Sadness is a feeling that is brought about by different situations and causes. It is described to be the opposite of happiness, where we experience moments of glee and optimism towards life. However, apart from being a form of human emotion, sadness can also be a choice, just the same way as being happy. There are ways in which you can avoid finding yourself in a state of sadness, despite being exposed to various environments that trigger the said feeling.
Shying away from sadness has a lot of perks that not everyone can see. Knowing how to avoid it not only keeps you from feeling down but also prevents you from attracting other negative thoughts and emotions that may lead to more complex situations, including anxiety and depression.
If you are looking for ways to not be sad, then here are 16 that may be of great help:
1. Go out.
Going out is one of the best remedies to sadness because it does many things to you. First, it keeps you preoccupied with the sights you get to see while on your journey, may it be to a tourist destination or just a walk in the park. Second, it keeps you moving physically. Physical movement boosts the release of endorphins, known as the hormones that make people feel happy.
After some time of physical movement, and the satisfaction brought by seeing a lot of sights that are not often within your reach, you then find yourself no longer feeling sad. In fact, you’d even forget that you actually experienced the blues prior to going out.
2. Spend time with the people you love.
The best therapy is love—loving and being loved. These may be your family or friends whom you consider to be your support group. Tell them what’s making you down, so that they’d understand what you are going through and give you the kind of assistance that you specifically need to lighten up your burden. Their support can strengthen your will to overcome whatever you are going through. Knowing that you are loved and being surrounded by people who care for you will make you feel secure.
A support group helps a lot in getting rid of sadness because they give you different perspectives on how to play the game of life. They also lend their ears to hear out your concerns, through their presence, you no longer feel like you have to go through the misery alone.
Doing things to make them feel your love can revive your sense of purpose. Do simple things like serving them coffee or making them breakfast. This will make you feel better as you realize that you do not only live for yourself. If you are down, the people who love you are also affected. If you love them, you will not want them to suffer because of you, right? Therefore, do your best to be back on your feet not just for yourself but also for them.
3. Adopt a pet.
Speaking of support, if you’re not a people person but would want to know how to manage your sadness, then why not get a pet instead? Pets are great companions, and even scientific studies show that having one in your home helps brighten up totally dark days in a person’s life.
Pets keep you preoccupied; they lead you to see simple joys, and they also stay by your side in times you feel lonely. Perhaps you can get a dog, a cat, or even a couple of birds to give life to your home.
4. Join a club.
Joining a club is also a good way to manage sadness, as these are groups where you meet people with common interests and issues. Together you can talk about your whims and desires, as well as the things that are making you sad, and find ways to address them as a group.
Meeting people in clubs or organizations is also ideal when facing sadness, as sometimes you feel more comfortable opening up to people who do not know you personally. At the same time, these people, being strangers, can be more capable of giving valuable insights into your concerns mainly because they don’t judge you based on your background.
5. Eat sweets!
Perhaps this is one of the best ways to keep yourself from being sad: eat sweets. Sweets also release hormones that make you forget the feeling of sadness and at the same time boost your energy. You then become more motivated and optimistic in dealing with life’s atrocities at the moment.
Chocolate is the most popular comfort food. It is proven effective in cheering a sad person up, because it releases happy hormones in the body. You may be health-conscious and you think chocolates will make you fat and diabetic. However, recent studies have shown that daily minimal consumption of chocolate can actually help reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It can also help you stay thin. Of course, the keyword here is discipline. Everything too much is unhealthy.
However, you may want to opt for the healthy sweets which we can get from eating whole fresh foods, such as fruits instead of processed candy to keep your health in good shape.
6. Read a book.
Reading books can be boring for some, but it also helps in getting rid of the blues, especially when you are exposed in a gloomy environment (think about rainy days where you cannot go out and explore the wild!). It is through reading that you can get away from reality even for a moment, and get engrossed in a whole new fantasy world.
It is also through reading that you get to relax a bit; it likewise gives you a few life lessons, either from the way the characters handle their scenes in the story you chose to spend time on.
7. Do a chore.
Blocking sadness can also be done by keeping yourself busy, like doing a chore. This works best especially when you are sad but don’t want to be with anybody or go out at the moment. Taking on a household chore, such as cleaning the house or tending the garden allows you to do some sort of meditation, as you become absorbed in completing the task and doing it right.
Doing chores also helps you develop a sense of achievement once the tasks are completed, and having achieved something will definitely make you smile.
8. Learn a skill.
Aside from doing chores, you may also want to learn a new skill while dealing with your sadness. This may be in the form of cooking, painting, playing music, or anything that triggers your passion. Learning a skill allows your mind to be preoccupied and become focused on something productive, and as you learn, you also step away from the despair you have been previously experiencing.
9. Get enough sleep.
Too much tiredness—physically and mentally—is one of the factors that contribute to feeling negative emotions. Notice how you easily get irritated and pre-occupied when you are sleep deprived. Therefore, when sadness starts to creep in, take a break, and sleep. Maybe it is only due to exhaustion, and good rest can resolve it. Do not allow too much work and cramming to prevent you from having enough sleep. Your health is at stake here, and if you get sick, all your hard work would be pointless. If possible, aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day. This will help you make sound judgments on everything coming your way.
10. Be physically active.
Engaging in physical activities can help your body produce more endorphin, a chemical that is usually associated with pain relief and pleasure. The more physically active you are, the happier you become and the lesser pain you feel (in case you are hurting inside). That is why it is advisable that you exercise regularly. It is not necessary to work out in the gym. Running, brisk walking, or Zumba will do. You can also involve yourself in a particular sport like badminton or basketball.
11. Paint the walls yellow.
If you are prone to depression, painting your room yellow is highly recommended. If this is not possible, maybe you can at least use yellow curtains. Yellow wallpapers will also do. In color psychology, yellow is associated with happiness and cheerfulness. The brightness of this color will keep you from waking up in a gloomy mood. If you are living alone, you may consider painting the entire house with this color too. It will help minimize loneliness and stop you from feeling bad because of negative thoughts.
You may also read: 12 Tips to Overcome Boredom and Loneliness
12. Keep your place organized.
A messy mind can also contribute to depression. When your office is cluttered or your house is chaotic, it can cause frustration. As you see the mix-ups, you would feel that there are many things that should have been done, but you have not done them. It creates a sense of incompetence and irresponsibility. Guilt-complex happens, and soon your self-esteem is affected.
The effect is not immediately felt until something wrong happens and you come home feeling down. You finally notice the mess around, and you see your inability to keep things in order. Before this happens, make time to declutter your workplace or house once in a while, especially if you can already see a towering pile of papers or laundry. If you are a busy person, then avoid making your place untidy and clean up a small muddle as soon as possible. A neat place can give you peace of mind too.
13. Adopt a hobby.
Instead of thinking about your problems and failures, do something more worthwhile with your vacant time. Find a hobby that can preoccupy your mind. You can read books, watch movies or a TV series, or even play a sport.
If you had hobbies you miss doing, this is the time to bring them back. Traveling or shopping may be a bit costly, but if it can ease your troubled mind and make you happy, then do it—but, please, not to the point of putting yourself in debt, because it might make you more depressed.
14. Laugh yourself out.
Laughter is the best medicine, they say. There is a truth to this especially when your problem is sadness. There are even institutions offering laughter therapy. You better hang out with funny friends and enjoy yourself with them. You can watch comedy movies or TV shows as well. Just a warning though, if your sadness is relationship-related, avoid watching romantic-comedy movies as they could remind you of your situation.
You may also read: How to be a Jolly Person: 12 Tips to be Fun to be With
15. Dream happy dreams.
Have you ever noticed that whenever you had bad dreams in the night, you would wake up unhappy and less energetic? On the contrary, if you had good dreams, you would get up lively and sunny. You probably think you have no control over your dreams, but you actually have. You may not be able to control the details and flow of your dream, but you can do something to have a good one.
First, make sure that you sleep in a good mood. Your emotion right before you close your eyes can affect your dream. Also, avoid thinking about what upsets you. Usually, whatever fills your mind the whole day is brought to the dream realm. So, if you think of happy thoughts throughout the day, you have a better chance of getting happy dreams.
16. Nourish your spirit.
Many depression patients have recovered because of their faith in God. You probably do not believe that there is a supreme being who created everything. However, if you are at the end of your rope because of the sorrow that swallows you and nothing has worked to overcome it, then maybe it would not hurt to open your mind to the possibility that you are not just body and soul.
Start walking on the path of your spiritual journey. Seek your Creator and His purpose for your life. Listen to people who encountered breakthroughs and miracles through prayers. Then, try talking to God yourself. If He does not exist, nothing will happen. If He does, He will hear you, so you can tell Him everything you feel. Who knows? It could be the start of your healing.
To feel sad is normal, don’t forget that. But it can be managed and even kept to a minimum if you choose to do so. You are left to decide whether to let it linger in your heart and mind, or let it go and be happy and optimistic about what life has in store for you.
Happiness is a choice—you have probably heard this already. You may not have control over the circumstances in your life, but at least you have control over your response to situations. You can choose to be positive regardless of what you are going through.
Depression is a serious matter. If you think you’re suffering, not only from sadness but from depression, it is good to consult with a certified trained mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. There are also groups and organizations that you can turn to for support. In the US, check the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255), and the American Society for Suicide Prevention. In the United Kingdom, you can turn to Samaritans UK and ROI for help and advice through phone and chat. You may also check the suicide prevention and crisis hotlines in your country in this list.