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How to Stop Being Sad: 34 Steps to Alter Your Sad State of Mind

Everyone wants to be happy, but not everyone feels this way all the time. So, if you want to learn how to stop being sad, follow these tips.

how to stop being sad

Most people wish there was a magic pill, button, or phrase to make hurt vacate your soul, but there isn’t. Too bad there isn’t because a lot of people want to know how to stop being sad. 

Everyone goes through ups and downs. But sometimes, feeling blue can spiral into depression.

Some people even become comfortable being alone and miserable; they just adjust to it. But that shouldn’t happen to you. Feeling blue isn’t bad, and it’s going to happen from time to time, but you don’t want it to turn into your primary emotion.

It’s okay to wallow in self-pity, eat a bucket of ice cream and cry, but then at some point, you need to take a shower and go outside. So, if you feel like you can’t get out of the blues, try out some of these tips to help you feel better.

What does it mean to be sad? 

Feeling sad is usually a temporary feeling that has a cause. For example, you could have just experienced a big disappointment, losing someone you love, or bad news about something. It can include feelings such as grief or sorrow. [Read: How to not cry – 29 fastest ways to stop those mad or sad tears]

Feelings of sadness can also stem from poor self-worth. Feeling good about ourselves is core to our inner happiness. When we have self-love, it is less likely that you will become sad for no reason.

The feelings of sadness can fluctuate. It can change day by day or even throughout the same day. You might cry, feel numb, or struggle to concentrate. But at other times, you might immerse yourself in something you enjoy or be distracted by a loved one.

Sadness is normal because it’s temporary and fluctuates. But persistent sadness is a different problem. It will prevent you from feeling the joy of everyday life. Feeling like this will make you feel empty and defeated. [Read: 30 Signs of low self-esteem in a woman that reveal a need for self-love]

If you’re feeling persistent sadness, you might not even know the cause, so you have no idea how to stop feeing sad.

Feeling sad from time to time isn’t unusual. After all, we all experience disappointment and loss, so it’s a natural response to that. But you should be in touch with yourself enough to know if it’s temporary or if it’s something that is not going away.

Why do I feel so sad? 

As we just discussed, there is temporary sadness and persistent sadness. Usually, people can identify the cause of temporary sadness.

That’s because it’s usually some event or outside force that is making us feel that way. [Read: 10 Painful stages of heartbreak and grief all of us go through after a breakup]

Examples of causes of temporary sadness are a breakup, getting fired, rude friends, unexpected bills, or things along those lines. These are things that take away your happiness, but they will eventually go away with time. 

On the other hand, persistent sadness can either result from some of these same causes or from no causes at all. That is what is the most frustrating about it – many people can’t pinpoint why they are feeling sad.

They could have a great life with plenty of loving friends and family, but they still feel sad. In this case, it is probably some sort of chemical imbalance in their brain that is causing the sadness. [Read: Why are women so emotional? 18 reasons they feel deeper than men]

What makes you feel sad? 

What makes one person feel sad might not make another person feel sad. So, the causes of sadness are particular to every individual.

The reason for this is that everyone has their own tolerance level and coping strategies.

For example, if maybe one person flunked a test and it threw them into a tizzy for a week. But another person who flunked the same test might just feel the sting of seeing the “F” grade for a few minutes, and then forget about it.

People are less likely to feel sad if they have a positive attitude about life. If you are generally happy and an optimist, then you are more able to change your perspective and viewpoint about what happens to you.

You quickly talk yourself out of feelings of sadness because you have those mental and emotional skills. [Read: Positive self-talk – what it is, where it comes from, and how to master it]

Other people don’t have that ability. Instead, they let what happens to them affect them on a much deeper level. When this happens, it’s more difficult to move past those feelings and stop feeling sad and become happy again.

As you can see, causes of sadness don’t have as much to do with what happens to you, but rather is dependent upon your own inner ability to move past it.

Differences between sadness and depression

Many people confuse sadness and depression thinking they are the same thing. But they’re not. While the feelings are similar, there are some differences that are important. [Read: How to live in the moment – 24 positive ways to live in the now]

As we discussed above, sadness is a temporary state that comes and goes as negative situations also come and go in our lives. Sadness repeats itself in everyone’s lives. But there are also spans of happiness and join in between. 

Feelings of sadness aren’t that deep, depending on the circumstances. Of course, the death of a loved one will make your feelings of sadness and grief linger. But usually, the cause isn’t as serious and a person gets over it relatively quickly.

However, if you are feeling sadness for a long time that won’t go away with no known cause, then that’s depression. This requires assistance, support, or maybe even medication.

Depression is chronic, and usually doesn’t ever go away completely. [Read: How to help someone when they’re feeling down and depressed]

Depression can make a person take less care of themselves, makes them lethargic, and sleepy affects their appetite. It can make it difficult for someone to take care of themselves. In extreme cases, depression can be accompanied by feelings of suicide

How to stop being sad – 34 steps to walk your way out

Some of us are hit with way more adversity than others. Some handle it while others can’t. The key to knowing how to stop being sad is knowing that nothing lasts forever, which is a good thing.

Sadness and joy both come and go. It is all about riding out the bad and looking forward to the joy.

1. Anticipate the valleys among the peaks

To understand the secret behind knowing how to stop being sad, remember that life is full of peaks and valleys. In other words, no one lives life always joyous. But, in the same respect, no one lives one that is full of nothing but sadness. [Read: 20 mood-boosting things to do when you feel down]

Like a camel, you save up the happiness and joyous times in your life to ride out the valleys. If you want to overcome sadness, then learn to manage and recognize the good so that the bad can’t outweigh times of bliss.

2. Find the source driving it

Sometimes we stay sad because we don’t want to deal with or acknowledge what drives our sadness. Constantly pushing things away instead of confronting them head-on is never a good way to go through life.

If you find the origin of your sadness and work through it instead of taking the avoidance route, you will find sunny days ahead. [Read: How to make peace a state of mind]

3. Figure out what benefit you get from your sadness

Sometimes we feel sad because we gain some personal benefit from keeping ourselves stuck in sadness. 

If you feel as if you deserve to be sad, then you drive it. Sadness doesn’t stem from anything, and if you are perpetually there, then you gain something from it.

The only way to overcome it is to recognize that the feeling isn’t getting you the result you hoped for and to let it go. [Read: Attention-seeking behavior – why some people go looking for drama]

We perform habitual behaviors and have perpetual thoughts because we gain some personal benefit from them. If you figure out what it is, then you find your way to happiness.

4. Find the silver lining, it is ALWAYS there

Where there is stormy weather, there is likely a rainbow. Whatever sad experiences you endure in life, there is always something to take and learn from it.

It might not always be readily available, and sometimes you must seek it out. But, in every bad situation, there is always a lesson. It just takes some training to recognize it and learn from it. [Read: 20 ways to draw happiness from within]

5. Know that there is always someone worse off

You can always take comfort in knowing there is always someone worse off than you.

That is not a “move on, you aren’t the worst off in the world” statement that negates your pain. That is merely a fact. Whatever drives your sadness, it isn’t nearly as bad as what other people worse off endure. 

Take the goodness that you can find, and realize that life can always be worse. Enjoy what you have, even if it doesn’t seem all too great at the moment. [Read: How to deal with a depressed person – 12 ways that honor them]

6. Recognize that without sadness you couldn’t experience joy

If you had everything go right all the time and your life was perfect, you know what? You wouldn’t have a clue that you were even happy. 

You have to know what sadness is to recognize joy. Without the contrast, everything is just monotone.

Being unhappy is never fun, but not ever knowing what happiness is because that is all you have ever experienced is like seeing in only black and white.

Without rough times you have no idea what you miss or how wonderful things can be. [Read: How to be positive – 24 steps to a happy and dramatic life shift]

7. Find humor in the un-humorous

If you are sad, then you are probably not seeing the humor in life. Even in the most un-humorous of times, you can find some laughter. 

Laughter is not only the best medicine; it is the thing that makes sad times bearable. Find your humanity by finding the humor or even irony in how bad things feel and seem right now.

8. Don’t ever take anything too seriously

The reason why we find ourselves stuck in sadness is that we take things that don’t mean much too seriously. [Read: 17 Life secrets to smile more often, feel great, and laugh your stress away]

Sure, whatever goes on right now might be super bad, but if you are stuck in it, then it just might be that you take everything that comes your way, way too seriously.

You only get one go around here, so staying stuck by not letting things go, isn’t doing you any favors if you want to stop being sad.

9. Let go of baggage

If you feel perpetually sad, then there is a good likelihood that you hold onto things that aren’t your responsibility. 

Like carrying around a backpack of grievances, if you aren’t making peace with or forgiving things in your past, then it is nearly impossible to find happiness. [Read: How to let go of the past and be excited about the future]

If you let your past cloud your future, then you aren’t ever going to find the joy and peace you crave. Put the backpack down, hell, burn it, and learn to forgive and forget to make your sadness disappear.

10. Stop trying to control everything

One of the biggest things that makes you sad is feeling like you must control everything. Unfortunately, life isn’t controllable, and the sooner you recognize that and learn to roll with it, the happier you will be.

Sadness comes from the despair you feel by feeling out of control and helpless. You aren’t helpless, nor can you control things from happening in your life. [Read: 20 Glaring signs you have a control freak in you]

If you just say, “fuck it,” and let life do what it is going to do, you will find sadness is a wasted feeling.

11. Change what you can and know when you can’t

Sometimes you get caught in the sad zone feeling like it is your responsibility to make everything okay. When it isn’t, then you start to feel responsible.

Make sure you have a good handle on the things within your power and the things that aren’t, or you are going to make yourself miserable failing at trying to change things that can’t be altered. [Read: How to change your life – 12 easy steps for a dramatic life makeover]

12. Volunteer

If you want to know how to stop being sad, start with volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to lose your sadness. 

Not only does helping someone make you feel good, but it also shows you that whatever you have going on is nothing compared to what others deal with.

Volunteering just puts everything into perspective and helps you get out of your sad funk. [Read: 5 Ways volunteer work can help heal depression]

13. Sadness chases sadness away

Sometimes finding someone in the same boat, and just as sad helps you to chase it away. Knowing you are not alone and that everyone goes through the same stupid shit is the best cure for sadness there is. Feeling less alone helps you feel way less unhappy.

14. Go for a walk

Yes. Alone. Go for a walk alone. You can put music on or walk in silence. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is you reconnect with yourself while breathing in some fresh air. 

It’ll get your brain going, and give you space to chill out and reflect. Plus, if it’s sunny outside, you’ll get some much-needed vitamin D. [Read: 17 feel-good ways to make yourself feel better]

15. Get creative

You probably don’t want to start sketching or writing right now, but if you want to get through the blues, you need to push yourself creatively.

Some of your best short stories can come from when you’re in your worst moods. You might be upset about this and that, but then you can push yourself to do something creatively. 

Turn your emotions into art. [Read: How to motivate yourself to do pretty much anything when you’re depressed]

16. Clean your room

Being sad and depressed can turn you into the dirtiest person alive. You can start living in your own filth. You might stop cleaning your room, not want to shower, and everything might just turn into a chore for you. 

But cleaning your room gives you mental clarity and fresh air. Go through your things, sort them, and just create a fresh space for yourself.

17. Start eating healthier

You’ve been probably slacking off from eating your greens, and that’s okay. But understand what you put in your mouth also affects how you feel. [Read: Why am I so emotional? Science has the answers you may not expect]

If you’re gorging on fast food every day, this is also contributing to your feeling sad and blue. Grab a smoothie, or eat a delicious vegetable plate, and nourish your body with healthy food. You’ll feel better.

18. Talk to someone you trust

You can’t keep things bottled inside of you if you want to stop being sad. What you need to do is talk to someone you trust. 

Whether it’s a family member, friend, or therapist, talk to someone who will let you be honest with yourself in front of them. When you’re feeling blue, you need support, and that’s okay. [Read: How to change your life and find your happiness]

19. Meditate

It’s really not for everyone. Well, you might not have the attention span, even if it’s your dream to be able to meditate. 

Feeling the blues can spiral quite quickly, and meditation can help you improve your mood by being aware of yourself and your thoughts. Now you know why yogis are so Zen. [Read: How to be present and find your zone of perfect calmness]

20. Hang around positive people

They don’t need to be crazy happy, constantly smiling, and telling you that you’re amazing. But you should try to spend time with people you are content with and positive.

Hanging out with a Debbie Downer isn’t going to make you feel better. If anything, it’ll give you an excuse to continue feeling blue. [Read: How to end a friendship when they do nothing but hold you back]

21. Just dance

If you’re wondering how to stop feeling blue, you need to know that you don’t need to go to the club to shake it off. Turn on the music in your bedroom and pick a song you can get loose to. 

Crank it up, and go wild. No one’s watching you, just let go. It’ll get your body moving, your blood pumping, and the endorphins pumping from head to toe.

22. Appreciate the small things

When we’re feeling blue, it’s easy to feel like everything is coming down on us. But you need to take a step back and admire the small things in your life. [Read: 20 mood-boosting things to do when you feel down and alone]

When you’re out for a walk, pay attention to the dew on your neighbor’s grass or the old lady who’s crossing the street. There are beautiful things happening around you, pay attention to them.

23. Get some rest

You may be getting a lot of sleep, or you may not be sleeping enough; it really depends. But when it comes to feeling blue, you need to make sure you’re sleeping a healthy amount. 

You need to be able to function properly, and if you’re not sleeping enough, it’s only making things worse. [Read: 15 tweaks to alter your sad state of mind from within]

24. Hug someone

But not a one-armed hug. Go up to your mom, your dad, and your best friend, and give them a long, two-armed bear hug. Sometimes, at the end of the day, that’s what you really need, a hug. 

If you can hold the hug for 30 seconds, you’ll be amazed at how good and warm it makes you feel. [Read: The huge health benefits of hugging that’ll make you want to cuddle more]

25. Pick yourself some flowers

Who doesn’t like flowers, honestly? Picking some is a great, simple way to stop feeling sad.

Whether you go to the forest and pick yourself some wildflowers or head to a flower shop, pick bright and vibrant flowers for your home. It’s a small gesture for yourself, but you’ll be surprised how flowers can brighten your day.

26. Cry it out

If you’re trying to keep your emotions sucked in, don’t do it. Just let them out. If you keep them locked inside of you, it’ll only make you feel worse. [Read: Ready for some tears? 20 movies that’ll make you cry a lot]

So, when you’re home alone, have a good cry. You’ll feel lighter, and it works to balance hormones, which will help you gain mental clarity. Have a good cry, and then go to bed.

27. Bake some treats

When you’re feeling blue, never underestimate the power of freshly baked treats. Baking is similar to doing something creative, like painting or writing. 

You need to focus your attention on creating edible art. It’ll get your mind off of things and keep you occupied until you’re ready to eat them up. [Read: Cooking as a couple – 10 romantic tips and date ideas to have fun together]

28. Try writing

Whether or not you are a writer by nature, everyone can get benefit from writing about their feelings. So, get a journal and a pen and write down everything you feel and why you feel it.

Usually, putting things down on paper will help you look at things more objectively. You might reflect on your sadness and realize that it’s not as warranted as you had once thought. After putting it all into perspective, you will probably feel a lot better.

29. Read some self-help books

When you’re sad and lack the ability to give yourself inspiration, then you should turn to some self-help books to help give you a “pep talk.”

The authors of these books always have great advice on how to turn your feelings around in order to become happier. [Read: Reinvent your life – 12 must-read books to read in your 20s]

If you don’t know which ones to choose, try to find some specifically on the topic of sadness and happiness. Look at the best-sellers and start with those first.

After all, there is a reason they are best-selling books. Other people have benefitted from them and you can too so you can stop being sad.

30. Embrace your emotions

Some people are very good at suppressing their emotions. This could be because it was encouraged by their family or because they are just a natural optimist, so they don’t like feeling those negative emotions. [Read: Repressed anger – 15 steps to let it go before it eats you from within]

But if you ignore your emotions, they won’t go away. Instead, they will just fester underneath the surface and get worse. So, embrace them. Express them so you can move through and ultimately past them.

31. Make a commitment to change 

In order to stop being sad, you have to commit to changing it because sadness can be a rut. Nothing is harder to break out of than a rut.

Staying stuck is much easier than finding a way to break out or change. If you truly want not to be sad anymore, then the only one who can change it is you.

Sometimes we say we want something, but we really don’t. Only you can make the commitment to change what isn’t working and move on. No one else is responsible or able to change your emotional state but you. [Read: How to be happy in life – 12 hacks to find real happiness instantly]

32. Seek help if you think that you’re dealing with depression

If your sadness seems to be chronic and everything you’re doing isn’t helping, then it might be time to seek help. You can try going to a therapist and talking through your problems. Trained professionals can give you tools to become happier.

Or you can also try help from your medical doctor. There are many different types of treatment for depression that can be used. Not everyone wants to take medication, but it is an option if you think it will help you.

33. Know that no feeling lasts forever

When you are sad, it is a temporary feeling unless you allow it to consume you. Whatever drives your sadness, acknowledge that nothing lasts forever unless you let it. [Read: How to be happy again – 20 ways to draw happiness from within]

Only you keep yourself stuck in whatever drives your feelings of despair. If you know that the sun will shine again, then sadness is only fleeting and easy to ride out. Like a rain cloud, before you know it, it will be gone, and you will find the sunshine again.

34. You’re going to be okay

Don’t let the blue fool you; you’re going to be okay. It’s a rough patch, we all have them and struggle to move past them. 

But with time, you will overcome this, and it’ll just be a distant memory. Don’t think you’re stuck feeling like this forever. [Read: How to be a happier person – 20 joy-filled steps to change your life]

When to call your doctor

If you are feeling sad but you can’t find the cause, then that means that your sadness could actually be depression. When you’re sad, you usually know why you’re sad. But if you don’t, then it’s time to seek help.

Also, if you have been feeling sad for more than a few weeks, then it is most likely a sign of depression. Your medical professional can help you choose some options so that you can become happy again.

[Read: How to stop feeling sorry for yourself, end the pity party, and break out]

Life comes with drama all on its own. It doesn’t need your help. Nothing lasts forever and that is the key to understanding how to stop being sad, so if you drag out the sad, stop, drop the backpack of dread and move on.

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Julie Keating
A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined in...
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