Suicidal thoughts, or suicide ideation, refers to thinking about or planning suicide. Thoughts can range from creating a detailed plan to having a fleeting consideration. It does not include the final act of suicide. Many people experience suicidal thoughts, especially during times of stress or facing mental or physical health challenges.

Suicidal thoughts are a symptom of an underlying problem such as depression. Most people who have suicidal thoughts do not make suicide attempts, but suicidal thoughts are considered a risk factor. During 2008–09, an estimated 8.3 million adults aged 18 and over in the United States, or 3.7% of the adult U.S. population, reported having suicidal thoughts in the previous year. An estimated 2.2 million in the U.S. reported having made suicide plans in 2014. Suicidal thoughts are also common among teenagers.

If you feel frustrated from your life stressors and think about self-harming, the article will help you deal with such suicidal ideations. Here are 40 effective ways that are described to deal with suicidal ideations and fight depression.

Self-help to deal with suicidal ideation

1. Monitoring daily routine

A healthy daily routine can have a positive influence on a person’s life. When you have a productive daily routine, you will feel comfortable and more relaxed. When we are stressed out, we are intended to look for negativity and self-harm attitude. To overcome the stressful situation and depressing environment, monitoring daily routine helps you control your time. You will feel more realistic and organized.

This behavior will make you help in dealing and combating over suicidal ideations. You will start taking life in a more meaningful way.

2. Change daily routine

When you keep monitoring your daily routine, you will get an idea of what is lacking and what you have to achieve daily. If your daily routine is not productive enough, then you will strive to make it at your best.

The aim of life makes you free of other stressors, and you will strive hard to do your best for it. Hence, your suicidal ideations and depressive feelings get catered.

3. Get quality sleep

Exposure to sleep deprivation impairs attention on simple tasks and increases stress. Sleep deprivation makes us moody and irritable and impairs brain functions such as memory and decision-making.

Getting enough hours of high-quality sleep fosters attentionand concentration toward life goals. Rest also supports numerous other aspects of thinking, including memory, problem-solving, creativity, emotional processing, and judgment. By having enough sleep, you will be able to overcome depression and suicidal ideations.

4. Get moving

You might feel that exercise is the last thing on your mind. But in real, regular exercise makes you feel less tired and lethargic in the long run to have more energy. Start doing small exercises and gradually grow up. You can opt for cycling or fast walking.

This activity will help you free of suicidal ideation and negative thought patterns.

5. Spend time with loved ones

Being physically present with loved ones creates strong emotional support to buoy you up through life’s challenges. It will keep you motivated and enjoyable toward your self and life. Ultimately, you will feel away from negative self-harm attitude and suicidal ideations.

6. Eat a mood-boosting diet

We often turn to comfort foods packed with unhealthy fats, sugar, and refined carbs in times of stress. But these foods, along with too much caffeine and alcohol, can adversely impact your mood. Instead, focus on fresh, wholesome foods whenever possible and increase your intake of mood-enhancing nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids.

7. Reach out to other people

Isolation fuels depression and suicidal ideations, so reach out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or don’t want to burden others. The simple act of talking to someone face-to-face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesn’t have to be able to fix you. They need to be a good listener, someone who’ll listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.

8. Pay attention to warning signs

Work with your healthcare provider or therapist to learn about the possible triggers for your suicidal ideations or feelings. This will help you recognize the signs of danger early on and decide what steps to take ahead of time.

It can also help to tell family members and friends about the warning signs so they can know when you may need help.

Pay attention to warning signs

Core conducts of life

9. Stay hopeful to overcome suicidal ideation

No matter how bad your situation may seem, know that there are ways of dealing with the issues you face. Many people have experienced suicidal ideations and survived, only to be very thankful later. There is a good chance that you’re going to live through your suicidal feelings, no matter how much pain you may be experiencing right now. Give yourself the time you need and don’t try to go it alone.

10. Engage again with the world

Spend some time in nature, care for a pet, volunteer, and pick up a hobby you used to enjoy (or take up a new one). You won’t feel like it at first, but as you participate in the world again, you will start to feel better.

11. Remember personal goals

Everyone wishes for something for themselves. You may have always wanted to travel to a particular place, read a specific book, own a pet, move to another place, learn a new hobby, volunteer, go back to school, or start a family. Write your personal goals down and focus on achieving that goal.

Focusing on self and personal goals keeps you away from suicidal ideation, self-harm, and depression.

12. Remind yourself of recovery

Part of recovering from depression is learning to overcome these thoughts and feelings without getting further bogged down on yourself for having them.

Remind yourself that recovery is possible. Many men have had similar thoughts and feelings about suicide and survived; even men who have tried to take their lives multiple times have recovered.

13. Slow breathing

Suicidal ideations can be scary, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Slowing your breathing helps reduce your heart rate while also shifting your attention away from whatever thoughts you’re having.

Take a few deep inhales and exhales to regain control of your breath – four seconds in, hold for four, four seconds out, hold for four – repeat. If four seconds is too long, start shorter and try to work your way up.

14. Refocus to get rid of suicidal ideation

There are many ways to do this, and some will work better for you than others. The goal is to work towards shifting your attention away from the negative thoughts of hurting yourself onto something else. It can be challenging at first, but the more you practice, the more you’ll be distance yourself from these unwanted thoughts.

15. Be kind toward self

Just as your suicidal ideations or thoughts took time to appear, so it will take a while for them to fade. Live from day to day, and don’t expect too much of yourself. Even if you can’t see a way forward now, you can be certain that the way you think and feel about things will change.

16. Avoid drugs and alcohol

Drugs and alcohol can increase depression, hamper your problem-solving ability, and can make you act impulsively. It may be tempting to turn to illegal drugs or alcohol during challenging times. However, doing so can make suicidal thoughts worse. It’s critical to avoid these substances when you’re feeling hopeless or thinking about suicide.

It is essential not to use nonprescription drugs or alcohol when you feel hopeless or think about suicide.

Grow resilience to get rid of suicidal ideation

17. Please don’t do things that make you feel worse

Listening to sad music, looking at certain photographs, reading old letters, or visiting a loved one’s grave can increase negative feelings. Sometimes people mean well, but their attempts to help are anything but helpful. Most of the time, if someone does something that does make you feel good or avoid suicidal ideations.

18. Don’t be alone

Loneliness can make suicidal ideations even worse. To fight depression and self-harm thoughts, kindly visit a friend or family member. You may pick up the phone and call a crisis helpline.

Don't be alone

19. Develop new activities and interests

Find new hobbies, volunteer activities, or work that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose. When you’re doing things you find fulfilling, you’ll feel better about yourself, and feelings of despair are less likely to return.

20. Practice thought awareness

You should work on managing the negative thoughts or suicidal ideations and focus on consistently practicing positive thinking. One way to become more aware of your thoughts is to observe your stream of consciousness as you think about a stressful situation. Do not suppress any thoughts: instead, just let them run their course while you watch them and write them down on our free worksheet as they occur.

21. Learn from mistakes

In the worst situation, when there are ongoing negative thoughts surrounded by a person, it is difficult to cut yourself off. It would be best if you tried to see mistakes or failures as lessons learned or as opportunities to try something in a new way.

22. Maintain perspectives

It’s time to remind yourself that while any crisis may be overwhelming at the moment, allow time to reframe perspective can be beneficial. If a circumstance changes, even though it may initially seem intimidating, you can maintain perspective, find a way forward, and learn from the situation.

23. Develop strong relationships

You cannot live alone and survive alone. Accept that you need emotional and social support. No one person can overcome and battle suicidal ideation or feeling of depression; we all need a strong support system.

24. Ask for help when you need it

It’s okay to ask for help. It is okay to visit a physician or psychologist to know and to adapt yourself better.  Asking for help is the best step you can take when trying to overcome suicidal ideation.

25. Make a distraction box

Make a box, fill it with things that provide comfort, remind you of the good things in your life, and help lift your mood. You can include anything meaningful and helpful to you, e.g., a book, photos, letters, poems, music, notes to yourself, a toy, perfume, jokes, etc.

26. Write down your feelings

Keeping a journal or diary can help you understand what you’re thinking or feeling or how you’re reacting to situations in your life. It can also make it easier for you to find different solutions to any problems you’re facing.

27. Learn from others

Reading about other people who have managed difficult times can be inspirational. Humans are better than any other animals at learning from one another. Take advantage of this superpower and learn from as many people as possible.

Learn from others

28. Remove yourself from the situation

When you’re depressed or having suicidal ideations, out of work, and isolated from your social network, the negative thoughts running over and over in your head can seem never-ending. But you can break the cycle by focusing on something that adds meaning and purpose to your life.

Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, like a new language or a musical instrument? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to write a novel, take up cooking, or grow your vegetables? Focusing on a project or goal, even a small one, can give you a welcome break from negative thoughts and worries; and add a sense of meaning to your days.

29. Check yourself in

Think about what kind of help you may need when you feel unwell. You may want friends to visit you, or help you with the shopping or cooking. Let people know, so they can do their best to support you.

Write down what helps you to feel better about yourself or what helps you when you’re feeling distressed. This might include going for a walk or talking to someone you trust. Refer back to your plan when you need to.

Hold beliefs in loved ones

30. Encourage to express feelings

Talk to someone you trust about what’s on your mind whenever you need to. Keep a list of phone numbers of people you could call. If you’re unsure who you can talk to, try phoning a helpline or texting a text counseling service.

Even though you may feel like withdrawing, ask trusted friends and acquaintances to spend time with you. 

31. Keep safe

Try to remember that thoughts about killing yourself are just thoughts. You don’t have to act on them, no matter how overwhelming they are or how often you have them. You won’t always have these thoughts.

Remove anything that you could use to harm yourself, or ask others to do this with you.


32. Antidepressants

Antidepressant medications are designed to change chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain that affect mood and emotions. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. They are highly effective and generally cause fewer side effects than the other antidepressants.

33. Anti-anxiety

For immediate relief, some of the anti-anxiety medicines are benzodiazepines, serotonin reuptake inhibitors. I suggest visiting a doctor who can recommend medicine according to your health.

34. Anti-psychotic

A medication (or another measure) that is believed to be effective in the treatment of psychosis. They are often effective in reducing and controlling many symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations, such as paranoia and hearing voices, anxiety and serious agitation, such as feeling threatened, incoherent speech, and muddled thinking.


35. Counseling

Counseling for guilt can make it easier to come to terms with guilt that you feel is justified. Through sharing your inner thoughts and feelings safely with a counselor, you can find acceptance for what you did or the necessary courage to make amends.  


36. A physician or religious counselor

One may first seek help from a general physician or religious counselor. Each professional has their perspective and expertise, and practitioners of all kinds have experience dealing with depression. The important thing is to seek professional help when symptoms are severe and longstanding. It is wise to seek help even when symptoms are not severe to help prevent depression from getting worse.

37. Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive therapy is a treatment process that helps patients’ correct false self-beliefs that lead to certain moods and behaviors. The fundamental principle behind cognitive therapy is that thought precedes a mood and that both are interrelated with a person’s environment, physical reaction, and subsequent behavior.

38. Interpersonal Therapy

This psychology therapy helps to focus on you and your relationship with others. It helps treat anxiety and depression. You can consult and make an appointment with psychology to better cure yourself.

39. Light therapy

The therapy involves sitting near a special kind of light for roughly thirty minutes a day. This treatment has been proven effective for people with seasonal affective disorder. 

40. Talking therapy

Talk therapy is the best one to help mental health professionals to communicate with people. It helps in identifying issues that cause emotional stress.

Talking about your situation can help you make sense of what you are going through and explore different ways to cope and recover. Your doctor will explain what is available locally and which type of talking treatment is most suitable for you.


Take serious note of your health and thought patterns. The negative feelings and depressed feelings lead a person to self-harm attitudes and suicidal ideations. Do not consider yourself alone while suffering from such a situation. I hope this article will help you out in a good way.

Moving forward with Psychotherapy

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Alternatively, if you need to seek psychotherapy, be sure to check out Ahealo is an online psychotherapy platform with a diverse range of psychotherapists for many different fields of mental challenges. Ahealo provides ePsychotherapy at an affordable price, confidential, convenient (through a web page 1-1 private video call), and at your comfortable schedule. 

With these options, we believe your suicidal ideations and depression issues can be resolved soon.

Stay well.