365daysofbipolar.com

Where We Learn To Connect With Our Authentic Selves.

Category: Tools for Mental Wellness (page 1 of 8)

A LETTER TO A FRIEND

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor nor a therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).  At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

Please read my full disclosure and privacy policy here: https://365daysofbipolar.com/privacy-policy/

Most Sunday mornings I get together with a group of people for breakfast and to share our experience, strength and hope.

A few weeks ago, a person who is a relative newcomer to our group asked me a question. Being a writer and unable to explain fully at the gathering I wrote that person a letter. A letter I want to share with all of you.

The Question:

Last week you asked me how I seemed to always be happy?

The Answer:

The short answer is, I changed “ME” a lot.

The long answer is, I needed to see something that would shock me into changing my thinking and challenge my beliefs. I am a visual learner and I need to see something to understand it. Also, to change my ways I need something that shocks me into realizing I am on the wrong path. The thing that I could both see and shocked me turned out to be a quote, a quote that drew a line from the present to the future. This quote has been attributed to Margret Thatcher, but a further study shows the author is unknown or possibly Loa Tzu of the Toa Te Ching fame.

The Life-Changing Quote Reads:

“Be careful of your thoughts, they become your words.

Be careful of your words, they become your actions.

Be careful of your actions, they become your habits.

Be careful of your habits, they become your character.

Be careful of your character, it becomes your destiny.”

What The Quote Made Me Realize:

The moment I looked at this quote it struck me that,

I continually thought over and over, “life is not worth living.”

 I repeatedly used words that meant or actually said, “life is not worth living.”

My actions pointed out, “life is not worth living.”

My habits reinforced, “life is not worth living.”

My character showed, “life is not worth living.”

This meant that in that moment I had the destiny of an insane person (the hospital stays, lost jobs, lost relationships) and that destiny would continue to its inevitable end.

In that moment I realized deep down I wanted something else, I really wanted “a life worth living” and did not know how to get it. That simple quote showed me it was possible to change my destiny

The Quote Answered The Question Of How To Change My Destiny!

The first line of the quote, “be careful of your thoughts they become your words” tells everything. My thoughts are what always took me down.  Be they manic thoughts or depressed thoughts or in between thoughts. It was my bipolar thinking that was fueling this current destiny. I needed to change my thinking.

I Set About Finding The Thing That Would Change My Thoughts:

It took a while, but I eventually found the one thing that over time would change my thinking, my actions, my habits, and my character, ultimately giving me a different destiny.

Science has confirmed, “If you change your words you can change “you” right down to your genetic level.”

 In their book “Words Can Change Your Brain,” Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman write: “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”

Another great book on this topic is Andrea Gardner’s, “Change Your Words, Change Your World.” Which is basically her story and provides some great tools to help with incorporating positive words into your inner and outer speech.

That one thing I needed to change was my words. By changing my words from negative to positive the science says you begin to change “YOU.”

You begin to see things differently, problems become solvable issues rather than unclimbable mountains.

Positive words do not negate the issues that arise in life. That is not reality. Positive words and the attitude they generate within you allows you to see things as they really are.

The other aspect of implementing this change of words is to place a guard at the gate of your mind. It is one thing to become conscious of what is going in and out of your mind through your words, but it is equally important to become conscious of what is going into your subconscious from other sources. To put it bluntly, if everyone and everything you are listening to, doing, reading and seeing reinforce the negative and false beliefs you hold then you will make little progress.

This is a multi-faceted subject, but if you start with what you have total control over, the words you think, say and write, changing them from negative to positive you will find that things will change.

That is the “how” of changing your destiny and if you begin to practice changing the words you say, you think and you write, you will begin to change and so will your destiny.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, our minds and our lives.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

Related Products:

Words Can Change Your Brain

https://amzn.to/2V2RPHm

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020. Please comment below as I am very interested in your opinion.

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Hillary Jacobs Hendel

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/22/what-toxic-stress-does-to-a-childs-brain-and-how-to-heal-it

JOURNALING, THE GREATEST TOOL FOR MENTAL WELLNESS

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Please read my full disclosure and privacy policy here:

________________________________________________________________________

There are many benefits to journaling, be it pen to paper in a book or on an App. In the battle for mental wellness, journaling can play a big part in winning the battle. I am the first to admit that developing journaling as a habit takes works, but remember our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds, and lives. Journaling is one way to develop that self-discipline and begin to take control.

Ten Benefits of Journaling:

  1. Calming and clearing your mind
  2. Releasing pent up feelings
  3. Reduces stress
  4. Improves self-awareness and shows triggers
  5. Used for mood tracking.
  6. Shifts your perspective.
  7. Gets those repeating thoughts out of your head and on paper.
  8. Allows you to see other options.
  9. Cultivates gratitude.
  10. Allows you to track successes and promotes change.

Pointing out the benefits of journaling is all fine and well, but how do I journal?

For most people starting out, journaling is best done at night before bed to reduce racing thoughts.

The basic elements in journaling for mental health are medication and mood tracking, a gratitude list, finding something positive in your day and tracking your thinking.

Medication tracking – entails keeping track of the medications you are on and how they are making you feel. This is critical at the beginning of our journey towards mental wellness. I have often shared how I trialed fifty-two meds or combinations of meds in two years before I found the med that worked for me. By keeping track of each med or combination of meds and how they made me feel gave me the ability to go to my Pdoc with indisputable evidence. It also made it easier to see what was tried and never to repeat the prescriptions. We never had the, “I will prescribe this” not realizing that was prescribed months ago conversation.

Mood Tracking – entails keeping track of your moods. Mood tracking can highlight exposure to triggers that you may not even know you have.

By mood tracking, I found out I fell into a funk every Wednesday. The reason was on Wednesdays I had to deal with a really negative person for the entire afternoon. I had to quit that assignment.  

By mood tracking, we figured out I had seasonally affected bipolar disorder.

Mood tracking gives us clues and then we can act on them.

Gratitude: list three things you are grateful for

Positivity: list three things that were positive today, like I made my bed, went out for coffee, did the dishes.

Thought Tracking :

Worry Tracking – entails writing about the people, places, situations or other external things that we are worried about and make us anxious. Then writing a conclusion – can we do something about this right now? Yes or No. If yes, what can we do right now? If No, why are we worrying about this?

Believe it or not, this one exercise caused me to stop worrying about a lot of things and put my life into perspective.

Racing Thoughts – reduction entails writing down everything you are thinking about. Putting them on paper makes it possible to see these thoughts in the light of day and judge if any of these thoughts are important. The truth is that when you go to write down all of those thoughts in your head a lot of them just disappear.

For me, journaling took what was once an all-day, every day, constant head pounding to an almost quiet mind.

Recently, I went through a period of racing thoughts as I implemented the changes to this blog. Too many ideas and tasks running in my mind proving that, yes, I still have bipolar. My constant journaling kept this episode short and it did not take over my life.

Trigger Tracking –This is done in three parts. Part 1. Writing down the triggering event and what my response was. Part 2. Writing down how best to handle the trigger in the future – I will a. avoid this trigger or b. learn to cope with this trigger.  Part 3. If I choose to learn to cope with the triggering event, I then list all the resources, people, books, courses and other help I can use to learn these coping skills.

Since I started trigger tracking and deciding on how I will handle triggering events I have found that I am not triggered much anymore. But that took a number of years.

Journaling is one of the best tools there is for bipolar management. Journaling does not have to be detailed, just started. Everything I have outlined that a journal should contain is less than a page in my journal. There are many mental wellness journals and apps ready-made for you to start. I just encourage you to start and keep journaling. Your mental health will thank you.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds, and lives.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

Related Products:

Self Talk: How to Train Your Brain to Turn Negative Thinking into Positive Thinking & Practice Self Love (2nd Edition: Edited & Expanded) 

https://amzn.to/2RQXZaw

365 Days of Positive Self-Talk for Finding Your Purpose 

https://amzn.to/2U2lqAa

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020. Please comment below as I am very interested in your opinion.

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Eva Grant originally featured in Bustle.

https://www.bustle.com/p/7-ways-to-tell-if-your-racing-thoughts-might-actually-be-a-mental-health-issue-9655043

Practice Gratitude? The Science Says – Yes.

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Please read my full disclosure and privacy policy here:

__________________________________________________________________________

Although we are all individuals and we need to find what works for us as individuals there are things that prove to be universal. If there were no universal symptoms for bipolar disorder, we could never be properly diagnosed.

Science is now proving another universal truth, repeatedly finding things to be grateful for in our lives has amazing benefits. I have attached the best-researched blog post I could find in the blog of the week that explains the benefits of gratitude.

Science is also proving that finding things to be grateful for is one of the things we can use to help rewire our brains. Something I talk a lot about in this blog. Bipolar disorder is a disease of the mind and we need to fix our minds.

In all of the studies, it is stated over and over that as the name suggests practicing gratitude is not a once and done deal. You must practice being grateful. There is also a specific way you need to practice gratitude; you have to write it down. To this end, there are now a plethora of gratitude journals and apps on the market. This week I am attaching a second blog post to the blog of the week giving the nine best gratitude apps.

Here the controversy starts. Do you write the things you are grateful for daily or weekly? How many things should you write down? Three, five, ten or more?

To find what really works I turned to the people that have been teaching how to practice gratitude long before the science caught up, the twelve-step programs.

They say to write down three things you are grateful for every day. They also have a rule, you can’t use the same things twice. This causes you to search for the things you are grateful for after you have written down the obvious. If you write down that: 1. you are alive, 2. have a job 3. have a good boss. The next day you have to find three new things. This is how you rewire your mind by having to push yourself to look beyond the obvious.

Practicing gratitude is finally scientifically proven to help. Something that many people have known and taught for a long time. It is nice when everyone is on the same page. I encourage everyone to bring the practice of being grateful in their lives.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds and lives.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

Recommended Products:

Gratitude Journal: Journal 5 minutes a day

https://amzn.to/2GjKASL

The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude

https://amzn.to/2RPciMr

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020. Please comment below as I am very interested in your opinion.

Important Notice: Join me on 365daysofbipolar.com’s Facebook page on February 17 to 21 as I share my first eBook, “365daysofbipolar.com’s Meditations For The Bipolar Mind” for comments and feedback. “Like” the page while you are there.

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blogs which are both from happierhuman.com. A site I recommend.

What Is Connecting With Your Authentic Self?

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

What is connecting with your authentic self?

We all have to find our own best way of living. None of us do this exactly alike. By connecting with your authentic self, the best life for you becomes intuitive. You no longer have to think about what is best for you.

By connecting with your authentic self, you will:

  1. Know yourself, your needs, your values.
  2. How to protect yourself
  3. How to love yourself.   

The Most Important Step to Connecting With Our Authentic Self – Lean-to Manage Your Bipolar Disorder.

Realize that bipolar disorder is not going to go away. Bipolar is the mental equivalent of diabetes. Once you have bipolar disorder the best you can do is learn to manage bipolar disorder to alleviate the symptoms. No one can eliminate all the symptoms of bipolar, but by learning to manage your bipolar disorder in a way that works for you the symptoms will no longer rule your life. The management of our bipolar disorder is job #1. It is the most important thing we can do. You can not find your best way of living if bipolar disorder and its symptoms are ruling your life.

Bipolar Causes A Crisis of Identity:

Bipolar disorder creates roadblocks to finding our best way of living. To connect with your authentic self, you have to remove the roadblocks that bipolar disorder has set in your path. That is why I have named bipolar disorder a great deceiver. Bipolar disorder causes us to believe things that simply are not true.

It is impossible to live your best life if you have no idea who you are, what you need, what you value or how to live the life you want.

What is a crisis of identity?

The dictionary definition of a crisis of identity is: “a period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or role in society.”

Bipolar causes us to lose our role in society.

We can’t hold down a job or work in the field we were educated in. As such we cannot be identified with what we do.

We are not good at relationships, be it as friends, family members, parents, children, husbands, and wives. We cannot be defined as the best or even good in any of those categories.

Bipolar destroys our role in society.

Bipolar destroys our aims in Society:

When we were young, we all wanted to “be” something. Bipolar disorder stole our dreams and ambitions.

Bipolar disorder makes us believe three things that are entirely untrue:

  1.  we are no longer worth anything.
  2. That we can no longer connect with others.
  3. What we want is no longer available.

By making us believe these three things Bipolar Disorder aims us in completely the wrong direction. Causing us to become externally focused which kills our ambition.

How to connect with your authentic self:

To connect with our authentic selves, we must learn to manage our bipolar disorder and overcome the identity crisis bipolar disorder has caused in us. To do this we must focus on ourselves and develop the necessary tools, skills, and habits to accomplish this goal.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds, and lives.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020. Please comment below as I am very interested in your opinion.

Related Products:

https://amzn.to/2TLHX45

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Hillary Jacobs Hendel

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/22/what-toxic-stress-does-to-a-childs-brain-and-how-to-heal-it

Make Your New Years’ Resolutions Come True 2

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

This is part two of making your New Years’ resolutions come true. Last week I shared the definitions that mattered.

Most New Year resolutions are about stopping or starting a habit. A habit is defined in psychology as: “any regularly repeated behavior that requires little or no thought and is learned rather than innate. A habit—which can be part of any activity, ranging from eating and sleeping to thinking and reacting—is developed through reinforcement and repetition.”

That means that any habit can be learned or unlearned and if we make a resolution to invoke this change in our lives it can happen. Do we really understand what a resolution is?

The definition of a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”

For the most part, we do not take our new year resolutions seriously. We say them but do not develop the resolve to carry them out. We do nothing to reinforce that initial decision. The tactic for making my resolutions come true is to make that initial decision into a mantra which reinforces my commitment to the initial decision. In stopping addictive behavior such a smoking, alcohol, drugs and hyper fixation habits outside help may be required as no mantra by itself will overcome these. I believe creating a mantra that requires actually thinking about the decision you are making and putting into words really helps to reinforce that decision. But even if we reinforce the decision with mantras there remains the issue of making the habit itself stick and that can only be done with action. The definition does say a habit is an activity. To really establish a habit we must both reinforce and repeat it. That is the action, repeating the activity. Although I can find no scientific studies to back up this next statement: my personal experience and experiences shared by other bipolar sufferers indicate, it takes substantially longer for bipolar sufferers to establish a habit. The common understanding that it takes twenty-one to thirty days to establish a new habit is not true for most bipolar sufferers. The realistic time frame seems to be three to six months before that habit becomes our new behavior without having to think about it. But armed with that information it is easier to keep up the commitment until our new habit becomes an ingrained behavior. The habit will get established it just takes us a little longer for that to happen.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds and lives.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020.

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Debbie Jacobs originally featured in BPHope Magazine

Make Your New Years Resolutions Come True.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

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In my experience, New Year’s resolutions and bipolar do not seem to mix well. On January first we say we are going to stop doing this or start doing that with the best intentions. One week into the new year we are back to being our old selves with our same old lives. Why is that? Over the past few years, I came to understand why this always seemed to happen and how to change things so I can keep my New Year Resolutions.  Hopefully what I share will help you keep yours as well.

What is a New Years Resolution? For most of us it is a statement, a statement that we are going to change something. My general practitioner was an old guy who had seen me since I was ten years old. Therefore, he knew me quite well and also could say things to me that most wouldn’t dare.  In our conversations about starting or stopping habits such as smoking and exercise, he said something that has stuck with me all these years.

He said, “Your word isn’t worth much is it?”

That hurt, but it was true. I would say that I would do this or start that and then either nothing happened, or it happened for a while and then fell away.

The first lesson that I learned was that even with the best intentions just saying something, making a statement is not enough. So, I went to the dictionary and learned that there is a great distinction between a statement and a resolution.

A resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”

Whereas, a statement is understood to mean: “a meaningful declarative sentence that is true or false.”

Instead of a statement, I needed to really make a resolution. To make doing something or not doing something firm in my mind so it became stuck there.

When we make a New Years’ resolution, we are really talking about changing habits. Again, the first place to turn is defining what a habit really is: a habit, in psychology, is “any regularly repeated behavior that requires little or no thought and is learned rather than innate. A habit—which can be part of any activity, ranging from eating and sleeping to thinking and reacting—is developed through reinforcement and repetition.”

Finding this definition happened when for the first time in my life, I was teachable. There is an old saying: “When the student is willing the teacher appears.” I can honestly say that if you want your New Years’ resolutions to stick you have to be that willing student and become teachable.

Learning this definition changed my life. “Every habit is learned”, that really spoke to me. That meant that any habit I had or wanted to have could be learned or unlearned

The definition also showed me where I had gone wrong in all my previous decisions and resolutions. I did nothing to reinforce that decision in my mind. Today, I call this developing a mantra. When I make a resolution today, I make a mantra to reinforce that resolution in my mind.

My very first mantra was this: “I love my job; I love my life.” Because at the time I made this mantra I neither loved my job or my life. Some eight years later I both love my job and my life.

My 2020 resolution is to improve this site to increase my audience and its mantra is: “Produce, learn and reach out.” It is written on the whiteboard in front of me.

Which means, I am to produce more and better content. Learn all the skills needed to be a great blogger. Reach out to people to increase my audience.

Am I going to be good at these things? Actually, no, as I write this, I know only about ten people will read this. That is the point when you start you are never good at it. But if you are a willing student you will learn.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self -discipline to take control of our emotions, minds and lives.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020.

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Al Levin.

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/managing-mdd/letter-to-men-with-mdd#1

Happy New Year. Welcome to 2020

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

Happy New Year from 365daysofbipolar.com. My hope with this site is to help you have the best 2020 you can possibly have. I know as a fellow bipolar disorder sufferer that battling this illness is never easy. The goal for 365daysofbipolar.com for 2020 is to provide a resource that you can turn to that provides helpful information, suggestions and tools that will make your 2020 into the best year you have ever had.

My first suggestion is that you subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020.

The first thing that is different in 2020 is this, originally it was boldly stated that 365daysofbipolar.com is: “dedicated to living with and overcoming #bipolar disorder. Because life, even with #bipolar disorder, should be ducky.” That is still what this site is dedicated to, living with and overcoming #bipolar disorder, but we have narrowed the focus. The focus of this site is now: “learning to connect with our authentic selves.”

Why is this important? In my own life and in talking to hundreds of fellow bipolar sufferers over the past few years what I have learned is that bipolar disorder is a great deceiver. Bipolar masks our true identity creating an identity crisis of epic proportions. I am not a doctor and therefore cannot comment on medications only to say medication has a purpose and is necessary.  I am not a therapist and therefore cannot comment on the therapeutic side of this illness. Again, all I can say is that therapy is necessary for battling this illness. What I can comment on, and provide a guide for, is overcoming that identity crisis that bipolar disorder causes and help you connect with your authentic self. So that has become the focus of this site, providing information to help us connect with our authentic selves.

As we head into 2020 together, I want to share something I recently learned from YouTuber Sunny Lenarduzzi. This is Sunny’s formula for getting what you want in 2020.

  1. What You Really Want. If you are reading this blog, I would say what you really want is to learn to manage your bipolar disorder and connect with your authentic self so that you can have that “Ducky” life I talk about on this site.
  2. Plus, How Hard Are You Willing To Work To Get That “Ducky” Life? Managing bipolar disorder requires work. It requires learning new skills and putting in place new positive habits. As you practice these new skills and put into place these habits, there will not be so much work, but in the beginning, it is a lot of work. The harder you work the more results you will see. But remember, the work is entirely on yourself and it takes time. As I always say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”
  3. Minus, Any Distractions That Stand In The Way Of You Getting That “Ducky” Life You Seek. Roadblocks are another way of saying distractions. If other people, places, situations or other external things are standing in the way of you getting that “ducky” life you seek, well then, they have to go. It is that simple.

To reach our goal of a “ducky” life we must develop the self-discipline to take control of our lives, our emotions, and our minds. This three-part plan is how we will get there.

Please comment below on what you would like to see presented on this site in 2020.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our lives and minds.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Beth Kurland Ph.D. published in Psychology Today.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-well-being-toolkit/201906/how-not-get-sucked-electronic-time-warp

A Christmas Message

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

It seems odd to me that Christmas day falls on my regular day to post a blog. Christmas, what does that mean? To someone who has battled bipolar disorder, all his life Christmas has had its ups and downs, literally.  I think that is the point of this Christmas message. We have bipolar disorder this season and this day affects us. Some more than others, but if we are honest, we can admit this season does affect us.

For me, Christmas has become a season of self-care, practicing boundaries and knowing my limits.

Self-Care Secrets:

  1. Do less – realize you are not the energizer bunny.
  2. Look for the humor – Learn to laugh when things don’t go exactly as planned.
  3. Check your motives – Why are you doing what you are doing? If you are doing something simply to please others it will only make you unhappy.
  4. Get enough rest – trying to be here, there and everywhere is tiring. Make sure you are getting enough rest.

Boundary Secrets:

  1. Be honest and direct – If you know going to your wife’s uncle Joes will be a disaster say so and don’t go.
  2. Give your self permission – If people, places, and situations are not going well give your self permission to leave.
  3. Be Assertive:  Assertively communicate when others have crossed a boundary.

I can share no secrets on knowing your limits as they are your limits. By practicing self-care and boundaries, you will find you may not be as stressed. Allowing you to have a “ducky” Christmas.

That is what I wish for everyone – A “ducky” Christmas.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Crazy Little Things

https://crazylittlethings.site/2019/10/23/your-path-is-not-my-path

The Importance of a Treatment Plan

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

Bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it. We must find what works for each of us individually to be successful in managing our bipolar disorder. To find success in the treatment of bipolar disorder many sufferers often have created their own personalized treatment plan that works for them. Any treatment plan be if for medication, therapy, or lifestyle needs to be designed specifically for you with the aid of professionals.

All treatment plans contain certain elements:

  • The patient’s personal information, psychological history and demographics
  • A diagnosis of the current mental health problem
  • High-priority treatment goals
  • Measurable objectives
  • A timeline for treatment progress
  • Space for tracking progress

The important aspect of a treatment plan is your participation in the creation of the plan. Remember these are your objectives and goals for your illness. The professional helping you create this plan does not need these objectives and goals. Another aspect of treatment plans is who controls the plan. Yes, it is your plan but my suggestion is leave them in the care of the professionals as they have filing systems.

It is important to understand that your treatment plan is not carved in stone and will change as you discover new ways of managing your bipolar disorder and you progress towards mental wellness. In other words, as you progress your needs will change, and your plan must adapt to those needs.

My treatment plan has progressed from a plan based on medication and therapy in the beginning to one that is mostly about finding my optimum lifestyle choices. I had to progress through learning about my triggers, emotional intelligence, my boundaries, my needs and my values in my second plan which was strictly a therapy plan.  My focus today is on learning nutrition, exercise and advanced management techniques in self-care and meditation which involves a nutritionist and a therapist as the professionals.

I attribute a lot of my success in learning to manage my bipolar disorder by having professional support that insisted on developing a treatment plan with stated objectives and reachable goals right from the start.

Although bipolar is as individual as its sufferers having a treatment plan is for everyone who suffers from this illness.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by A Guest Author on Healthy Place.

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/yourmentalhealth/2019/12/we-can-all-emotionally-heal

Why Changing Perceptions is important

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

“There is no test for depression or bipolar disorder, as there is for cholesterol or blood sugar levels. In most cases, success is determined by patients’ perceptions and behavior. If they say they feel better, and act like it, then they are. No psychiatrist bats 1.000, and there is no X-ray to prove a mental break has been healed.” Quote from an article by Neely Tucker a Washington Post Reporter.

I have never found truer words to describe what I have tried to get across to the readers of this blog. You can successfully deal with bipolar disorder and heal the mental break if you find what works for you as an individual. Finding what works for you makes you feel better then you begin to act like you feel better and your whole world changes. This takes effort and to make the effort worthwhile you must retain the hope that you can feel better.

Are medications required? The purpose of medication in treating bipolar disorder is to stabilize the mind and moods. Medication alone will not fix you; medication just gives you a stable platform on which to fix your self. There are a lot of medications (57 at last count) used to treat bipolar and new ones are appearing regularly. Finding the one, or combination of ones, that work for you can be both frustrating and challenging. In my case, it took a couple of years and the trialing of over fifty medications or combinations of medications to find the mix that worked for me.

Is therapy required? Defiantly, therapy and a therapist are needed to challenge our thinking and help us overcome the trauma we have suffered. As well as to confront the false beliefs that our bipolar disorder has instilled in us. There are several types of therapy and several styles of therapists that are recommended for bipolar disorder.  Finding the therapist and type of therapy that works for you is also challenging. I had to kiss a few frogs before I found the prince that saved my life.

The only other requirement: Learn about and try the tools used in the management of bipolar disorder. Then adopt the ones that work for you. Adopt and develop good habits like eating and sleeping regularly plus regular exercise. Changing your diet, stop using drugs and alcohol and changing other harmful lifestyle habits are necessary for you to manage your bipolar disorder. The more you discover what works for you eliminate what doesn’t the more enjoyable this journey with bipolar disorder becomes.

As bipolar sufferers, we must do everything we can to change our perceptions and behaviors and adopt new habits that make us feel better so we can be better.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom-1412484182389749. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/365daysofbipol2

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Linda Sapadin Ph.D

https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-importance-of-practice-and-preparation

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