewart have an affair with her movie director Rupert Sanders who is married with 2 children? Read my insights and the top ten reasons women have affairs with married men.
Now, let’s talk about sadness and the ten ways to overcome it.
Humans experience thousands of emotions – six of those basic emotions are happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear and disgust.
Sadness is the emotion of pain connected to sorrow, gloom, unhappiness, despair, loss, helplessness or grieving.
And no matter who you are, what you have, what you do or where you live, you will experience sadness in your life. And although many people try to escape the discomfort of painful emotions (via repression, distraction or extreme avoidance – drugs, addictions, workaholism, denial and so forth) eventually the repressed emotion springs back, surfaces and wreaks havoc on one’s life, family and world.
The reasons for experiencing sadness are varied:
- Things don’t go your way
A goal, objective or dream is not realized
- There is a major life-change
You or someone close separates or divorces, experiences illness or other major problems in life
- Your feelings get hurt
Someone does something that leads to disappointment or he/she simply fails to live up to your expectations.
- You lose something
There is a financial loss, job loss
- You lose someone special
Someone close to you passes
- You miss someone
You or a friend move away or there is a life-change (marriage, child-birth, illness or job change) which means you have less time and personal contact with him/her
- You share pain and feel compassion
Someone close to you experiences pain or loss resulting in sadness and you feel their pain and, you possibly feel helpless to resolve their problem or pain
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it – always.”– Mahatma Gandhi
Here are ten simple but highly effective strategies to help you overcome sadness
1. Acknowledge and Accept
This is the most important step to letting go and overcoming sadness – you must first acknowledge that you feel sad and accept that you feel it. “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size” – Carl Jung. When we push down or deny emotion, it grows because it cannot move out of us, and it often transforms into physical illness, mental or cognitive imbalance, anxiety, depression, phobias, low self-esteem, and extreme behavior – acting out, anger, rage, obsessive-compulsiveness, and so forth.
It is critical for you to give yourself permission to feel sad. Validate your feelings. One of my key approaches and principles in my work with clients is teaching them “You are allowed to feel sad; allowed to feel whatever you feel. How long you choose to stay in that emotion and feeling and how you respond to it will determine the quality of your life.”
Also if you are a parent, beware that you do not downplay or negate the feelings of a child. Feelings are not wrong, but our reactions to those feelings can be wrong and cause problems in our life.
One of our greatest challenges and obstacles to happiness in life is our resistance to accepting that which we cannot change. A client of mine told me yesterday that he is finally beginning to experience inner peace because he has learned to focus on changing that which he can change and he is learning to accept that which he cannot change. Accordingly, the second element of ‘acceptance’ is accepting that things do change – you, your physical body, people and the world around you.
“The capacity to bear loss wholeheartedly, without pushing the experience away, emerges…as essential to being truly alive and engaged with the world” – Michael Parsons, The Dove that Returns, the Dove that Vanishes
Avoid constant tear fests which only perpetuate the emotion without focusing on the solution.
3. Observing and disassociation
Accepting sadness is focused on feeling the emotion. Paradoxically, the next step is to observe the emotion and disassociate from it so that it does not control or overpower you. Do not confuse observance or disassociation with denial; the former affirms the existence of the emotion while the latter denies its existence.
4. Uncovering the roots
The roots create the fruits; determine what is the underlying cause of your sadness. It is natural to feel sad but sadness does not occur without reason. Even the client that says “I have been sad my whole life” is not born that way and I always uncover the roots of that sadness – the instigating event, response and resulting belief. Learning to dissociate from the emotion can also help you to identify its root cause.
5. Forgiveness – self and others
Look in your heart and determine if there is a need for forgiveness in your life; do you need to forgive yourself or someone else? Are you sad because you feel you let down someone or do you need to forgive someone because you believe they let you down?
6. Focus on the solution
Sadness is not always about forgiveness – it can simply be the result of loss (job, youth, friendships that have ended, phases in life that have completed their cycle.) What do you need to accept and what can you change?
7. Support & connection
One of the six key human emotional needs is love and connection. Ask and allow people to support you. Sadness is often the result of feeling disconnected, alone or isolated. Avoid isolation and rumination which only perpetuate sadness and can lead to depression. Open your heart and level of deservedness to affection; physical touch, hugging and caressing are soothing and help to relieve some sadness. Get out and exercise which will release various endorphins in your body and help you to feel more confident and hopeful.
8. Focus on past successes
We often forget that we have overcome pain, hurt and sadness in the past. List past challenges which you thought were insurmountable but which you survived and overcame. Draw upon past successes to rekindle courage, confidence and hope as a way to remind yourself that you can succeed.
9. Help others
Every time you can help someone else, you will feel better about yourself. What can you give or do to help someone – even to make them smile for a moment or a day?
10. Future – hope and meaning
Losing hope transforms sadness into depression. Even when there has been a major loss or disappointment resulting in sadness, seek new meaning in your life – a new purpose which will help neutralize sadness about the past and bolster excitement, anticipation about the future.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Finally, beware of brainwashing yourself or your children into thing that we must be happy all the time. Most people want to feel happy all the time and when they don’t or can’t, they begin to medicate themselves. Avoid escapism and instead embrace the full range of the human experience.
“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” – Jonathan Safran Foer
Overcome sadness and feel good about yourself; use my audio program “Feel Good About Yourself – and become more confident”
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.