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5 Traditional and Modern Tips That Can
Help You Cope With Feelings of Sadness

Cope With Feelings of Sadness

As the winter months take hold, it's common for people to experience a sense of sadness. Sometimes that sadness becomes something more, like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), while sometimes, it's just a mood slump after the holidays.

How we view and treat feelings of sadness and dysregulated emotions have changed over the years — but common themes endure. Here are some traditional and modern ways to cope with feeling blue.

Fix Your Posture

If you're of a certain generation, you probably remember your parents and grandparents telling you to stop slouching, stand up straight, and adjust your posture. While it may seem trivial, standing upright and facing the world head-on actually can actually help with your mood.

Placing your body in a powerful position signals to your mind that you're ready to take on the day. One study showed that people who force themselves to stand tall are more likely to experience positive thoughts and feel alert. 

The next time you're feeling blue, remind yourself to fix your posture and face the world. If nothing else, Grandma would be proud.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness practice is nothing new; people have been meditating for thousands of years. However, there has been a recent paradigm shift toward incorporating mindfulness practices into one's everyday life. 

Practicing mindfulness doesn't mean having to meditate all the time, it means finding ways to be present in the moment and be aware of your body rather than stuck in your mind. You can accomplish this by spending some time unplugged from technology every day, getting back into nature, or exploring your thoughts and feelings in creative ways. Sometimes mindfulness is as simple as being still and letting your mind relax.

As many people feel blue from chronic stress and worry, a mindfulness practice can be a big help.

Seek Guidance

Seeking counseling and support is a traditional way to find coping strategies for overcoming feelings of negativity and sadness. For centuries, people have gone to their pastor, a mentor, or a licensed counselor for guidance. 

Getting professional help is still an effective option today, and is significantly less stigmatized now than it once was. In the past, many people avoided seeking help out of fear of judgment. Now, going to therapy and working through mental health programs is a common practice. This is one of the best coping skills that spans both traditional and modern approaches.

Use Technology for Good

Wearable technology has transformed our lives for the better. It helps people determine what's happening in their bodies and get more in tune with the various systems and processes that keep them moving. Many of these devices help improve sleep and promote healthy movement as well. Some devices, like the Hapbee, even provide additional resources to simulate what our bodies need to feel better, such as energy or relaxation.

There are also several apps that support health and well-being to help you feel better when you're down, many with elements of gamification. For example, Finch is a self-care app that aids in mood tracking and motivation in the form of a little hatchling you have to care for. Sanvello is an app used by licensed therapists to help with anxiety and stress.

Take some time to evaluate the technology that's available to you, and find the one that best helps you feel better. 

Cope With Feelings of Sadness

Volunteer

Volunteering is another traditional way to improve your mood when you're feeling blue. This powerful act of service is proven to improve your mood and promote positive mental health. 

The next time you're feeling down, reach out to a local organization and see how you can help. Alternatively, you can donate your time by picking up litter from ditches in your neighborhood, doing something kind for your neighbor, or paying compliments to strangers. 

You won't feel happy all the time, and that's OK. However, there are steps you can take to feel better when times are tough. The key to positive mental health and wellness is combining the traditional practices with learnings from our modern times for a holistic approach to happiness.


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