take pleasure

Take Pleasure

What’s the best way to cope with stress?  Our friend Rick Hanson, whom we frequently quote in this blog, wonders why people don’t Take Pleasure.   There are so many fun things to do, some take hardly any time or money, why don’t we just take time out to smell the roses, or the dinner cooking, or the perfume…  Why don’t …

How to Complete Hard Tasks

Sometimes you just can’t get your mind working.  You wonder what’s going on, things you want to remember just slip through your fingers, and time gets away from you.  It happens to everyone, but major episodes of mania or depression can result in reduced cognitive capacity, which takes time to heal.  Reduced cognitive capacity can be scary; we wonder if …

Shame, Guilt and Bipolar

A manic or hypomanic episode (mild or severe) can lead a person to taking actions that may be unhealthy, unwise, or even harmful to self or others.  This can lead, afterwards, to feelings of guilt and shame.  We feel bad about what we have done, but we don’t always know how to move on and make amends.  These feelings can …

New Year and New Hopes, Beginning with Self Care

Happy New Year to Moodsurfing readers. Nothing needs to be said about 2020 that hasn’t already been said. While acknowledging how hard things are for many people right now, Moodsurfing is looking ahead with confidence to the future. 2021 has to be a better year. Regular readers will probably remember that we like Rick Hanson and his educational programs, newsletters …

active activity winter

Staying Active in a Covid Winter

I was reminded this past week about the importance of staying active during the winter, as well as some of the challenges people face during this COVID-19 winter Why is this Hard? Our brains are somewhat poorly adapted to modern life. Our distant ancestors would go into hibernation mode during the winter. Food was not as plentiful, and going outdoors …

Doomscrolling

Media Use and the Pandemic We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again:  media use is not always good for you.  Now we have the pandemic-related phenomenon of “doomscrolling”, going obsessively through your feeds again and again, reading the bad news and skipping the good. Why do that?  Well, 2020 has put a lot of stress on everyone.  From …

Increasing joy in response to stress

Build in Joy

Time to build in more joy Anxiety, stress, loneliness, grief, and a welter of other emotions are becoming familiar to many of us during this pandemic.  Lockdowns and quarantines, being unable to visit or hug loved ones, worrying about employment, children’s schooling, and how to pay the bills – it’s no wonder it’s getting us down! The idea of increasing …

Resilience

How to develop resilience to face difficult times Resilience is a process that people can learn and activate to help recover from personal or community disaster, trauma or loss.  While it has sometimes been described as a trait that some people have and others don’t, it is better understood as a skill, or series of skills, that we can all …

Mood Homeostasis and Depression

MoodSurfing advocates identifying strategies for managing moods without medications, not because we think medications are bad, but because they do have potential adverse effects. We think that some of these strategies are very helpful, but the psychiatric establishment has not always agreed. A recent study1 provides evidence that choosing activities to stabilize mood can have a big impact on mental …

80 Pleasurable Things (you can do at home)

Pleasure!  We all want it.  Not only is it fun, but it enables our bodies to release oxytocin, which helps strengthen the immune system, heal wounds faster, and generally increase health and happiness.  Problem is, often when we feel bad, tired, or bored, we can’t even imagine doing something fun. To help with that, Moodsurfing has posted lists before of …

Seven Great Coping Strategies for the Pandemic

Moodsurfing readers have been sharing their thoughts and findings about “what works” in navigating these difficult times, and we’ve collected a series of coping strategies that everyone can use while homebound and social distancing. Keep Active.  Some people report that they are walking up and down the stairs at home, some have unearthed old exercise equipment that they had lying …

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 …

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, …

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 …

Acceptance Self Talk for Depression – Nancy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) teaches users a technique called “Acceptance Self-Talk”.  This is a series of exercises that trains people to substitute new thoughts for old ones and encourages them to evaluate their thoughts and accept only what seems true and helpful. Depression is often characterized by recurrent negative thoughts that drag one down and become barriers to taking …

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 …

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 …