The 5-step Technique To Manage Sadness: How To Navigate It Healthily?


Sadness is an emotion that we can recognize from a very young age. Furthermore, this has played a fundamental role in human development, since it is a universal emotion that regardless of the culture, the stage of life in which we find ourselves or the strength and intellectual or emotional training we have, we are all capable of to understand.

The nature of sadness

However, even though it is such an organic component, many times we do not know how to deal with it. A large percentage of the population does not know how to develop it, to the point where sadness surpasses situations, affecting the desire to live, the well-being and development of those who suffer from it, even becoming a mood disorder, for example. , around 300 million people suffer from depression according to the WHO.

On the other hand, Not developing mood disorders does not necessarily mean that there is adequate emotion management. Our body is also a thermometer of our emotional management. “Emotional illness ends up having a serious impact on the body as explained by psychologist Robert Ader (1990) in his research on psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), stating that there is an overactivation of the immune, neuroendocrine and nervous systems due to the chronicity of an emotion.” .

Additionally, situations such as the loss of meaning in life, self-esteem problems, difficulties in building and maintaining relationships and cooperation, among others, are also the product of what is called learned hopelessness, defined by Abramson (1978). ) as “the negative expectation about a valued event”, in other words living in negativity, which is consolidated by the inadequate elaboration of disconcerting situations.

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Yes, you feel identified with some of the previous elements, perhaps you wonder why, what has gone wrong? Why is something that is part of our humanity still such a difficult component to assume sometimes? And what can you do to not make your sadness chronic?

One of the reasons why it can be difficult for us to elaborate this emotion is the lack of knowledge about ourselves since when situations arise where sadness has a greater intensity than what we are familiar with, we cannot identify it, understand it, much less do we have tools available to help us direct this emotion and adapt to our lifestyle. and possibilities.

Since childhood, the emotional education received was focused, in many cases, towards distracting the emotion, (Don’t cry, drink this bottle, or eat this sweet, or watch television), to invalidate it, (It’s not a big deal, there are people who are really suffering, let me know and I’ll give you reasons) or to suppress it (Don’t come here with crocodile tears, what you have to do is start studying, children don’t cry). All these examples of familiar expressions have one objective, to manage the emotion, however in the well-intentioned attempt, in the best of cases, a deep ignorance is revealed regarding the multiple causes of an emotion such as sadness and anxiety with the one we intend to make disappear.


The 5 steps to move through sadness

So, how do we get out of this labyrinth? How do we feel better? Assuming responsibility for knowing and managing sadness is essential, as well as relying on techniques like the one I present below.

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Step 1. Recognize the emotion

Ask yourself: how am I sure that what I feel is sadness and not another emotion like anxiety or fear? To answer you, you can do the following checklist.

Step 2. Identify where it comes from

For this you can ask yourself questions like:

Step 3. Accept what you are feeling

When you take the time to feel and validate your emotion, you are having an act of unconditional love with your being and only from here can you begin to move to a new place. Here the objective is not to distract you from the emotion or invalidate it, quite the opposite, to receive it, feel it and be grateful for it. For this it is important that you do the following:


Step 4. Discover the message that sadness brings

Ask yourself, what is the purpose of sadness in my life right now? Some possible answers you can find are:

Step 5. Establish action plans

According to Daniel Goleman (1995) emotions are impulses for action. This is the time to look forward, and start sowing small changes that over time will become gardens. He remembers that small actions are key. Among the actions you can carry out are the following:


When sadness takes hold

What to do when this doesn’t work, and sadness becomes a continuous and disabling state of mind to fully develop your life? Do not panic. Sometimes we have let time pass, we have accumulated sadness, or we have become emotionally blocked by situations that have marked us.

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There are times where we can manage ourselves, however, there are also times where we need support, because we feel tired and hopeless or because we do not believe in ourselves. This is why looking for therapists who can accompany and guide you in this process can be very healthy. It’s not that you are incapable of doing it yourself, sometimes we really need someone to listen to us and guide us without judgment.

Also remember that emotions are felt thanks to a chemical change that occurs in the brain, in which neurotransmitters are released from a stimulus, therefore, When sadness is a permanent emotion, it may be that there is some chemical imbalance in your nervous system and that you need some type of medication or even something as basic as changing your eating habits so it is essential that you pay attention to your habits and inform yourself about their impact on your emotions.

Don’t forget that sadness can become a mood disorder if we don’t manage and confront it properly, so seek help in time. Remember that life is not a path of suffering and that sometimes we become addicted to pain, however it is in our hands and in our mind where the power to transform our reality and assume life with freedom and responsibility is truly found. that we deserve. No one is going to come to rescue us, perhaps if they find unexpected encounters that give us guidance, however, it is in our decision and commitment where the key to feeling good lies.