When asking whether suicidal thoughts are normal, we must first define what normal means to us. I think many people use the word "normal" when they mean "common." Alternatively, we might use the word "normal" when questioning if something is problematic. This definition shifts the question. Are suicidal thoughts common? Are they always problematic? (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Living a Blissful Life
How can we honor someone who has died by suicide? Since suicide is unfortunately common (it’s the second leading cause of death in the US for people aged 15 to 34), it’s likely we all know someone who has died by suicide. A death in that manner can be a sensitive topic. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Let's face it; most people feel uncomfortable when the word suicide comes up in conversation. No one wants to think about losing a loved one to suicide. It can be painful to hold space for someone struggling with suicidal thoughts. You might think, "I don't know what to say. What if I make it worse?" Luckily, providing support to a suicidal friend or loved one is more straightforward than it seems. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
People who have strange dreams can worry that strange dreams and mental health are related, when in fact they may not be. Strange dreams happen for neurotypical people as well as those with mental illness, and these dreams often mean nothing at all.
We all experience anxiety from time to time, and relieving anxiety can be tricky. Some commonly used methods to relieve anxiety actually make it worse. Other attempts at relief just ignore the underlying problem. To get lasting anxiety relief, we must understand which methods help and which ones perpetuate the problem.
You can use a happiness chart to show yourself progress in your mental health journey. I used to believe that intangible items like emotions could not be empirically measured. However, after using a depression tracking application (or "app") for several months, I learned that nearly anything can be measured and graphed.
Healthy self-care is such an essential part of mental health, and it seems everyone is striving to up their self-care game. Here's the thing though -- sometimes when we think we are practicing self-care, we are just numbing out. It can be tough to tell the difference, but if you know the signs, you can make sure you are practicing healthy self-care.
I recently began a new meditation practice where I’ve learned that sounds around me have the potential to become meditation help. The first few minutes of the twice-daily exercise consist of pure mindfulness: noticing what each of the senses is experiencing one by one, then all together.
Setting boundaries for yourself is important, although when we talk about setting boundaries we often refer to boundary setting with others. It is essential to say no to others at times and to advocate for our wants and needs in relationships. However, it is just as important to set boundaries for yourself.
While trying to overcome negative thoughts, you may not have simply given in to them. This surprising method of dealing with negative self-talk can be extremely powerful.