Be aware of what situations and behaviors give you pleasure. When you feel excessively sad and cannot change your attitude, make a conscious effort to take some action that might alleviate your sadness.
If you anticipate feeling sad, prepare a list of things that might make you feel better. It could be talking to a specific enthusiastic individual, running, taking a walk in a quiet area, looking at pictures of family, listening to music, or reading inspiring words.
While our attitude is a major factor in sadness, lack of positive external situations and events play an important role in how we feel.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.180
Use prayer to help overcome sadness. Talk to the Almighty in your own language. Tell Him how awful you feel. Ask Him for the strength to cope with your present difficulties, and to grow from them.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.180
While it is theoretically possible to develop an attitude to totally prevent sadness, the Jewish view is there are times when such feelings are appropriate.
For example, we have an obligation to cry over the death of another person. Also, we should care enough about potential suffering to pray that it will not come. And we utilize these situations as reminders to improve ourselves.
-Sources: from Chochmah Umussar, vol.2, p.203; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.172