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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Embracing Sadness

Embracing Sadness

We all get sad sometimes. Sadness is a fact of life, as sure to occur as the passing of the seasons (well except here in Abu Dhabi but my missing Autumn and Spring is a whole different post altogether). Sometimes sadness can hit us in a wave, sometimes it trickles in, but things for sure: we should embrace it.

Now when I say embrace, I don't mean wallow. Wallowing in sadness keeps us from moving on, which kind of goes against the whole point of this blog post. No, embracing sadness is to accept it for what it is, an emotion that has decided to visit our mind and body, and then allow it to pass. Emotions typically have a life span of ninety seconds, which means that it will only take a minute and a half for them to disappear if nothing re-triggers them. However I often find that people suppress negative emotions when they arrive, for fear of them continuing or growing into something that is unmanageable. This is not particularly healthy, nor is it effective. If there's one thing I've learnt is that emotions will demand to be felt as one time or another, so suppressing them is like putting a lid on a volcano: one day it will explode, and it will be very messy.

When happiness is the ultimate goal, sometimes it takes a moment of acknowledgement to get there. This might be recognising the trigger – "seeing that photograph reminded me of the good times we used to have together" or "that song lyric really touched a raw nerve about what happened between us" – or it might even just be crying over the actual emotion. Recently I was feeling incredibly sad, and so I took myself off to a quiet space in the amphitheatre and just allowed myself to feel rather than think. Although at the time I was overwhelmed with emotion, sitting them gave me the space to acknowledge and accept it rather than fighting it and pretending to be okay. It was only in taking that time that I felt ready to work towards feeling happier, and after a few moments I picked myself up and carried on with my day.

Crying is an incredibly cathartic thing to do. It is an activity that allows us to feel and exercise out a lot of the hurt, and I don't know about you but I always feel better after a good sob. So if you feel like you need to cry, let it out. Find a safe space, with someone or alone, and give in to the emotion swirling around. I often think about my favourite quote in Eat Pray Love:


"But I miss him.” “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, 
then drop it."

This is kind of how I feel about sadness: feel it, accept it, and then move on. Hopefully if we can begin to embrace emotions we will be able to deal with them in a way that leaves us healthier and happier, and isn't that what everyone wants?


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