Do you sometimes feel extremely sad but can’t explain why? Some people immediately label their extreme sadness as depression, but not all heavy emotions are depression. Depression is a mental condition while extreme sadness is an emotion. Depression needs medical treatment, while extreme sadness does not always need medication. The first may take a long time to treat (perhaps, never), but the second is a temporary situation.
Many things can cause this temporary feeling. You may be grieving over a personal loss, such as a breakup, a death in the family, or losing your job. You may be overworked or burdened with responsibilities and don’t know how to get out of it. You may be anxious about an upcoming change in your life that threatens to take away what is familiar, such as getting married, working abroad, or migrating. You may have just quit smoking, or have your monthly period, or going through a seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Whatever it is that causes your sadness, these reasons have one thing in common: they can all be reversed. It doesn’t mean kicking sadness out of your life will be easy, or that it will happen soon, but you can definitely do something about it. You just have to take control.
Here are some suggestions on how to counter or manage your bouts of sadness:
Create a Happy Environment
If your home is your happy place, and you realize one day that it doesn’t give you as much joy anymore, it may be time for an interior overhaul. What you see, hear, smell, and feel in your home all contribute to your mood and overall disposition. Your surroundings influence your emotions and psyche, so you need to make sure your home (or any place you consider haven) always brings you inner peace.
Start with What You See
Colors and textures are the first things we notice in a room. That moment of contact between your eyes and the elements that can make or break your day is essential. Are your walls painted in your favorite color or covered with wallpaper that you hate? When you wake up in the morning, that’s probably the first thing you see.
For instance, blue, green and lavender are known to soothe the eyes, even lowering blood pressure and heart rate, according to psychologists. White and neutrals like beige, ecru, and warm earth colors can rejuvenate the mind and body. You can play around with these color palettes and make sure you have generous helpings of these hues in your living areas and bedroom.
Meanwhile, red, orange and yellow can overly stimulate your senses. They are suitable for parts of your house where you need to be alert and ready for action, like the kitchen, the living room, or your study. But they are not suited for places where you need to cool down, relax, or ease into sleep, such as your bathroom, the reading room, or your bedroom.
Do the patterns and prints of your bedding, furniture and carpet cheer you up or pull you down? Do you like plants and flowers, paisley, skulls, or clocks? Do you go for soft, cottony fabrics or velvet, satin and fur? Find fabrics with these prints and textures for your pillows and blankets, cushions, rugs, and other accents. Don’t ignore your personal preferences when decorating your home; when colors and patterns make you happy, they help create a positive vibe.
Bring Nature into Your Home
Nature has its way of turning an ugly day into a promising one, and a study found proof of this effect. The research, published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, found that interaction with plants significantly lowered the stress levels and blood pressure of the subjects more than interaction with computers did. Results showed that after a transplanting activity, the participants were more relaxed, natural and comfortable.
On that note, having fresh flowers every day and maintaining indoor plants will, therefore, help keep you calm. Having “green” inside your home makes the rooms look beautiful and alive. You also receive a healthy serving of oxygen untainted by outside pollution, keeping your indoor air fresh. Plants, flowers and natural elements like stone, wood, and indoor fountains can inspire you. They elevate your imagination and make you feel alive and well.
Apart from greening your home, it’s advisable to open your windows daily to let air and natural light enter the room. Some homes are eternally closed; air conditioning makes it necessary for doors and windows to be perpetually locked. If you keep your doors and windows closed all the time, toxins and allergens trapped in your home can never get out. They may cause allergies and sickness.
If you noticed that you’re feeling under the weather only when you’re home, you might be feeling slightly sick because of the toxic air. The more you feel sickly, the less you do what you want to do – and this adds to your extreme sadness and frustration.
Shine a Light Inside
Open your windows regularly – ideally, daily. Let the toxic indoor air escape and the fresh outside air take its place inside. Take several deep breaths of fresh air each day and allow it to fill your lungs.
While you’re at it, let natural light come in, too. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day, so natural daylight illuminates your home. Studies have shown that sunlight or natural daylight keeps people happy and productive. It also lessens incidences of depression or sadness among adults. Sunlight provides our daily requirement of Vitamin D, which helps boost the immune system, regulates body weight, lessens the risk of asthma, and enhances brain activity in the long term.
Most of all, natural light helps save energy – and that in itself is a source of happiness!
Create Relaxing Moments
Designing your home to be your happy place helps elevate your spirit, but it doesn’t guarantee that there will not be stressful days. Fatigue and loneliness can sneak into your perfectly sunny aura any time. That’s life; it’s dynamic.
When these traitors start ganging up on you to ruin your day, you need to have your counterpunches ready. Here are some suggestions.
Massage and Aromatherapy
Massage is an undisputed way to deal with the physical discomfort that may be caused by a poor posture, fatigue, or stress. But, whether it’s the happy hormones released after a massage or the correction of physical ailments, massage has a way of enhancing mental and psychological well-being, as well.
If you have a chance between schedules to have a massage, do so. There are different types of massage, and you can choose one that addresses your needs at the moment. The following are some of the popular massage therapies:
- Swedish Massage – This Western-style full-body massage has a therapeutic approach that starts with general strokes and ends with specific strokes for specific problem areas. It focuses on your physiology and anatomy instead of energy centers, which is common in Asian massages. It’s good for those recovering from an injury.
- Shiatsu Massage – This dry massage focuses more on local pressure using fingers, hands or elbows. The therapist’s goal is to stimulate certain points of the body to improve the energy flow and help the body regain balance. It’s suitable for people with back and neck pain, insomnia, sciatica, arthritis, and sinus problem.
- Thai Massage – This Asian-style no-oil massage is more energizing than relaxing. It works by rhythmic compression done along the body’s energy lines and includes passive stretching and yoga-type methods. It aims to regain range of motion and flexibility and reduce stress. It’s helpful in treating migraine and balance issues.
- Hot Stone Massage – This massage uses warm basalt stones to loosen tight muscles and relax the body, helping the therapist feel muscle tension easily as they knead. It helps with muscle relaxation and circulation, but you are advised to consult your doctor first if you’re taking medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, varicose veins or heart disease.
- Aromatherapy Massage – This is a kind of Swedish massage that uses scented essential oils together with the regular massage oil. Aromatherapy oils typically contain 2 percent essential oil and 98 percent almond or grapeseed oil and can be used for pure aromatherapy or a massage. The best essential oils for aromatherapy are chamomile, eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, and many more. Various blends may energize, relax or uplift. It’s good for headaches, back pain, insomnia, premenstrual symptoms, and digestive disorders.
Meditate Every Day
If you can’t have a massage every day but can have aromatherapy at home, pair it with daily meditation. A few minutes of breathing exercise in a relaxed position and with calming sounds allows you to release stress and empty your mind of troubling thoughts for a while. Meditation teaches you to concentrate on your natural body processes and be more self-aware, enabling you to switch to this relaxing mode any time you wish, especially when things in your life are particularly suffocating. The Honest Guys and Calm have two of the best guided meditation routines on Spotify. Try them.
Eat Foods That Make You Happy
Now that you’ve downplayed negative feelings through your interiors and activities, start regaining the upbeat feelings. One way you can do this is to eat food items that make you cheerful or happy. These include dark chocolate, mushrooms, quinoa, citrus, nuts, green leafy vegetables, grapes, poultry and beef, yogurt, sauerkraut, salmon, or any food that contains, B6, vitamin C, magnesium, probiotics, omega 3 and folic acid.
Extreme sadness is not all in the mind, but the mind can help the entire body win over sadness or depression by doing things that bring positivity to the fore. Focus as much as you can on what makes you happy and contented. Most of all, be thankful for each day, for everything and every person that keeps you alive and happy. As one professor pointed out, you are the only copy of the first and last edition of yourself, and nobody else can know you more than you.