Mindfulness Online

We’re all spending more time online these days, and learning to do things inside that we used to go out to do.  How can we use this time positively to increase health, coping skills, mindfulness, and general well-being? There are more and more online resources for improving mindfulness and mental health.  It seems like we just finish a list of …

Mindfulness Goes Mainstream

Mindfulness practices are a staple of non-medication approaches to managing chronic illness and maintaining mental and physical health, but they have sometimes been considered unscientific, unproven, or just not “modern”.  However, more and more experience and research is backing up the claims of mindfulness practitioners.  A recent study looking a mood homeostasis, or balance, found that people who utilize strategies …

Mindfulness and Health – Nancy

Moodsurfing has often recommended mindfulness exercises for those grappling with bipolar and other chronic illnesses, but is it possible to go beyond exercises and make mindfulness a part of your everyday life? One way to do this is to take an activity that you do habitually, like turning on the coffee maker in the morning, brushing your teeth, or whatever …

Resilience

How to develop resilience to face difficult times Resilience is a process that people can learn and activate to help recover from personal or community disaster, trauma or loss.  While it has sometimes been described as a trait that some people have and others don’t, it is better understood as a skill, or series of skills, that we can all …

Mindfulness and Illness

Newcomers to the practice of mindfulness meditation tend to imagine that mindfulness practice should ideally be associated with a state of calm happiness or relaxed bliss, so the idea of mindfulness as an approach to illness may seem odd or incongruous. It is worth going back a few years to Jon Kabat-Zinn‘s early work popularizing mindfulness in the United States. …

Mindfulness for Children

Mindfulness for children may be a hard concept to envisage if your family life is something other than the ideal home of tranquility and good feeling. But it is an idea worth exploring, for a couple of reasons. Habits acquired early in life can have a profound impact on future development. With all of the interest in mindfulness as a …

The Bipolar Workbook

The Bipolar Workbook, written by Peter Forster and Gina Gregory, has a useful way of dividing topics relevant to those with bipolar moods. On this page we use that structure to organize a list of blog posts that were inspired by the book. Definitions and Treatment Understanding Bipolar Treatments Finding Your Baseline How are you now? Managing Mania, Hypomania and …

Mindfulness: No Gain without Pain?

Mindfulness is one of those practices that seems to, quite perversely, be most important to practice at times when it is most difficult to do. A successful interior designer with bipolar disorder who has been on a mild run of hypomania for a month or so told me, in a roundabout way, about how people around her were getting a bit exhausted …

Neuroplasticity – Nancy

Can you change your brain?  Recent research in the field of “neuroplasticity” suggests that the human brain continues to change and adapt throughout life.  Furthermore, there is  clear evidence that an individual can affect the changes to their own brain structure by how they pay attention to stimuli around them. The implication of this research is that, for example, a …

Contemplation

Contemplation – By Deborah

Everyday Contemplation: Maintaining a Hush for Mental Health “Contemplation:” The word’s Latin root means “a space to view auguries.” (Those are implements used for divining the future.) I say that you don’t forecast the future by quiet sitting: you change it, and for the better! You reach into your heart, bring up from it your essence, and refine that into …

Morning Ritual Resumed – Nancy

Moodsurfing has frequently recommended the concept of the “morning ritual” or “morning routine” to help all of us live more creatively with moods.  However, keeping a morning ritual is easier said than done!  For people with kids, jobs, pets, plumbing emergencies and all the rest of life, keeping to a routine may get moved to the back burner more often …

Meditation

This is a quote from one of my patients which illustrates how profoundly a regular meditation practice can affect mood and anxiety. The woman who shared this experience with me is a genuine skeptic about all things “new age” and that made her words even more meaningful in my mind… “The most important thing to know is that for the …

Smartphone Apps for Depression

Are smartphone apps for depression effective? Two articles published in 2017 by a group of Australian and American researchers examined the question of whether smart phone apps for depression and anxiety are effective. In both articles the authors comprehensively analyzed the world medical literature for research articles that evaluated the effectiveness of smart phone delivered interventions for either depressive symptoms …

Sitting with Emotions – Gina

Sitting with Emotions I regularly work with clients who are trying to avoid and push away feelings of sadness, anger, loneliness — so-called “negative” emotions. On the one hand, I can entirely relate with this draw and have experienced it myself. However, the more I’ve learned to sit with these emotions, and witnessed others sit with them, the more important …