It’s OK to be Sad

It's ok to be sadEveryone strives to live a happy life. After all, happiness helps create a healthy mind, body and spirit. Yet, sometimes the pursuit of happiness crowds out other healthy emotions, like sadness.

The happiness trend has given sadness a bad reputation. It has pegged an otherwise normal emotion as the Debbie Downer or Negative Nancy of life. Many people believe that admitting they’re sad makes them appear weak or unable to cope with what life throws their way. As a result, they hide their feelings out of a sense of guilt or embarrassment.

In truth, life is unavoidably sad sometimes. Sadness can be caused by loss, tragedy or disappointment. Sometimes, it settles in for no reason at all. When you’re feeling down, it’s not always easy to face it. However, sadness is a natural emotion that actually has some health benefits. It can help you:

  • Gain a new perspective. People reflect more on their life in times of sadness. The emotion is often a sign that you need to press pause and look at life differently.
  • Express empathy. Sadness yields compassion. When you allow yourself to feel sad, you gain a deeper understanding of and are better able to respond to the struggles of others.
  • Achieve balance. Sadness helps you appreciate the goods time more. It encourages you to make changes that boost your happiness. It also helps you stay in touch with your other emotions.

Feel All the Feels

Happiness, sadness, anger and fear are all normal emotions with healthy benefits. Accepting and balancing all of those feelings is challenging, but also necessary to achieve a happier, healthier life.

Normal feelings of sadness are temporary and come with the knowledge that things will get better. Lingering feelings of sadness that keep you from enjoying life and performing daily activities could indicate depression. Other symptoms of depression include feeling hopeless and recurring thoughts of ending life. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk with your primary care provider.

Related content: Beat the Blues