I feel SAD

Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

What is it?

Sadness is one of the seven universal emotions described by Darwin in 1872 and experienced by all human beings. This emotion is very much associated with grief, a sense of loss, and the wish that things could be different and better. The causes of sadness can vary and often result in the loss of hopes, dreams, or expectations. This sense of loss and grief may be mild, strong, or anywhere in between. It can come and go without warning. At times, it may make you feel tearful, empty or hopeless, and cause you to feel irritable or frustrated over the smallest things. In and of itself, the emotion of sadness is completely normal and is part of our human condition. But when it becomes too frequent or overwhelming, it is essential to find ways to restore balance and inner peace.

What is it telling you?

Although sadness is regarded as a negative emotion, it serves the important purpose of alerting you that you need to receive help, support, and comfort. It should never be ignored or dismissed since sometimes it may be a symptom of depression or an anxiety disorder. When feelings of sadness become too strong, reaching out for help and practicing self-care should become a priority for you.

How to manage it?
  • Discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. It will sharpen your awareness and help you identify how you feel and why. Knowing your emotions is knowing yourself, and such knowledge will lead you to self-acceptance and self-compassion.
  • Develop your mental strength. It will help your capacity for resilience to grow and expand. Mental strength is a great asset in the face of adversity.
  • Learn through mindfulness how to transform negative thoughts into more positive and constructive ones.
  • Get the support you need. Talk to people you trust and love. They will give you the courage and motivation to overcome your grief and sense of loss.
  • Uplift your mood by engaging in activities that make you feel good. Seek the company of positive, optimistic, and caring people.