Sadness is one of the common human emotions. It usually stems from negative personal experiences. What really makes people sad, however, is not their experience but the way they perceive it.
In reality, nothing really hurts you emotionally. Nothing really makes you sad. The only cause of your sadness is you. Most of the sad moments in life happen because of how we look at things in our lives.
Can sadness hurt you? Can you die from sadness?
Well, no one died from sadness per se. However, I know so many people died from a heart attack and suicide. Sadness, if linger for long, can definitely hurt an individual not only emotionally but more so physically. In fact, depression that causes suicide and heart diseases could emanate from sadness.
So, what happens to your body where you’re sad? There many things that could happen when you’re sad. Most of those are detrimental.
Here’s what happens to your body when you’re sad
As mentioned, sadness can affect the body in many ways. Some of the common effects are difficulties in gaining sleep, depression, and heart disease.
When you’re sad:
1. Your heart is physically aching
When you’re sad, your heart literally feels the pain. In extreme cases, the body responds to treating such emotional pain as stress. When this happens, the endocrine system will release stress hormones.
These hormones trigger the fight or flight response putting your physiological system in an active mode. The problem is that, following the release of stress hormones, the blood pressure and blood sugar will also increase as a result.
You probably know that the increase in blood sugar and blood pressure will definitely harm your overall health.
2. Your appetite will change
Extreme sadness may affect appetite. You may either eat more or eat less. This is also true for people with depression. Some become obese while others become underweight.
Some people who are in grief couldn’t eat. While for others, food becomes their comfort. People in the latter category usually become overweight or obese.
As long as the emotional pain continues, the biological reaction of the body may also persist. Although it does not directly cause death, sadness affects the biological functioning of your body.
3. Your memory may improve
Sadness may not always negative. In fact, there are some benefits to it. One is memory improvement. Yes, you read it right. One study found that sad people have better facial recognition and memory.
Sad people are known to have more elaborate thinking resulting in better memory recall. When you’re feeling sad, you pay more attention to the things around you. The pictures in your memory are more elaborate than those when you’re happy.
As a result, you have a better recollection of the experiences during sad times.
Can you die from sadness?
Extreme sadness is dangerous to your health. Aside from physical, it can also negatively affect psychological and social relationships.
Around the world, sadness is an increasing epidemic. Millions of people are feeling lonely and isolated.
Unfortunately, sadness is harmful. A group of researchers found that sadness is as dangerous as smoking. This means that sad people have a high possibility of dying prematurely.
Sadness affects the immune system. This may be the worst effect of sadness in the biological aspect. When you’re sad, your immune system weakens making you more vulnerable to diseases.
Studies in the past suggest that most of the biological diseases stem from simple sadness or stress. In fact, cancer diseases emanate from just simple stress.
Most of the time personal problems such as diseases, relationship, and financial problems are sources of stress. These factors can harm not only the mind but also the physical aspect in general.
How to treat sadness?
There are many ways to treat sadness. In this post, I just want to share the free techniques.
Contrary to cultural norms, crying is not a sign of weakness. This is a scientific fact. Studies found that crying actually triggers the release of endorphins that improve the mood.
This is the reason why after crying, one will experience a feeling of relief.
Physical activities can help lessen sadness. When you are exercising, for instance, the body releases chemicals which may, in turn, reduce sadness. Studies found that people who regularly exercise are more energetic and calm than those who do not exercise.
If you don’t want to go to the gym, walking will do. Just take a walk for at least 30 minutes a day. It refreshes your energy and emotion.
Who would have thought that a smile even the fake one can change your emotion? That’s right. A simple smile can change your whole feeling. Studies found that the muscles used in smiling are the same muscles that trigger a positive feeling.
4. Listen to your favorite music
For millennia, humans have been fascinated with music. It makes people happy and alive. The same effect is true even today. Music remains a powerful tool that touches the soul of the listener. Happy music alters negative emotions. Thus, it will ease sadness and depression.
It is important to remember though that not all music can make you happy. Of course, lonely music can also make you sad. So choose the music that will uplift your soul.
5. Recognize your own feeling
One way of making yourself good is by recognizing that you are not feeling good. By recognizing your own feelings, it will be easy to detach yourself from those negative feelings.
Studies found that people who don’t recognize their own feeling tend to stay lonely or sad. They also develop regrets that will lead to more problematic mental health.
6. Distract yourself
Whenever you feel sad, one of the best ways to escape it is to distract yourself. By doing so, you’ll be able to shift your mind’s focus from negative to positive. Divert your attention to the good things around you.
Taking a walk is a good idea. You can also engage in creative activity. Doing a hobby is a great example of this. Just think of anything that really distracts your mind from filling up with negative imaginings.
7. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is an ancient technique in relaxing a worried mind. Today, scientific studies have proven the effectiveness of this technique in changing the sadness into happiness. This practice is a good way to keep your mind from focusing on negative rumination.
8. Seek help from a mental health professional
Although the techniques shared in this post may be effective, in extreme cases though, I recommend that you consult with mental professionals. Talk to your psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor. These people are trained to help solve emotional issues such as sadness.
9. Eat healthy foods
You are what you eat. There is a degree of truth to it. Your diet also shapes your emotional and mental health. Healthy foods help combat sadness and depression.
10. Get enough sleep
The lack of sleep is a precursor to uneasy feelings. In fact, people with a lack of sleep are irritable and have poor focus, memory, and attention to detail. And most importantly, they easily get depressed. Strive to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every day.