How to Stop Feeling Down When Sadness Consumes You

Being sad every once in a while is perfectly normal. What to look out for is if you find yourself being consumed or overwhelmed by these feelings. You may find yourself sad because you received a bad grade, you were rejected from a job, experienced a breakup, or any other life event. It can be hard to overcome, and it can be expressed in many ways.

You may cry, want to be alone, feeling achy, or otherwise negatively. No matter how you express your sadness, know there are many ways to overcome it. Below, you will find some tips on what to do when you find yourself feeling consumed by sadness and how to healthily cope.

Coping With Sadness

Remember, sadness is normal and acceptable. Without it, life would not have the ebbs and flows we enjoy so much. When you think there are days that will not get better, do not fret. Here are 10 tips on how to combat sadness and get yourself feeling better quickly.

1. Practice Mindfulness.

People who are struggling with sadness tend to dwell on negative events and thoughts. This cycle makes you feel worse. Mindfulness is fantastic because it keeps us focused on the present moment. When we focus, we are relaxed and do not stress as much about other things.

Practice engaging your senses for a moment. What does the chair you are sitting on feel like? What did that coffee this morning taste like? What does the air around you smell like? Engaging the senses brings our awareness to the present moment and challenges the negative thoughts that come up. We have some great articles on mindfulness on our blog, check them out for more!

2. Get Better Lighting.

This may seem silly, but it is real. Seasonal Affective Disorder is known to cause low mood or sadness in the winter when there is less sunlight. Consider buying a sunlamp and sitting near it for 20 minutes three times a day.

The Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms include: irritability, depression, anxiety, fatigue, loss of libido, and trouble sleeping. Updating the lighting in your room may have a real impact on your mood.

3. Get Enough Sleep.

What can sleep not fix? When we are sleep deprived, we find ourselves more irritable and more stressed. It severely affects our moods. The quality of sleep we have directly affects everything we do. Try your best to get between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep each night.

4. Exercise Enough.

Regular exercise has been shown to improve symptoms of depression. When we exercise, it releases endorphins and naturally improves our mood. There are also many health benefits to exercising such as lower blood sugar, protection against diseases, and higher self esteem.

Try starting by getting at least 30 minutes of exercise four days a week. You may find that you enjoy it!

5. Allow Yourself To Be Sad.

Denying these feelings forces them to get buried, and that can lead to even more negative effects over time. If you want to cry, cry. You may actually feel better after a good cry. Acknowledge that you are sad, and then let that feeling go when it is over.

6. Start a Journal.

A journal can help you express your feelings and be an outlet for relief. Write down at least 3 things every day that you are grateful for. This makes you think more positively and reminds you that there is some goodness out there. We have a great article on gratitude and its many benefits in our blog. Check that out for more!

7. Get Into Therapy.

Therapy is a great way to manage your sadness and get help. By working with a professional, you are able to receive the best kind of care. This person will be able to offer advice and suggestions on how to improve your mental health that you could not come up with alone. If you find yourself looking for a therapist, consider Mental Treat. Our platform has a variety of qualified and licensed professionals who offer sessions both in person and online. Check out the platform here.

8. Improve Your Diet.

There is very little that improving your diet will not help. People who experience symptoms of depression have actually been known to have an imbalance of fatty acids. This can worsen low-grade inflammation in the body and make symptoms of depression worse. Omega-3 fatty acids lower cholesterol and improve your cardiovascular health, so if you are looking to up your fatty acids, it can do wonders for your health. Walnuts, flaxseeds, and fatty fish (salmon or tuna) are great sources of omega-3s. Check with your physician about the possibility of having this imbalance and adding this to your diet.

9. Keep Yourself Distracted.

Do your best to keep yourself from overthinking. This is when the sadness can be most overwhelming. Take your pet for a walk or read a good book. Spend some time with friends and family to keep your mind busy. Anything you can do to take your mind off your worries is important.

10. Put Your Feelings Into Context.

When you get sad, think about the context of your feelings. Are they related to a troubling event? Are they coming out of nowhere? Sadness can be a result of change or a sign that you may need to make a change. Emotions come and go, so find ways to acknowledge them and figure out why you are experiencing them.

When Sadness Becomes Too Much

When the sadness that you are experiencing lingers for weeks and affects your life too much, it may be depression. Depression is not a one-size-fits all and often manifests differently for most people.

There are many ways to find out if you have depression, but the best is to receive a diagnosis from a health professional. A professional can provide you with information, resources, and support. Suicide is a common symptom of depression. If you or someone you love is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help immediately.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 is available 24/7.

Substance abuse is also a sign of mental illnesses like major depression. Unfortunately, it often exacerbates the symptoms of depression and makes the situation much worse. If you are experiencing distress or a substance abuse problem, it is crucial that you establish a treatment plan with a mental health professional.

Seeking counseling or therapy, making lifestyle changes, and taking medication are all ways to restore balance to your life. Remember, you can experience sadness without it being depression. However, it is when that sadness becomes depression that you should move quickly to receive that level of professional support and make these bigger changes.

Signs of Depression

Depression can be a very damaging disorder if not properly treated. However, it is so common that one in three people will experience a major depressive episode at some point in their lives.

Physical symptoms: 

  • Slowed speech;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Changes in weight;
  • Loss of sleep;
  • Low energy levels;
  • Sleeping too much;
  • Low libido.

Psychological symptoms:

  • Difficulty making decisions or problem solving;
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide;
  • Poor concentration;
  • Feeling miserable for an extended period of time.

If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have depression. Please read our article specifically on depression for more information. Find the article here.

A Word From Mental Treat

You can make many changes to your lifestyle to cope with sadness. However, if you believe you have depression, please find professional help or consult a specialist. As always, Mental Treat is a great place to get started, and there are a variety of other resources too.

We wish you the best of luck in this process and hope that you can get the help you deserve. Take care, and be well along the way. You will overcome this.

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Natalia Korsakova

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