What if I told you one of the best ways to maintain your happiness is to take time to be sad? It is not only okay to embrace sadness, but healthy. When we go through difficult times in life we develop a resilience that good times just cannot produce. Resilience in life is the key to overcoming those challenging moments that visit all of us. Overcoming difficulties teaches us a process that streamlines us against future struggles. Think of it as if you were a large rock on the beach and life’s difficulties are the constant of waves washing against us. We start out with a rough and jagged surface, but over time, our exterior is smoothed and shaped by those same waves, meant to wash us away. Instead, they wash over and around us.
Current research supports this. Dr. Joe Forgas, professor of psychology at the University of New South Wales in Australia, has studied the positive effects that sadness holds for us: “Our research suggests that sadness promotes information processing strategies best suited for dealing with more demanding situations.” Dr. Forgas also suggests that during sad times, we are more acute in our recognition of the correct choices that need to be made during difficulties.
Remember, everything life throws your way is temporary. That goes for good and bad times. When times are bad, embrace the sadness of that moment, and rest assured that, in time, you will be happy again. Take some comfort in the fact that sadness is not only part of life but will promote a resilience in you that will make you better suited to overcome even more difficult times. In fact, knowing that you can handle sadness allows you to enjoy and cherish your happy times even more. It may seem counterintuitive, but you truly can use sadness to become happier.