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Natural Sadness

WHAT SADNESS IS

Sadness is a natural emotion or feeling.

We feel sadness whenever we LOSE something that we previously enjoyed.

It is good for us both because it offers RELIEF from the pain of the loss
and because it gives us a MEASURE of the importance of what we've lost.



HOW IT WORKS

Whenever we lose something,
part of our energy goes into feeling sad.

If it's a major loss (like the death of a loved one)
almost all of our energy goes into sadness.

If it's a minor loss (like if we've lost a favorite shirt)
it may be so small we don't even notice it.

Sadness has a natural duration.
We will get over it within a certain amount of time
if we admit to it and express it.

If we don't admit to it (if we deny that it's there),
we can feel "uncentered" or "crazy."

If we don't express it (if we keep it inside),
it takes a much longer time to get over it.


Sadness feels bad when we first notice it,
it feels good as we express it (by crying if needed),
and it feels much worse when it's denied or squelched.

It feels better to express our sadness with people who care about us
but expressing it alone is good for us too
- it just takes significantly longer that way.


Sadness is really just raw energy.
After we have admitted to it and expressed it enough
we often feel a major boost in our energy level.


We all have one particular set of physical sensations in our body
which indicate sadness to us.
People feel sadness in various ways and in various parts of their body.

The most common sensations are probably "a lump in the throat,"
"emptiness" in the chest, or swelling in the face and around the eyes.

Your sensation of sadness may be one of these or it may be entirely different.



FEELING YOUR SADNESS

It is vital to your emotional health to know how sadness feels to you in your body.

So, right now, take a moment to remind yourself of the worst sadness you ever felt.

As you remember this day when you lost something very important to you,
ask yourself: "What Do I FEEL In My Body"?


Once you recognize your own "sad place" in your body,
you can stop thinking about that bad day in your life!

Notice that you are able to let go of that memory
almost as quickly as you were able to remember it!


It is very important that you admit to yourself that you are sad
whenever you feel this sensation in this part of your body!

As a matter of fact, you'll need to get better and better at recognizing
even very slight sensations of sadness, if you want to improve your life.

UNNATURAL SADNESS

It is possible to believe that you are sad when you aren't,
and to believe you are sad when you are really angry (most common),
or when you are feeling scared, or happy, or excited, or guilty.

The "Split Second" It Started:
Real, necessary, natural sadness starts
as an immediate response to some event.
Unreal, unnecessary, unnatural sadness starts
in our minds, with a thought.

If the sadness was natural you will feel better as you admit and express it.
If it was unnatural you won't.


If you don't get relief from your sadness,
it probably started in your mind.

It is possible to simply stop unnatural sadness
(once you stop believing it's real).

If you have trouble stopping it,
you are probably only believing that you are sad
as part of a strategy for getting along in the world.
Some people call this manipulation,
but that word implies that it is done on purpose.
It's really a way of coping, subconsciously, with life's difficulties.

But feeling the pain of unnatural sadness
never works as a way of coping in the long run.



See "PROBLEMS WITH SADNESS"
(Another Article In This Series)


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Write To Me, I Want To Hear From You!
Tony Schirtzinger, Therapist (Milwaukee) 

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