June 01, 2021
Do you ever feel sad for no particular reason at all?
You wake up to a normal day and life is generally fine. The birds are chirping, the neighbors’ dogs are barking, and the world around you is turning just as usual.
Yet, somehow, you feel a certain heaviness in your heart that’s pulling your entire body towards your bed.
“Is it the weather? Does it have anything to do with my family? Is it about my friends?”
You’re not really sure.
So you reach out for your earphones, play your most favorite sentimental music, lie in bed the whole day, ignore your inbox, and just wallow in sadness.
I feel this.
Even prior to COVID-19, there had been moments when I found myself sad for no particular reason. But the pandemic has provided us ample opportunities and even reasons to feel sad.
If you’re experiencing random bouts of loneliness, I hope and pray that what you’re experiencing is nothing that requires serious professional attention. I am neither an expert nor a licensed mental health professional, but allow me to share with you some of the things that I do and I personally find helpful whenever I experience random surges of loneliness.
Two important things that I keep in mind are self-awareness and self-control.
Self-awareness enables me to understand my thoughts, emotions, actions, and motivations. Self-control allows me to respond well to my situation and emotions.
How do I apply these things?
I feel my emotions.
Sadness is usually an unwanted emotion. Whenever we’re sad, our tendency is to shrug it off, suppress it, or avoid it. But that’s not a healthy way to handle sadness. Instead, I allow myself to feel my sadness, bare my soul out, and express my emotions. But I don’t just wallow in sadness by myself. I remind myself that God is with me and that I can cry to Him.
I try to identify my triggers.
Gray skies and music trigger my random sadness 99.9% of the time. Songs have a way of taking me to a nostalgic trip down memory lane. It’s funny how sad songs make me laugh and how happy songs make me cry because of the memories attached to them.
Emotions are always triggered by something. When it seems like we’re sad for no reason, knowing what triggered your sadness can be the first step toward being okay. So, pay attention to your triggers, for they sometimes point you towards a deeper understanding of what’s going on in your mind and soul whenever you’re randomly sad.
Identify the wound or the void in your heart that’s causing the sadness.
No sadness is random. Experts say that whenever we’re sad for no apparent reason, there are actually underlying reasons that are causing it, such as seasonal change, physiological processes, or psychological concerns.
Simply put, there’s a real cause to your sadness. The triggers you’ve identified can be your signposts to the actual reasons, such as a painful experience that remains unhealed or a longing in your heart that remains unmet.
For instance, whenever a song makes you sad, what memories does this song remind you of? Why does it make you sad?
Who are the people that you miss? Why do you miss them? What needs do they meet in your life that are not being satisfied at the moment? What are you upset about and why are you upset about it?
You wouldn’t know which medicine to take for your stomach pain if you don’t know exactly what’s causing it, right? Similarly, when you know what’s causing your burst of sadness, you will be able to handle it better.
Move on towards personal healing.
After knowing the real cause of your sadness, embrace healing and start your journey toward it. If there’s a need to release forgiveness, decide to forgive. If acceptance is necessary, learn to accept the things that happened.
You also might want to talk to a friend to help you process your thoughts and emotions. If what you’re feeling is a persistent and prolonged sadness, you might want to talk to a counselor or a pastor to help you process your thoughts.
Being self-aware helps you understand why you feel what you feel. This level of self-awareness will help you know how to cope with your emotions. It will also allow you to respond well next time and to take control of your emotions, not the other way around.
For Christians, self-control is a gift, a manifestation of God’s grace in our lives (Titus 2:12). In the same way, it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts (Galatians 5:23).
Our emotions may be valid because they tell us what’s going on in our hearts, but the actions we do in response to our emotions aren’t always wise and right. After knowing your triggers and wounds, what do you do the next time you feel attacked by an outburst of sadness?
Refuse to be triggered. We can’t always avoid our triggers, but we can actually refuse to be triggered by them all the time. We were created by God with free will to make independent choices. In social science, it’s called agency, an individual’s capacity to act independently and make decisions for ourselves. Do not let anything or anyone rob you of your joy.
Arrest unhealthy thoughts. Paul said, “Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Remember that the mind can be tricky. It can make you believe that your brokenness is irreparable and that you’re hopeless and alone. What works for me is that I write down my thoughts in order to understand myself and my emotions. Afterward, I filter the lies through the truth of God’s written word. The voice of sadness can be overwhelming. In those moments, tune in to the voice of truth, God’s voice, who will always tell you that you are loved, accepted, affirmed, and forgiven.
The next time you feel sad for no apparent reason, the best thing to do is to ask God to search your heart and to reveal to you the things that you can’t understand. Sometimes, His words will hush away your sadness. At other times, His presence alone is enough to make all the questions and the sadness go away.
If you need someone to talk to, we’re here. Send us a message!