Tough times are inevitable in human lives. Once in a while, incidents happen that pick us up and give us an overwhelming amount of sadness. That sadness can come from loss or shock. Acute sadness can result in several mental health problems. When we are unable to handle our emotions or understand their source, the result can be catastrophic. Grief is a powerful human emotion. Such emotion can be overwhelming. One may not be ready to face it. But our emotions are a sign of us being alive. They tell us that something has happened and that we care enough about it.
We are imperfect beings living in a world that tries to be perfect. And in such a place, many incidents happen that may or may not be to our liking. There’s a theory that says, we as humans have three buttons inside us, called the PAC buttons - the Parent, Adult, and Child buttons. Each individual acts on these three personalities. When we ask questions, are curious, and stubborn then we are acting as a child – trying hard to get what we want. We’re also adults when we are mature, take calculated risks and decisions, and be level-headed.
We also have parent traits in us – when we care, love, and understand what the other person is going through. So, before we understand human emotions, we first have to understand the theory of PAC. And only then can we identify from which side a particular emotion is coming. When a manager gets recognition, his adult side will be happy, when the same manager gets to eat his favorite dessert, his child side will be happy, and when his advice is taken positively by his friends, then the parent side becomes happy. So, that is how human emotions work. This is how joy and sadness can be justified.
As mentioned earlier, we cannot evade sadness. But we can go through it, and look back and say that we were strong enough to go through it. That takes strength. First, we have to identify the source of sadness. How close does it hit home? Is the sadness a sadness or just a moment of weakness? If so, the wave passes quickly. But if something is bothering us for days, and we cannot seem to get away with it, then that is a valid human emotion. Look within yourself, and try to identify the source of your sadness. Because identifying a problem is half of solving a problem.
Humans tend to justify their sadness by saying various mundane things, but the true reason can be hidden deep beneath. And if we don’t know where the sadness is coming from, then we are just overwhelmed. In that case, we should sit in silence. We should meditate or listen to some calming music and try not to let our minds wander around. Our mind plays tricks on all of us. It makes us think as if we are the center of this universe. When in reality, we are just a figment of this universe, trying to find our place. So, relax and take it all in, for this world is not so scary, we just need a moment to ourselves.
Once the problem has been identified, there are only two options. One is what can we do about the problem? Is the issue in our control? Can our actions change the scenario? The other option is - is it out of our control? We cannot do anything but worry about the issue? Our path will ease up when we ask these questions. If we can change the scenario, then we should act on it. Beating our fear and doing something about it, taking that step, choosing courage over sadness. But if it’s the other way around and we cannot do anything about it – if it’s out of our control - then we should let go of the illusion of control. We should not dwell on the issue. We should divert our mind, distract our mind. We should indulge in things that produce a spark in us. But grief is very different from sadness. When one is in grief, then merely a distraction won’t do the job.
There are five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. And one feels such strong emotions step by step. It can be mentally challenging, draining, and hard to take. In times of grief, it is very important to accept it. People think sadness and grief should not exist and that we should get rid of such emotions. Such emotions are seen as ‘negative’ and ‘toxic’ emotions. But they’re not. Such emotions emerge from somewhere deep beneath us. And our denial will not heal the grief process. The acceptance of reality is vital here. When one accepts their state and identifies the source of grief, the healing process may begin. Sadness, if not handled or taken care of urgently can lead to other severe cases. So, the support of family and loved ones are vital.
We need constant words of encouragement and assurance. Issues like these are ignored and not given priority, but human emotions are valid. Regardless of gender, everyone’s emotion is valid, every struggle with mental health is a struggle worth addressing. We lose people daily due to the fight with mental health. It is a matter of urgency. In this modern society, where everything is tap-and-go, human emotions are at the risk of being overwhelmed, being lost, and not being able to find their true self. So, if your emotion is telling you something, listen to it and address it. Taking care of one’s mental health has to be the optimal self-care routine in the 21st century.