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How to release sadness

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Experiencing sadness

Sadness is a universal emotion that all humans experience. We cannot stop the brain from triggering sadness in the body, even though we can stop our mind from experiencing sadness by suppressing it. When we deal (or not deal) with sadness by burying it, symptoms like anxiety, depression, numbness or a nagging feeling of disconnection from one's authentic self may result.
There is nothing weak about feeling sad. It's as human as can be.

Why we cry

Crying is one way we release sadness. And releasing core emotions, like sadness, is vital for our immediate and long-term emotional health. For those of us who struggle to get the tears out or who want to procecss sadness but find it hard, the following might help.

A gentle exercise to release sadness

1.

Get very cozy and comfortable on your bed or chair. Bring a pillow, blanket or pet to snuggle for comfort.

2.

Take 5 or 6 deep belly breaths. By the time you get to the 6th breath, you should feel much more relaxed. As you breathe, try to notice the chair or bed against your body. Deep belly breathing is a skill that helps us move through our core emotions.

3.

Bring into your mind the loss you have experienced that resulted in your sadness

A gentle exercise to release sadness

4.

Notice what changes in your body. Scan your body from head to toe as you breathe, and see if you can find the sensations of sadness in your body.

5.

Stay with the sensations of sadness and breathe gently. You might start to feel the wave of sadness moving or building. Just deep belly breathe through it, noticing the sensations moving through you.

A gentle exercise to release sadness

6.

Ride the wave of sadness, stay with it, allow yourself to cry until it is over and the wave ends. Stay breathing until you feel calmer.

When you're ready to move again and continue with your day/ night, remember to treat yourself kindly and gently, like you would care for someone you loved.

Final words

Allowing ourselves to cry when sad, either on our own or with someone else, is good for our emotional and physical health. Ignoring emotions leads to stress in the mind and body. If your sadness feels too overwhelming to experience on your own, psychotherapists who are well-trained in helping people through big emotions will help.
Painful as it can be to ride the wave of our sadness, that is precisely how we feel better sooner than later.

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