How to be with sadness

Posted on May 23, 2017

Sadness is a core emotion, which is automatically triggered by life events. When sadness arise, it is important to let it flow. Otherwise, pent-up emotions may hurt us and bring many complications to our physical and psychological health.

To allow sadness to flow in our recovery process, it is important to have sufficient room and space to feel sadness. It is also important to not feel alone in the process of moving through our sadness.

Hilary Jacobs Hendel suggested some helpful guidelines for how to be there for someone in the midst of sadness or grief:

1. Make sure to convey the message that it is okay to feel sad. Only then, will the individual be able to let go of their self-consciousness and surrender to the feeling of sadness.

2. Problem solving isn't always what people want. Instead of offering solutions immediately, you can simply ask if there is anything you can do to help.

3. There is no typical time frame for grieving. Assure them that everyone and every loss is unique and there is no time frame.

4. An invitation to talk is helpful. Offer and let them know that you would be willing to listen.

5. Let someone know explicitly that you’re here when they need and happy to leave them alone when they need to be alone.

6. Sometimes, there is no need to say anything. You can convey, “I’m here” simply by your physical presence.

7. We can offer comfort with gestures or words: A comforting hug, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, a hand to hold.

8. Do convey the message that they have the freedom to feel their sadness and they should not feel ashamed, nor be in a hurry to quickly move past it.

Sadness does not always requires fixing. Offering someone permission to feel their feelings with unlimited time, space and presence is a wonderful gift you can always give to others and to yourself.

Category(s):Bereavement, Grief, Loss, Bereavement

Source material from PsychCentral

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