Sadness, great sadness was the feeling that erupted today, choked me and was so multi-layered that it almost paralyzed me, the attention of my common sense not wanting to affect my surrounding calmed the troubling emotions and prompted me to dig into the subject and put my 2 cents on paper. It was sadness for me but mostly empathetically for my very dear friend…
I believe, I think, I feel, I do – This is the normal flow of our beliefs system.
Stay with me… Esoteric means coming from within, as opposed to exoteric, which means coming from outside. The word emotion derives from the Latin ex-movere, which means to move out. Emotions must be lived out. Emotions are a profoundly esoteric cry that moves out. Belives create thoughts, thoughts create emotions and emotions are our drive for action. Action is what we call behavior.
When we are in a sad mood, it means we are experiencing sad emotions.
The feelings sadness express do not refer to a mild, momentary unhappiness, but more to the intense grief, caused by a loss, or a disappointment. The feeling does not come just from frustration, which can make you feel persistently gloomy, or dejected. Nor does it come from a sense of futility, which can trigger a mood of brooding despondency or depression.
Sadness essentially deals with a sense of irreparable loss over “what might have been”, the feeling irretrievably touches primary aspects of your life. Those words also express a cry for help.
The sad person suffers. You feel empty or numb. You may cry a lot. It may affect your sleep. You may eat too little, or too much. The sadness takes away your energy and makes you feel more tired. Some people even get stomach aches and headaches. The emotion can be so strong that it makes it difficult for you to focus on your work. So, your output suffers. You may spend less time with friends and even find it difficult to concentrate on reading, or on watching TV. Sadness affects your work, your health and even prevents you from enjoying even the smallest pleasures in life when its bad.
I believe there are three solutions to deal with difficult emotions:
- To block them in, and annul oneself pretending everything is ok.
- To live them out through behavior
- To acknowledge, to observe and to verbalize what you feel; to speak out and share your feelings.
~ The first solution does not solve anything and makes the person accumulate the emotion, something that could cause physical problems later.
~ The second solution resolves the effect but not the cause, and makes the person increasingly more dependent on that behavior, which gives him the illusion of emptying his aggressiveness. In fact, it empties the feeling, but it feeds the cause of that emotion – So the emotion grows instead of disappearing.
~ The third solution resolves the cause. The person empties his emotional batteries through awareness, observation and verbalization of himself, becoming more genuine and assertive – The inclination to feel that emotion again slowly diminishes.
Sadness Can Have Many Causes
The emotion can be triggered for any number of reasons. It could be the loss of a loved one or a divorce. A disappointment which changes your expectations from life can be the cause. You may have regrets about things you did or did not do. You may have moved away from a town, away from friends and relatives, who gave you comfort. Needless tensions created by family or teenagers could cause you to painfully miss a happier life. Pain or suffering for a loved one could cause the sadness. In every case, the recalled images of “what life might have been” cause distress.
If Time Does Not Heal The Wound
It is quite normal for you to feel intense grief over a loss, or disappointment. But time is a great healer. However deep your grief, the sorrow will reduce over a period of days, or months – This is a normal neural event, it is a part of the design of nature. Nerve impulses tend to fade over time. The emotional signals, which caused you distress will fade over time unless your own thoughts prevent the healing process. Normally, a wound also heal gradually but if you keep irritating it, it will remain raw and painful. Repeated living over your pain and loss will intensify the neural patterns. New “speed dial circuits” will be created within the nervous system, which continue to trigger the same level of distress. The pain will refuse to go away.
A Return To Peace Of Mind Requires Your Conviction
One day, you must move on. Sadness heals. It is an emotion, which helps you to deal with sudden loss, crying softens painful memories and reliving the experiences help you to adjust to a new painful reality. Up to a point. If the sadness persists and causes you continuing distress, you must act to deal with it. You have to become convinced that it is time to leave the painful past behind and bring back your peace of mind. After all, it affects your work and your health. It prevents you from getting on with the rest of your life. The mental exercises i will suggest below will only succeed if you are convinced that they are necessary. Are you prepared to move on?
Recognize The Patterns Which Prevent Healing
There are avenues of thought, which reinforce the pain pathways. A loss implies an irreversible change in your life. Instead of moving on with your life, you keep thinking about what might have been. The recall of a beloved image, which is no more possible will create fresh pain.
Guilt also plays a part. A sense of loyalty towards the absent relationship could keep you from thinking of a happy life alone. Your mind will shut away such thoughts with a sense of guilt. Guilt is the second emotion which will reopen the wound. Out of the same sense of loyalty you may feel that sadness is justified and keep dwelling within the emotion. Reliving the past and feeling guilty about moving on will both keep the pain both fresh and raw.
Put Your Common Sense In Charge
To be a little scientific for a moment…
Your common sense is a rigorously independent intelligence within your nervous system, it is a powerful pre-frontal network which can be induced to take charge of your thought processes.
Emotions rule your lower level instinctual intelligences which propose survival strategies for your life. Anger causes an animal to attack. Fear causes it to run away. And sadness causes it to withdraw from activity and adjust to loss.
Emotions are triggered by neural signals in the limbic system. But, those signals can go haywire. While emotions serve a purpose, erratic speed dial circuits can cause particular emotions to unreasonably dominate your behavior.
Fear, anger, or sadness can overwhelm you. If these circuits have not attained abnormal dominance (requiring medical treatment), the attention of your common sense can still the troubling emotions initiated by them.
Put Aside Your Guilt
Your common sense can act only if your mind is not dominated by your emotions. In the first place, you need to deal with your sense of guilt. Guilt plays an important role in group behavior, preventing you from actions, which would trouble your community. Apply your common sense to reduce your pangs of guilt.
Self awareness has that effect. Your problem is not “I am sad,” but “I am so sad.” You are suffering too much. Become aware of your guilt feelings about not dwelling on sad memories, or even on moments of joy after a bereavement. Pay attention to the physical symptoms of your feelings and your attention to the physical symptoms will calm the pangs of guilt. What I mean by this is that while sadness is justified, your common sense will know that excessive sadness is not a reasonable emotion. You will know that you must get on with your life. Your common sense will tell you “all you need is self awareness!”.
Realign Your Vision
You also need to realign your world view. It is human to have something to look forward to – A happy plan for your life. Sadness intrudes when that plan has irrevocably changed for the worse and you will not ever again share your burdens, your joys and sorrows with your loved one. Or, in a crucial disappointment, your career has changed for the worse. It is a situation where every context reminds you of your loss, your subconscious mind will cope with this situation only if you develop a new plan for your life. This is a new stage in your life, think creatively of how you can make your life meaningful again, the very decision to plan a new beginning will suddenly open you horizons to fresh view points. Instead of dwelling on the “what might have been” images, which cause you distress, you will open your eyes to the world again.
Still The Sadness Emotion
Even as you work on a revised plan for your life, you will constantly encounter the “what might have been” images all around you, which will repeatedly trigger the sadness emotion. Become aware of the physical symptoms of that emotion. It could be a pang in your chest, or a knot in your stomach. It may be a drive which makes you want to cry. Emotions are neural signals, with distinct symptoms. They will lose their power to dominate you when you pay attention to the symptoms. Your common sense will realize that your feelings are not overpowering world views, but simple physical symptoms. Over a period of time, the emotion will have been calmed and maybe even stilled.
Does Your Sadness Require Treatment?
Does your sadness persist because of drugs, medication, or alcohol? Is it caused by changes in hormone levels? If there is no clear cause for your sadness, see if sunshine, music, or friends can cheer you up. A good night’s rest alone may cheer you up. Ordinary sad patches will clear in a few days. If your sadness persists without a significant cause for more than two weeks, check with your doctor. A deeper and more intense sadness, without a clear cause may be a depression. If it seriously affects your life, seek professional counsel. Take good care of yourself!
Sometimes you just feel sad, that happens…
Just stay, just be: “I feel sad so let me feel sad” and cry that sadness out. But don’t add pity, guilt or disillusion. Don’t practice self-violence. Just observe how sad you are and don’t judge yourself.
One day the sadness will be replaced by something beautiful.
It’s an intense esoteric journey my friends!