One of the basic human emotions, sadness is often associated with emotional pain, feelings of loss, helplessness, despair, disadvantage and sorrow. Individuals who are sad often become aloof or lethargic, can be seen crying, and withdraw from any social interaction. People cope with sadness in various ways and it motivates people to deal with their situation. In order to get rid of sadness, it is important to remember to be proactive and take responsibility of one’s own happiness.
How To Get Rid Of Sadness
1. Controlling emotions
Sadness is just like any other feeling such as happiness and anger that need to be experienced. Struggling with this emotion and continuously repressing it can lead to health problems like ulcers and cardiovascular diseases. Dwelling in these emotions can also turn a person into a victim and give up control over one’s own happiness. Controlling emotions prevents the conversion of these negative feelings into depression or suicidal tendencies. To get rid of sadness and other negative emotions, they must first be acknowledged and identified in order to choose the best method to serve as emotional outlet. Plan a “sadness time” or a moment to be alone, listen to sad music, cry, or just allow sadness to be felt and this may be a form of release and to help move on to a better mood.
2. Focus on positive things
Fixating on negative thoughts can lead to feelings of sadness, helplessness and depression. By focusing on happy thoughts, you set the right frame of mind to take responsibility for your own feelings and create necessary actions to solve the cause of your sadness. List all the great things that you should be thankful for and post it to serve as a reminder. Setting realistic goals and taking things a step at a time can help achieve a feeling of fulfillment after finishing those goals. Even doing small tasks such as making the bed every morning can be an accomplishment and help start and keep a positive mindset throughout the day.
3. Support system
Friends and family provide a shoulder to cry on, appreciation, understanding and love. Spending time and making small plans like watching a movie, getting dinner or hanging out can lead to fun and laughter. Talking to them about concerns and problems can provide an emotional outlet to get rid of sadness and they can even give sound advice and solutions on how to handle problems. Hugging a friend or family member can create a sense of trust and security, and surge of happy hormones that can greatly improve mood.
4. Listening to music
Depending on the listener’s personality, listening to sad music can evoke a feeling of genuine melancholy because of their tendency to empathize with the music’s lyrics and melody. Creating a playlist that has upbeat rhythm with motivational, positive messages can help to improve the mood and get rid of sadness. Music can affect a person’s mood because of the relationship between the brain’s auditory cortex, which is responsible for perception and analysis of sounds, and the limbic system’s amygdala and nucleus accumbens, which provide emotional reactions to different kinds of music. Making music through singing, chanting or playing any musical instrument can also help to get rid of sadness because it causes limbic deactivation and provides an outlet for negative feelings.
5. Pick better food choices
Food can either help to get rid of sadness or promote it. Eating foods with high amounts of glucose or caffeine like soft drinks or energy drinks can cause a sudden state of sugar rush or restlessness and quick jolt of energy levels. After these temporary effects have faded, they are replaced with sugar crash and feeling tired, lethargic and irritated. Alcohol is classified as a depressant that can mimic feelings of melancholy. Dark chocolate has several chemical substances that create a positive effect with cognitive health and mood. It contains phenylethylamine, a substance made by the brain when falling in love, is a precursor for the production of happy hormone, endorphin. Turkey, cheese and nuts are foods with high levels of amino acid tryptophan which serves as a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin that serves as a mood-lifter.
6. Get some sunshine
Staying in dark rooms can mess up the body’s time clock by the release of melatonin which is effective in promoting sleep and drowsiness. Natural morning light helps the body’s production of vitamin D or cholecalciferol which is known to help withf sadness and mood swings. Soaking in the sun for at least 15 to 20 minutes a day can regulate the body’s circadian system to produce and release hormones that affect the mood. This can be done together with walking or just sitting on a bench at the park.
Walking or any other form of cardio exercise can help to get rid of sadness because vigorous physical activities stimulate the production of the stimulant epinephrine and endorphins, a hormone that improves mood and acts as the body’s natural antidepressant. Walk around, especially during 6 AM to 8 AM to soak up the morning light. Physical activity can also be a way to divert attention from the reasons evoking negative feelings until one is emotionally and mentally prepared to handle the problems. Exercising regularly for at least 30 minutes a day, three times per week can be part of realistic goals that can give a sense of accomplishment when done.
8. Get engaged in a hobby
Hobbies provide a distraction from reality and give a timeout until you are ready to deal with the cause of your sadness. Reading books provide a temporary leave from reality and self-help books can give ideas on dealing with problems. Keeping a journal can also help you to get rid of sadness. Writing about the current situation and letting thoughts carry on may even lead to a solution. Painting, drawing, singing or dancing can be a form of emotional outlet and help release negative feelings and improve mood.
9. Doing a good deed
Volunteering in the local community can keep a person from fixating on negative feelings and appreciate things that are usually taken for granted. Being busy and indulging time in selfless acts can keep the mind off the cause of sadness until one is emotionally prepared to deal with them. Performing a good deed can cause feelings of happiness and light-heartedness from the gratitude and smiles of the less fortunate.
Feeling sad is a completely valid experience, but wallowing in the emotion can result to unhealthy effects. If these ways to get rid of sadness seem to have little or no effect, accompanied by physical symptoms such as pain, headaches, gastric problems, disrupted sleeping pattern or persistently feeling sad or empty, it is better to seek medical advice.
Photo: Silvia Sala