26 reasons to live…

20274047889_b923580bc8_b

Life is not a simple gift. We are born and without a say, life is bestowed unto us. However, to continue living is a choice. Life can be beautiful and life can be torture—life is perspective. Other than human beings, there is not a living creature on earth that chooses death. The uniqueness that separates humans from all other living beings is a human’s ability to self-reflect. Self reflection is the awareness of one’s own self; the ability to reflect on and assess one’s behavior, character and purpose. The foundation for humans to rationalize one’s own life and death is built on self-reflection. There are many reasons to continue living, I will illuminate 26 of them.

26 is my lucky number—I am also ever so slightly superstitious so naturally, 26 came to fruition.

Happiness—to a certain extent—is a choice. Chemicals and hormones in the brain are responsible for the, ever so fickle, happiness meter. Some of these known hormones and chemicals are: serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, norepinephrine, phenylethylamine, and endorphins (recent studies suggest—rather than endorphins—an endocannabinoid by the name of anandamide, and or a hormone called ‘leptin’, may be responsible for the ‘runner’s high’ feeling we get after a long run or exercise… see The Real Reason You Get a ‘Runner’s High’ from a Long Run. Each of these chemicals play a major role in one’s mental state. The good news? There are many natural ways to increase the production of each chemical and hormone… even better, most of these venues simultaneously increase the production of multiple chemicals and hormones at the same time.

  1. Happiness is a choiceExercise that body, supplement intake, eat a healthy diet, feel the sunshine, get a massage, practice gratitude, meditate, practice the law of attraction, take a hot bath, cry a little, and so much more!
  2. The future is unpredictable – Life is capricious that way. There really is no telling where you will be, who you will be with or how you will feel in a week, month, or year. What is predictable is how happy you can be in the days to follow. Despite tragedies, loss and heartache, there is one thing for certain—outlook is a choice. We cannot control what happens in the world but we can control how we handle every situation. This is why it is so important to stay positive and believe better things will come. Call me a fool but I do believe in the power of positive thinking—and so does the Dalai Lama. Seeing as how the future is so unpredictable, prepare yourself and manifest happiness today, so that you can reap the benefits tomorrow.
  3. Suicide is unnatural – The thought of suicide is a side-effect from the wrong kind of self-reflection. What is the wrong kind of self-reflection? It is: negativity, criticism, comparison, regret, hate and disconnection from oneself. Remember to dose your mind properly with love and gratitude and you’ll find just the right amount of happiness, levity and forgiveness.
  4. Friends and family – There is something to be said about a human’s necessity to be social. No fellow happy hermits, I have not forgotten about you; I know first hand that alone time is precious and I often look forward to coming home to an empty house. However, it is vital for mental health to balance alone time with social time. Many studies have proven the benefits of being around fellow humans—socializing can indeed increase those finicky ‘feel good’ chemicals/hormones in our brains. Having said this, choosing your friends and which family members you allow close, is equally as important as being social in the first place. Toxic people are draining and pure energy-suckers; open your heart to those who genuinely care about you and protect yourself from those whom are counterproductive to your healing.
  5. Passion – Every person is unique and everyone deserves their own passion. From: arts and crafts, cooking, acting, automobiles, fashion, health, medicine, education, dancing, yoga, beauty, writing, gardening, fishing, sports, flying, singing, comedy, animals, to even love; there are so many wonderful opportunities to find a passion that ignites the fire in your soul. If nothing comes to mind, I would like you to do an exercise…
    • Find a quite place to sit (in nature is preferable, but not necessary). What is necessary is to be somewhere in COMPLETE silence and solitude. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply through your nose (breathe with your stomach, not your chest) and then exhale slowly out of your mouth—straining your breath as you exhale (purse lips into a small o shape). While relaxing your body, let your mind wonder. Frequently, the busy mind will try to redirect your thoughts to focus on stress and distractions, allow these thoughts to come and go without fighting them. Eventually your mind will relinquish to this relaxing state and from here your only focus will be to discover what makes you passionate about life. Take as long as you need and remember, do not fight intrusive thoughts—let these thoughts come and go without adding any extra gravity. Bonus tip: do this exercise at least once everyday, for at least thirty minutes.
  6. Love – Love is the deep affection towards someone or something. You can say love goes hand in hand with passion. This ‘love’ I reference is for your fellow human beings. Today, there are currently 7.7 billion people on earth; it is nearly impossible to not find at least one person on earth you can love—this of course does not include people who suffer from emotional disorders that either make it impossible to love others, or very difficult to. See: disorders. This topic of ‘love’ is especially important for those who have been recently brokenhearted. Heartbreak physically alters the brain’s structure. Understand, there is a process the brain goes through to try to protect and mend the heartbreak. The good news is the mind will let go of what no longer is—if you will it to. Take the right steps, take care of yourself and allow yourself to love again. My personal tips on how to recover and thrive after a romantic heartbreak…
    • Make a long list of your qualities.
    • Manifest an incredibly lovable you—someone who anyone and everyone could fall in love with.
    • Forgiveness—yes, this one can sting a bit (or a lot) but forgiveness is for YOU. Forgiving does not excuse the actions of another person; you are simply recognizing the flaws of another and allowing yourself to separate who you are, from what is not in your control.
    • Recognize the factors of falling in-love. How little control we have for who we love and the measure in which we love them. This goes both ways; you can be the most attractive, smart, funny and desirable person—and someone may still fall out of love with you. One possible reason for this is: being loved has little to do with who we are and so much more to do with whom the person is that loves us. Do not measure your worth with the tools of another; measure your worth by the love and respect you have for yourself.
  7.  Travel – This one is quite simple, however, remember not to travel to run away from your problems; but to seek out pleasures in other places. It is beneficial to remove yourself from a toxic area, with toxic inhabitants, but do so with the mindset that a place is only what you make it.
  8. Goals – The mind thrives on goal reaching. Make a long list of goals and set dates for each one. It is important that these are YOUR goals. Bonus tip: many good goals come to fruition during meditation!
  9. Regret – There are many survivors of suicide attempts and all too often you will hear the survivors say how much they regretted it the ‘moment’ turning back was no longer an option. Please watch this amazing video that perfectly illuminates the reason why you may be so convinced suicide is the answer, until you actually face death.
  10. The child – There is a child in all of us that we stopped listening to. This child whom once ruled our universe has been told to quiet down, grow-up and change. Whether this sweet baby was told by parents, relatives, friends, peers or elders, sometime somewhere this once happy and brilliant young soul was made to believe they weren’t already perfect. A majority of the damage done happens whilst our minds are at their most vulnerable. Whether intentionally, or not, adults project their own unresolved issues unto children and the cycle continues. As adults it is our responsibility to undo the damage done to us so that children will learn to love who they are and pass that quality on to the next generation.
  11. It’s funny – Science points to a strong correlation between laughing and happiness. When life makes you feel dull and numb put on a comedy, listen to a comedian’s podcast, talk to your wittiest friend, go to a comedy show, watch YouTube fails, or funny animals, etc. Often times, people with suicidal ideations will describe a feeling of ‘numbness’ when asked about a current state of being. Laughter is the antidote to numbness and guess what? You don’t have a say when it comes to what your mind finds funny; but you do have control over seeking out the humor in life.
  12. The music – Music can cause many different emotions. Emotions are the key to happiness. If you are sad and depressed listen to music that uplifts your spirit and induces those positive feelings you crave. Bonus tip: singing (good or bad) releases the ‘good stuff’ too.
  13. Change your mind – Perception is everything. “The feeling of being happy or unhappy rarely depends on our absolute state, but on our perception of the situation, on our capacity to be satisfied with what we have.” – Dalai Lama. In the worst of times it is easy to dwell on what we wish wasn’t; how little control we have over the situations life presents us with. You can’t change everything but you can certainly change how you perceive it. Tips on perception:
    • Recognize what is in your control and what is not.
    • See the positive, no matter the circumstance.
    • We never lose anyone in death; living beings simply leave this plane for another, whether that be: heaven, right back on earth, another planet, or any place in your belief system.
  14. Change your body, or not – Body acceptance is vital. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Gluttony is not body positive and neither is starvation. However, a healthy mind leads to a healthy body. There is hard medical backing to the risks of being over- or under-weight, so be able to decipher whether you are flourishing in your temple, or you are eating a big bowl of denial. There is no virtue in ignoring what is healthy for your body by giving ‘social acceptance’ the middle finger. Physical health is a vital step in reaching happiness—but so is loving your body. If there is something YOU do not love about your physical presence, change it—if there is something your neighbor does not love about your body, tell them to eat shit.
  15. The nature – Nature is where it all began. Put simply, if you want to detoxify your mind get away from technology and get out into nature. Studies have proved the mental health benefits of being close to and immersed in all things natural. So go outside, take in some sun, and embrace all of that readily available fresh air.
  16. Sleeping and the possibilities – Did you know lucid dreaming can induce good chemicals and hormones in your waking hours? Sleep studies have shown a major shift in patients’ overall well-being after waking up from a lucid dream. Want to learn how to induce a lucid dream? Click here—get addicted because lucid dreaming is tout naturel!
  17. Show your art – Every single person on earth can be an artist. Art is personal interpretation. There are no mistakes in art and, with practice, anyone can create stunning masterpieces. If you are feeling down and out, find a craft and get to work. Being creative requires the mind to focus on the piece at hand and if you enjoy what you are creating, the added benefits are endless. Lastly, show your art to others who can appreciate it—you might be surprised who will find your work to be ‘just what the doctor order’.
  18. Contagious – Suicide is contagious. When a vulnerable and impressionable person hears of another person committing suicide that alone can be incentive enough for them, when already on the edge, to also follow through. Another contagious act—speaking of your own struggles and allowing yourself to be an example of strength and recovery can make the difference between life and death for another. If at this present moment you cannot think of anything else you can offer to this world, offer your honesty and solidarity to those who may also be suffering from suicidal ideations.
  19. Help, instead – When I first began to have suicidal ideations I kept all thoughts to myself. I didn’t want to be judged, or to be Baker-Acted. I knew I needed help but I always had little confidence in our mental-health system. Instead, I found that trying to help others, in turn, gave me another reason to live. All I needed to know and share was that even though I have suicidal ideations, I do not really want to die; I just wanted a reason to live.
  20. Enjoy praise – Social media has many downfalls and negative features. With abuse, social media can cause quite the disruption in the mental psyche. However, one positive effect of social media is the amount of support and praise provided through this platform. Addiction to social media, is said, to be triggered by the release of dopamine people get from: ‘likes’, comments, and ‘good’ attention on their posts. So if you are feeling down and out, use these platforms to your advantage. Post good pictures, a delicious meal you made, an accomplishment, or even share something funny. Bonus tip: block ALL toxic people from your social media.
  21. You’re a different person than yesterday – My momma used to say, “tomorrow is a new day.” Rolling my eyes and resentment usually followed this advice my mom would give me—while I snot cried into a pillow. The annoying and obvious factor… she was always right. No matter how bad my day was, I would wake up the next morning and things would be different. The difference and amount thereof always depended on my attitude. If you are having a shit day, let it be and go to sleep with the intention of waking up a happier and more positive person.
  22. Look again – People often focus on the negative, the brain is naturally wired to focus on what we do not like. This is due to the primal instinct humans have for survival. However, this is not a necessity for a happy and healthy life. Aside from having a disorder of the mind – the part of your brain that functions to recognize ‘threats’ is working just fine, so give it a rest. Train your mind to focus on every aspect of your body and mind that is valuable and what you know to be good and true.
  23. You’re not a burden – What is correct? A. you are a burden because toxic people have alluded to this, or B. because your mind has rationalized you being a burden based off pure conjecture, the answer is neither—both A and B are false. Unfortunately, not everyone is equipped with the knowledge on what to say, or what to do, for someone whom is suffering from suicidal ideation. What is important in this matter is to decipher whom wants to genuinely help—from whom believes you are a burden. No one on this earth is “better off” without you; people (and children) are simply better off with you as a happy and whole person. Not everyone will understand your struggle, but many will fight for you to stay alive—and many of whom you have not yet met.
  24. Disorder – Suicidal ideations and mental disorders, more times than not, go hand-in-hand. In many cases a mental disorder will cause chemical and hormonal imbalances in the brain; this imbalance coupled with the social stigma of being ‘sick’ is a recipe for psychological disaster. It is hard enough having to navigate through intense, or lack thereof, emotions—but feeling ‘judged’ or ‘different’ from those around is pure gasoline to the fire. Two things must be done—first, one must understand and treat the diagnosis at hand (despite my obvious distaste for most mental health professionals, I do believe there are many knowledgeable physicians and therapists out there—find help that works for you.) Secondly, as a society we must be cognizant of the mental struggles that our fellow humans suffer from. Many people are proficient chameleons at hiding struggles they may be facing; very often a highly functional person, someone anyone might describe as “happy”, is mentally imploding and barely getting through the day.
    • Most mental illnesses are an enigma even to those whom suffer from it; this often makes communication for them difficult. Be kind, be understanding and be as supportive as you can.
  25. The ones left behind – When someone commits suicide, all too often, you hear friends and family say how devastated they are. These loved ones would have done ANYTHING to keep you alive; do not allow them to believe there was something they could have done—that is cruel and unfair. Friends and family do not see you as a burden and if they do, cut them off like dead end hair. For those who are convinced that no one would care if they died, your duty is to seek out those who will and never let them go.
  26. You’re not alone – I do not know your struggle, I do not know what happened in your past, I do not know who holds you back and I do not know what your future holds; what I do know is you are not alone. Set a good example for those who are at their breaking point—you never know who’s life you might save.

Life is unpredictable, what is for certain is how you choose to live it.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “26 reasons to live…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s