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It's Okay To Be Sad

I build invisible walls to protect myself from emotional pain. This is actually blatant denial. The higher the walls, the greater pain I would endure. This is all because of my fear of getting hurt. Though this wall prevents emotional pain, it keeps people out and I become emotionally disconnected from the rest of the world. I even tell myself to smile, even if my heart is dripping blood. I now accept that sadness like happiness is part of life. If you ignore your feeling of sadness, your happiness has no meaning.

Our pretentious social media age focuses on happiness and treats unhappiness like diseases. The truth is being sad does not mean you are not coping with your predicament but it helps you to accept the reality of the situation so you can move on. It is natural to feel sad you got to go through it, persevere and heal it. Living in denial of your true feelings will only make it worse. I will share my feelings with certain family members and close friends as my coping mechanism.

I sense that my sadness can result from my agony, anguish, broken heart, hurt, sorrow, dejection, dismay, homesickness, distress, anger, stress, guilt, grief, anxiety or hopelessness. When I feel sad, I first turn to the Almighty for refuge and protection from this negative emotion. I felt like my sadness departs during my night prayer and happiness comes when I accept the reality. I would feel much relieved right after. But that’s me.

The cure for sadness is within you, yet we do not sense it. Our sickness of the heart is from within our inner self, yet we do not see it. We should not waste our life in being sad over something that will pass in time. Recognising your sadness and understanding that it is okay to feel sad is nothing to be ashamed of or make you feel less macho if you are a guy. Accept it, it is okay to feel sad; it is a stable sign of wellbeing.

You may feel sad for many reasons, because life is full of situations that may make you feel awful. When you face these unwarranted situations, you may trigger your negative thoughts that make you sad and you will feel pretty miserable.

The best strategy is to first acknowledge sadness, not deny it, and confront the situation that prompted it. And give yourself time to deal with it so that you can feel better about it. It is also good to share your feelings with certain friends or family members. I am sure they will empathize with your circumstances.

Your sadness will eventually heal, but it needs time. The key to success is to accept and acknowledge your sadness. You need to be sincere about your true self and people around you. When you talk to someone you trust, it helps you overcome those negative emotions that have been living within you.

Try to maintain your normal daily habits, monitor your sleep and eating patterns like any other day. I would find and read a book that would help me recover from my negative thoughts. Despite that, if you really can’t handle it, seek professional help as you may need support, advice or a referral to a specialist. There are medications out there that can help you. But if the prescribed medications still make you feel down, let your doctor know. There are many alternative therapies that they can refer you to.

Make your life more pleasurable by doing things you enjoy. I would play golf or cycle around the park. Physical activities could rid us of negative feelings and thoughts. I would list all my problems. Tackle one problem at a time. I would take on the hardest one first. Then move on to the easier ones. It worked for me.

Sadness is a state of mind. To handle it, you must be “Gung-Ho”. You must have the faith and confidence in yourself that things will improve. You need to trust that your sad feelings will lessen with time and effort.

If you allow the negative talk in your head to dominate you, the sadness can interrupt your life and how you function, then you may have become depressed. Don’t let this happen to you. You need to control your mindset. Because severe sadness can lead to your depression. Long-term sadness and depression is a different side of the same coin. You need to find enough courage to fight this mentally.

Depression will disrupt your life. You may have problems sleeping at night, low energy level, concentration problems, pessimism, hopelessness and even suicidal thoughts. This can be mentally painful and can be life altering. You need to manage this situation to avoid it. Ask for help from your loved ones if you can’t go through it on your own.

According to Dr Monica A. Frank on her website, “Sadness is a state of happiness because it is an emotion and emotions allow us to solve problems and solving problems allows us to live as fully as we are capable”. Basically “Shit Happens” . Nothing much you can do, just deal with it and you will be happy about it once you overcome it. Many people seem to disagree with this abrasive notion. That it is more delicate than that. I find it very practical and we have to accept the reality as it is not to sugarcoat or cover it up. We will come out better from it on the other side. It is vital that we are honest with our feelings in dealing with unpleasant emotions rather than lie to ourselves so that we don’t feel bad and uncomfortable.

We are all crybabies. We don’t want to feel sad or hurt or angry. We want all our needs met. We cry until someone makes us feel better. However, sometimes we cry because we are restless or we demand extra attention even when we can do it ourselves. In due course, when all our demands are met, especially the ridiculous ones, we discover we have zero tolerance for unpleasantness in life and we cannot accept such discomfort. We conclude that we should never feel sad or deprived. So every time we feel uncomfortable, we hide our true feelings deep inside. We pretend everything is okay when it is really not. We have it wrong in the end. This deformed behaviour only makes it worse. Don’t be that person.

In the age of social media, the concept of happiness has been disfigured. We use social media to feel ecstatic by getting as many likes as possible. That brings us happiness. Most of our friends on social media are not even real friends and we probably have never met them. But we treat them like real friends. This leads to embarrassing confusion. We must draw the line. This is the wrong happiness to pursue.

In my mind, happiness is not something we get, but something that we experience when we have a sense of contentment and satisfaction with our lives and ourselves.

We cannot gather happiness like we gather things. Happiness is not something that is given to us because we are good. Happiness is really our true inner feelings when we feel sad, grieving, angry, hurt, stressed, or frustrated. True happiness happens when we are true to ourselves and embrace all those negative feelings like sadness, grief, anger, hurt, stress and frustration as part of our life. We should not run away from it but go through it and truly experience it. That’s the joy of sadness.

Rather than close our mind to these negative emotions, we should learn to live with it. Experiencing a wide range of emotions suggests there is something right with us. We are not angels created without feelings. We are human beings capable of many feelings that encounter many tragic circumstances. We are born with a clear purpose to serve and please the Almighty who created us. Why would we be created with the capacity for emotions if we were not supposed to feel? Isn’t it logical to consider that our feelings have a purpose?

We must be realistic in our perspective of this post pandemic world. We become unrealistic when we have fixed desires in our mind. A fixed desire is a belief regarding how life should be and that we cannot be happy unless life meets our expectations. Actually, this is a myopic view of life, because life is rarely what we believe it should be. This is a destructive thought process that would condemn us to unhappiness. We have to adopt a more progressive thinking, especially when we are in pursuit of our goals in life. We must set it in our mind that there will always be many obstacles, in the form of challenges and opportunities for success, then only you can remain optimistic.

I had many business failures in the past. I also experienced several personal setbacks. I accept it as my learning process. Experience is our teacher. We can use the information provided by our emotions and allow ourselves to cherish the full range of emotions. All our life experience is important, even the unpleasant experiences because we strive to learn and grow.

Some of the most unpleasant experiences in my life have been among the most unforgettable lessons. However, at the time I didn’t go into these experiences voluntarily, expecting how privileged I was to experience such trouble. In fact, I had fought it and told myself how absurd the situation was. It wasn’t until later that I realized how precious the fiasco was to me. And that temporary sadness and pain have caused dearly to my ability to be happy and to enjoy my life.

A final note. If you are going through a hard time, know that goodtimes are on the way. Insyallah.

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