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 good about. In that moment …

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 “anticipation,” runs counter to the …

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 find helpful. But I thought …

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 exercise in frustration.  Very rarely …

Stress and the Holidays

Stress and the Holidays– A successful businesswoman, who is herself a mother, is returning to her family’s home to have Christmas with her grandparents and her brother and wonders how she might improve the quality of that holiday experience. Her mother is someone who obsesses about all of the details involved in the holidays, she takes hours wrapping presents, and …

Life Lived as a Bipolar – Stuart Jessiman

Introducing myself, my name is Stuart Jessiman. I’m British, I come from London and I am Bipolar. I was diagnosed in Paris five years ago after seeing a Psychologist following a particularly hypo-manic period that nearly saw the collapse of my marriage and work. People react differently when diagnosed with bipolar. Strangely, this diagnosis far from shocking me gave me a quite profound sense …

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 can be translated as “the …

Foundations of Wellbeing

Rick Hanson’s Foundations of Wellbeing online seminar has helped 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 we think this is going to be …

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 has worked, and what has …

Mindfulness and Impermanency: The Practice of Acknowledging the Temporary – Arnrow

After reading this article by TV producer-turned-mindful meditation enthusiast, Mark Koberg, I have been reflecting on how my awareness of permanency, or rather, lack thereof, in my life affects my overall day-to-day experiences. In his account, Koberg shares how a medical diagnosis and a newfound indifference to the career he had been building all of his adulthood ensued a journey …

Be Mindful of Keeping Your Mind Full of Good – Arnrow

Experience-dependent neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to learn, adapt, and evolve to not only our experiences, but also, and perhaps more significantly, our reactions to those experiences. It is almost as if our brains can form habits, and the types of behaviors and patterns that it develops are dependent on how we choose to be. This suggests that the …

Mindfulness Based Substance Abuse Treatment Works

Relapse is common after substance abuse treatment, indicating that there is a clear need for effective followup options. A new study has found that cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention (RP) and mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) are both effective aftercare interventions for substance abuse treatment, but that the latter may have an especially enduring effect as far as reducing drug-use days and heavy …

Yoga for Mood and Health

Many of our patients with chronic mood disorders report that beginning yoga and doing it consistently has been associated with periods of remarkable stability. There are studies supporting yoga as an evidence based approach to the treatment of depression. But it is hard to figure out where to begin. At the end of this page are some additional resources. One …

Reduce Your Social Stress

Regular readers of this blog know that I really like the writings of Rick Hanson (he has a wonderful email list called “Just One Thing” and a new book that is an excellent resource for personal transformation called Hardwiring Happiness). For the last couple of months, however, his posts have seemed a bit repetitive. Just in time for the New …

I’m In An Abusive Relationship… with Myself

Many people I see with chronic depression carry around with them a tormentor who says the most terrible things imaginable about them, their abilities, their worth, their very right to live. That tormentor is their own inner critic (hardly a strong enough term for the cruelty that can be unleashed by these inner voices). Often it is clear where this …