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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 August 12, 2020

      When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

      When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

      Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

      In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

      How to Listen to Your Gut

      The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

      Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

      1. Tune Into Your Body

      Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

      However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

      Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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      Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

      In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

      2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

      Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

      There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

      3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

      Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

      As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

      This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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      4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

      As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

      Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

      5. Challenge Your Assumptions

      When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

      In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

      A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

      6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

      Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

      There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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      Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

      Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

      Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

      We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

      The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

      We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

      7. Trust Yourself

      It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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      Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

      If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

      The Bottom Line

      The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

      Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

      More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

      Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
      [2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
      [3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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