When Melissa Howard reached out to me to be a guest blogger on my website and write about emotional wellness and suicidal thoughts, it was a no-brainer to say yes.
In my opinion, emotional wellness is so important to everyone’s overall health but so often overlooked or misunderstood. I’m very open about the talk therapy I practice now, but growing up I didn’t always have the right tools or resources. I’m so happy to share this piece with everyone especially in May, Mental Health Awareness Month. I think everyone and anyone could take something away from this wonderful how-to, I know I did. Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your wisdom with us.
Have you ever struggled with suicidal thoughts or untreated depression?
Have you withdrawn from your friends and family or recently struggled with addiction?
Do you ever feel like life is too difficult and it would be easier to just end it? It’s not too late. There are small steps you can take that will drastically improve your mental health and curb suicidal thoughts.
Read on to see how you can change your life around and make it worth living.
Reduce stress at home
A healthy home environment is key to improving mental health. One way you can reduce stress levels while at home is to designate a space where you can meditate. Meditation can bring you a much-needed break from the stressors of everyday life. It can provide you with some inner peace and balance. Simply taking 10 or 15 minutes every morning before you go to work or at night before you go to bed to sit down and breathe can make all the difference. Meditation can increase your spiritual awareness, make you more focused on the present, and increase your overall well-being.
Start a gratitude journal
Did you know that gratitude can provide a wide variety of benefits to one’s physical and mental health? It’s been proven that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression. If you’re having suicidal thoughts or struggling with depression, try starting a gratitude journal. Every morning, write down something you’re grateful for. It can be anything from the meal you cooked the night before to something you did well at work. Making this a habit will help you be more grateful in general, which will help reduce your thoughts of suicide and focus your mind on the present.
Begin an exercise routine
Exercising may be the last thing you want to do when you’re having suicidal thoughts. But, when you burn calories and sweat a little, your body releases stress-relieving and mood-boosting endorphins, which can help curb suicidal thoughts. To get the most benefit and feel your best, aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day. Try and find something that excites you. If running on a treadmill doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, try something out of the box, like yoga, trampolining, soccer, or swimming. When you find an exercise that you enjoy doing, it won’t feel like exercise, and you’ll still get to reap the mental benefits.
Try giving back
Have you ever tried volunteering at your local food bank or animal shelter? Volunteering can provide so many mental health benefits, including making yourself feel valued in your community, as well as making you feel good about yourself because you’re putting others first. Try and line up your volunteering efforts with your interests. If you like animals, volunteer at an equestrian therapy farm. Prefer to help the homeless? Sign up to pack meals for those who are less fortunate. Volunteering can also help reduce loneliness, as you’re typically surrounded by others and meeting new people when doing work.
Get enough sleep
Are you getting a good night’s sleep every night? Try to aim for at least eight hours of sleep. If you’re sleep deprived, that could greatly affect your overall mood and increase depression. Go to bed at the same time every night, including on the weekends. This will correct your internal body clock and give your emotions a boost.
Finding the right balance and seeing the joy in life again is key to improving depression and your overall mental health. If you continue to have suicidal thoughts, make sure to get professional help immediately.
For 24 hour suicidal and prevention hotline support: 1-800-273-8255 www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
To reach Melissa, please visit her website here: http://stopsuicide.info/