Don’t Leave Your Mental And Emotional Health Behind

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Part of achieving a true transformation is figuring out what kind of person you want to be, and what kind of person you are right now. This helps you create a roadmap of how to make progress that really means something to you.

Too often, our emotional and mental health is overlooked when we think of our health goals.

Visitors to our club will have seen one of our main mantras stenciled on one of our walls:

Mind + Body + Knowledge = Energy

Positive energy is the motivation behind everything we do for our members, our club, and ourselves. To highlight the importance of our mental and emotional health, Melissa Howard of is visiting us with this guest article. Enjoy & share amongst your loved ones to spread the importance of this topic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 9.7 million adults
have serious suicidal thoughts each year. The latest research indicates that out of those 9.7
million, 44,193 of them die by suicide. One of the most important findings has been that suicide
can be prevented. The key is in recognizing the warning signs that it’s time to seek help as well
as strategies that lead to emotional wellness.

Warning Signs

  • Talking about wanting to hurt or kill themself
  • Looking for ways to kill themself by seeking access to firearms, pills, or other means
  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and society
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes

If any of these warning signs are observed, don’t be afraid to ask the person if he is having
suicidal thoughts. Confronting the person head on may save his life. Consider the words of
Kevin Briggs, a former police officer who stopped 200+ people from jumping off the Golden Gate
Bridge. In his experience, it’s not just the talking you do, but the listening. He says, “Don’t argue,
blame, or tell the person you know how they feel, because you probably don’t. By just being
there, you may be the turning point they need.”

Steps Toward Emotional Wellness

Most people who contemplate suicide just want the pain to go away. They can accomplish this
by sleeping, abusing drugs/alcohol, or death. Here are four alternatives that lead to emotional
wellness and a reclaimed life:

1. Accept treatment. Because depression is the number one cause of suicide, it (or any
other mental health issue) needs to be treated first. Substance abuse is the second
cause of suicide. When it comes to treating it, inpatient treatment appears to have the
highest success rate. With inpatient treatment, the person is free from triggers and
temptations. They’re able to work on recovery strategies with professionals while
having around-the- clock support. While there, they can gain strength to prevent

2. Don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to those you trust. Find a professional therapist.
Access an online crisis network like ImAlive. It is staffed by a network of trained
volunteers certified in crisis intervention. If all else fails and you are at immediate risk,
dial 911. A well-trained and compassionate police officer will lend a listening ear.

3. Practice self-care. There’s nothing like getting regular rest, good nutrition, and exercise
to help you feel hopeful. This also includes pursuing activities that bring you joy, be it
Bikram yoga, joining a bowling league, or going to church. As you focus on your self-
care and healing, it is advised that you hold off on dating. You need to be whole yourself
before becoming distracted with another person. This is also probably not the best time
to add financial pressure on yourself by making major purchases or starting a new
demanding career. Be gentle with yourself for now. Live simply and seek recovery.

4. Identify your triggers and create a plan. Know what or who sets you off and avoid all
contact. If you have an abusive history with someone, do not engage with them. If you
nearly overdosed on pills, get all pills out of your house. While you are in a place of
strength, write a “contract” that states you will not kill yourself, and share it with your
therapist and loved ones. Include in it a step-by- step plan to follow the next time you feel

No one struggling with feeling suicidal should have to feel shame or isolation. Everyone
deserves to have hope and another chance. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of
the above warning signs, seek help as soon as possible. Call your physician or the National
Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800- 273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting
TALK to 741741.

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