You’re Not Stressed, You’re Sad

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By Muna Gassama

The truth is, you’re not stressed, you’re sad. 

The word stress has become a loaded word throughout the years. People everywhere use it as a means to describe troubled relationships, financial troubles, troubles at work, or even troubles at school. However, it has increasingly been used to mask something more.

It has been used to mask none other than the other “S” word, sadness.

For some, it’s a coping mechanism. Associating your sadness with everything, but what’s actually making you feel the way you do, can temporarily distract you from your real problem, but it will not heal you.

For others, it’s a way of fighting vulnerability to others. Instead of spilling your heart out about what’s really bothering you, you throw out a simple “I’m just stressed” to mask the pain.

Though stress can lead to sadness, they cannot be used interchangeably, nor do they mean the same thing.

It is okay to be sad. And it’s okay to admit that you’re sad.

In a society where even the slightest instance of sadness and the admittance of it is associated with a stigmatized sense of weakness, it is important to understand that everyone gets sad and that’s okay.

Allow yourself to feel what you are trying to suppress, and learn how to deal with those emotions. Genuine stress is a dangerous thing, but so is built up unaddressed sadness.

Healthy emotions are vital to a healthy body, healthy relationships, and healthy actions. So the next time you feel the urge to suppress your sadness with the “S” word, take a mental day.

Buy snacks, cheat on your diet, do not check your email, put your phone on airplane mode, log in to Netflix, blast Beyoncé, and allow the person that knows you the most, your most trusted ally—Yourself, an opportunity to heal.

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