Everyone goes through periods of sadness.
Sadness is natural, yet most of us run away from our feelings.
When we run away, we fail to uncover the hidden treasures within.
Why? Because sadness has something to teach you.
It’s here to nudge you to look within, to release yourself from the mental shackles that never existed.
Let’s look at how you can do that, shall we?
The first step is to watch the video below.
The video and article complement each other, so watch/read both.
And remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel, because not every video ends up on this blog.
3 Powerful Steps to Dealing with Sadness
When you explore your sadness, do it on paper.
Otherwise you risk getting stuck in the labyrinthine nature of your mind.
So grab a pen and a piece of paper, and let’s get started.
1. What Specifically Are You Sad About?
The first step is to look at what you’re sad about.
There is always a triggering event, because something has to trigger you to interpret life with a shade of sadness.
Feelings follow thoughts, so if there is sadness, there is a belief or thought behind it. You may not be conscious of it/them, but they are there.
That is why two people can assign two different meanings to the same circumstance.
So the first step is to uncover what you’re sad about. Dive into specifics and discover what’s truly going on.
For example, you’re never just sad. You’re sad because of something. What happened? Where? How?
2. How Are You Creating Your Sadness?
Once you know the triggering event, look at how you’re interpreting the event.
In other words: How are you making yourself sad?
You may not be aware of what it is. It may be unconscious, which is why we want to explore what’s going on.
Becoming conscious of the unconscious is the goal. When that happens—and you begin catching yourself as thoughts of sadness come in—things begin to change.
So how do you see how you’re creating your sadness? You make two columns.
In one column, write what happened. In the other, write the meaning you gave it, or the thoughts that led to feeling sad.
Separate the event and your interpretation.
3. What Other Possibilities Exist?
Now, look at the column where you wrote down the meaning you gave the event or trigger.
Take that meaning and think of alternatives.
What other meanings could you have given what happened?
How would an older, wiser you, see the event?
How would someone you look up to interpret things?
Let’s say you’re sad because no one is buying the book you spent so much time writing.
The meaning you’re giving that event might be that you’re not good enough and that you might as well give up.
Another alternative could be that you just haven’t found the right people yet. Another one would be that you’re still learning, and that you’ve only begun your journey.
I could go on and on.
Write down as many alternative interpretations as you can. The more you write, the more you will realize that your interpretation is just one of many.
Don’t Make This Mistake
Remember, this isn’t about getting rid of sadness, but about gaining clarity.
There are times when I go through this process and still feel sad. And there are times when the sadness dissolves.
Both are fine. Let things be, but be curious. Explore and investigate.
It is during the darkest times that you uncover the beliefs and thoughts that hold you back from doing what you love.
We’ve covered quite a bit, so here’s a summary of the steps:
1. Specifics. Grab pen and paper, and explore what’s truly going on. Dive into specifics. Vague statements keep you stuck, while specifics give you something to grab onto.
2. Cause. Look at how you’re at cause for your feelings. Create two columns. One side holds the trigger or event, and the other holds your interpretation(s).
3. Possibilities. Look at alternatives. The way you see things is just one way of seeing things. Write down possible alternatives to your interpretation. Ask yourself: How would others see this situation?
There’s no right way of doing this. Remember that.
I go with the flow when I do these kinds of exercises. I skip steps. I invent new ones.
The only way you’ll discover your own path is through moving forward. This is not another thing for you to get right. This is a thing to mess up completely, and enjoy it.
Learning about yourself is messy business. That’s how it should be.
The only mistake you can make is to run away.
So experiment. Dive in. See what happens.