Your life's ticking along nicely; you seem to have everything you could reasonably wish for. But you feel sad, and you don't know why.
Maybe you're not getting enough sleep? Or is it the weather? Or is there something else going on?
There's often an apparent reason for sadness, such as disappointment at not getting a promotion at work or breaking up with a partner. Your level of sadness fluctuates; sometimes, you feel numb or overwhelmed with grief, while at other times, you can forget about things and enjoy yourself. And as time passes, your sadness naturally starts to lift.
But sadness that persists can leave you feeling depressed, low and defeated. You don't know what caused you to feel bad, so you don't know what to do to feel better. Feeling sad isn't unusual; it's an unavoidable response to some events. But if you can't identify a reason for your unhappiness, something else might be going on.
It's common to feel a bit blue during the colder, darker months of the year, but if you feel that your low mood is starting to affect your daily life, you might be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. This type of depression is triggered by the changing seasons, and you might notice symptoms such as anger and negative thoughts, withdrawing from social occasions, and needing to sleep and eat more.
Changing levels of reproductive hormones can play a role in symptoms of depression, causing you to feel sad, angry or anxious before your period. Depression may also develop during pregnancy or after giving birth, and symptoms often revolve around fears of being unable to care for or bond with your child.
Hormonal changes also occur during perimenopause. For example, you may lose interest in your usual hobbies and activities or feel weepy and overwhelmed.
Those living with bipolar disorder may experience rapid mood changes as part of a cycle with episodes when they may feel energised, impulsive and euphoric, followed by periods of depression. Many people with bipolar disorder find their condition has mixed features so that they experience mania and depressive symptoms simultaneously. This makes it more challenging to understand precisely what's going on.
Inexplicable sadness that lasts all day, every day, for more than two weeks, is one of the major symptoms of clinical depression. Other symptoms include pessimism, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fatigue, digestive issues, poor sleep, changes in appetite and poor concentration.
Symptoms may not show up as clearly defined episodes, and you may well be able to carry on with your regular daily routines. But this type of depression can persist for years.
When you're feeling bad every day, it can be a challenge to find relief. Bach Flower Mix 65 can drive away dark clouds and help you find meaning in your life once again.
When you're feeling blue, your symptoms may prompt you to withdraw from others rather than seeking support from them. For example, you may find that you feel irritated with family and friends, or you may feel guilty over upsetting plans or your lack of interest in your shred social activities.
It's also not unusual to believe that your loved ones don't care about you or like spending time with you. But isolation will only worsen your sadness, and talking to loved ones about your feelings can help a lot.
If you feel you can't talk to a family member or friend you trust, consider talking to a counsellor. Sometimes it can be easier to open up to someone who doesn't know you well.
Here are few more strategies you might find helpful:
Music encourages the production of the "happy hormones", dopamine and serotonin. These substances can help to improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. But don't wallow in melancholy tunes: pick upbeat music to lift your spirits.
Even if you don't feel like cracking jokes yourself, a funny movie or comedy show can take the edge off your dejection and help boost your mood. Reading a favourite book can also be comforting.
When you don't have the energy for your usual hobbies and interests, try simple activities that are proven to lift the spirits and soothe anxieties.
A few suggestions:
Being outside in nature is one of the most effective ways to lift your mood. Exposure to daylight is beneficial to both mental and physical health. Low levels of serotonin are one of the reasons for seasonal depression, and sunlight helps boost the production of this hormone.
Exercise has also been shown to help alleviate depression, so walking in the park or on a beach on a sunny day is a fantastic way to relieve sadness. Weather too bad to get outside? Light therapy with a daylight lamp offers similar benefits to natural sunlight.
When you feel sad all the time for no apparent reason, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are suffering from depression. But if your sadness persists, talking to a professional therapist or counsellor can be very helpful. Meanwhile, be kind to yourself and remember that these feelings won't last for ever.
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