Beating Sadness

I’ve dealt with bouts of sadness from time to time. I’ve gone to therapists to help me with my depression. After a life altering experience in 2016, 85% of my depression lifted. I’ll tell you all about it one day. But, even with that experience, I noticed that I’d get sad sometimes out of the blue. A few days ago I randomly looked up sadness, guilt and fear and read an article that I’ve begun to put into practice. This article explained that sadness is often triggered by something not going the way you’d like it to go. The author of this article said people who experience sadness often are focusing on the past. He further stated that to get rid of the sadness, a person needs to focus on the present and become future focused. I sat on my bed and contemplated this. 

Could it be that I’d become so focused on my regrets that I blocked my own happiness? 

For the next few days, I made a note of what made me sad. And guess what? Most of my sadness came in the form of regrets, ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda,’ relationships that don’t work, and bad situations from the past, etc. I took the advice from the writer and every time I felt sadness, I focused on a decision or action which could improve my future and I had some short directed conversations with myself. 

For example, when I thought about a writing opportunity that didn’t yield financial results, I asked myself, “What are you writing now that can yield financial results?” That question led me to creating an early morning writing routine. 

When I thought about a relationship that no longer works, I asked myself, “Did you do everything you could to make it a positive relationship?” I knew I’d done everything I could. Then I said to myself, “Well, you can’t change people and you can’t change the past.” With those words, I felt my spirit, literally, release the bad relationship from my mental consciousness. 

I know this solution almost seems too simple to work. But, I encourage you—if you’re experiencing bouts of sadness—to do these three things.

  1. Make a note of what kinds of thoughts are bringing you down. 
  2. If you are focused on the past, take a present action that can impact your future.
  3. If you know you’ve done everything you can to save a relationship or help a person or whatever, remind yourself that you’ve done all you can and LET. IT. GO.

Sad thoughts can be detrimental to our health. Checking in with yourself and developing tools to help you create a healthier mindset is a path to better mental wellness.