6 Ways to Overcome Sadness

"We're overcome with deep sadness to be at this point." That was my friend's response to the hard place she and her husband had found themselves. Her beloved mother had been in and out of institutions because of mental illness and now, they had to make a hard, soul-tearing decision about her guardianship. For years, they rallied, they loved, they emptied their savings for the best treatment centers, and they fought, trusted, and never gave up hope. And, now they felt like they were giving up her mom to an uncertain future.

Yet, she finished her text to me with this: "We are trusting. Father knows and He is near."

No matter how bleak things seemed or how shattered she felt, she — they — knew that God was with them and somehow, no matter how it looked, He was involved, in charge and in control.

But, just because you trust completely doesn't mean you won't feel completely sad sometimes.

Sadness is emotional pain that comes from loss, despair, grief, sorrow, or helplessness.

There is no way to fix sadness. You can't go to a happy theme park and ride rides and eat cotton candy to make the sadness go away. You can't talk yourself out of sadness any better than you can talk yourself out of hunger — you just are.

So what do you do when you are just plain sad? If you can’t fix it, how do you feel it and still keep yourself above water, taking one breath at a time?

Here are 6 ways to overcome sadness so it doesn't overcome you:

1. Cry

For some of us, this is the most natural response to sadness. For others, crying feels like weakness or vulnerability. But, crying is healthy. Jesus cried when He stood before His friend Lazarus' tomb. He was sad and He wept. When we cry, we don't repress our sadness because repression can lead to depression — all that sorrow has to go somewhere! Some studies suggest that when you cry, your body relaxes and releases endorphins, which are a natural "feel-good" chemical in your body. God designed you with tear ducts for a reason, so let your tears help you heal.

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