Anxious Times

Anxious Times, Anxious Thoughts Anxiety is a common companion for mood disorders, in fact, anxiety is, for many people, the first mood-related symptom they remember from childhood, before other symptoms began to develop.  Studies show that as many as 90% of people with bipolar also have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety often takes the form of constantly repeated worry about worst-case …

Stress and the Coronavirus

Stop. Breathe. Think. How to deal with stress when you’re stuck at home and the TV keeps sending in more and more scary images?  Stop. Breathe. Think. Our brains are hardwired to deal with threats by the primitive fight or flight response.  Adrenaline flows, higher thinking goes offline, emotional and bodily responses take over, blood pressure goes up and you …

Wellness in a Time of Pandemic

Moodsurfing is a blog about creative and healthy ways of managing moods and mood shifts.  We’ve been talking about lifestyle change for a long time, so we are ready with lots of healthy actions you can take right now, in spite of social isolation, quarantine, or any other challenge the world can throw at us! Distance doesn’t have to mean …

Getting Back to Nature

Connections between mental health and the natural world Urbanization is a reality of modern life, and many people feel that their connection to nature – green growing things, animals, trees, the stars, the wind, the ocean and the mountains – has been disrupted, or has simply vanished.  Mental illness is another reality of modern life that shows some correlation to …

How to Make a New Year’s Resolution Work

Are you contemplating a significant lifestyle change this year?  Quitting smoking for good, or really getting fit, not just losing a few pounds and gaining them back later? Research shows that making real changes in life is not just a matter of motivation, commitment, or not being “lazy”.  Change requires skills and knowledge that can be learned and applied for …

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 …