Why Do I Feel Sad For No Reason?
Sadness is a common emotion some feel as much as once per day depending on the stimuli with which we are faced. We may hear or read a tragic news story and feel sadness for the family. We may hear of the death of a friend, extended family member, or even the death of someone belonging to a co-worker and experience sadness. These are the actual events that evoke feelings of empathy within us that make us feel sad. It is when we either wake sad, or sadness creeps upon us for no apparent reason during the course of our day that it is troubling, for we just cannot seem to put our finger on the origins.
The Subconscious Mind at Work
When sadness comes upon us suddenly during the day, there may be some subconscious reason for that. Perhaps someone has said something that on a subconscious level reminded us of a childhood event. Our brains store so much information and memories that we never know when some visual or auditory stimulation will trigger something. We are not always aware of the actual memory being triggered, but we become acutely aware of the feeling of sadness.
Sometimes we may wake up feeling sad. This could be due to a troubling dream. Dreams are our subconscious mind's way of working through complex issues. Our mind may have been hard at work during our sleep to help us deal with some past or current conflict that we have not had time, or allowed time to deal with during our waking hours. The waking sadness could also be due to some small, seemingly harmless event such as not saying goodnight to your child or your spouse before going to sleep. Even something as simple as feeling anger toward a pet and not patting it on the head to say you were sorry. We would not equate either of these with our sadness because they do not seem important enough; however, some individuals do not like leaving things unresolved before going to bed.
Physiological Reasons for Sadness
Feelings of sadness that persist for no reason could be related to mild or even severe depression. However, other reasons should be explored before resorting to medication. Sometimes sadness or feeling blue can be related to physical health. Anemia, or low blood iron, or hormonal imbalance can cause feelings of mild or even severe depression. It is always good to see a medical doctor for a full physical work up when feeling mentally or physically out of sorts. Blood work will often reveal the reason for feeling sad. Replacing what is missing in our diets is a healthier and safer means of dealing with sadness or mild depression than psychotropic medications.
While the advice and care of a medical doctor are the first steps one should take if bothered by persistent feelings of sadness, having someone to talk to or who can provide resources for other help and strategies for dealing with bouts of sadness is also a good idea.
Accepting Your Feelings
Before you begin exploring the reason for your sadness, you first need to accept that feeling. You may think feeling sad means you're weak or overly emotional. Yet, everyone experiences sadness at some time in their life, no matter how strong or stoic they may seem. You might need assurance that it's okay to feel sad. It has nothing to do with your character as a person. Your counselor is there to offer support and comfort as you go through this time.
When you have no idea why you're sad, your mood itself can be distressing. Just knowing why you feel that way can help relieve your burden. Your counselor will likely begin by finding out about your specific symptoms to determine if you are experiencing a crisis. After that, they may begin to ask you about what's going on in your life right now. They can help you to identify situations that contribute to your sad feelings.
Sometimes, things that seem harmless can have a profound effect on our moods, especially if a similar event has caused you sadness in the past. You may not realize it's a trigger until your counselor guides you through an exploration of you current and past experiences. The therapist may understand how a simple word, sensation, person or place might make you sad. You may also have insights on your own after you open your mind to the possibilities.
If a loved one has died, you probably know exactly why you're sad. However, there are other types of loss you might not have considered. Have you recently lost a job or been demoted? Have you moved from a familiar home? Has a beloved pet run away? Have you been diagnosed with a disease, such as cancer, heart disease, or even diabetes? Have any of your prized possessions been stolen or broken? Any of these happenings as well as others might provoke a feeling of sadness and loss. In some situations, merely identifying the loss and grieving for it briefly is enough. If you need more support for a longer time, your therapist is there to help you work through your grief.
Being hopeful and positive about your life isn't a magic potion. It won't take away the pain, loss, and cruelty that happen at times in our lives. And, being overly optimistic can sometimes get us into trouble. However, learning to expect the best can put us in the right frame of mind to enjoy our lives more, seize opportunities, and have better relationship. Dwelling on the most negative aspects of life can make us feel hopeless or just plain sad. A counselor can help you develop a more positive mindset while keeping grounded in reality.
When to Examine the Negative Aspects of Your Life
Thinking about hard times, losses, and unhappy times can prove valuable at times. It can help you deal with past traumas and remind you how far you've come since those things happened. It's also helpful to think about these unfortunate times if you've never dealt with them before. Some occurrences are so upsetting that you might have tried to shut them out of your mind instead. However, trauma must eventually be understood and overcome. It doesn't go away completely until you've made peace with your past and learned to move on. Bad memories shut away eventually resurface. Yet, dealing with them alone can sometimes make you even more distressed and sad because you don't know how to react to them.
Speaking to a counselor can help you go beyond simple identification of past traumas. As you work through those incidents with the therapist, they can guide you away from despair and on to resolution of your sad feelings. The sadness may never go away completely, but you'll know why it's there and how to respond when it comes back.
Letting Go and Moving On
Sometimes, we hold onto our feelings of sadness and stay stuck in those emotions. We might feel that if we stop feeling sad, it means we don't care what happened to us or to someone else. We might feel we are disrespecting a loved one we lost if we let our feelings go. This is a natural reaction, but it is one that can hold us back from enjoying our life unnecessarily. Your therapist can help you determine whether you need to work through that sadness or you're ready to move on with your life.
If you're ready to start a new chapter in your life, your therapist might suggest that you begin making plans. As you decide how to spend a weekend or choose a community function to attend, you begin looking outside yourself. Even though the sadness may hang on for a while, planning for the future requires you to move on, even if you do feel sad. The new experience brings new opportunities for pleasure and joy.
If It's Depression
The counselor you speak with will assess your mood. If they see distinct signs of depression, they'll likely recommend that you talk to a doctor about it. The doctor might work with you on improving lifestyle factors such as sleep, diet, alcohol or drug use, and exercise. They might also suggest antidepressants or a mood stabilizer. Before they can treat you with medications, though, they have to come to some conclusion about what the problem is. If they don't tell you immediately, you can find out more by asking for your diagnosis. If it's depression, you'll have a better understanding of why you're sad.
Starting Therapy Is Easy
You can find a therapist in your local community through your insurance company or local mental health organization. If this process proves too slow, there's a faster way to begin counseling. Consider online therapy to deal with your feelings of sadness. You'll want to do some research to make sure you're dealing with a reputable counseling site. After you decide which platform to use, it only takes a few moments to choose your counselor and start enjoying the benefits of counseling that can take place wherever is convenient for you.