When a relationship breaks up, you are going through a separation or divorce or you lose someone you love, you can feel overwhelmed by sadness. Pain is a part of life but there are things you can do to help yourself float through the most difficult days.
Accept your feelings
It’s okay to feel sad. Sadness is a natural reaction to loss and as such it’s important that you acknowledge the feeling and accept it. Do not focus on the cause of your sadness but becoming aware of your feelings gives you the power to choose your response. Give yourself permission to feel your emotions.
Be kind to yourself
On sad days you will likely feel vulnerable and sensitive. Understand that your emotions are heightened and be kind to yourself. Your responsibilities will continue but you can be gentle with your expectations of yourself. Do what you must and then nurture yourself with a bath, DVD, massage, good book or your favourite music. The kindness you show to yourself will help you regain your balance.
Smile at yourself in the mirror
When we are sad the idea of smiling feels very far away. But the physical action of smiling releases good chemicals in the brain which act as an antidote to intense sadness. When you feel the sadness return, take a moment to smile through your tears. It is as if the sun is shining through the rain.
Take yourself on a date
Breaking the routine of your life can be a great way to reduce sadness. It’s like interrupting a repetitive pattern and shifts your focus. You may still feel the sadness but the very act of taking yourself out on a date shifts the focus from your loss to you. Go for a walk in nature, take yourself out to dinner, a movie or join a night class or exercise class.
Be with people
Sadness can make you feel very alone and isolated. Get outside of yourself by interacting with others. Catch up with a friend or family member, volunteer at a homeless shelter or retirement home. There are many people who feel just as alone as you do. When you connect with others you can see yourself through their eyes.
Sadness can seem never ending but preparing yourself ahead of time allows you to have strategies in place to cope. Focussing on your pain or loss will cause more suffering but acceptance will allow you to rise above your feelings and let them float away.
Remember, you are not your feelings – they simply follow from your thoughts. Change your thoughts and you change your emotions.