I did a survey recently through the health and wellness community I run on Twitter IrishHealthHour. My survey asked which of four emotions were most experienced over the holiday season.
Just less than a third of those who took part indicated that they felt sadness over the holiday season. Half of those surveyed expressed happiness as their main emotion. Anxiety accounted for the remainder.
Sadness as an emotion
Sadness as an emotion, is often a reaction to something going on inside us or as a result of something going on in our surroundings. Sometimes things happening around us are sad and it is our natural reaction to feel sadness. Seasonal sadness like Christmas sadness can often be triggered by feelings of what we perceive others have that we don’t. Seasonal films show happy families full of festive fun.
In the film the “Christmas Carol” Scrooge is protrayed in the beginning of the movie as a miserable old man who treated everyone badly and keeps people at a distance. We see his childhood memories play out in front of us and realise they are were full of sad stories where he was made stay alone at the school he went to and not be allowed join his family for dinner.
Something changed in Scrooge however on seeing how his memories were acting out in his life now, and he become aware that he could and indeed wanted to change his miserable ways.
Feelings of loneliness for the loss of a loved one or lack of connection have real implications at this time of the year. The idea of Christmas being about giving and receiving can hit hard if someone either has no-one to give to, nor anyone to receive from.
Twinkling fairy lights illuminate shadows that otherwise lie in darkness and there may be hope that the lingering sadness will retreat to the attic to be buried for another year with the rest of the decorations.
It is important to understand what our emotions are trying to tell us. Antonio Damasio, a Neurologist of emotion, has described emotions as action-requiring neurological programs. They are also energy; e for energy and m for motion. So quite literally they are pieces of energy that move through us when things happen in our life. If we see a happy family and ours is not a happy one; an energy of sadness can flow through us.
Some of the events in our lives that cause sadness cannot be changed but, we can learn ways to cope with these events and not let them consume us. We can see an emotion that is coming up in our life for what it is; a piece of energy rather than seeing ourselves as a sad person.
Many of the speakers at the Global Emotional Health Summit share ways to go within and make the changes we can make. These speakers have many years experience behind them and are here to share their knowledge with us all.
I encourage you to jump on and listen to them to gain their many gems of wisdom. You can subscribe for free to here all the speakers at the web site.
Until next time ….