Volcano Wilds Mania MIndfulness Meditation

Mindfulness and Irritable Mania or Hypomania

Ginger showed up in my office today feeling “incredibly irritated” by “people who don’t do their jobs.” She is a small business owner who relies on the work of many contractors for her business and she has been running into the usual excuses for work done late, or not at all, and finding the excuses to be almost intolerable.

She has been sleeping two hours less than usual, having trouble focusing when she is reading, having racing thoughts and feels she has lots of energy, which sometimes feels too much to handle.

In a word, Ginger is in a mixed or irritable hypomania.

Often, an increase in medication will help reduce this energy so that it is not quite so overwhelming, but she wanted to ask me about other options.

I mentioned my observation that brief mindfulness based meditation sessions (2 – 5 minutes long) can be helpful.

Nothing longer than that is realistic for most people in a mixed hypomania. But even brief mindfulness practice can be helpful.

To be effective, it usually has to be a guided meditation.

And I particularly like this example of an unusual guided mindfulness meditation, to illustrate how it can be helpful to start with the experience of frustration and edginess and then gradually wind that feeling down a bit.

The MP3 is shared courtesy of Amy Saltzman, MD and is on her wonderful 2004 album, Still Quiet Place: mindfulness for young children.

Wilds, by Amy Salzman, MD, shared with permission.