Am So Sad - A Plunge Into “What Might Have Been” Reminders
am so sad - those words cry out for help. The feelings they express
do not refer to a mild, momentary unhappiness, but more to the
intense grief, caused by a loss, or a disappointment. The feeling
does not come just from frustration, which can make you feel
persistently gloomy, or dejected. Nor does it come from a sense of
futility, which can trigger a mood of brooding despondency or
essentially deals with a sense of irreparable loss over “what might
have been.” The loss casts a pall over every vista. Like the pain
of loss of a limb, the feeling irretrievably touches primary aspects
of your life. Those words also express a cry for help.
sad person suffers. You feel empty or numb. You may cry a lot. It may
affect your sleep. You may eat too little, or too much. The sadness
takes away your energy and makes you feel more tired. Some people
even get stomach aches and headaches. The emotion makes it difficult
for you to focus on your work. So, your output suffers. You may spend
less time with friends and even find it difficult to concentrate on
reading, or on watching TV. Sadness affects your work, your health
and even prevents you from enjoying even the smallest pleasures in
is not dejection, or depression. It is an emotion triggered by a
loss, or a disappointment.
affects your health and wellbeing.
is triggered by images of “what might have been.”
should reduce with time. If the grief persists, “speed dial
circuits” may have been generated, which sustain the grief, just
as tampering with a wound prevents it from healing.
relief, you should be convinced that you must move on.
the thought patterns, which sustain your grief.
your common sense take charge. It has the power to heal the pain.
can still the pangs of guilt within you.
need to realign your vision to a changed life.
awareness will still the sadness emotion.
that your facial expressions also contribute to your moods.
your sadness still persists, you may require professional
I Am So Sad
What Causes Sadness?
The emotion can
be triggered for any number of reasons. It could be the loss of a
loved one, or a divorce. A disappointment, which changes your
expectations from life can be the cause. You may have regrets about
things you did, or did not do. You may have moved away from a town,
away from friends and relatives, who gave you comfort. Needless
tensions created by family or teenagers could cause you to painfully
miss a happier life. Pain or suffering for a loved one could cause
the sadness. In every case, the recalled images of "what life
might have been" cause distress.
Am So Sad
Is Time Not Healing The Wound?
is quite normal for you to feel intense grief over a loss, or
disappointment. But time is a great healer. However deep your grief,
the sorrow will reduce over a period of days, or months. This is a
normal neural event. It is a part of the design of nature. Nerve
impulses tend to fade over time. The emotional signals, which caused
you distress will fade over time, unless your own thoughts prevent
the healing process. Normally, a wound also heals gradually. But, if
you keep irritating it, it will remain raw and painful. Repeated
living over your pain and loss will intensify the neural patterns.
be created within the nervous system, which continue to trigger the
same level of distress. The pain will refuse to go away.
Am So Sad
Are You Sure You Want To Move On?
day, you must move on. Sadness heals. It is an emotion, which helps
you to deal with sudden loss. Crying softens painful memories.
Reliving the experiences help you to adjust to a new painful reality.
Upto a point. If the sadness persists and causes you continuing
distress, you must act to deal with it. You have to become convinced
that it is time to leave the painful past behind and bring back your
peace of mind. After all, it affects your work and your health. It
prevents you from getting on with the rest of your life. The mental
exercises suggested below will only succeed if you are convinced that
they are necessary. Are you prepared to move on?
Am So Sad
What Makes Your Sadness Persist?
are avenues of thought, which reinforce the pain pathways. A loss
implies an irreversible change in your life. Instead of moving on
with your life, you keep thinking about what might have been. The
recall of a beloved image, which is no more possible will create
also plays a part. A sense of loyalty towards the absent relationship
could keep you from thinking of a happy life alone. Your mind will
shut away such thoughts with a sense of guilt. Guilt is the second
emotion, which will reopen the wound. Out of the same sense of
loyalty you may feel that sadness is justified and keep dwelling
within the emotion. Reliving the past and feeling guilty about moving
on will both keep the pain both fresh and raw.
Am So Sad
Has Your Common Sense Taken Charge?
common sense is a rigorously independent intelligence within your
nervous system. Within your triune
it is a powerful prefrontal network, which can be induced to take
charge of your thought processes.
rule your lower level instinctual intelligences, which propose
survival strategies for your life. Anger causes an animal to attack.
Fear causes it to run away. And sadness causes it to withdraw from
activity and adjust to loss.
are triggered by neural signals in the limbic system. But, those
signals can go haywire. While emotions serve a purpose, erratic speed
dial circuits can cause particular emotions to unreasonably dominate
anger, or sadness can overwhelm you. If these circuits have not
attained abnormal dominance (requiring medical treatment), the
attention of your common sense can still the troubling emotions
initiated by them.
Am So Sad
Do You Carry A Burden Of Guilt?
common sense can act only if your mind is not dominated by your
emotions. In the first place, you need to deal with your sense of
guilt. Guilt plays an important role in group behavior, preventing
you from actions, which would trouble your community. Apply your
common sense to reduce your pangs of guilt. Self awareness has that
effect. Your problem is not “I am sad,” but “I am so sad.”
You are suffering too
Become aware of your guilt feelings about not dwelling on sad
memories, or even on moments of joy after a bereavement. Pay
attention to the physical
your feelings. Your attention to the physical symptoms will still the
pangs of guilt. While sadness is justified, your common sense will
know that excessive sadness is not a reasonable emotion. You will
know that you must get on with your life. Your common sense will tell
you. All you need is self awareness.
Am So Sad
Can You Realign Your Vision?
also need to realign your world view. It is but human to have
something to look forward to - a happy plan for your life. Sadness
intrudes, when that plan has irrevocably changed for the worse. You
will not, ever again, share your burdens, your joys and sorrows with
your loved one. Or, in a crucial disappointment, your career has
changed for the worse. It is a situation, where every context reminds
you of your loss. Your subconscious mind will cope with this
situation only if you develop a new plan for your life. This is a new
stage in your life. Think creatively of how you can make your life
meaningful again. The very decision to plan a new beginning will
suddenly open your horizons to fresh view points. Instead of dwelling
on the “what might have been” images, which cause you distress,
you will open your eyes to the world again.
Am So Sad
Can You Quiet The Sadness Emotion?
as you work on a revised plan for your life, you will constantly
encounter the “what might have been” images all around you, which
will repeatedly trigger the sadness emotion. Become aware of the
physical symptoms of that emotion. It could be a pang in your chest,
or a knot in your stomach. It may be a drive, which makes you want to
cry. Emotions are neural signals, with distinct symptoms. They will
lose their power to dominate you, when you pay attention to the
symptoms. Your common sense will realize that your feelings are not
overpowering world views, but simple physical symptoms. Over a period
of time, the emotion will have been stilled.
Am So Sad
Are You Aware Of Your Facial Expression?
Ekman noted that sadness causes the inner corners of one's eyebrows
to be pulled up by the facial muscles. These muscles are not
consciously activated and are tightened by the sadness emotion.
Muscles have a tendency to remain tensed after being tightened. When
people experience sadness over long periods, these muscles continue
to remain in the tensed position. People will say “There is a
sadness in her eyes.”
same tightness in those muscles can also induce sadness. Try this
experiment. Glare at this page and say “Stop it!” You will notice
that your voice takes on a sharper tone. Great actors feel the
emotion of a hero by copying facial expressions. Become aware of any
tension in your eye muscles. Practice a more cheerful expression.
While it may feel stupid at the beginning, your facial muscles will
adjust and you will discover that your mind will also act in context
to bring you more cheerful thoughts.
Am So Sad
Does Your Sadness Require Treatment?
your sadness persist because of drugs, medication, or alcohol? Is it
caused by changes in hormone levels? If there is no clear cause for
your sadness, see if sunshine, music, or friends can cheer you up. A
good night's rest alone may cheer you up. Ordinary sad patches will
clear in a few days. If your sadness persists without a significant
cause for more that two weeks, check with your doctor. A deeper and
more intense sadness, without a clear cause may be a depression. If
it seriously affects your life, seek professional counsel.
This page was last updated on 1-Jun-2020.