We all get a little low at times and we then feel life is too much. Now that is quite human. Indeed, life is complex enough for that. But we can and should make a conscious effort to get out of this mental trap. It is Satan in us that suggests any kind of negativity or violence, including self-harm, and we should never yield to this wicked suggestion.

There can be many reasons for feeling low; some people may think it just happens without reason but it’s not so. For every effect, there is always a cause. The reasons can of course be varied but they always exist.

Whatever the reasons, here are the things that can help us get over depressive and suicidal tendencies, They are: Daily exercise; taking regular sunshine; eating fruits,nuts and seasonal greens; deep and diaphragmatic (abdominal) breathing or better still Yogic Pranayama; faith in a supreme benevolent power; forgiving and loving friends and relatives and praying for others (incl, love for pet, trees etc); accepting others’ right to have viewpoints different from ours, reading scriptures with faith and reverence, etc.

For a person habituated to think negatively, the brain gets hard-wired accordingly. There are neural circuits formed by those habits of thought, and further action only reinforces this, needing more and more self-awareness and will to change the situation. But it never sets too hard to change.

We must basically realize that we are all good, though we fail at times to be good. When we fail, we should not feel unduly and overly guilty – we should just make amends and apologize, and move on.

The world is a school, life is all about learning, each experience being a lesson. Those who commit suicide are drop-outs from this school of life. And what happens to students who take drops? They repeat the class. Those who make a timid or confused escape from life by killing themselves unnaturally and cruelly, repeat that ‘class’, with the disadvantage of an extra karmic debt for killing. A murder is a murder, whether one kills another or oneself. Suicide, in a way, is the murder of the worst kind, because love like charity must begin at home, with oneself.

But those who are more fortunate, stronger and know better, should have empathy for people with depressive/suicidal tendencies and should help them get over it, rather than just criticize.

We should help such people understand that it is in a way selfish to run away from life like that. Everyone has problems, it is how we look at and treat it, that decides whether it becomes a ‘ladder’ or a ‘snake’ in life’s game. Those we leave behind, were not having a cake-walk anyway (if ever walking on a cake was actually easy; wonder how this proverb came into being!); they had their challenges. If one had relationship problems with them, they must have had problems with that person too because it is usually mutual. By suddenly leaving them like that, one makes it even more difficult for them – more lonely and saddened.

Nor is it any fun for those persons themselves, as they soon discover. The whole thing is so unjust. If only one could pause for moment to take another perspective before harming oneself !

We are responsible for our thoughts which become our actions; life is a sum total of these thoughts and actions. If we are not feeling positive about our life, in stead of regretting and feeling low or finding a timid escape, we should take charge of our own selves, and change our thoughts and actions. Little success will motivate us further. If our today is sad because of bad things we did yesterday, we can improve tomorrow by doing right things today. Good or bad, life is always a journey; progress or regress, it always happens bit by bit. Life is never so bad that it can’t get good again. Hope is our eternal truth. That is religious faith in practice.

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