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Sadness Triggers All Emotions

Updated on June 30, 2017

Sadness is the most dominant emotion. Just like air, it is something intangible but greatly impacts our well-being. While air is the earth's atmosphere that gives us oxygen to stay alive, sadness detaches us from living a fruitful life. It is a slow death that doesn't seem to cease...the cut off point of happiness.

Sadness, fear, anger, disgust, happiness and surprise, are the 6 basic emotions of life as imparted by Paul Ekman, an American psychologist and the first person who conducted the study of emotions. He is also referred to as "the best human lie detector in the world." We may have six basic emotions but it is sadness that triggers most of how we feel. It is so dominant that it greatly impacts our decision-making, perception in life and how we live day on day. This is how powerful this type of emotion is and sadly, we are all susceptible to sadness.

When you're sad, everything seems doubtful

I almost gave up my job as an Associate Manager of one of the leading Business Process Outsourcing and multinational IT companies around the globe. My 9 years of growth and accomplishments would've been dismissed so easily if I had succumbed to my emotional state. I wasn't really such a sad sack because my good work was being recognized once in a while. People trust and rely on me every working day of my life, from my subordinates, colleagues, co-leaders to my bosses. But my designation isn't my only obligation and the office isn't my only destination. I have endless of responsibilities inside and outside work that needed consistent focus and this has become a hard nut to crack.

It was the trust and reliance that was gradually weakening my spirit. Thus, it is also absorbing my mental, moral and physical strength as my thoughts of my responsibilities everyday started to consume me. I once told my boss, "Can I be irresponsible for just one day?" I chuckled upon saying this so my boss took it as a joke. I was smiling, sipping coffee and inhaling that noxious cloud but I knew then that beneath my facade, I had a poor heart that never rejoices.

My mind was completely blank as I went back to my station but my whole well-being was drowning tremendously in sadness. The next thing I knew, I have submitted my electronic resignation and I was surprised by my unreflective action. What in the world would I do other than what I have been doing for 9 years as part of the Quality Department? What the heck was I thinking? Right...I wasn't thinking. I was just simply feeling and acting recklessly. I have just added another enigma on the countless of problems that I already have. I typed in "I'm sorry" and sent this OCS message to my boss. He asked what I was sorry for so I responded but then I found out that he didn't receive a notification for an e-resignation. It turned out that the session for that page has expired, probably because I had a hard time choosing my reason for leaving the company so when I pressed the "submit" button, it didn't work. Whew!

I was in complete doubt of how I can keep up with the demands of my colleagues, my subordinates, my bosses, the company, my family, and most of all...the loan sharks. I was in constant battle with a lot of obligations. My sadness inflicted so much doubt in myself and my abilities, that I almost made the wrong decision of resigning from the company that has been putting food on the table for many years. As of this writing, there's still sadness within me but the thought of my 3 adorable kids is giving me momentary happiness once in a while.

Sadness Causes Fear, Disgust and Anger

When you're sad, you tend to only think of the negative events or facts in your life. This is because your emotion is blocking your mental ability to think positively. Thus, the end result of feeling down causes a person to be scared about a lot of things, and the impact of this on how we execute our daily life is drastic. It hinders us from being in control. Hence, either we administer our daily tasks poorly or we don't do them at all.

My youngest daughter had just turned six this month but every time I see her, I always go back to the time when she broke her left arm. She was almost 5 years old during that time. My aunt had explained how she fell off her chair as she tried to reach the trashcan to throw a banana peel. It was also how my kid has narrated the accident. It wasn't just sadness that came through me. I was in deep sorrow when that accident had happened. Just the thought of her in an ambulance without me, has completely dispirited my entire being and that incident still saddens me until now. I was really angry at what happened though it was just an accident, but I was more angry at myself. If I had fetched my kid that day, it wouldn't have happened.

Because of that incident, I became overprotective of my kid to the point that I wouldn't let her do anything physical. I only get to be with her during the weekends and while we're together, these are the things that she would always hear from me:

"Stop running, baby."
"Be careful. Don't even try to do what you're thinking."
"Don't jump."
"Don't touch that."
"Don't do that."
"Quit playing. Just draw something and be still."

The fear is still there until now but along with it, there's always that feeling of disgust within me for depriving my kid of being a kid. I knew that the words "stop" and "don't" would not register in the mind of any kid but I always go back to the day of the incident when I almost flew my way towards her. I almost lost my mind. It was the saddest time of my life.

The thing with sadness, fear, disgust, anger and surprise is that they go hand in hand with a chance to turn into an anxiety depression. Most of the time, it is a chain reaction. When we get sad, we have but negative thoughts. The negative thoughts, allow fear to get through. That fear blocks us to think clearly so we fail to execute well. Failing then turns into disgust and anger towards ourselves. And what is the aftermath? We get surprised at how this is all depriving us of happiness...and it all started with a feeling of sadness.

Sadness Comes From Memories

Everything that happens in our life becomes memories and sadness comes from the negative memories or pitfalls that have greatly impacted our spirit. Sorrow, on the other hand comes from incessant reminiscing of those negative memories and prolonging to move on due to "overthinking."

People have different coping mechanisms and different tolerance in pain but it all boils down to how we deal with it. While no one wants to feel sad or remember their bad memories, these are actually very essential and shouldn't be suppressed. The only time that we can overcome sadness is by expressing it and we only get to express that by recalling those bad memories.That way, we will understand where our sadness is coming from. It is during that phase when we recollect and learn from our experiences that we develop a stronger spirit --- one that is bolder, more decisive and more focused.

Being strong doesn't come from the absence of pain that sadness always brings. It comes from the pain that we have surpassed. Sadness should be faced but not dwelled upon. As Confucius has quoted, "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." This kind of triumph leads us to happiness as there is no other joy that is as genuine as when we stand up and stand tall from a fall.


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