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Overcome Sadness: 19 Simple Things You Didn’t Realize You Can Do

Overcome Sadness: 19 Simple Things You Didn’t Realize You Can Do

“Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.” Paul Boese

To overcome sadness, you need to let go of your old stories. You were born happy and you stayed happy until caregivers, teachers and peers unknowingly said unpleasant things to you. Now, new events can trigger these old hurts and thus make you feel more sad than they should. So when you catch yourself thinking about the old unpleasant events, engage in the tips below to overcome sadness.

1. Decide you are ready to let go of the pain, no matter what.

If you don’t make peace with the past, the associated toxic energy will eventually show up as health, weight and mood issues. You might even go to the grave with regrets. Let it go. It’s not worth the misery of bad mental and physical health.

2. Change your attitude towards your situation. You are not your story.

You’re only hurting yourself if you don’t change your attitude. The person who caused you sadness is not in pain, you are.

Your brain can be “rewired” with an attitude change. Dr. Joe Dispenza’s TEDx talk shows you:

  • How old feelings are wired into memories.
  • How the thought of your bad memories triggers stress responses and turns on your disease genes.
  • How changing your negative attitude to compassion can release the old hurts and positively reprogram your brain.

3. Don’t focus on the suffering, focus on the gifts.

If you keep talking about the pain, its impact will be enlarged and you will drive others away with your constant rumination. Holding on to your “dark cloud” will make you lonely and miserable.

Focus on the gifts of the negative experiences instead.

The Universe purposely gave you negative experiences for the evolution of your soul. You are the only one who can make “lemonade” out of your “lemons.” The Universe rewards you with happiness when the lemonade is made. Your story of triumph will inspire others to get out of their sadness.

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4. Exercise, meditate or do yoga to release the sadness.

yoga poses

    Clear the muck from your brain. Whatever exercise and/or mindfulness modality works for you, just do it.

    Here’s an example: When a former boss said something hurtful to me, my mind couldn’t stop replaying the hurt because his criticism triggered a younger “part” of me that held old wounds. So I went to Bikram Yoga (yoga in a 105 degree Fahrenheit room) four days in a row. On the fourth day, during Camel pose, my body shook and I exploded in an “ugly cry.” I knew the shaking and the tears were the boss’s toxicity leaving my body and mind. After class, the negative energy was completely gone and my brain was done thinking about this hurt. I overcame my sadness. The next time I saw this person, I was not triggered.

    5. Watch a funny movie.

    If you are laughing, you can’t be sad. Your brain can only experience one emotion at a time.

    6. Transport yourself back to a happy memory. 

    Whatever you are thinking about will create your feelings. If you think about frolicking on the beach with your family, it will create positive feelings. When a happy memory triggers a smile, you won’t feel sad.

    7. Ask your friends to support you in the letting go process.

    Tell them what you’re going through. Ask them for a neutral perspective. Listen to them and believe what they are saying. You are making the situation worse than it has to be. Your friends will help you see the gifts in the pain. They know you are more than your story. You just have to believe you are more than your story.

    8. Ask your friends to tell you to “Stop it!” every time you bring up old hurts.

    Give your friends permission to say, “STOP!” every time you start to go into the story…again. Ask them to distract you and remind you of happy memories. This will shift you out of your negative state.

    9. Read stories of famous people who have gotten over their past and are thriving.

    a) Nick Vujicic: the man with no arms or legs.

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    b) Jon Morrow: one of the most successful bloggers and blogging mentors. He is a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, who has created a very successful business using only his voice and voice recognition software. There’s no reason for you to feel sad after reading Jon Morrow’s story here.

    c) Click here for more celebrity rags to riches stories.

    10. Watch Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement address.

    Steve Jobs famously said, “You can connect the dots of your life backwards.” He saw the gifts of his negative events and thrived. This video has been watched over 19 million times.

    11. Do something you’ve never done before.

    Guitar lessons, cooking lessons, photography, gardening, “out of the box” adventure vacations, anything. New experiences will get you out of your sad rut and make you feel happy.

    12. Volunteer at soup kitchens, hospitals, shelters, non-profit organizations, etc. 

    “Variety,” “significance” and “contribution” are basic human needs. When you serve others, you will meet new people, make new friends and expand your social circles. You will feel good about contributing to humanity. You won’t have time to think about your sadness when you are making a difference.

    13. Believe that you are worthy of love and happiness.

    When you believe it, you will feel love and happiness. In turn, you will attract loving and happy feelings from others.

    14. Overturn your sad, negative beliefs and make them into positive ones.

    Sad “parts” of our emotional selves hold faulty negative beliefs from old toxic experiences. You may not realize that the original hurts get triggered when you interact with someone who reminds you of the original painful feelings.

    So when someone in your life now makes you feel sad, think back to the first time you felt the sting of not feeling worthy or loved.

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    For example, let’s say you hold a core belief that you are “bad.” Maybe this belief was acquired in second grade when you shamefully stood in the hallway for a time-out. Your classmates made fun of you. That seven-year-old part of you is waiting for you to talk to him or her and tell them that it’s not you who was bad, it was your behavior that was bad.

    You have the power to overturn your acquired faulty belief that you are bad from that second grade incident. Bring your adult self into the scene of that original event. Give your younger self a big hug and let them know that they are awesome and that the other kids didn’t mean any harm. Let them know that they are not bad…it was the behavior that was bad. Tell them the teacher and the other kids do love you. You overreacted because no one was there to reassure you that you are not a bad kid.

    Addressing old hurts through talking to your parts that hold shame, humiliation, worthlessness, etc., will help you overcome the sadness from faulty core beliefs such as, “I’m not lovable, I’m not worthy, I’m not enough.” When you give your younger parts the love and reassurances they needed but that they never got, your dark cloud will lift and you will finally believe that you are worthy of love and happiness.

    You have the power to heal the sadness of your wounded younger parts.

    15. Have compassion for the person who makes you sad. They are a victim of their past too.

    Many of us are victims of victims. These people were more than likely “acting out” from their own wounded parts. They probably had no idea they were hurting you. When you feel compassion towards them and understand where they are coming from, it will be easier to let the hurt go.

    You can’t make the other person change. You can only change yourself by changing the filter through which you see their behavior towards you.

    16. Tell the sad part of you that everything is going to be OK.

    Let this side of yourself know that you are going to overcome the sadness together. Ask the sad part what he or she needs from you to feel happy. Then give it to them.

    17. Look at the sadness from a neutral third-party perspective.

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    overcome sadness through stepping into shoes of other

      Using the above example, step into the point of the triangle as Oprah, the “neutral observer.” From Oprah’s perspective, what is really going on between you and the other person who hurt you? As Oprah, you will be able to see objectively what the situation is really about. It not as bad as you make it out to be.

      18. Step into the shoes of the other person and see from their perspective why they hurt you. 

      You will be able to let go of sad feelings when you step into the shoes of the person who makes you hurt.

      Here are some possible examples of being in your Dad’s shoes:

      • “I loved you very much. I couldn’t show you how much I loved you because your mom would get jealous if I doted on you. I had to hold my feelings back because your mother was not mentally stable.”
      • “I was afraid of your mom because I needed to feel worthy of her love because I was emotionally abused by my Dad. I couldn’t risk losing her love. That’s why I couldn’t show how I really felt about you.”

      Now you see why your Dad makes you sad and why he couldn’t show you love in the way he wanted to. He was “acting out” because he was a victim of his past too. Feeling sorry for him will positively shift your energy.

      Finally, step into the highest place of spirit. What needs to happen between these two people? They need to forgive and show how much they really do love one another.

      19. Write a forgiveness letter to the person who makes you sad.

      Say:

      • I forgive you for…
      • I understand the pains you must have been going through…
      • I understand how you feel…
      • I forgive you. I love you.

      If tears flow out as you write this letter, you are eliminating negative energy. You will feel lighter. You can burn the letter afterwards. This will complete the letting go experience.

      The bottom line:

      To overcome sadness you need to change your thoughts. When you make peace with the past and make “lemonade” out of your “lemons,” you will thrive.

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      Last Updated on October 16, 2018

      How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

      How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

      She could hear her beautiful baby crying but was frozen in the doorway unable to move. The crying got worse and she knew that unless she comforted the infant soon the baby would be inconsolable, and yet her feet wouldn’t move. She didn’t look at the cot but the floor in front, where the venomous hairy monster sat before her…. .okay it was a UK spider so not likely to kill her at all, and yet still her body was frozen as the tears fell down her face. “What a useless mother you are” she berated herself.

      That awful mother was me 14 years ago. My fear of spiders had not been controlled for years and I was at the stage where I wouldn’t open a newspaper until my husband had read it and removed the images of spiders. I hated houses that had wooden floors or skirting boards because every knot in the wood could be a spider about to crawl across me.

      At the height of my fear, I tried to get out of a moving car. Clearly this harmless 8-legged creature had massive levels of power over me but now that fear is gone, I’m never going to love spiders but I’m not going to leave the room because of one and I can read the word without freaking out and sobbing.

      If you think that fear is irrational, what about the fear of going to airports? Or the fear of not asking for help?

      Today I want to look at how our irrational fears impact on us, how they can destroy (and I don’t use that word lightly) our success. They can damage our health and even stop us from living our lives. And then I’ll share the benefits of fighting that fear and most importantly how you can fight your fears too.

      How irrational fears impact your life

      The thing about irrational fears is that we are not keen to look at them. It makes us feel inadequate, weak and daft because we can’t do things that it seems everyone else can. That gives the fear power.

      Fear loves negative emotions and saps up yours making your fear bigger and uglier and even more powerful. Not ideal to say the least. Fears can cause us to:

      • Avoid situations where that fear may have to be faced. Dodging parties, new jobs, new experiences where we aren’t sure we will be able to protect ourselves.
      • Stop us from sleeping for fear the thing we fear will “get us in the night.” For me this was massive, and I stopped sleeping which had massive implications when my job was to look after a toddler and a baby. I felt half dead most of the time!
      • Feel ill with the stress. Stress can be the cause of wrong decisions. Drinking alcohol when we shouldn’t, eating chocolate because it makes us feel better, the list of excuses is long that we hold on to so that we can avoid the cause of our stress.
      • Cause more distress as our minds overload us with negative thoughts of inadequacy. This can damage our confidence. Having coached thousands, I know that a lack of confidence is usually the underlining impactor on most people’s success across all areas of their lives.
      • Risk looking aloof or arrogant because we won’t participate like other people. Our fears can even isolate us in our personal and professional lives too.
      • Feel debilitated. Needless to say, these fears may look irrational and shouldn’t exist to the outside world but to the sufferer they are debilitating. Even impacting on their earning potential, love life, hobbies, travels and personal and professional success.

      Why bother to fight the fear

      Couldn’t you just ensure you live your life in way that you don’t have to deal with your fear?

      I had a client that was so scared of flying that they couldn’t even take their partner to the airport, another who had avoided public speaking for over 20 years and yet now at the height of their profession they had no choice, what were they going to do? Quit? There was another who could never ask for help and another who feared people finding out who they really were.

      All these fears and many more can be fixed but only if we can appreciate the benefits of fighting the fear.

      Let’s look at the benefits of fighting your fears:

      If you’re going to change the way you do something, something that has impacted on your life, thoughts and actions for years, it can be hard to believe change is possible.

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      The first thing you must do is give yourself a big enough reason why. Go back through your life and remember all the occasions that this fear was there.

      I can still see the spider trapped in my hair because it had obviously been on my hairdryer. I also remember that I probably looked ludicrous in the South of France in my underwear running down the lane screaming and flinging my hair everywhere. The poor spider had not only been flung a long way from my head but was probably destroyed in the flight.

      Remember the feelings, the actions, the negative feelings you felt afterwards, for me it meant that every time I picked up a hairdryer I could see a spider crawling towards my ear in my hair. Guess how helpful that was for reinforcing my reactions and irrational fear?

      Really experience the fear. Make it so painful that you probably notice your heart racing, your shoulders drawing up and your breath changing. That fear is causing physical change in your body, doesn’t feel good does it?

      When the irrational fear is challenged and destroyed, it can’t have power over you. So new opportunities can come your way and instead of fearing them and what people will think of you for your choices, you can be open to;

      • New hobbies
      • New travels
      • New opportunities
      • More success
      • Financially more secure
      • Happier
      • Healthier
      • Confident

      The list is long so what can you do to get rid of your fears?

      How to fight your irrational fears

      In my book Fight the Fear: How to Beat Your Negative Mindset and Win in Life, I cover 12 of the biggest fears that I see impact on success and happiness. Not all of these are obvious but they all have far reaching impacts on our lives.

      Here are some of those ideas to help you fight your fear and get more of what you want out of life:

      Why did this happen?

      For some people they really need to know why the fear started, for others all they want is to get rid of it. If you need to understand yours then don’t skip this tip. Learn how your fears are made and appreciate where yours came from. If you don’t care how it arrived, you can jump to top tip 2.

      I’ve seen some clients who are not prepared to look at how to get rid of the fear until they’ve understood how it got here in the first place. It’s not my place to tell them that is right or wrong, just to help them find the right steps to lead them to a happy path.

      When a fear first starts, we don’t acknowledge a fear has entered our lives. It is only after a few occasions that we begin to notice that there’s a strong negative emotion connected to this “thing”. That’s how fear is allowed to grow because as humans we have in-built responses that have kept us safe for our entire existence. This means we are meant to perceive fear and either run or fight, either way our bodies jump into action creating physical responses to the perceived threat.

      Look for when you first noticed the fast heart beat, the shallow breathing, the shaking hands, the redness. You have created an automatic way of dealing with this fear. It could be that it felt sensible to fear this because you had an unhappy outcome, although it is usually the case that your head has the facts and your heart is not prepared to hear them as it creates a version of the event that is far scarier than it actually was.

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      Learning how to remove the emotions and feelings will help you to change your body’s response. The first time I fixed someone’s fear of public speaking, they told me that it physically closed their throat, I worried that was it possible with words to change our physicality? The answer was yes! With the tools and techniques I share below.

      The tool kit

      From the many people that have contacted me after reading Fight the Fear to my clients, I know for even myself creating a tool kit is a must. This is not a bag that you physically must haul everywhere. This is about learning tools that really resonate with you so that when you can feel the fear start to impact on you, you’ve got your kit ready to take it on.

      I don’t have the space in one article to share all of those tools so let’s visit a few:

      1. Why I’m awesome

      Creating a 2-page handwritten document of why you are awesome can help. This document will be packed with achievements, successes, overcoming adversity and all of those will be full of positive emotions, actions and feelings. It is not easy to write, and I get many messages telling me so however it is a powerful reminder that you can stand up and accomplish.

      2. Draw out your emotions

      Earlier we looked at how irrational fears can damage every aspect of our lives. If you were to follow the negative spiral down you can follow the positive spiral up again.

      I draw these individually for clients and with each action, thought or feeling we put an arrow between them. Each arrow is an opportunity to do something different. If we know that irrational fear is an automatic thought process, then we can start to see that we need to think, do or feel something different. Top tip 3 will help with that.

      3. Acknowledge that you need to change

      It’s not easy to change, and that is a belief that many hold. Top tip 4 could assist further, however for this tip, remember that when you want to do, think or feel differently, you’ve already achieved the first step and that is recognizing something must change (you don’t need to know what). But if you aren’t sure yet if there’s really something different you want to do, this story about Nancy may help you to figure it out.

      Then it’s about acknowledging it. That means not only accepting it but feeling that it is yours to take on and change.

      Then for 2 weeks, decide that you won’t allow the thought to be in your head. There are usually some negative thoughts allowed to fester in your head. At this stage, just say “No I’d like you to stop.” After 2 weeks choose a new thought that you would prefer to hear in your head, maybe “I can cope with situations that scare me” or “I am stronger than I know”.

      There will be times when you fail. Don’t berate yourself because that is another negative thought you are allowing your head to process. Just start again and at times like that have a read of your “Why I’m awesome list”.

      4. Choose your words carefully.

      I’ve heard many clients tell me that “It’s going to be hard to change” “I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t petrified” or “This is a lot to ask”. Any thought that gives power to your fear takes away power from you to fight it. Therefore, choose how you word your goal to overcome your fear carefully.

      Think thoughts like “I remember when I achieved xxxx and that reminds me I’m far tougher and more capable than I give myself credit for”. (Take the xxx from your why I’m awesome document.)

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      5. Believe that you have the control power

      The only person that can control what we think and feel is us. I know it can feel like other people are impacting on us, however they can only do that if we give them permission to do so.

      If you really think about that for a moment, can you see that you have the right to think and feel anything you want right now? I’m certain you wouldn’t choose pain, fear or anxiety. So, what would you choose to think about your fear?

      6. Put up physical reminders

      Working one to one, I can find the fear, work through it and create a tool kit of thoughts, feelings and actions that will help them fight that fear and get rid of it. For some, they don’t need physical things to help them; others do.

      For example, the CEO who was petrified of public speaking but could handle a conference call with 300 without a second thought, imagined the microphone was a phone when they spoke in front of 400 people to help reinforce the positive thoughts and ideas we’d created.

      Or the client that always worried that they were an imposter and “someone else can do this better” pinned on their office wall a tag cloud of all the words that made up their “Why I’m awesome document”.

      So they had a daily reminder. They were the right one for the job and they could do it. These daily reminders all come down to one key point — help you to Hack the Habit Loop.

      What would be your visual clues to remind you that you can overcome this?

      7. Physical supports

      Music, environment and even smells can impact on us. Know the music that makes you feel alive and ready for anything. Try aromatherapy oils to feel positive and energised. Even choose your work environment or clothing to empower you.

      Changing these things is physical and giving yourself physical ideas to action can help power up your emotional state too.

      8. Don’t go it alone

      The fear to ask for help is very real (and has a whole chapter in my book) so I know people really struggle with this. The fact is we all need people. We are not insular by design and as such it can be tough to admit that you have a fear impacting on you.

      However, by sharing your fear with a trusted friend, colleague or loved one can mean that when you are feeling the fear. you can talk to someone. It could be that you share with them the contents of your tool kit and ask their permission to be added to it. That way they know what works for you and how to best support you.

      It’s not a sign of weakness to tell people about your fear. It takes massive levels of strength to say, “I have this fear, and I want to get rid of it.”

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      9. Get physical

      One of the reasons that a fear can escalate is because we have come to accept that response. Our body reacted in a certain way, once repeated the behaviour and it became a formed habit that was accepted.

      Challenging a fear can be done using our body too when we appreciate that fear is actually a reaction inside our bodies. We don’t need to understand where in our brains or what chemicals are racing through us to use our physicality to help us challenge our fears.

      When I was writing my book, the Cuddy Superhero pose was proved and disproved by various researchers around the world 3 times. Whether it’s real or not, the fact is the way we stand, the way we breathe and even the speed at which we speak can impact on us as well as those around us.

      If you have a fear of public speaking or a fear of people thinking you are stupid or a fear of what people are thinking you can look at how you speak, stand and move. If you compare these with people you deem confident and happy in these situations, how do you look? What can you learn?

      The research around placebo’s reinforces us that if it feels like it is working, then keep doing it! What could you use to help reinforce your power and fearlessness?

      A little fear can be good

      As someone famous once says:

      “It is not fear, it is performance energy.”

      Despite having an absolute hatred of public speaking 10 years ago, I now love an audience and yet I have a healthy level of fear. That level of fear says “Are you well prepared?” “Do you know your audience?” “Have you rested your voice?” “You really want to deliver to this audience what they need” And those thoughts are sensible.

      And just remember, it’s never ever too late to face your fear and do what you desire most! It’s even possible to start over your life no matter what stage of life you’re at. Here’s the proof:

      How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

      So as you reduce your fear, be aware of a good level of fear.

      Featured photo credit: Isaiah Rustad via unsplash.com

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