We all experience sadness from time to time. Some people may describe it as feeling “down” or feeling “blue.” People can feel sad for many reasons, but sadness happens most often after a loss like a breakup or losing your job.
Sometimes people who feel sad may wonder if they have depression. Sadness can feel similar to depression — like wanting to be alone or having less energy. But sadness by itself isn’t usually cause for concern.
To help you better understand why you might feel sad, this article will cover common causes of sadness, the difference between sadness and depression, and how you can cope with this emotion.
What does sadness feel like?
Sadness will feel different to everybody. It won’t even feel the same to you each time you are sad. As you move through the day, your feelings of sadness may come and go or remain steady. Here are some ways you might describe what sadness feels like:
Sadness, like other emotions, can also be seen in your body language. You may recognize these common postures and behaviors associated with sadness:
- Downcast eyes
- Lowered lip corners
- Lowered inner eyebrows
- Walking slower than usual
- Crying (though not everyone cries when they’re sad)
You might also feel sadness — considered a basic emotion — alongside other emotions. These could include fear, anger, surprise, or others. It’s even possible to feel happy and sad at the same time.
Why am I sad?
There are many reasons you may feel sad. It’s often a healthy emotion to have during difficult situations. Some examples of why you may feel sad include:
- Death of a friend or loved one
- Loss of a job or income
- Romantic rejection, breakup, or divorce
- An ending or goodbye, like a child moving out or moving to a new city
- Experiencing discrimination due to your race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, income status, or age
- Not having the resources you need, like housing, food, and financial security
- Disappointment, like not getting chosen for a team or missing out on a party
You may not always be able to identify the cause of your sadness. Even if that’s frustrating, this is normal.
What is the purpose of sadness?
Sadness might not feel good, but it does serve an important purpose. It helps your brain process change and reflect on what’s really important to you. It also helps us determine what steps we might need to take after a loss.
For example, the disappointment of missing out on a raise at work might help you decide a job change is in order. Or the sadness of a romantic breakup might help you reassess the type of people you want to date.
Sadness can also help us realize we need support after we’ve gone through a difficult time. And sadness can even be helpful sometimes. Some research suggests people have better attention when they’re feeling a bit sad.
If you’re worried about your sadness or if it interferes with your daily life, reach out to a mental healthcare provider. They can evaluate you for depression and provide additional resources to help you feel better.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, you’re not alone and help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.
Article Shared From https://www.goodrx.com/well-being/healthy-mind/why-am-i-so-sad