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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

Mindful Speech

Mindful speech seems to be in short supply these days. A pervasive sense of urgency about communication propels us into comments that we later regret. Rick Hanson reminds us of the words of Buddha, wise speech always has five characteristics. It is: Well-intended – Born of goodwill, seeks to support and strengthen rather than belittle and criticize.  True – Not overstated, taken out …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Impulsivity – Gina

Impulsivity is something everyone has experienced. We have all had moments when we have said something impulsively that we regret or have gotten carried away with an idea. Sometimes the consequences of an impulsive action are minimal.  But that is not always the case. Impulsive decision-making is more common in people with bipolar. And this increase is not just something seen …

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 mindfulness practice. “Contemplative practice” is …

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” because it is like the …

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 were relatable to my experience …

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, and this information is summarized …

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 minute… RICK’S REFLECTION: THE POWER …