When you sense that you’re becoming overwhelmed with sadness you have two immediate options: 1.) try to stop it, 2.) let it happen.
Intuitively, I think, we subscribe to the first option. Of course, we should try to stop it because it is a negative emotion that will most likely rob us of time we could have spent within a positive thing. But how do you stop overwhelming sadness?
The only way I’ve seen people (or myself) try to stop it is by attacking it. This looks like shame, “you’re the only one in the world who does this.” Or anger, “i can’t believe you are feeling this again,” or emotive du jour! These attempts are rarely successful, but often start the self perpetuating machine that my friend calls the “down in the dumps.”
But, instead, if I just let the sadness happen– it is just that. Sadness, without the shame or anger or frustration. One thing, instead of 37 feelings piled on top of each other. Eventually, it goes away, as emotions always do.