Your thoughts can be extremely powerful and influential to your feelings. Sometimes, they can feel overwhelming. Especially when you start to have thoughts of ending your life. You are not alone. In a New York Times article, it states that the suicide rate is the highest it has ever been in thirty years.
If you are feeling suicidal, it is very important to seek professional help right away. There are trained experts who can compassionately guide you away from suicidal thoughts.
The most important thing to remember is that there is nothing wrong with you. You may be suffering from an anxiety disorder and not even realize it. That is why, it is helpful to your mental health, to talk to someone you trust. Life can seem intolerable at times, and suicide can feel like the only answer.
Dr. Neel Burton explains in Psychology Today, that people who survived suicide attempts were grateful that they made it out alive. When they had thoughts of suicide and attempted to end their lives, they felt that that was the only option, due to the struggles that they were facing and feelings of having no control. They didn’t believe that life would get any better.
The following 12 habits can help redirect your suicidal thinking and give you a sense of control over your life.
1. Avoid Substance Abuse And Replace With Healthier Habits
Studies have shown that the use of drugs and alcohol can increase the risk of suicide and users are six times more likely to have suicidal thoughts. That is why, if you feel that you have an addiction to drugs and alcohol, it is important to change those habits into more healthier ones. If you feel that you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol or both, there are some great rehab resources in your community that can help you overcome your addictions. Even reducing your caffeine intake and decreasing your smoking can help you tremendously. Healthier habits may include:
- Taking a daily walk in nature.
- Starting a workout regime three times per week.
- Trying out a new sport and committing to it at least once a week.
- Journaling day
2. Always Remember That YOU Are In Control Of Your Thoughts
The first thing to remember in order to overcome thoughts of suicide is that: You are in control of your thinking. You have the power to destroy depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety can trigger thoughts of suicide, so it’s important to research ways to have better control of your thinking. The internet is a great tool to start your research. Here are three key words to look into on the internet to help you start in taking control of your thinking patterns:
- Cognitive Behavioral Thinking
3. Be Kind and Loving To Yourself
You wouldn’t treat a small child with negative put downs or judge them whenever they made a mistake? So why would you do it to yourself? Learn to see yourself as a precious child and be kind and loving with yourself. Don’t feel like something is wrong with you when you are having suicidal thoughts. Honor yourself by building healthy boundaries between you and the outside world. Being overwhelmed with your professional and personal life and giving too much of yourself to others, can cause burnout, thus increasing anxiety which can transform into suicidal thoughts. An exercise that you can do to help you feel more acceptance towards yourself, is to write a list of things that you are grateful for of yourself. It could be as simple as; “I get out of bed in the morning”. Continue to add to this list until you are feeling more compassion for who you are.
4. Learn How To Breathe
Breathing is a very valuable tool when it comes to handling thoughts, anxiety, and stress. By becoming more aware of your breath, you are allowing yourself to stay focused on the moment and not only that but breathing more deeply and consciously, increases blood flow to the brain and muscles, which has many health benefits. Studies show that slow breathing can create more long term resilience to stress. A simple way to start an awareness to your breathing is to breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four and exhale out your mouth for a count of 4. Do this 10 times and you will feel the positive benefits right away.
5. Start Seeing A Counselor Or Therapist
Don’t you feel better when you get things off your chest verbally? That’s why it’s a good idea to start seeing a counselor or therapist, especially if you are having thoughts of suicide. A good counselor or therapist is one that you feel comfortable with. This is good for releasing the stress and anxiety. Plus, they have plenty of experience, resources, and suggestions to share when it comes to suicide.
6. Eating Right And Get Plenty Of Sleep
Eating healthy and getting enough sleep are two of the most important tools for a healthy mindset and overall well being. When you treat your body with the utmost care, then you will start to feel your best.
7. Start Volunteering
Studies prove that volunteering can do the following:
- Releases dopamine (The Happy Hormone) which gives you prolonged feelings of happiness.
- Gives you a sense of fulfillment, accomplishment, purpose, and drive.
- Decreases your stress levels and depression due to positive social interactions
- Gives you a sense of meaning in life and something to look forward to.
8. Stay Connected To Friends And Family
A supportive community is vital for feeling supported and valued, especially when you are having thoughts of suicide. If you are, then it’s important to be able to talk openly and honestly to those closest to you, so you don’t have to feel like you are going through it alone or are at risk of harming yourself.
There are always going to be ups and downs to life. Nothing is permanent. When you’re struggling with challenges, it’s good to have the mindset of “this is not forever, I can let go of this thought”. Life will always have its ups and downs and it’s how we react to our circumstances that create negative or positive thought processes.
10. Avoid Negative New
The best thing to do to avoid anxiety and depression which can lead to suicidal thoughts is to turn off the news. Unfortunately, due to circumstances that are happening in our world today, the majority of our news is negative. If you enjoy watching the news, try and search for positive news that is happening around the world which is more uplifting and better for your well-being.
11. Stay True To Yourself
Be true to the person that you are and that you are still here. Aim at living life to the fullest by following YOUR visions and accomplishing YOUR goals. Don’t allow others to dictate your life and control your happiness. It’s important to learn how to set boundaries and goals for yourself that honor who you are as a human being and an individual.
12. Don’t Give Up
Lastly, DON’T GIVE UP on yourself and the belief that you can overcome your suicidal thoughts. A good quote to ponder on:
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie
Having thoughts of suicide can make you feel like you have no other choice but to end your own life. That’s not true. You have many options to take yourself out of that difficult mindset. The list above is just 12 ideas that do work and can help you feel more in control of your life. Once you feel more hopeful, you can add to the list and find more ways of overcoming feelings of suicide that will give you thoughts of wanting to live and move forward in your life.