We are all quite acquainted with the feeling of sadness. It is after all one of the many different feelings we experience in our daily lives. Sadness though is different from other feelings as it counts among the negative ones like fear, shame, disgust or anger. It is even more so in our western societies that consider it an avoidable evil and go as far as treating the state as a disorder.
And while that may be the wise course of action in case of a severe and lasting episode of sadness, it is important to realize that sadness is not necessarily a problem and that it is actually everywhere around us and an important part of the human experience.
We find sadness in movies, musical and aesthetic masterpieces which would not have come to life if their authors did not experience that specific feeling and encountered its impact on themselves and on their lives. Moreover, sadness is part of our spectrum of possible feelings for a good reason. Negative feelings in general are there for our own good, sadness for example will protect us from challenging situations that we cannot handle, portray our retirement from engagements and makes sympathetic others inclined to help us.
On top of that, there is increasingly conclusive evidence in the psychology field that point to major cognitive benefits of the feeling. According to a recent research that manipulated the subject’s mood by showing them cheerful and sad movies alternately, the measured mental performance of the brain showed a positive change in moments of sadness.
It turns out that being sad gives you a better memory. Meaning that when we are sad, we are more likely to remember details of things around us. Sadness also rids us of thought distortion and impeding biases when trying to make decisions. Many people can also confirm a certain finding that shows that sadness increased your motivation and made you more persistent in attaining your objectives despite the hurdles.
The point is, obviously, to count sadness as a normal everyday occurrence and embrace it like every other one of your feelings that make you who you are.