It’s okay to be sad

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A lot of times we find ourselves in a place where we feel sad, upset, or empty. Often, in those times, we suppress those feelings. We fear being honest about our emotions thanks to it being seen as “weak.” A relatively big stigma surrounds mental health, and I feel as if it’s unnecessary. People with mental illnesses are looked down upon and made fun of. Often, when a person reaches out for help, the people around them don’t take them serious. They assume that if a person has friends, money, a family, ect. that they are happy and healthy, mentally. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

Sadness isn’t something you have to be clinically depressed to feel. Even the happiest people will experience sadness at one point or another. It’s completely normal to be sad. Sadness is one of the basic four human emotions, according to research by Glasgow University. (However, Paul Ekman, in Psychology Today, identified six basic emotions.) Being sad can be a good thing. It allows us to know how we need to treat ourselves and how we want to be treated by others. You don’t have to be happy all the time; that’s an unrealistic goal to have for yourself.

Several different things can cause us to become sad. Moving homes, losing a loved one, having trouble at home or with friends, experiencing changes in your body, and being sick are just a few examples of things that can make us feel sad. However, you don’t have to go through those things to be sad. At times, there isn’t a reason, that we can identify, that we feel sad, and that’s normal too.

Sometimes when we are sad, we don’t know how to handle the emotion. This causes us to suppress our feelings until we can’t take it anymore. There are several different ways of handling sadness, and it’s not always the same for everyone. Just because something helps one person, doesn’t mean it will always help someone else. If you’re sad and feel like crying, then cry. On the Health website published by the University of Utah, Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones suggests crying is a basic reaction humans have to emotions. Crying isn’t bad, and it doesn’t make you “weak.” Researchers have found that crying can have a soothing effect, releases toxins, and helps to improve your mood.

Other ways to deal with sadness may include writing, listening to music, drawing, spending time with friends, working, cleaning, walking, and giving yourself time and patience. There are countless other ways to deal with sadness. Anything that makes you happy could also help. Fishing, playing an instrument, playing games on your phone, or even reading.

If you’re dealing with sadness, you might feel as if the feeling isn’t going to go away. That isn’t the case. Sadness will ease. It might take some time and some work, but it isn’t permanent.

Another thing to remember is that sadness isn’t always depression. Just because you might feel sad, you aren’t necessarily depressed. Clinical depression requires a medical diagnosis made by your doctor. A few key differences between the two can be related to cause for the change in mood and how long you have felt that way. Depression is a long term feeling, generally more than two weeks, of extreme sadness with other symptoms. Depression can also be a genetic thing, passed down from parents to children.

Several different things can help to manage sadness, but you need to find out what works best for you. It may not be easy, but in the end, it’s worth it.

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