There are months where we feel like we’re trapped in a dark pit. No light at the end of the tunnel. Every day is the worst day of your life. Your whole world just collapses in on itself. We might’ve spent years trying to hold ourselves together, being strong for an entire army of people. But some days are so tough, that we can no longer be strong enough just for ourselves. Most people begin contemplating suicide when they feel hopeless. So, in this article, we’re going to share reasons to live to help give you a bit more hope in your tough situation and remind you that we really need you to hold on during this unsettling time.
13 Reasons to Live When You Feel Like Giving Up On Life
1. Your life purpose
The happiest people are driven exclusively by their life purpose. But most people aren’t happy. Some think that you discover your life’s purpose by trying a million things. Or you think you’ll find your soulmate by going on a million, skim the surface dates. And so if you don’t know your life’s purpose, I’ve got good news for you. Today, is the day you’ll discover it. Most people realize their life’s purpose when they experience the worst hardship.
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You want to know the easiest way to dig yourself out of your tough spot? Do an act of kindness every day for the rest of your life. If you do that, I promise you, you will enjoy living again in a matter of months. You’ll find fulfillment and joy in ways you’d never expect. Even if you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness, you’ll find that simple purpose will help you live a little bit longer. How do I know? Well, that’s what I started doing a year ago when I hit rock bottom, and today I’m the happiest person I’ve ever been. When you wake up in the morning, ask yourself, “How can I make someone’s day today?”
2. Emotions are temporary
While moods can last a while, emotions are fleeting. Right now, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed with everything you’re dealing with. Maybe you’ve got a million negative emotions pent up inside of yourself. And it’s slowing destroying everything in you. Sometimes, you just need to let those emotions out. Talk to a friend or family member about how bad your mental health is. Maybe set up a live chat with a trained counsellor to help you clear your head.
When your mind is spiralling out of control, this isn’t the time to make a decision. This is the time to get help. Don’t make a permanent decision over a temporary problem or emotion. If you give yourself an opportunity to get through this, you will. Remembering that hardships, illnesses, emotions, and bad years are temporary is one of the reasons to live another day more.
3. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel
Another reason to live is that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel – even if you can’t see it. There are periods in life where you’ll feel trapped in a dirt pit. But as someone who’s climbed out of them, I can tell you that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, life throws some pretty difficult obstacles our way. Sometimes the whole purpose of an obstacle is to destroy everything you are today to create the best version of yourself for tomorrow. And yeah, it can be tough to watch everything you are collapse.
But one day, you’ll look back at your current situation, hug yourself and think “wow, that was a painful and tough experience. I never realized how much good would come out of that moment but it was brutal to go through.” You’ll likely feel a huge sense of compassion for that former self because you can vividly remember the suffering that went into that experience. But you’ll be able to use that experience to help others.
4. Focus on improving your mental state
When you’re looking for reasons to live because you can’t find hope in your own life and current situation, concentrate some energy on improving your mental state. No epic biography tells the story of a person who experienced hardship and then called it quits. Instead, the stories that make the history books are those of people who struggled so much, didn’t think they had it in them to thrive, but persevered anyways.
What no one ever tells a suicidal person is that sometimes your brain sucks. Sometimes, an unhealthy brain tells you that you’re worthless. A broken brain might surface toxic thoughts telling you that giving up is the best option. Maybe your brain is catastrophizing a situation. It probably started out pretty small, and your brain just kept escalating it until you started seeing a problem magnified 100x with everything that’s going wrong right now.
How do I know? Well, this happened to me last year. I saw a psychiatrist who doubled my medication and within two days my brain went silent. And I was able to start building myself back up again. And yes, there was still a lot of chaos that I had to deal with over the following six months but at least I wasn’t at war with myself anymore.
5. Look at how much of the world there’s left to explore
Even if you were in your 90’s and lived a life filled with love, excitement, and drive, there’s still so much to explore, see, and love in the world. During periods of pain, sometimes we develop an apathy to life. As if we’ve seen or done it all, leaving us feeling empty. In those periods, it’s important to remember that sometimes that left brain of ours is putting some toxic thoughts into our heads. Maybe it’s time to explore some right brain activities like meditation, compassion, kindness, and empathy. The one thing that keeps me hanging on is that there’s always a new person who’s day I could brighten. There’s always another opportunity to make someone laugh. There’s never not a moment where you could make someone smile. And even if every other aspect of your life were the same dull events for years on end, giving your love and kindness to others would make each day feel new and fresh. And the craziest part of this is that by focusing on others, your brain stops beating you up so damn hard, and you begin to heal.
6. Help someone who’s suffering
One of the best reasons to live is that you can take all your experience with suffering and help those who are currently struggling or have mental health issues of their own. If you went through a toxic relationship, were bullied badly, watched a loved one die, survived a terminal illness, or any other huge life challenge, you can help so many people. There might be moments when you think to yourself, “I’m not strong enough to do that.” You’d be surprised at how healing it is to help someone going through what you’ve gone through. By putting on a brave face to give hope to someone else, you end up hearing your own words that’ll help you climb out of your own dark pit.
7. Your legacy
One of the most common reasons to stay alive is to have a positive and lasting legacy. This is particularly relevant for suicide attempt survivors and those struggling with suicidal thoughts due to a mental health condition. Right now, you might be thinking to yourself, “My legacy is tarnished; there’s no way I can rebuild this.” So, let’s talk a bit about people with bad reputations who’ve overcome that and managed to bring joy back into their lives.
First, there’s Robert Downey Jr., a suicide attempt survivor who was cancelled by Hollywood before it was cool to do that. He had a severe drug addiction and behavioral problems. Eventually, someone saw that he had changed and gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. The guy became a superhero (literally): Iron Man. His resilience and transformation inspire many to stay alive and fight for their own well-being.
Taylor Swift also went through a period of a bad reputation, which could have triggered suicidal thoughts. She decided to step out of the spotlight and focus on her creative outlet: writing a new album. She eventually came back into the spotlight in full force. The snake emojis trolls would leave in her social media comments were used throughout her entire marketing campaign. Her story is a testament to the power of taking time for oneself and addressing mental health conditions.
The point is: instead of letting your legacy be about the story of how you gave up on life, take some time out to invest in yourself, to heal, and to come back stronger. Embrace the opportunity to stay alive and tell the story of how when life knocked you down, you trained, learned to jump back up, and found reasons to live and ways to bring joy back into your life.
8. Your pet
When you’re thinking about finding new reasons to live, especially when grappling with mental illness or facing the challenges of teen suicide, your pet might be a good bet. Many people who feel suicidal often feel lonely. Some have lost significant others and spend too much time in their heads, succumbing to the weight of personal expectations. Believe it or not, those who own pets often find that their pets become their reason for living, helping to mitigate the impact of these struggles.
Pets, in their own way, contribute to disease control by providing companionship, emotional support, and a sense of responsibility. Dog owners often receive so much love from their pets, which can be a powerful antidote to the isolation that mental illness and suicidal thoughts can bring. Their dog is constantly excited to see them, offering a constant reminder that life brings joy and affection. They encourage you to go for a walk every day so you can get some fresh air and maybe some sunshine too, both of which are beneficial for your mental health.
Owning a pet gives you something to care about and love. Plus, a pet can really help you step out of your own negativity vortex in your mind.
9. All circumstances change
Bad moments in life are temporary. I know, I know, the pain is at an all time high and this suffering has been lasting for quite a few months now. You can’t take it and you’re reaching your boiling point. Sometimes you’ve got to make a few adjustments in your life to make the chaos and the pain a bit gentler. Instead of scrolling those sad Instagram posts, look up acts of kindness on Instagram. Find social media content about good things happening in the world. Start reading positive books about compassion, kindness, creativity.
Right now, it’s hard for you to see that there’ll be an end to your pain naturally. That’s because your thoughts or your left brain is screaming so loud trying to keep you down. To shut down your thoughts, you need to develop your right brain a bit more. As you develop your right brain by going out of your way to be compassionate, kind, and creative, in a few months you’ll notice you’ve silenced almost all of your toxic thoughts. And you’d be surprised to realize that you really did overcome a bad situation. And all you had to do was some right brain exercises to fix your mental health.
10. You assign the meaning to your life
Many times when people are looking for reasons to live, it’s because they feel like life has no meaning. The thing that they fail to see is that you have the power to assign the meaning. You don’t need to believe in a greater power to have meaning in life. You don’t even have to believe that this world is real to have meaning in life.
Instead of looking for meaning, focus on just enjoying the opportunity. Look, you’re alive. What are the freaking odds. Even if this was all a simulation, how cool would it be to explore new places, try different foods, push your body to greater heights, love someone with all the compassion in your heart, or the joy from seeing someone’s face light up from something you said or did that was out of no expectations kindness. The meaning of life is just to be lived. Have you really given yourself a chance to do that yet?
Every single person in society plays a role. We’re all interconnected with each other in millions of ways. When you lose one member of your community, those thoughts, ideas, experiences, and love that they shared go away with it. When someone we love dies, a part of that was tied to them dies with them. So, if you’re looking for reasons to live, staying alive as long as you can to keep the world whole is a pretty selfless reason. We need you.
We need to hear about that funny joke you read last night that you’ll share with your friends. We need that pep talk that you’ll be giving as soon as you overcome this, because one day we’ll be going through what you’re facing right now. We need your perspective on this problem that we’re trying to solve at work that we just can’t figure out. We need your love, kindness, hope, and compassion because even though you sometimes make mistakes, you’ve got so much love in you to share with the world. Please don’t rob us of that.
12. To experience love
In an episode of Modern Love, you learn the story of an elderly woman who fell in love again after her husband died. The love she experienced with her new partner as a senior was different from her husband but still a beautiful experience. When we lose a spouse or life partner, we begin to feel hopeless as if love will never be the same again. And it won’t be, that’s true. But you can have the opportunity to experience different types of love with new partners throughout your life.
Love should be one the reasons to live that motivates you to hang on a bit longer. We all find love multiple times in our lives. Sometimes romantic, other times companionship. Love is the best reason to hang on. Even if you feel like you’re not getting enough of it right now, there is always someone out there excited to meet someone exactly like you.
13. To discover who you’ll become
Studies show that the expression “you’ll never change” or “don’t ever change” are physically impossible. Think about it. Do you have the same personality as when you were a baby? How about when you were five? 16? 25? 37? Nope? Didn’t think so. We’re constantly changing throughout our whole lives. Every experience we live through shapes us in a new way.
But here’s the best part: you’re the author of your life story and you get to decide how to write your story. You can use this moment of pain and suffering to level you up to greater heights, accomplish things you never knew possible, and experience a life better than your dreams could’ve ever imagined. And even if you were in your 60s or 100s, you can still accomplish any big life goal you have for yourself. As long as you’re alive, you can do anything. Imagine looking back at this moment years from now and instead of feeling sorry for this person, you felt grateful for the person you were because you took a bad moment and created a new opportunity for yourself. Imagine how proud you’ll be of yourself for making the best of a bad situation.
Beyond these 13 reasons to live, there are many more that can keep you alive longer. You’re a miracle. Everything in this world is a miracle. While suffering, a bad year, and tragic loss can be unbearable to deal with, these are the moments that define who will we become. Many people can take their tragic stories to become living legends. And you deserve a place with the greatest people in history. You can shape your story to have more happy moments in it. Your life may be very different right now than it was before which is causing you so much discomfort. But you have the power to build yourself back up to become the best version of yourself as humanly possible.