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When Sadness Creeps In!

Why do we resist sadness!

Recently I have had a couple of clients talk with me about their pre occupation with sadness and how it was having a negative impact on them. Interestingly they perceived this as a negative state that was detrimental to them moving forward in their life. As I listened to them, their was a common theme, where they were struggling to see the benefits of feeling this negative emotion and instead of leaning into it and reaping the benefits it could provide they were resisting it.

Make sadness your friend!

Some define sadness as a common temporary negative emotion. Professor Joseph Forgas is an Australian psychologist who has spent years researching human emotions and in particular sadness.  In was found in his research research that there are some extraordinary benefits to be gained when in this sad state. Some benefits include being able to perform better, having improved memory and being able to communicate more effectively.

Lean into sadness!

An article in Forbes verifies this research by stating that great emotional courage is essential to great leadership. So by leaning into the sadness allows you to gain traction in your work by harvesting the energies to improve communication, be more focused and attentive with greater purpose.

When we integrate both positive and negative emotions that we are experiencing and leverage the benefits of each of these emotions it makes us more efficient, effective, and are able to gaining clarity, strength and courage. As a result the sadness will dissipate creating space for more opportunities.

When you are more present you can acknowledge your sadness and allow the energy that the emotion brings to create space for more focus, greater purpose, more attention to detail and ability to clearer communication.

Leveraging the positive attributes of sadness!

So this got me thinking that the next time we experience sadness, be mindful and lean into the emotion instead of resisting it and gain:
1. More purpose
2. More Focus
3. More engagement
4. More connection
5. More momentum


  1. Kathy on 8 March 2019 at 13:21

    Hi Joan, thanks for doing an article about sadness – I think there are so many variations of this state that we all experience, at one time or another. Sadness is also part of the human condition – life happens to all of us – good and not so good things happen. I suspect the challenge with leaning into sadness is also about how we manage these times, especially as our sadness can really impact on other people around us. Perhaps the challenge is also about being really honest with why we are feeling sad, where it comes from, what have we done in the past to manage previous forms of sadness, and seeking help to walk through these times. I often wear a signet ring that I have imbued with the message ‘This too shall pass’ – because the truth is that sadness does pass; we can reflect on what we have learned from those times; and continue onward. At least, that is my mantra!!

    • joanmcewan on 12 March 2019 at 14:02

      Thanks Kathy for sharing! I totally agree. How we view things changes depending on where we are at. Its great to open up the conversation x