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What are some ways to cope with sad thoughts and/or feelings?

29 Answers
Last Updated: 01/25/2021 at 4:17pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Cynthia Stocker, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

My approach is direct, kind, honest & collaborative. My clients appreciate that I help them in a way that cuts through the jargon and gives clear explanations.

Top Rated Answers
April 25th, 2016 10:39pm
Sometimes the best way to cope with our sad thoughts and/or feelings are to firstly understand them. We often don't realize it but the reason we feel down is because we can't grasp why we are sad or upset. Talking about these feelings with someone you trust can always help, or if you would rather, expressing them in a drawing or a story. Whatever helps you the most. Try things.
June 13th, 2016 11:49am
Often it goes down to just distracting yourself from these feelings. If you get into an activity that brings you joy, those feelings won't dominate your mind.
January 25th, 2015 4:31pm
Tell yourself it's okay, and that it's going to be okay. Express it, write it down, sing and talk it out, draw it up
June 29th, 2015 5:42am
I cry, it may seem awful at the time but afterwards I feel so much better. Just letting out all the emotions I have been holding on to for a while.
January 26th, 2015 5:46am
I like listening to music that matches with my mood. So if I'm sad, I may listen to songs that have sadness to them, with glimmers of hope amidst their lyrics.
April 10th, 2015 7:01pm
Keep yourself busy. Do your university work that makes you heal faster and divert your mind into games - at least you are doing something everyday instead of being in sad thoughts and having sad feelings ...just make a worry tree write down things that makes you worry or sad or whatever you feel write it everyday ...get your thoughts down on a piece paper need to come back but it is a therapy ....and it helps a lot....for me it does...thats why i have a note book to write down my feelings..
April 25th, 2015 12:07am
I try to remind myself that the feeling is temporary. As useless as that seems, I always feel better in the morning and I try to hold onto that idea.
April 26th, 2015 7:23am
One way that I cope with my sad feelings is to just let myself feel them - I turn on music from my favorite band, and listen to three songs about heartbreak. I tell myself that it's okay to cry, and make sure I am in a dark and peaceful environment where that is possible. After those three songs, I listen to three ones with uplifting or empowering lyrics, and breathe in sync to the beat to calm my heart. Once that is over, I slowly begin to turn on the lights and put cooling towels on my face. In a pinch, though, I always scroll through joke Instagram accounts or look at dog photos (jiffpom is my fave this month!) or watch a Youtube supercut of goat songs or clips of jokes from a loved TV show.
June 17th, 2015 7:18pm
Everyone copes with these things in their own way, some ways I used to cope was by writing, reading, and listening to music. Sports and exercise may also help, along with drawing and talking about your feelings regularly with someone? :)
June 22nd, 2015 2:36pm
Very generic: think happy thoughts. When I'm sad, I think about times that were happier for me. When my dog died, I thought about how fun she was when she was around, rather than how she was gone. There's also confiding in others - friends and/or family that you're comfortable with talking to about your feelings are a blessing. If you have someone you can confide in, it's always helpful to have someone there.
June 22nd, 2015 8:56pm
Some ways I tend to cope with sad thoughts are watching funny videos. I have often realized that smiling or laughing always changes my mood. So if you can find something that will help you smile or laugh, it may change your thoughts.
August 10th, 2015 2:48pm
One thing that many people suggest is exercise. This is because it is said to release endorphins and other chemicals which help to fight sadness!
August 24th, 2015 3:34pm
Get up and do something, which could be as simple as walking outdoor for at least 30 minutes per day.
September 28th, 2015 5:24am
To take your mind off it and do something you enjoy doing like going out with friends/family. Or talking to someone about them.
October 27th, 2015 10:54am
If I am sad I usually try to preoccupy myself with activity that requires a lot of attention. Studying, exercising etc. Whatever floats your boat.
November 9th, 2015 6:10am
I'm sorry you're feeling so down. Have you looked into 7 Cup's Self-Learning modules on Depression and Managing Emotions? I've personally found them very helpful.
December 8th, 2015 12:40am
Keep a gratitude journal when you are feeling good, and refer to it when you are feeling sad. Looking back on what you've written during the positive times will help.
May 23rd, 2016 5:52pm
Talking to friends. They help you feel less lonely, Going for a run will help sometimes too. It keeps your mind clear.
June 15th, 2016 12:00am
Ways to cope can include: journaling, processing with a therapist, talking with a friend, listening to music, mindfulness practices, support groups, and/or self-care practices.
December 5th, 2016 6:52pm
When I'm having sad thoughts I feel like hiding away under my blankets. Sometimes it's good to act in the opposite way to that feeling. I act the opposite by getting up going outside for a walk, even if it's just in the back garden. Connecting with the beauty of nature can really transform how you're feeling in that moment. I like to watch the birds flying around, it makes me feel calmer and less sad.
January 10th, 2017 12:40am
Talking it out to someone you trust can help a lot! Being able to vent out your feelings and letting them go out is really therapeutic for many people. Finding hobbies you enjoy such as playing/creating music, reading etc. Also, take a walk outside of your home and being immersed with the natural environment can often help your head clear up. Good luck :)
June 6th, 2017 1:49am
Sometimes just breathing, crying and letting it all out is the best thing you can do. I think it's a great way to stop those feelings from building up to uncontrollable levels. After that I like to go for a run or bike ride or do an activity I enjoy.
August 7th, 2017 3:09am
Do something that makes you happy and understand why you are sad. With each reason has a different way to cure it.
January 16th, 2018 9:12am
Writing them down! This helps you getting a clearer mind, free form negative thoughts. Or if you prefer, distracting yourself with physical activity such as working out, jogging, swimming etc. Physical activity releases the happiness hormone called dopamine!
July 17th, 2018 4:18pm
Hang out with friends, listen to music you love and dance to it, try to thinking something positive
July 31st, 2018 3:26pm
Write them down and be authentic about them as much as you can. Be aware of the fact they're there, embrace them and understand where they came from.
August 17th, 2020 2:52pm
Sad thoughts and feeling are entirely normal during rough and tough times. Making sure you push through and always strive to do better is what you want to do. Make sure to give yourself some time to yourself to debrief why you feel this way. Don't let your emotions control you. There are ways to get through it. Meditation and relaxation is a great way. Make sure you get some fresh air by going on a run or walk outside. Don't be cooped up in your room. Surround yourself with the people you love, and try not to succumb to your sad feelings.
August 25th, 2020 1:49pm
There are two main categories of coping, and they are opposites. Engagement and distraction. Engaging coping methods include journaling, meditation, and sharing about your experiences with friends or a broader community. Journaling and sharing about your experiences involve you thinking about what made you sad and why, and being okay with feeling it, fully accepting it as a temporary emotion. Of course, this may not work well if you have anxiety. Same goes for meditation, which, though it clears your mind of voluntary thoughts, also makes you susceptible to involuntary ones. Engaging coping methods are better suited for general mental health coping as opposed to coping with specific mental illnesses. The other category, distraction, includes engaging in hobbies or work and talking to friends about things other than what you're currently feeling. Most people would say that distraction is "bad" because it is "running away from problems" but that is not true. If the problem is that you have thoughts you cannot control and engaging them only makes your symptoms worse, then distracting coping methods are probably better. Either way, self-awareness is important. You also have to know the difference between being challenged (a good kind of stress) and being drained, swiftly or slowly (a bad kind of stress).
January 25th, 2021 4:17pm
If a person can take charge of the situation that is causing them to feel or think sad, that is the best thing. At the same time, part of the reason why a person may feel sad, is that they cannot do anything to fix the situation. Some things that may help may be saying the Serenity Prayer for example or doing some exercise that can help alter chemicals produced by our bodies such as endorphins, testosterone or androstenedione, and human growth hormone. These chemicals should help us to feel better; especially when accompanied with adequate rest and nutrition. Exercise may also help a person get good rest at night. I find that getting some sun and fresh air help. It may be the vitamin D in the suns rays that can be hard to come by in some areas during the winter time. One of the quickest fixes to feel better for me is a cup of coffee, but too much coffee and alcohol can interfere with quality sleep. So its good to limit the amount you drink of caffeine or alcohol. More than 2 drinks of alcohol for a man can limit the bodies ability to enter into REM sleep because our bodies parasympathetic nervous system is running.