We’ve all been upset. Sadness is a totally natural emotional response to certain environmental stimuli.

Most of us have support, or systems in place to overcome sadness, reach balance, and go on to be happy as quickly as possible.

There are two groups of people that have prolonged sadness, or depression. One group consists of those that have a severe chemical imbalance, which requires a doctor, and possibly medication to treat.

This article is not geared for that group. Rather, this is directed to the people in a funk or seem stuck in a rut, those that lack the tools, know-how, and support systems to bounce them back.

In my opinion, and I’m no doctor (BA, Psychology; MS, Biomedical Science), the latter group of people is wise to seek natural treatments instead of simply medicating the symptoms.

That’s why we’re going to look at 10 ways to overcome sadness, without the ‘happy pills‘.

1. Set Goals

Something special happens the moment the paper meets the pen and we write down our goals. Our brain chemistry changes, neurons fire, hormones are deployed, and we start thinking about how we can achieve those goals.

2. Sleep

Getting the right amount of sleep is healthy for our body and mind. Some argue that sleep deprivation treats depression, but I don’t buy it. I think it’s a cheap distraction that catches up to you within days. Get enough rest.

3. Exercise

If you’re physically capable, try one hour of cardio (or as much as you can).

If you’re tee-shirt is soaking wet, you’re standing in a puddle of your own sweat, and you can feel the endorphins pumping through your body, you did it right. Shower up and try not being happy, I dare you.

4. Forgiveness

Many times we’re making ourselves sad for no good reason at all.

People have been known to keep grudges for lifetimes (most religions and nationalities keep them for generations). When you forgive, you remove this weight off your shoulders and put yourself in a position to be happier.

5. Gratitude

Many times when we complain we can cause ourselves to be sad. Complaining is just a factor of not taking into account what we’re grateful for.

Sit down and make a list of 100 things you’re grateful for right now (and I dare you not to feel better).

6. Sunlight

Certain people have a disorder, in which, due to a lack of sunlight, they experience seasonal sadness. I’m somewhat affected by this in the winter when the days are shorter.

That’s why it pays to grab your iPod (or your friend) and go for 30-minute walks each day and embrace the sunlight.

7. Hydration

This has always been my downfall; I don’t drink enough and chances are you don’t either. Some days I drink only 1 cup of water, and I feel horrible.

Simple Ways To Overcome Sadness and Depression Hydration

When I remember and drink 2-3 liters, I’m happy as a kitten on cat-nip and productive as a bat out of hell.

8. Friendships

Your life force, support system, and everything that matters. It’s not hard to make friends if you put the time in.

Simple Ways To Overcome Sadness and Depression Friendship

Everyone wants to be heard, appreciated and loved. Start off by listening, appreciating and loving, and it will come back your way.

9. Reading

Take a temporary leave from reality and bury yourself in one of your favorite books. A lot of wise people have been through what you’re going through and they made it through to the other side to tell about it.

10. Journal

This could be an escape but it doesn’t have to be. You can write about fiction, and transport yourself to another world, or you can write about what’s going on, and let your thoughts carry you through to a solution.

Many great books were written by people who were, at least at the time, going through a period of pain and suffering.

So what do you think? Could one or two of these get you through the rough patch you may be in today?


*This article was originally published at www.dumblittleman.com by Alex Shalman.