Sadness is one of the 7 universal emotions experienced by everyone around the world. Like the other emotions, sadness lies on a continuum ranging from disappointment to extreme despair and anguish. It is deeply ingrained in the human body and may be experienced due to a loss or failure in achieving a goal.
Whether it’s in the form of tears or a sense of powerlessness, sadness manifests in multiple forms. However, it is completely normal to experience it and it’s often also necessary. Though it is considered a negative emotion, sadness serves an important role in signaling a need to receive help or support.
If you feel that your sadness is persistent and severe, it may be time to reach out for help. The good news is that it’s not permanent, and you can deal with sadness with the necessary help and support.
Sadness vs. Depression
Feeling sad doesn’t mean you have depression. There is a difference between sadness and depression. Sadness is one of the longer-lasting emotions and you may experience a period of protest, resignation, and helplessness. Depression, on the other hand, is a serious psychological disorder. It interferes with the way you think, feel, and manage daily activities such as sleeping, eating, or working.
Major life events, such as the loss of a significant other or your job, may lead to depression. There are several symptoms which are associated with depression, such as persistent sad or “empty” mood, feelings of hopelessness or guilt, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, difficulties sleeping, significant appetite and/or weight changes, and thoughts of death or suicide. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms should persist for at least two weeks.
It is important to remember that you may have experienced any of these, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have depression. A mental health professional can help you further distinguish between the two and support you in coping with sadness. Though depression and sadness are different in many aspects, they may have similar underlying events that cause them.
When you lose someone who is dear to you, it’s natural to feel pain and experience loneliness. Grief is an opportunity to mourn over a loss and heal. But when the grief takes over your life and you begin to feel hopeless, helpless, and worthless, then it’s time to seek counseling.
Conflict with a significant other
You may experience such conflict at home or at your workplace. For example, you may start experiencing stress as the breadmaker. This may initially only be stressful or cause anxiety, but if left unattended, may develop into symptoms of depression.
Life can change significantly within a couple of days or weeks. For example, if you have to move away from your beloved hometown, you may or may not adapt well to the new place, and this can be a source of distress. Other life changes can be career shifts, breakups, divorce, and so on.
Since mental and physical health are intrinsically linked, a long-term physical illness can have significant psychological consequences. People living with chronic physical health conditions have been found to experience depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general population.
During pregnancy, a mother can experience a wide range of emotions, from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety. Some new moms may also experience “baby blues” after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. But some moms experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression.
How to Cope With Sadness
Sadness is a temporary emotional state you can cope with by applying these simple strategies:
The first step to dealing with negative emotions is accepting them. Sadness is often so overwhelming that you want to sweep it under the rug. Instead, you should acknowledge the emotion so that you are able to process it.
Once you accept it, you can gauge your resources and your ability to cope with the problem that’s making you sad. For example, if staying away from your family is making you feel sad, then getting on a video call may be helpful. However, if you can’t find a solution, seeking additional support may be helpful.
3. Own your emotions
We place value judgments on many things, and our emotions are not far from that. Good, bad, negative, and positive are some of the words we use to categorize our emotions. Though categorization is important, it may take us away from feeling our emotions. Sadness, like any other emotion, is vital for survival.
4. Lifestyle changes
The smallest of things can impact your life. For example, maintaining a healthy diet can help improve your self-esteem. Many of us turn to substances to overcome our sadness, but a healthy lifestyle is the key to managing sadness.
5. Activity scheduling
You can dedicate time to engage in two types of activities. One activity can be enjoyable and the other moderately challenging. Doing this can uplift your mood and also maintain healthy energy levels. For example, going on a moderately difficult hike can be enjoyable yet challenging.
6. Finding a support group
Support groups provide an emotionally safe environment for expressing feelings, exchanging ideas, and gaining helpful information. When you have people around you going through similar difficulties, you feel more secure in exchanging information and seeking help.
7. Talk to a therapist
Even if your sadness is not persistent or severe, it is a good idea to get in touch with a counselor. Among the problems that you can address together are how to improve your self-esteem, switch from negative to positive thinking, and practice stress management.
You should now have some idea about how to cope with sadness. Getting in touch with a therapist has become even more convenient these days. Online therapy, in particular, is very promising.
Can Online Therapy Help Me Deal With Sadness?
It is often assumed that online therapy is only for people with severe mental health disorders. This is a myth since therapy can also equip you with tools and techniques to effectively cope with sadness and everyday life problems.
Online therapy can take less time away from your workday. There is no need to travel miles to meet your therapist. Log in to a video call and the session can start wherever you are comfortable.
More people are using email, webinars, and text messaging to communicate. For some, this can be more comfortable than talking to someone in person, especially when revealing personal or private information.
It can provide access to those who otherwise don’t have it
In some remote areas, the nearest psychotherapist may be an hour or two away. Some people may not be able to drive or easily be able to leave their homes. In these situations, online therapy may be their only option.
Flexible plans and costing
Online counseling services are available in affordable plans and costing. The other way in which they are cost-effective is that they help you save on the cost of travel and parking. The sessions are flexible and can be rescheduled easily.
Sad No More
We now have a clear picture of how to overcome sadness. Online therapy can offer you empathy and a safe space to talk about how you feel. Through platforms like DoMental, you can overcome sadness or depression with online therapy.
You can securely and confidentially connect to a therapist at the comfort of your home. An online therapist will become your partner in healing, recovery, and growth and support you in achieving your goals.
Opting for online therapy is easy and convenient, but to reap the most benefits, you will have to stay motivated and committed. Let a therapist help you with that, and learn how to cope with sadness.