When sadness is at our doorstep, our natural inclination is to lock the door and barricade the windows. Now imagine if happiness walked by and saw that the door was locked and the windows were covered, do you think it would be interested in visiting us? The answer is a resounding no. The point I am trying to make here is that happiness and sadness are a package deal. They exist as counter-measures. Sometimes sadness is more prevalent in our lives and sometimes happiness is. If we try actively to stop one from coming in, the other one will fail to show up as well. In fact, it is the picking and choosing of feelings and the failed manipulation of one’s state of mind, that is the precursor to the prolonged periods of depression that many people seek therapy for.
We must treat our feelings equally, and give them the same amount of care and attention as the others. Think of your feelings as children, all of whom you love equally as much. This process comes from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. In it we are encouraged to open ourselves up to whatever feeling it is that we experience and to let it be with us until it chooses to leave on its own volition. Sadness is no exception. When sadness comes to visit you, you have to let it in, be with it and give it the attention it deserves. Your feelings are trying to tell you something, it is your duty to listen. People who ignore their bad feelings tend to get worse over time because the emotional baggage keeps piling up. Just because you choose not to look at it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. An unwillingness to deal with sadness at an early stage will ultimately lead to depression.
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So how could one of these situations look like? Imagine yourself standing by the kitchen sink, washing some dishes. Suddenly, you recall a cherished memory of your mother. Maybe she was standing as you are, by the kitchen sink and you, being a small child, are looking up at her. At this point, your heart grows full of sadness because your mother has recently passed away and you have grown aware of the fact that you will never see her again. Now, you must pay attention to how the feeling manifests in your body. Where does it feel? Do you feel it in your chest or in your gut or does it pulsate throughout your body? How does it feel? Hot, cold, prickly, sharp, soft, dull, blunt, heavy? Describe the feeling to yourself and examine it continuously until the feeling leaves you. If you do so, overtime, the impact that the feeling has on you will subside allowing you to stave away depression.
Cross Culture Therapy
Creating a Sense of Belonging
We humans are sociable creatures. A sense of belonging is fundamental to our wellbeing. A simple hello from a stranger can go a long way to lift our spirits…
Philip Andersson – Life Coach
Philip Andersson is a life-coach who is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from depression, phobias and anxiety. Having been raised in Hong Kong and having lived in England and Japan as an adult, Philip also treats people who are overcome with feelings of displacement and rudderlessness associated with a global-nomad lifestyle such as Third Culture Kids, Cross Culture Kids, Migrants and Asylum Seekers.
What We Do!
Cross Culture Therapy offers 1-on-1 online therapy sessions to people suffering from depression, phobia, anxiety as well as to people who suffer from displacement issues associated with a globally nomadic lifestyle (i.e.Third Culture Kids – people who have grown up in a culture different to their parent’s passport culture – and Cross Culture Kids) Our sessions are conducted via Skype for a duration of 50-minutes and can be purchased in packs of 1-session, 3-sessions or 5-sessions. If you are interested in purchasing a session, click on the Book A Session tab on our menu or click here.