I am sad. There, I said it. And, I’m going to feel sad. No list of what I am thankful for. No attempt to do a “happy” activity. Our emotional control center does not work that way; different parts of the brain activate happiness, fear, sadness, disgust and anger. A good emotion does not negate a painful one. Ever have one of those soul crushing, mind numbing headaches? Eating your favorite comfort food does nothing. It is the same with sadness, my current state. Trigger some other euphoria point of the brain will not help. Oh, I will laugh at something funny.
But, I am sad. I’m being with the sadness rather than employing emotional distraction or an exiled state of self pity. Growing up, we learn to manage anger, we are taught ways to become calm and centered. Most of us are successful to varying degrees with anger management. But sadness? Recognize the pattern, identify the trigger and acknowledge the feeling. I chose to build resiliency.
The balance of being with sadness and not avoiding or wallowing in sadness gave me an awareness. That opening led to a conversation Saturday that changed the my context, shifted my feelings and built my resiliency. This week, consider, how you handle sadness¹. Do you build a battle plan or build resiliency?
¹There is a difference between sadness and depression. This post is on sadness.