The word ‘happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.
Give sadness a place to be. Recognize it. Understand it. When you do, you’ll find it much easier to get back on the track to happy!
Sound odd? Sound counter-productive? Give consideration to these thoughts:
- Everyone has down days
- Life can throw a punch or two (sometimes three or four!)
- We all deserve respect for our feelings
Steps for Happiness and Sadness
Step #1 for happiness: Respect yourself. Accept yourself “as you are” on the way to becoming who you were meant to be.
That means accepting that some days you’re not happy. That’s okay. Things happen, jobs are lost, loved ones are suddenly not a part of our lives, and some dreams don’t come true. It’s a part of life. It’s who you are in the moment. If you strive to love yourself for the person you are, that includes the sad days. Try these steps to honor yourself and your sadness, and get back on the track to happy!
Step #1 for sad days: Loss is a part of life. But some losses can have a huge impact on your confidence and your life. Acknowledge the value of what you’ve lost, and give yourself time to reflect and grieve. It shows respect for you.
Sadness to Happiness
Loss can change your life entirely. It takes significant energy to rebound. Unfortunately energy is in short supply when you’re feeling sad. Hiding or ignoring those feelings also takes energy. That results in lost sleep and can impact your attitude as you try to move on. Try these simple steps to help you cope with the sad days:
- Time to cry (in the shower, in the car, or with a close friend or loved one) – Don’t let it fill your day, but give yourself time to do it. Set a timer if you have to. Sometimes just knowing you have that time later can get you through the rest of the day in better spirits.
- Write your sadness – It doesn’t need to be the Great American Novel. But set aside time, even just 15 minutes in the morning or evening, to jot down thoughts, memories, and your hurt. You’ll find release and may even discover happiness within that sorrow. Laurie Nadel, PhD is quoted on WebMD regarding writing from depression, “…journal-keeping is a way to gain insight into [their] thoughts and feelings.”
- Talk about your sadness – Daniel DiPiazza mentions “our societal tendency to ‘fake the funk.'” No one posts sad selfies. No one wants to let others know they’re not on that fast and happy track. It can make you feel alone with your sadness. But sharing your sadness with someone you trust, (or a professional if sadness continues for longer than two weeks) can help.) Let them know you just need a sounding board. You’re looking for perspectives not solutions. If they give advice you don’t want to hear, thank them and move on. You have other options. But in most cases you’ll be happy to know that those who love you, and who you love and trust with your feelings, really do care about you. Outline the steps you’re taking to honor your sadness, and the steps you’re taking to move beyond it. Then you’ll have a team supporting you as you honor your whole life, even the sad days.
Sad days happen, but if you understand them for what they are, and respect your right to be sad once in a while, you’ll find life a whole lot happier.
What or who comforts you the most when you’re sad?