7 Secrets to Letting Go of SadnessNone By Homaira Kabir
Lows are a natural part of life. The very fact that they exist means that they serve an adaptive purpose. Recent research points to the benefits of sadness and disappointment in helping us change our perspective on life, learn from experiences and embrace a deeper understanding of our place in the larger universe.
Sometimes, however, these lows can persist past their expiration date. We begin to see ourselves as unworthy and not "enough", other people as better than us, and the world as a hopeless place. We start to isolate ourselves as a result, which simply feeds back into the downward spiral of shame, inadequacy and low self-worth.
In order to distance ourselves from the negativity that surrounds long-lasting sadness and build the inner resources that allow us to grow through life’s challenges, here are a few scientifically-validated strategies that have stood the test of time:
Grow your Gratitude
In a study of character strengths, gratitude has been identified as the strength that’s easily buildable and highly effective in increasing happiness. Keep a gratitude journal, or write about 3 good things that happened in your day, and you’re well on your way to countering the doom and gloom mindset that characterizes sadness.
Train Your Mind
An inherent negativity bias can keep us locked away in past mistakes and lost opportunities. To begin living in the present and open up to the world around us, we need to take back control of our minds. Holding a mental stop sign or visualizing yourself plucking a negative thought out like a weed will help you direct your attention towards what is positive and productive.
Monitor Your Mood
When we’re low, we stop doing the very things that used to make us happy and thus perpetuate the sadness. One way out is writing down all your "happy moments"—like the walks in the woods you once enjoyed, nights out with friends, or quiet afternoons spent on an art project. Purposefully building them back into your life allows your behaviors to impact your feelings, rather than waiting for it to happen the other way around.
Value Your Worth
Since the psychological constructs of sadness lie in low self-worth, appreciating who we are, the values we stand for, and the strengths and passions that define us, is crucial for a sense