Category Archive: Mindfulness

Apr 16

The Science of Slow Breathing

In an April 5, 2017 article in the New York Times, Gretchen Reynolds reviews new research on the science of slow breathing and how this ancient technique may work to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and prevent panic attacks. The technique of controlled breathing or pranayama (प्राणायाम) is referred to in the Bhagavad Gita, and thus …

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Feb 04

Contemplative Practice Options

Contemplative Practice Options Explored in New Research Mindfulness has been much in the news. Skeptical readers have commented that it seems to be “good for what ails you,” no matter what the challenge. Others have noticed that mindfulness seems to now encompass some practices (focused meditation) that were historically seen to be an alternative to …

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Nov 20

Hamster Brain

A young woman who has been making good progress tackling the problem of severe depressive episodes suddenly is having trouble managing the opposite end of the mood spectrum.  She gets energized and is consumed with getting stuff done. She is unable to stop until she is exhausted and she crashes. I call this state of mind “hamster mind” …

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Jul 02

Mindfulness for Depression -Research Update

Mindfulness has received a lot of attention recently as an approach to improving mental health in a number of conditions. But is it really effective as part of a strategy for treating serious depression? And, if so, how can we best incorporate it into treatment, given the great difficulty that many people with depression have …

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May 22

Mindfulness Warnings

A recent visitor to this site sent us this link and some thoughts about mindfulness… This article about the dangers of mindfulness was posted by a friend of mine from smartrecovery.  I just thought I would pass it along, definitely going to store this in the back of my mind for later. The cases discussed …

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May 08

Children at Risk for Depression

James Hudziak, and other researchers, presented information suggesting a strategy for improving brain health, and reducing anxiety and depression in children at risk for these conditions at the 2015 meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. We have previously mentioned in this blog another excellent resource for information on bipolar, Bipolar Network News, …

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Jan 21

The Power of a Minute

The Power of a Minute

I got this email from Rick Hanson because I have subscribed to his Foundations of Wellbeing Program. I found it inspirational and thought I would share it. Sometimes we feel too busy to do anything good for ourselves. But maybe just a minute of your time could make a difference. And who doesn’t have a …

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Jan 17

Body Mindfulness and Peak Performance

If mindfulness training works to achieve peak performance in Navy SEALs and top athletes perhaps it’s not such a New Age idea. In fact what distinguishes people who are resilient in the face of physical challenges may be a natural capacity for the kind of self-awareness that mindfulness teaches. A New York Times article called …

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Nov 26

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Bipolar

Mindfulness for Bipolar

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for bipolar may reduce anxiety and bolster emotional stability As with many psychiatric disorders, bipolar disorder isn’t impossible to treat but it has its own unique and unremitting way of seriously wearing down a patient’s resolve. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for bipolar joins a handful of therapies that can help. …

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Nov 24

Mindfulness Apps Updated

Mindfulness Apps Update

Mindfulness Apps Updated We have updated our mindfulness links based on a nice review in the New York Times. The reviewer suggests starting with one of the two apps (both available on iPhone and android) that has a complete program for beginners – Calm or Headspace. We particularly liked the fact that the reviewer pointed …

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Oct 17

Centering

Centering

Feeling scattered and distracted is such a common experience in our lives these days. Rick Hanson talks about getting centered in today’s post in his Just One Thing series. If you are feeling scattered, take one moment to be aware of your body as you take a long, slow breath, or think about something you feel …

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Jul 20

Mindfulness for Bipolar – Eric

Could mindfulness meditation be a viable treatment for bipolar disorder? What are the aims of modern-day meditation? Transcendence? Inner peace? Maybe a sort of vague, on-and-off tingling around your body where you think your chakras should be? With mindfulness meditation, there really aren’t any guarantees. In fact, just having any expectations, or the experience of …

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Jun 18

Work to Home Transition

work life transitions

It has been a very busy time for me professionally, perhaps for you as well. Certainly it seems as though people in the Bay Area are moving faster and faster with less time to relax. After working with a number of tech professionals at companies which talk about the importance of a work life balance, …

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Mar 03

Mindfulness Apps

Mindfulness Apps

Mindfulness apps have intrigued us for years. The New York Times recently two mindfulness apps. I was pleased to see that the ones they chose were the two apps that we find are the most popular these days: Headspace and Calm.com.  I’ve updated the webpage that lists a number of apps and links that you may …

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Dec 04

Meditation Tricks

meditation tricks

Most of us in the Gateway Clinic have been encouraging our patients to take up meditation for years.  We will explain how it works, and what the benefits are, we’ll suggest books on the topic, recommend guided meditation sources, follow up on those recommendations, and follow up, and follow up… And yet, this has been an …

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Sep 21

Breathing Practices for Stress Relief

Breathing Techniques One of the oldest “self help” movements is based on breathing, helping us to use our breath, and how we breathe in order to reduce stress and to achieve a sense of connection with the world around us: Prana Yoga. Prana is the Sanskrit word for “breath” and also means “life.” Therefore, prana …

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Aug 25

Wise Selfishness

Wise Selflessness– The Dalai lama says, “It is important that when pursuing our own self-interest we should be “wise selfish” and not “foolish selfish”. Being foolish selfish means pursuing our own interests in a narrow, shortsighted way. Wise selfishness means taking a broader view and recognizing that our own long-term individual interest lies in the welfare of …

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Aug 23

Foundations of Wellbeing

Rick Hanson’s Foundations of Wellbeing online seminar is going to help many people enjoy better, richer, happier lives. As regular readers of this blog know, we very much like Rick Hanson’s books and other writings, and now he has created a wonderful online seminar. We don’t usually make such a big deal about programs, but …

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Aug 20

Rick Hanson – Trust in Love

It has been a while since we mentioned Rick Hanson’s wonderful website and listserve – Just One Thing. Along comes not only a wonderful blog post from him (see below) but also an exciting online seminar series that he will be leading this coming year. The post below will give you a sense of Rick’s …

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Aug 11

Mindfulness and Bipolar

Mindfulness and Bipolar. I just posted a timely conversation with Bob, someone I have known for several years, about how integrating a mindfulness practice into your daily routine can help you live creatively with bipolar. I encourage you to read the article and post your comments. Have you had experience with a mindfulness practice? What …

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