It's OK to be Sad

It’s OK to be Sad

Last week I had an overwhelming feeling of sadness but tried to ignore it and pushed through. I slowly got through the urgent tasks but didn’t manage much else. The next day when I woke the room was spinning and I couldn’t get it to stop. In fact, all day I felt dizzy and out of sorts. Eventually I gave in and spent some quiet time by myself and cried. I thought about the pandemic and the people I miss then cried some more. Ironically one of the items on my To Do list I had put on hold was to write about ‘Being Sad to be Happy’ or ‘Being Happy to be Sad’.

Sadness is a part of our normal range of emotions all of which serve a function. We are familiar with understanding how fear and disgust for example, alert us to situations that require a response, and help us survive. But what is the point of sadness?

Temporary periods of sadness and low mood help us cope and adjust to challenges. Being sad indicates to others that we need nurturing and may need a break from our normal responsibilities. Even being melancholic may be useful in that by looking back into the past reminds us of what was good for us and provide inspiration as we move forward. Sadness has also been shown to increase our compassion, empathy and connectedness to others. Allowing ourselves to step into our sad places can open up a more thoughtful side of ourselves which is both focused and creative.

So while we recognise that smiling and looking at the world with a happy frame of mind has many benefits, we also need to make room for sadness. After letting your grief and sorrow in, acknowledge the time you have taken, and take what you need from it today. You may find your outlook and perspective are different tomorrow.

 

I am referring here to the sadness that follows specific events and situations rather than the enduring sadness and depression which many people experience. If your feelings of sadness or low mood persist please give me a call, contact your GP or start by taking a look at the resources online www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters