19 October 2013

Emotions: SADNESS

The first question we should ask ourselves to understand sadness is: What is sadness?

It is a basic emotion produced by the experience of loss of attachment figures or personal goals. When talking about normal sadness (not chronicle sadness), we would say it is context specific and proportioned to the importance of the loss. Furthermore it is temporally limited, in other words, you can't be sad forever, it ends at some point.
Attachment is very related with sadness, for example when we loose someone we love, when a child separates from her/his mother, ...

It is also very important, in order to understand emotions to know why we have that feeling, so the next question to ask ourselves should be: What is the function of sadness? and What provokes sadness?

Sadness has social and personal functions. It is a way of attracting social support. When someone is sad, people tend to help that person, care about them and try to make them feel better. Humans have prosocial behavior. Furthermore it is a way to protect ourselves from negative future outcomes. If we are aware that something sad is gong to happen, the sadness when that event occurs isn't so strong.

Sadness can appear for several reasons such as: personal losses ( the death of a loved one, loss of intimate relationship, social rejection), social losses (loss of job or social status),   or helplessness (being unable to achieve your goals).

Finally, I will explain what we feel when we experience sadness

When we are aware of the sadness we tend to have ruminative thinking, in other words, think about what makes us sad all the time. We have a feeling of helplessness, we believe we are not going to get over the problem and feel it is not worth fighting because we are not going to get anywhere with that. Finally, we also have bodily sensations, like feeling dizzy, not eating, being tired, etc...

1 comment:

  1. Mágnífico artículo. Interesantísimo y muy bien expuesto.