If you pay attention at all to the news or social media, you have likely noticed that the number of celebrity suicides has increased. When a well-known person, someone of fame and fortune, chooses to take their own life, we tend to notice. These aren’t the people who are supposed to wish to die. They have it all. Having it all does not guarantee happiness or satisfaction in life.
I get it. I wasn’t a celebrity; but from the point of view of others, I had it all. I was engaged to a woman that everyone said was perfect for me. I lived in beautiful Santa Barbara, and was just about to open a second chiropractic office. I had the business. I had the relationship. I had the stuff… and I was miserable. I wanted out. I set the date. I made a plan. I was going to end my life 6 months from that day unless things changed drastically. And change they did. I found an ad in a newspaper that said, “All of life comes to me with ease and joy and glory. Call Shannon.” No idea what that meant, I called. That was the beginning of discovering pragmatic tools that created the change in my life I had desired for so long. The change that I desperately searched for, the joy that I tried countless modalities to find, actually became my reality.
If you have ever considered ending your life, or if you know someone who struggles with thoughts of suicide, here are my top 3 tips. These are the some of the tools I used to go from wishing to die to loving and fully living every moment. And there are so many tools beyond these as well (please see the bottom of this blog for other resources and tools).
1. Don’t Take On Other People’s Stuff
The thing that changed my life dramatically from wanting to die to living happily is a little question I heard, “Who does this belong to?” We are all very aware of the people around us. If we have people around us that are depressed, we often feel depressed; and we then think that we are depressed, when, in reality, we are just aware of others and what they are experiencing.
When you notice feelings of depression or loneliness, stop and ask, “Who does this belong to?” You may soon discover that the depression that you think is yours isn’t. This can change everything. It did for me.
2. Ask Questions
When you ask questions, you open the door for something new to show up. Questions like, “What else is possible?” Or “How does it get any better than this? Or, “I wonder what it would take for this day to turn out better than I could imagine?”
When you ask what else is possible, something greater than you can imagine can show up. When you notice anxiety or stress, and rather than getting overwhelmed you ask, ‘How does it get any better than this?’ you open the door for things to get better.
3. Start a Gratitude Journal
What we acknowledge grows bigger. When you start to focus on the things that you are grateful for, more of those things show up. A great way to be more aware of all of the amazing gifts in your life is to start a gratitude journal and actually write them down.
Each day, write down 3- 5 things that you are grateful for. Include what you are grateful for about you. The first few days it will be easy. You will write down the things you are obviously grateful for. After a few days, you will have to look beyond what you are currently aware of. As you do, you will begin to see that your life is filled with gifts all around. The air you breathe. The beauty of the nature around you and so much more. Focus on gratitude. Gratitude grows.
Life can be a grand adventure. Living can be joy-filled. Remember to ask questions. Write down the things that you are grateful for. Invite ease, joy and exuberance into your world, and choose the happiness that is available.
P.S. Please know there is hope. There is always hope. You are far too valuable to the world. 18 years ago, I made a choice to stay and it was the greatest choice I could have ever made. The tools and the help are available to change everything. For more information and tools I’ve used, please check out my free email series on suicide awareness at www.drdainheer.com/nevergiveup. You are not alone.
P.S.S. And for the full article in Conscious Living TV, please visit here.