Picking Yourself Up From Sadness
In moments of happiness, remember that it will not last forever. In moments of sadness it’s wise to remember the same.
For whatever reason, we instinctively know the former to be true, but we often think deep sadness will last forever.
And even in moments of sadness, or other negative emotions, I now sit in the emotion and try to be grateful for it. Because to feel anything at all is to be alive. We are emotional beings. Our role here so far as I can see is to create and feel things. That’s what we do.
So even though tears may fall it still means that I am very much living.
But, let’s say that you (reasonably) don’t want to experience negative emotion for long periods. Anxiety can tear holes in us. Sadness can hold us in place like quicksand. In these moments you have a level of control, despite what your mind tells. Despite what people may tell you, you can affect your state of mind directly.
The body and mind aren’t separate entities. They affect each other. And so when my mind is suffering I often turn to my body to shoulder the weight, to do what is necessary to get the mind back on track. And in the same vein, if my body is out of whack, it is my mind that serves the body.
For example, last Sunday and Monday I felt awful. I didn’t like myself. Anxiety was through the roof. The self-talk was brutal. It’s as bad a few days as I’ve had in a while.
I went for a run on Monday. And I cried during it. I didn’t feel much better afterwards, either. But I knew I had to take responsibility. Nothing and no one was coming around the corner to pick me up and help me back to good mental health. I had to pick myself up.
For the next few days I got strict. Disciplined. I exercise to the best of my ability every day. Every night I went to bed early and got plenty of sleep. I swam in the ocean twice. Meditated. Stretched. I got some sun.
I did all of the things I could think of that are good for my body. Because, I know from experience and intuition that when my body is feeling good this often jumpstarts my mind.
And this is exactly what happened. The anxiety faded. The sadness evaporated. I began to feel like me again, and by Saturday I felt totally fine again.
This isn’t something that will work in all contexts for all people. But I know that it can work, and it’s at least worth trying. The body can affect the mind, so when it feels like your mind is in a tough spot, it makes total sense to me that you’d optimise how you treat your body, and in turn this will give your mental wellbeing a boost.
Worth trying? Absolutely.