We can’t always be cheerful and happy. There are times when things don’t go the way you expect them to. You may not get the promotion you wanted or your child may be battling a disease. Anything can make you feel sad. Sadness is something that people tend to connect with depression. They are not wrong, as feeling sad can be a symptom of depression. But that doesn’t mean that every time you feel low, you are depressed. If you are looking for ways to stop being sad, just read on.
Health Shots connected with Dr Neha Dutt, counseling psychologist, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi to find out about sadness and how to stop being sad.
Sadness vs depression
Dr Dutt says sadness is a response to something negative that may have happened whereas depression is a mental health condition and it’s more than just feeling sad. It can be a symptom of depression, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have depression. It’s important to recognise or identify and probe on feelings of your sadness and take steps to work on it. That’s needed because prolonged sadness can impact your activities of your daily life. As for depression, it is a clinical condition that typically involves a persistent and intense sadness or loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy. Other symptoms of depression can include sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of suicide.
Ways to stop being sad
You shouldn’t think about the things that are making you sad. Other ways to stop being sad are:
1. Talk to someone
It can be helpful to talk to someone about what’s been bothering you. This could be a friend or a family member. Talking about your feelings can help you gain perspective and find new ways to cope. They can even bring back the happiness in your life.
2. Challenge negative thoughts
Negative thoughts can contribute to feelings of sadness, says the expert. Try to identify and challenge negative thoughts when they pop up, and replace them with more positive and realistic thoughts.
3. Do something creative
Be it writing, painting, or playing music, engaging in creative activities can be a therapeutic way to process your feelings and improve your mood. So, show your creative side.
4. Practice self-care
Taking care of yourself is an important part of managing sadness. This could involve things like getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising, and spending time doing things that you like doing.
5. Try mindfulness
Mindfulness and deep breathing can be of great help. They will help you to stay in the present and focused in the moment, which can help to reduce feelings of sadness.
6. Go outside
Spending time in nature can have a calming affect and help to boost your mood. Even a short walk outside your house or office can make a difference.
7. Set goals
Set small goals and try to achieve them to help to boost your sense of accomplishment and improve your mood, says the expert.
8. Practice gratitude
Gratitude should not be taken lightly. Focusing on the things that you are grateful for can help to shift your perspective and improve your mood.
If your feelings of sadness continues or ends up interfering with your daily life, you should take help from a therapist or other mental health expert.