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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 February 21, 2019

      The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

      The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

      In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

      Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

      Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

      Conflicts are literally everywhere.

      Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

      Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

      Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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      Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

      Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

      Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

      The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

      Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

      Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

      How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

      Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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      Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

      Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

      How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

      Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

      Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

      Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

      How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

      Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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      Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

      Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

      How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

      Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

      Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

      Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

      How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

      Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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      Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

      Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

      How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

      Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

      Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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