We can all feel sad sometimes. The feeling could be triggered due to a failure, loss, an unpleasant experience, may be pain, struggle or even disappointments. Sadness by itself is not the problem. It is the inability to cope with and overcome this emotion that is the big problem. If it is left ignored, it grows deeper and deeper, draining your energy and lowering your ability and power to get things done.
Let us see how we can go from being sad to being happy and cheerful again.
1. Acknowledge the feeling, instead of denying or running away from it:
As uncomfortable as it may be, embracing your sadness is actually the first step towards feeling better. Denying such feelings may forcibly cause them to stay suppressed, where they can do more damage with time. Cry if you feel like it. Notice if you feel relief after honest acknowledgment of your feelings. Don’t look at it as something bad. Sadness can result from a change that you didn’t expect, or it can signal that you might need to make some new changes in your life. Think about the context of the sad feelings. Are they related to a loss or an unhappy event? Look at your feelings in an objective, non-judgemental manner. When you come face to face with the root cause of your emotion, you make way for healing. For, your mind begins to realize how nothing is permanent – not even our own thoughts and feelings. As they come, they will go away. As you spend time in silence, connecting with your own feelings, it will help reduce the intensity of your feelings. And in sometime you will feel better, more balanced and in far control of the situation.
2. Breathe in and out consciously:
During times of negative emotions, our body experiences a physiological strain, where essentially everything from our heart, muscles, blood, to cells have to work harder than before in order to keep functioning optimally. Our body’s natural processes, like breathing, adrenal system, even healing functions of the nervous system can get compromised.
We generally cope with these feelings by either running away from the situation altogether, venting our frustration out or by eating or drinking something excessively. But all these are no in way appropriate ways of overcoming the problem. There is an easer way to conquer sadness and that is to simply breathe! The breath and mind are connected. As you take more conscious control of your breath, you will start feeling more in control of your emotions. Conscious deep breathing will help calm your mind and relax your body thereby reducing stress and discomfort.
Start with noticing how you are breathing when you are sad or upset. You are most likely breathing very fast and probably not breathing deep enough at all. Put your hands on your belly/abdomen area. Take a big breath through the nose. Hold your breath for few seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth. Feel free to make a subtle ‘HA’ sound with the mouth when you exhale. Do atleast 7 to 8 rounds of it and repeat every few hours throughout the day on an empty stomach. It’s a self soothing technique that helps relax and calm the nervous system leaving you feeling much better than before.
3. Release and Heal through Writing:
Sometimes it’s easy to pinpoint the reason you feel upset or sad. But, at many other times, you may be sad for no obvious reason. This is because the subconscious mind is continuously replaying memories from the past. As these memories come to the surface of your conscious mind, they dominate your vibration in from of feelings. In such cases, when you feel confused, lost and sad all at once, grab a pen and a piece of paper and write continually for five minutes or even longer if required.
Write whatever is coming to your mind about your current state, your life and situations. Write whatever thoughts or images are coming to your mind, even memories about your past that may be bothering you., Not only will you naturally uncover what’s causing you sadness, but just the act of writing may help you start to feel better. This is because writing helps release energy associated with your thoughts- something that’s backed by several studies today on the mind. After you are done writing, throw away the paper and drink a glass of lukewarm water.
4. Take time out for something that makes you effortlessly happy:
Engage in an activity or hobby that you truly enjoy. Do this on a daily basis. Whether it’s volunteering (social service), singing, dancing, solving a jigsaw puzzle, or even spending time in nature. The idea is to lighten your heart and shift your mood.
One of the ways found most effective in dealing with negative emotions like sadness is Laughter. Try to do something that will make you laugh. Laughing can be a terrific coping mechanism. Laughter releases endorphins similar to exercise, it reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and increases dopamine – the feel good hormone. Watch something that makes you laugh, get associated with a club or group that does laughter exercises together or even read some funny jokes or stories on the internet.
Initially you may not want to laugh at all and that’s okay. Take your time. But by continually surrounding yourself with some funny memories, happy music, cheerful people and other positive influences like good books, you will certainly find yourself feeling lighter and more positive than before.
Dr Karishma Ahuja, PhD
Did you know, the way you connect with your body and listen to your inner guidance, can have a big impact on your healing and wellbeing. The Find your flow – Metaphysics for Health Course by Dr Ahuja has 31 powerful rituals to activate your internal pharmacy and take charge of your own health. Check out the details here: Health and Healing Course
About Dr Karishma Ahuja
Dr. Ahuja is a renowned Law of Attraction Trainer, Hypnotherapist & Metaphysical Counselor in India with profound expertise in Forgiveness therapies and inner child healing based on the Hawaiin Problem Solving technique of Ho’oponopono. Dr Ahuja has written over 300 articles and coached thousands of people over the last 15 years. She is the Author of 2 Powerful Self help books – “The Healing Power of Words and “The Healing Power of Gratitude.” Dr. Karishma has a weekly column in “The Hindustan Times” and regularly shares her inputs for success on online portals like Midday, Tax Guru, Entrepreneur India, Hot Friday Talks, Women Fitness etc.