DEALING WITH DARK THOUGHTS, NEGATIVE THINKING AND THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE
FOR HELP REDUCING NEGATIVE THINKING AND DEPRESSING THOUGHTS
There's something about the middle of the night - the hour of the wolf - that calls forth our darkest fears and fantasies. Every shadow seems to conceal some unknown threatening something - foreboding, dangerous or sinister. Somehow things seem bleaker at 4:00 a.m. than they do at 10 a.m. - a lot bleaker. If you are suffering now from dark feelings there are some things you can do to help yourself.
1. YOU'VE TAKEN A POSITIVE STEP
First, it's important to acknowledge the positive step you've taken in coming to this site and seeking support. That shows that you don't want to be dragged down by your negative thoughts - and that's a good sign indeed. You want to help yourself to feel better. Good. That's a very healthy desire.
2. YOU ARE NOT ALONE - truly.
Know that you are not alone. As you are feeling dark and perhaps tormented now by your fears and inner demons, so are others feeling those feelings. You are not alone in your suffering. No matter how alone you feel, you truly are not alone.
3. A STRANGE FACT
Know that no matter how bleak things appear right now, come daylight they will appear less bleak. It's just one of those strange facts that we don't understand completely - but we know is true.
4. THERE IS HELP
No matter how dire the problems you may be dealing with - there is help - there is hope - because there are always people who care - whom you can turn to and seek comfort and guidance from. Perhaps it also helps if you understand that these people whom you can turn to want to help you. There are many caring, helpful people in the world - people who like to help others - who get pleasure and satisfaction from helping people who need help. No matter how far gone you may feel you are - there are people out there who will listen to you and want to help you. You simply have to get yourself into position to receive that help. That is, in order to receive that help, they've got to know about you. They can only know about you if you somehow find a way to contact them and let them know of your situation.
Sometimes it's just a matter of looking up a source on the Internet - or a number in the phone book or Yellow Pages - and, bink - a few minutes later, there you are, talking on the phone or the web - even at 4:00 in the morning - with someone who can help you. If you are suffering now from dark feelings there are some things you can do to help yourself.
First, to help you to relax and be receptive to the help that we offer here, we suggest you start with a few relaxation breaths. Takes just a minute and really helps.
Here we go...
1. Take a deep, deep breath through your nose. Deeeeep - and slow - and release it slowly through your pursed lips - like blowing a kiss - all the way out...
2. Once more - another deep, deep breath - in through your nose - count up to 8 - sit up straight so you can fill your lungs all the way to the bottom - and very slowly, very gently - out through your pursed lips as you count down from 8...Close your eyes, relax your muscles and allow the tension to leave your body.
3. And one more deeeeep breath - in through your nose - and - blow kiss - out slowly and gently through your pursed lips. And relax your muscles - all over - every muscle - just relaaaax - like butter - like crusty, old snow melting on a sunny, spring day - from the tip of your head to the tip of your toes.
Feel a bit better? We hope so.
DEALING WITH UNWANTED NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
If you are awake because horrible, dreaded thoughts come into your mind - thoughts about sickness, death, violence and torture or other terrible things - here is something you can do that can help: You can tell those thoughts to go away. Simply say to them, "Go away bad thoughts. I don't want you disturbing me. Get out, go away and stay away." You might be surprised how effective that command can be! And the more often you employ it, the more it will help you rid yourself of these unwanted, hurtful fantasies.
If the thoughts persist, and you would like to be free of them, we recommend that you go to our segment on SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP .
DEALING WITH THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE
There's something about the middle of the night....
If you find you are thinking of suicide, you are dealing with an emergency that must be treated as an emergency - that is immediately - right now. The fact that you have come to this site shows that you want to live, that you really want to deal with your problems - and that you recognize that there is help out there - in the world. And it indicates that you would like to get the help you need. We encourage you to do just that - without delay.
We recommend that you call a Suicide Help Line right now - no matter what time of day or night it is - many services are open 24 hours. For telephone numbers of Suicide Prevention Lines look up in the white pages of your telephone directory under "Suicide."
Also, you can search the web for sites that will give you numbers to call. And you can always call 911 in an emergency. Or go to your local hospital emergency room. Please remember this.
Also try to remember this: THERE ARE ALWAYS MORE GOOD REASONS TO STAY ALIVE THAN TO QUIT.
And - SUICIDE IS NEVER A GOOD SOLUTION TO ANY PROBLEM - NO MATTER HOW HOPELESS THINGS APPEAR.
Try to remember that everyone has problems. Problems are part of the nature of life. Perhaps you feel that others don't have the problems you have. And maybe they don't. But be assured they've got plenty of their own! Most of us do. In fact, having problems is a great deal of what life is about. Working to resolve those problems is the major challenge of life. Do you really want to cut out on the "movie" of your life?" - the "story" - "novel" you're creating - before you find out how things turn out? Do you really want to take away any chance that you can make changes that will help yourself?Sometimes we get all wound up with our problems and lose perspective - we can't see a way out. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a way out - simply that we can't see it - for the moment. Just talking your problems over with someone else - especially someone knowledgeable and helpful - who knows what to say to comfort you and help you - can open up new possibilities that you couldn't see before - possibilities that change everything.
Also - try to remember this: As long as you're alive, suicide is always an option. As long as you're alive, you can consider the possibility of suicide. But once you've killed yourself - well, you've taken away your options - no more left - and that's the end of all the challenges for you. You can always kill yourself - tomorrow. But why not put off that action for now and see if things don't improve? Perhaps there are more things you can do to help - more stones to turn over to resolve your situation - and most especially to get yourself help from someone who can truly help you.
So, since suicide is always an option - why not put it off - just for today - and see if you can't find a better solution, somewhere, somehow...
It's also good to remember that we are not always in control of every situation we must deal with in life. Catastrophes happen - many of us have suffered terrible losses in our lives. But that is part of the nature of life - that there are going to be terrible difficulties, great lonliness at times - pain and sorrow - yes, these are a part of life. But no matter how painful things are now - that doesn't mean they can't or won't get better - especially once you get yourself some help - with someone kind and sympathetic and skilled at helping people like you.
Remember the Alcoholics Anonymous prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Sometimes we've got to just stick out a tough situation 'til things change - which they almost always do - eventually. The fact that you may be dealing with a tough or bleak or lonely time for you doesn't mean it won't change. Most likely it will - especially if you go out and get yourself the help that you need. You can start that process of change, by getting the help you need. You might be surprised how much better you will feel, once you actually pick up the phone and make arrangements to get yourself some help.
Here we must state again, in the strongest terms, that SUICIDE IS NEVER A GOOD SOLUTION TO ANY PROBLEM.
We urge you to try to remember that everyone's got problems - plenty of problems - terrible problems. You're not the only one. No matter how terrible your current situation, we are quite sure that there are others who have worse problems.
Life is a series of challenges. Very few people have things easy or soft. How we handle the challenges of life is what makes the difference between having a full, satisfying, workable life - or having a frustrated, unhappy life.
Also try to remember that things look darkest before the dawn.
No matter how desperate and hopeless things appear in the middle of the night, they will appear very different come morning. This is just one of those truisms of life. And another is that there are always people who can and will help you with your problems - people who want to help you. We urge you not to ignore the many wonderful resources that can help you. Make use of them. Many people who have dealt with terrible problems or crises and have seriously contemplated suicide - even gone to the brink - but then either changed their minds or were rescued by luck and circumstance - these people will tell you how happy they are that they didn't "succeed" with their plan - how grateful they are to still be alive and to have had the experiences that came after that dreadful moment. Mostly they will tell you how much value there is in staying alive and facing your problems and seeing the beauty in what you have - rather than the bleakness of your immediate situation.
If you are contemplating suicide, that's a sign that you need help - two kinds of help. First you need immediate help with the situation at hand. And secondly you need on-going help getting your problems resolved on a deeper more lasting basis so that suicide no longer crosses your mind so easily.
Don't delay getting help. Even thinking about suicide is a sign that you should be getting help for yourself. We wish you well.
SUICIDE HELP IN THE NEW YORK CITY AREA
Here are 3 numbers you can call for help in the New York City area:
For 24 hour help, call the Suicide Hotline Samaritans at 212-673-3000. Or you may call 1-800-LIFENET - that is, 1-800-543-3638 - 24 hours, seven days a week.
From 9 am to 11 pm you may call 212-222-7666.
If this is an emergency you should call 911.
If you're feeling extremely nervous - anxious - hyper - upset - angry - these are often signs that something bigger - and more complex - is going on under the surface - something that would best be resolved through professional help. And if that's the case, you're not helping yourself by delaying action. You will help yourself best by seeking appropriate qualified help at the nearest opportunity. Or, you may find that there are too many problems in your life right now - or you're not coping well with your problems or tasks in life - or you have so many problems you feel overwhelmed. This is another indication that professional help is called for. You will feel a great deal of relief once you find a good therapist to help you work through your problems.
If you are dealing with an addiction, there are many programs to help you. All of these are serious problems that require professional help. For more information and guidance go to our segment on SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP.
If you have been up for a while now and it's late - too late to get a good night's sleep - we offer some TECHNIQUES to help get you through the day when you're feeling wretched from sleep deprivation.
You may find our AFFIRMATION TO HELP CALM YOU DOWN FROM DEPRESSING THOUGHTS helpful. (Just scroll down a bit more...)
If the thoughts persist, and you would like to be free of them, we recommend that you consider professional help. For information see our segment on SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP.
IF YOU ARE UPSET OR DISTRESSED
If you are dealing with extreme upset or distress or emotional problems that you feel are overwhelming, the most effective long-term resolution for that, we believe, is to seek professional help without delay. For instance if you find that you're feeling consistently overwhelmed or sad or discouraged or lonely or negative or perhaps are thinking of death often - in other words you're depressed and/or distressed - we believe you ought to seek professional help as soon as possible - without delay.
AN AFFIRMATION TO CALM YOU DOWN FROM DEPRESSION AND NEGATIVE THINKING
Read each statement outloud, (softly) to yourself. Saying it outloud - to yourself - makes it most effective.
I take good care of myself;
I take good care of myself by taking positive actions to help myself;
I enjoy taking good care of myself;
I take good care of myself even when I feel down;
I am taking care of myself now by soothing myself;
I am soothing and calming myself;
I am taking care of myself now by letting go of my negative thinking;
I am letting go of my depression;
I am allowed to let go of my depression;
I am allowing myself to let go of depressing thoughts and negative thinking;
I am allowing myself to relax;
I am letting my muscles relax;
I am calming down and relaxing now;
I am releasing all tension;
I am releasing all negativity and sadness;
I let all these tense, negative feelings fly away;
I am letting go of depression and sadness and negative thinking;
I can picture a little trap door on the top of my head;
I open this little door on the top of my head and let all negativity and depression and sadness fly away from within me;
I am releasing all negative thoughts and depression from my system;
As I release negativity and depression, I am feeling more and more relaxed;
I am allowing myself to feel very relaxed;
I am letting my muscles relax;
My muscles are relaxing;
All the muscles in my body are relaxing;
I am allowing myself to drift into a restful sleep;
I am allowing myself to fall into a deep and satisfying sleep;
As I relax I feel myself getting more and more sleepy;
I feel peaceful;
I am allowed to feel peaceful and good,
I am now allowing myself to feel peaceful and good,
I feel sleepy,I am feeling very sleepy;
I am feeling very peaceful and very sleepy;
I am feeling very relaxed and sleepy;
I am ready to fall asleep now;
I'm happy to fall asleep.
Now at this point, place yourself in a beautiful, peaceful, pleasurable environment - perhaps some place where you've been in the past, some place where you have happy memories - or maybe some place you can simply imagine - like a beautiful tropical island - or a lovely garden on a perfect spring day - or a fairytale castle - and see yourself in that lovely, peaceful place - experiencing a sense of peace and enjoyment....
This concludes this set of Affirmations.
We hope you have a good night's sleep.
If you have been up for a while now and it's late, too late to get a good night's sleep, we offer some TECHNIQUES to help get you through the day when you feel wretched from sleep deprivation.
Click for information about SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP.
For information about USING PRAYER TO HELP, go to our segment on that (see navigation bars to the left).
We wish you a good night's sleep...
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