Why Do I Randomly Get Depressed For No Reason – Sadness is probably not one of your favorite feelings, but it’s still a valuable emotion, and it’s okay to be sad. Although it can be uncomfortable, letting the pain in can bring many benefits.
It is common to label sadness as a “negative” emotion and avoid it as a result. You may find yourself using distractions, like browsing your phone or snacking when you’re not hungry, to avoid that heavy feeling in your chest.
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Sometimes avoiding pain can even look like lashing out when someone brings up a topic that is sensitive to you.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (sad)
Avoiding sadness can also come with a side helping of toxic positivity. Toxic positivity is when you banish difficult emotions and only recognize more favorable ones, such as happiness. It may seem helpful, but toxic positivity can cost you your authenticity and take an emotional toll.
While running away from pain can keep you stuck in a rut, acknowledging and processing it can make it easier for you to move meaningfully forward in life.
Allowing yourself to feel sad doesn’t mean wallowing in self-pity. Choosing pain brings a variety of benefits. For example, it means accepting the reality of your current emotions and taking the first step to process them.
One function of pain is that it encourages others to treat you with empathy, according to a 2018 study. This means that embracing pain can connect you with compassion and care when you need it most.
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A 2015 study found that expressing grief can also bring people together by creating a shared sense of values and belonging to a group. Many cultures even have specific practices and rituals to express grief as a community.
Participating in a community expression of grief, such as attending a memorial service or vigil, is one way grief can help you feel less alone.
Sometimes pain makes you look for space instead of others, and this can be another benefit.
Research from 2018 suggests that when pain asks you to disconnect, you experience a protective mechanism meant to keep you safe during a vulnerable time. A little solitude when you’re sad can help your body and mind reduce unnecessary stimulation. This can give you space to process intense or complex feelings.
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Grief is one aspect of grief, the natural process of responding to and dealing with loss. Experts suggest that grief can be a phase of the grief cycle that promotes reflection. This means that pain can actively help you make sense of the strong feelings that pain can bring.
Expressing pain by crying can also signal to those around you that you are experiencing pain and could use support and understanding.
Rumination, when you keep going through the same thoughts, is often considered an unhelpful behavior. But when it comes to grieving, it can help you come to terms with the loss or loss and build a new coping strategy, according to a 2018 review.
Grief is also associated with post-traumatic growth, which can occur after difficult life circumstances. Post-traumatic growth could lead to a deeper sense of spirituality or motivation to enact positive change.
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Because pain is often a response to feelings of failure or loss, it is also a reminder of what you care deeply about and the qualities that make you human. These include your:
It suggests that pain can not only allow you to delve deeper into the enigma, but also to expand your self-knowledge.
In some cases, sadness can be a sign that something in your life, such as a relationship or work, is not working.
For example, persistent sadness and depression can be signs of burnout. Burnout is an indication that your energy is being stored and it’s time to shift. Acknowledging that feeling can be the first step to making a change that works for you.
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Sadness is a natural emotion. But if you experience it for long periods of time or it makes it difficult for you to function on a daily basis, it could be a sign of a mental health condition like depression.
It can seem all too easy to feel overwhelmed by the pain. You may worry that letting the pain in will mean it’s here to stay.
Self-care that minimizes distraction and maximizes mindfulness can help you get in touch with pain without losing yourself in it.
Writing down your feelings can help you deal with the pain in a manageable way. For example, a small 2016 study found that journaling helped registered nurses process negative emotions associated with their work.
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Setting aside quiet time for your journal can help if you’re having trouble getting in touch with buried feelings of sadness. As you write, imagine your pain rising and moving through you and onto the page.
The right perspective and a little self-compassion can help you deal with the uncomfortable aspects of grief and be present.
You can imagine your emotions like the weather: like storm clouds, sadness will eventually pass. It can be helpful to remember that emotions are temporary when sadness triggers fears that you will never feel happy again.
A 2020 study also suggests that self-compassion can help manage depression and deep feelings of sadness. Self-compassion involves maintaining a perspective of kindness and non-judgment towards yourself.
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Meditation can help you regulate or constructively manage emotions such as sadness. A small 2019 study found that meditation focused on positive emotions was particularly effective in helping people regulate emotions.
In addition to helping manage pain, meditation can reduce its intensity and make the moving process less overwhelming.
Expressing your pain to an empathetic loved one can be a good way to process it so you can feel less alone.
If you’ve experienced a loss or setback alongside someone else, it may feel even more natural to share your pain with them. Taking time to talk honestly about disappointment or sadness can foster a sense of closeness with that person.
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Talking about feelings of pain with a mental health professional is another option. Therapy can help you deal with painful feelings and offer support as you work through them.
Being present with pain can be an opportunity to explore the emotion a little more. Using an emotion wheel like this can help you narrow down the broad feeling of sadness to something specific to your situation, whether it’s down, hurt, or gloomy.
Letting the pain in can help you process life’s difficulties and connect with others in times of difficulty. You may find that feeling sad in the short term takes you to a happier place.
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