Perfectionism and Depression

Perfectionism and depression are opposites that often seem to attract each other, and the combination can be a great challenge for anyone trying to “live creatively with moods.” Depression enhances our brain’s natural tendency to see problems in the world around us… it shines a spotlight on every imperfection. It is a perfectionist’s nightmare. Perfectionism Perfectionism itself is not necessarily …

smartphones

Smartphones Want to Give You ADD

Perhaps the phrase, “smartphones want to give you ADD” is a bit of an exaggeration. But this week I had a couple of thoughtful conversations with people who are struggling to reclaim their lives from incestuous relationships with their phones. Always at hand when they feel bored, or dissatisfied, or unhappy, smartphones seems like a godsend. But what these young …

Persistence Despite Depression

There are two characteristics that seem to define people with bipolar and depression who do well, one of them is persistence despite depression, a trait which is described well in the post Trust the Process by a favorite blogger, Bipolar on Fire. The other is a willingness to “do what it takes,” meaning a commitment to wellness even if it may …

6 Types of Friends you need in your Life — Defying Shadows

This is a wonderful blog, and I particularly liked this post about friends. We tend to think of friends on a single dimension of “good” or “bad” but different friends meet different needs… My friends are one of the greatest blessings in my life. We have weathered many storms, and celebrated many victories. I learn from each of them on …

crisis prevention

Crisis Prevention

Crisis prevention is a great goal, but it sometimes seems like the goal is always moving ahead into a cloudy future.  How can we get crisis prevention into our action planning right now? First, think ahead.  Any big changes coming up? Starting school, kids starting school, travel, new job, new home.  These are the kinds of changes that can be …

Anger – Uses and Abuses

What do we mean by anger uses and abuses? Righteous anger is a powerful force for change in the world. But some folks seem to live in anger all the time, and for them, and those around them, anger can become a trap. As others pull away from them they feel more helpless, and more angry. How to break this …

Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress – Nancy

Holidays!  So much to juggle, so many moods to surf, so much holiday stress! Moodsurfing has looked at holiday stress from a number of angles over the years, and we have come up with a collection of reminders to help you keep on top of everything at this time of year when everything seems more volatile and emotional. While depression …

meaningful resolutions

Meaningful Resolutions for 2018

How can you make meaningful resolutions for 2018?  Maybe not something like “adopt more healthy habits”, which can be hard to do.  How about resolving to work on something that research shows is foundational to healthy habits and healthy motivations? Cultivating a sense of purpose in life has been shown to affect health and longevity through numerous avenues of study.  Those …

Path to Wellbeing

Early birds can save 180$ on a remarkable program that will help put them on the path to wellbeing in 2018. Longtime readers of this blog have been exposed to the ideas and insights of Rick Hanson in many previous posts. I think he is one of the most important figures in the field of positive psychology. Once a year, …

Holiday Planning – Gina

The holidays can be a hard time of year for many people, which makes holiday planning such a challenge, and so important. The holidays can disrupt daily routines and schedules, cause financial stress, be associated with increased drinking and family functions that can be stressful for anyone. For those living with bipolar disorder, this time of year can be especially …

Noticing Your Power

The mind is naturally drawn to threats and often acts as though the world is filled with powerful dangers, this bias towards threat-seeking makes the practice of noticing your power essential. Without conscious effort we run the risk of acting in ways that are self-destructive. This is the powerful insight of psychologist Jim McCullough about people who have experienced repeated …

Luminette Light Therapy Glasses

Weak circadian rhythms, seasonal mood symptoms, and disrupted sleep and daytime fatigue are common problems for people with depression and bipolar, the Luminette light therapy glasses may be a key part of a practical strategy to counteract these problems. Light therapy (very bright light, usually in the morning) has been shown to improve seasonal and non-seasonal depression in people with …

Stopping Medications – How and When to Do It

Most people with depression and/or bipolar think about stopping medications at one point or another. The results can be disastrous or good depending, in part, on the motivation for change and how it is done. As with any major life decision, it is best not to approach the decision with too much of a sense of urgency. If you’re feeling …

Raising Healthy Children

Raising Healthy Children

Raising healthy children is always challenging, a source of joy but also a source of anxiety. And having depression can add to the challenge. And yet many, many women that we have worked with have had successful pregnancies and raised wonderful, healthy, happy children. One key to success is paying attention to how mood can influence not only ourselves but …

Morning Ritual Improves Mood

A Morning Ritual Improves Mood

A morning ritual improves mood – For people who are trying to live creatively with moods, how the day starts can have a powerful impact. And the morning ritual is an effective way of changing that experience. Researchers have found that organized patterns of behavior (rituals) help our brains cope with uncertainty and reduce anxiety.  So if you’re not sure …

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is the relaxation technique that I have had the most success with, (and I have tried many of them!) – by that we mean a technique to help in the moment with stress and anxiety, as opposed to something like mindfulness meditation or another meditation technique, which works best as a regular practice that over time reduces anxiety. …

Cynical Hostility

Cynical Hostility

Cynical hostility is a personality style of cynicism and anger mismanagement in social relationships. Sometimes called chronic anger, it is associated with mistrust and weakened social support networks. In a recent study, researchers from France and University College London looked at data from a long-term study of 3,399 British civil servants. Those in the top 25% of cynical hostility levels were over four-and- a-half …

Getting Unstuck

When you find yourself unable to make progress towards a goal, it helps to know some tricks for “getting unstuck.” One extremely useful trick is to find a detour around a roadblock. Let’s say you want to lose weight. But every effort to change your diet results in failure. Perhaps you find yourself feeling increasingly irritable and your feelings of …