How To Turn Sadness Around In Seconds

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Have you ever felt like your heart was just – lumpy, heavy, small? Not depressed, not angry, not “down,” just more like an “ache”?

When that happens to me, it’s like all I’m sewed up – like an embroidery or needlepoint. It feels like everything’s tight, nothing’s loose, and there’s an edge to every thought. And – what I really notice is I can’t put my finger on the reason for it.

I’ve figured out a way to make this work FOR me, so try it and let me know if it works for you:

I started noticing when this feeling comes on that I’ve gotten triggered by something. I might be driving home from an appointment in a neighborhood that holds lots of memories for me – good ones and some weird old ones, or I might have met someone who looks like someone I once knew – doesn’t even have to be someone who once hurt me – all that has to happen is that that person brings back the TIME, long ago, when I felt bad.

Then I noticed, when I used my Tools and started relaxing parts of my body – shoulders first – a burst of sadness would come through me. You’d think the sadness would feel worse – but it doesn’t – try it yourself. The sadness feels BETTER. It’s like a relief. It’s like you can RECOGNIZE the feeling, even if you don’t know why you’re feeling it.

And then – here’s the really cool part – instead of going back to that time, or trying to figure out what’s bothering me in my HEAD, I DELIBERATELY continue to TRIGGER MYSELF. That’s right – I make it worse.

So – if it’s the neighborhood, I’ll drive around, I’ll actually LOOK for triggers, looking to BRING OUT the feelings. I keep letting go of my shoulders and then there’s more sadness. And then I see it’s a bit gray outside…more sadness….

NOW, I’ll start talking to myself. Try it: Ask questions. Ask, “Okay, what’s going on here?” Perhaps you can put your finger on some things: “I feel nostalgic for an old time, and I’m starting to feel fear, as though I’m running backwards over my life because there’s a wall in front of me and my life’s about to end. I feel a doomsday feeling, where I don’t want to move another minute ahead in time – I just want to go back somewhere safe. Or – I’m thinking about HIM – a man who hurt me.”

Try to keep it all about FEELINGs, about sensations in your body. Really try to tune into your body instead of trying to THINK it through with your brain. You can get some great help here from my Body Dialogues in my Heart Connection Toolkit – for now just focus in on the physical and the emotional, and steer your thoughts away as you just continually “drop into” your body and your heart.

Try this today, let me know how this feels to you, and we’ll go further in the next posts…


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  1.  #1Lynn on July 11, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Hi Rori,

    This is an incredible thing that I have been doing already for the past while. It has been a challenge because these feelings come up sometimes when I am not in a situation that makes it easy to deal with, such as looking after all my kids. My kids pick up on it and that makes for a bad mood at times. It helps though to dig it up and get with it, get it out there and dealt with. I find that it makes me stronger and healthier the next time things feel this way. The fear gets smaller, the triggers get weaker, until I can be in that area of my feelings and not get all intense and anxious.

  2.  #2Rori Raye on July 14, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Lynn, Welcome – and I’m so happy you brought this up. Don’t stuff your feelings so that your kids have to “pick up on them.” What you want to show them is how to be IN TOUCH with feelings – that’s how to help your kids in this world. This means you say – straight out – “Oh, kids, I’m feeling a bit blue today…just a bunch of things, but seeing your lovely faces makes me smile, and I don’t want to pretend I don’t feel blue – because I want you to feel okay feeling blue, too, if you ever do…hey – anyone want to join me in painting a blue picture?”…In other words…a bad “mood” is what happens when you don’t feel you have the right to feel what you feel. Just go there, and then go somewhere else? Whoops – this is post worthy – going to put it up now…Love, Rori

  3.  #3Lynn on July 14, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Hi Rori,

    Thanks for replying to my comments. I have kids with disablities and that in itself is a challenge. Dealing with other people is always a challenge too and it feels good to hear from you about feeling like we don’t have the right to feel what we are feeling and the bad mood that comes with it. I have found many relationships with people are like this because I think we buy into their “how dare you feel that way, and if you feel that way I am going to take something away from you to make you hurt”! Then we hurt even more if we buy it! It’s the loses that make me stronger I think, especially after standing up for myself. Thanks Rori

  4.  #4KristinLue on May 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I have instinctively enduced more sadness when feeling sad since I was young. I would get it all out then finally get annoyed with myself enough to move on and really leave it behind and be “done” rather then push it down, wallo in it for seemingly forever because it is never addressed and lingeres like a cold passed from person to person w/in a household. I guess I instinctively saw not dealing with feelings as more masochistic (sp?) then enducing it. My friends would give me the wierdest looks when I told them what I did when I was sad or depressed (like homeopathic psych) but I eventually converted them to the “purge it out to reconnect w/ your joy side!”
    Glad to see others get it too!
    Thanks for all you do to help others!

  5.  #5KristinLue on May 17, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Oh and I found Steele Magnolias, Fried Green Tomatoes, and recently P.S. I Love You or The Family Stone are great triggers for when you can’t find some good sad songs or other triggers!

  6.  #6Pat on December 13, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I’m feeling blue and overwhelmed.
    What makes this hard is that I am in a healing profession. (so add guilt to this)
    I do all of the suggestions you mentioned but sometimes-you have to allow yourself to feel anger,grief . Today -I’m going to be a hermit and do something nice for myself and just be…
    I guess that’s a good start…I know exactly what triggered my emotions…but it’s not always easy to let it go…Writing helps me.