Can Smiling Make You Happier?

Can smiling make you happier?  A long held folk belief holds that if you smile even when you don’t feel happy, the act of smiling itself will lift your spirits, and conversely, frowning makes you feel worse.  A 1998 study asked volunteers to hold a pencil between their teeth in such a way that their mouths were forced into a …

Going to the Beach to Relieve Depression?

How about if there was scientific evidence to support the notion that a sauna, or a nice, hot bath, or spending time lying in the sun on the beach is good for your mental health?  Moodsurfing is always on the alert for evidence related to alternative treatments such as music, meditation, and nutritional supplements, so this article caught our collective …

Six Important Things to Manage Bipolar

Here’s an interview published by the website BP Hope, a colleague site of Moodsurfing.  This expert researcher who also experiences mood disorder gives her top six coping strategies for dealing with bipolar.  Her insights are both sharp and encouraging: there is a lot anyone can really do to make a life with bipolar be a better life. Kay Redfield Jamison, …

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 …

80 Pleasurable Things – Nancy

Here’s a list of 80 fun or pleasurable things to do.  Some of them are simple to arrange and quick to accomplish, and some require some planning and preparation, or even money.  But all of them can be enjoyable experiences.  Remember that motivation is less important than just doing it.  Even if you don’t feel like it, or don’t think …

A Social Media Resource – Reader Contribution

Moodsurfing continues to monitor developments in the field of online help for mood disorders and mental health generally, we have looked at several newly available resources here and here.  Of course, there are negatives as well, but overall, we are observing a trend of more and more useful and useable online programs and communities.  Here, we share a reader’s recommendation …

Surviving Christmas Holidays

Survival Strategies for the Holidays Reviewed

Why should you need survival strategies for the holidays? Aren’t they supposed to be fun? That’s part of the problem of course, there are so many expectations and hopes wrapped up in holiday season that it’s easy to end up feeling disappointed. If things haven’t worked out for you in a relationship or someone close to you is passed away this …

Building Healthy Habits – Gina

Building healthy habits can be very important in managing mood. Regular sleep, exercise and diet can play a key role in reinforcing a stable mood. As a result, I regularly work with clients to identify healthy habits they would like to form and steps they can take in doing so. Most of the the time they are core habits such …

Demi Lovato March for Our Lives

Demi Lovato Encourages Us to Be Vocal – Nancy

Recording artist Demi Lovato is supporting a project called Be Vocal that enables and encourages people living with mental illness to speak out and make their stories heard in the wider world.  Lovato, a platinum-selling artist who has been performing and recording since the age of ten, received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 2010. “When I finally got diagnosed …

Acceptance and the unacceptable

Acceptance and the Unacceptable

How can we reconcile acceptance and the unacceptable in our lives? A new blog post from Rick Hanson sparked me to thinking about the relationship between acceptance and acquiescence or even complicity. So many things are wrong with the world. Is there no role for righteous anger? And yet… Acceptance in the sense that Rick means is really about not …

Micro-Progress Overcomes Inertia

A reader of this blog forwarded to me an article on “micro-progress” that promises a solution the the common problem of procrastination. Editor of Smarter Living, Tim Herrera, writes… “Of the countless articles, books and so-called lifehacks about productivity I’ve read (or written!), the only “trick” that has ever truly and consistently worked is both the simplest and the most difficult …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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. …

Hope

Find Hope Despite Adversity

Finding hope can feel miraculous when wrestling with the endless challenges of any chronic illness, including depression. At the end of a long week struggling to help others I ran across an article by a psychiatrist who has thought long and hard about the sources of hope, and felt the wonderful sense of renewal that hope brings to the beleaguered. …