We live in an age when most reality TV shows climax in a tearful finale. But feeling sad – genuinely sad – is still taboo. Yet, sadness happens to us all, sometimes in heartbreakingly awful ways. If we don’t know how to be sad, it can be isolating for those experiencing it and baffling for those trying to help loved ones through dark times.
Today, most of us know intellectually that ‘sad’ is normal. But we’re not always brilliant at allowing for it, in practice. Sadness is going to happen, so we might as well know how to ‘do it’ right. And it’s time to start facing our problems and talking about them. Positive psychology may have become more accepted in mainstream culture, but rates of depression have continued to rise.
We’re trying so hard to be happy. But studies show that we could all benefit from learning the art of sadness and how to handle it, well.
PUBLISHED BY FOURTH ESTATE
I finished this book with tears in my eyes! Not because it was a tragic ending, but because it was hopeful and refreshing – you aren’t alone!!
We live in a world that is based on ‘being happy’, seemingly at all costs for some, and this book gives a fascinating balance to that saying we need to embrace the negative more instead of trying to shut it out and avoid it all costs! Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, and we need to take more in our stride and deal with the differing emotions that life throws our way in a more pro-active way, instead of trying to shut out all feelings with pills and medication.
The author delves heavily into her own life which is full of heartbreak and has led her on the path to trying to understand why she feels the way she does. From childhood, to her present life, she looks back at the different stages and events that have shaped her as a person. And how as a society we are encouraged to dismiss all the bad stuff and strive for happiness 24/7! That isn’t humanly possible! But society tells us it is as we scroll through various social media sites, seeing the happy posts of people, and this book does a brilliant job of looking behind the curtain on a number of issues of how ‘sadness’ is perceived.
She also talks to a number of well known people on their own battles with expressing their emotions in life and that was quite illuminating. The public image versus the personal battles, and that’s another way in which social media has skewered our views on people.
From the role of parents trying to suppress their childrens’ emotions – quick, buy them stuff to make them happy all the time! – to how as adults we find it difficult to express our feelings and feel ashamed to be truthful or ask for help when we are suffering. It also explores different ways of getting out of your head, so to speak, in the form of therapy, medication, reading, being in nature – and the importance of switching off from the digital world for your own wellbeing, something I always feel better for doing.
This was a really well written book, full of so much honesty and great advice and information.