Where We Learn To Connect With Our Authentic Selves.

Category: Tools for Mental Wellness (Page 1 of 9)

MY STORY OF HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE MYSELF

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 a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

Before We Start This Week:

Please check out The Blog of The Week. Which this week it is not a blog at all but a link to a Facebook group that I feel shares many of the same values as I try to express in this blog.

My Story of Learning To Love Myself.

In my own life and in talking to many bipolar sufferers there seem to be common thoughts running through our minds. “We feel worthless, useless, and hopeless”, “We feel guilt, shame and remorse for the things we have done and have lost”, “we feel like we missed some important piece of life information.” “We feel like imposters.” “We feel like we are not enough,” “We feel like chameleons, forever changing who we are to fit in with others.” We feel used and abused by others.” “We feel responsible for everyone and everything,” “We feel shunned and ostracized by loved ones and society at large,” “We don’t trust ourselves.” “We have let ourselves down too often.”

It is hard to love yourself when those are the predominant words running through your mind at any given time.

“It Is All About What You Are Feeding Yourself.”

I thought “it is all about what you are feeding yourself” the dumbest statement I had ever heard in relation to the mind. Whoever heard of feeding your mind? The truth is your mind is a sponge and if you do not feed it properly it will feed itself. Where do you think all those negative statements come from?

It took a long time for me to grasp this concept:

To Grow From Incredible Self Hatred To Really And Truly Loving Yourself Takes Time And The Right Fertilizer.

Before my last bipolar implosion, I had built a small market garden. To improve the soil, I added tons of manure to the land. I did not realize that I also added tons of manure to my thoughts over my life as well.

I held on to every hurtful and negative statement that was said to me and about me as if they were golden nuggets. I could recite them and did all day long, sometimes out loud. If you have bipolar you know exactly what I am talking about.

Manure is not the proper fertilizer for your mind.

After that last bipolar disorder implosion, I realized things needed to change, but it took a while to realize the main thing that needed changing was me and the way I thought.

I Felt Like I Missed Some Important Piece Of Life Information.

I came to realize that I did not have the tools or skills to change. The way I thought was the biggest problem. Bad experiences in education led me to believe that I was unteachable. I have learned this is not an uncommon way of thinking for a lot of bipolar sufferers. Which adds to our self – loathing.

Then I learned the truth of this quote from Buddha, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”

I was ready and I wanted to change but I had no idea how. I was willing to do anything to change and out of nowhere people and situations arose to help me change.

I Learned The Secret That Worked For Me.

The secret that worked for me was something I was already doing but in a not helpful way. The secret even had a name, it was affirmations.

Earlier I said, “I held on to every hurtful and negative statement that was said to me and about me as if they were golden nuggets. I could recite them and did all day long, sometimes out loud.”

I did not know that technically I was affirming all of that negativity about myself.

Teachers, as I said, seemed to appear from everywhere and the teacher that taught me the truth of how affirmations really worked was the late Mohamed Ali who said, “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

I had a deep conviction that I did not love myself. Actually, I was full of self-loathing. To turn that around I had to tell myself something different until I was convinced that what I was telling myself was true.

Mantra Time.

I came up with this mantra that has transformed my life. “I love myself; I love my life; I love my job.” But it started out as “I love myself.” The rest came later.

Mowing The Lawn, A Story.

My last bipolar implosion landed me almost on the street, but an old friend took pity on me and allowed me to live in his spare bedroom. In the bathroom, I pasted “I Love Myself” on the mirror. Although I read that statement out loud every morning and said it to myself often, I did not believe it.

One day I was mowing the lawn and as the gas mower was going, I would chant “I love myself.” I thought if the mower were running no one would hear me. But when I shut off the mower the neighbors shouted back; We love you too.”

Kind of embarrassing, but I will never forget the feeling I had. If I love myself others will live me too.” That feeling stuck and made me work even harder.

I recited, “I love myself” all day long, in my mind as my predominant thought and out loud as often as I could. Since most of the time on my job I worked alone I would say my mantra over and over out loud.

I lived with my friend for two years and over those two years my mantra of, “I love myself; I love my life; I love my job.” Not only came into being, but I came to believe every word of it and become firmly convinced that every word was truly how I felt about myself and my life.

Today I do love myself. I do love the life I am living, and I do love my job.

And what of my mantra. When things are quiet my mantra automatically starts to play in my head and it even set itself to music. So, my mantra plays over and over in my mind to the tune of Neil Youngs “Southern Man.” This is much better than the manure my mind used to automatically conjure up.

I am firmly convinced that if you do this as well you would transform your self-loathing to self love.

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 extremely interested in what you have to say.

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 Sharilyn Gilmore

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2520960211495674/

WHY WE SHOULD LISTEN TO OUR BODIES.

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 a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

As Bipolar Sufferers We Do Not Listen To What Is Important.

I have never met a bipolar sufferer who does not have some type of Gastrointestinal issue if not several of them. In my case, I have ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.

Not only that but heart or circulation issues are as prevalent as gastrointestinal issues. I also have high blood pressure.

Why is that? The short answer is we do not listen to our bodies and then suffer the consequences when our body begins to rebel causing us pain and other side effects of neglect.

Bipolar Disorder Makes Us Externally Focused.

Bipolar disorder makes us believe that external things are the cause of our discomfort while our body is screaming that our problem is inside us.

It is like those old horror movies where all the teenagers are looking out the windows for the scary monster and the scary monster is standing behind a group of them in the house.

Every week I end this blog with the statement, “Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations, or other external things.” I say this because bipolar disorder does not want us to look inside ourselves to find what is wrong. Bipolar disorder wants us to look everywhere else.

The Mind, Body, Emotion Conflict.

Where do our emotions come from? Is it our mind or our bodies? Could it be both or is there something else?

Those questions were posed to me about six years ago and sent me on a journey that is still ongoing. But I want to share what I have learned so far.

To me, it was obvious that our mind does not generate or control our emotions, especially the bipolar mind. To me, that meant our body must generate and control our emotions.

Then I read, “Three Brains” by Karen Jenson N.D., the subtitle of which is, “How the Heart, Brain, and Gut Influence Mental Health and Identity. When I came across this book, I was already convinced that bipolar disorder created an identity crisis. This book showed me not only did bipolar create an identity crisis but caused a conflict between our heart brain and our gut-brain.

Why We Should Listen To Our Bodies.

As the book states, we have three brains, two in our bodies and one in our head. Once you understand this it is not hard to figure out that there is more brainpower in our bodies than in our head. That makes our bodies worth listening to. In this light it also quite easy to understand the statement, “your body is quite intelligent.”

If you have a mind that is controlled by bipolar disorder it is even more important that you learn how to let the brains in your body take over.

What Of Emotions?

Bipolar disorder affects our moods and emotions. That is what seems to control us. For many of us, all we really want is emotional control. If we could control our emotions, we would have everything, right?

The fact is we will never have real emotional control without aligning our three brains or at least getting them to work together instead of being in a state of miscommunication.

It Is Imperative We Turn Inwards.

If you agree that it is now time to listen to the two brains in our bodies, how do we do it? Our body has always talked to us and even if you have not listened in decades your body is still talking to you. The problem is we do not understand its language.

 Our mind talks to us in words, our bodies talk in sensations and feelings.

We have to become open to that language.

The other issue is that of trust. We have never trusted our heart or gut. They seem to have led us astray way too many times and betrayed our trust. What if I told you your heart and gut never lied to you? Your bipolar mind wrongly interpreted the signals.

This brings us to my favorite word in bipolar management, “learning.”

To effectively listen to your body, you have to learn the language your body speaks in and even more importantly you have to trust what your body is saying. This will not happen overnight.

3 Simple Things To Start Tuning Into Your Body.

  1. Stop – for a minute stop and relax.
  2. Breath Deep – Take a few deep breaths.
  3. Acknowledge your feelings – The language of our bodies is feelings and sensations. If we acknowledge what we are feeling but do not respond. We will slowly learn to filter out the noise and hear what our body is saying.

The journey to reconnect with the language of your body is both interesting and worthwhile. The benefits are a healthier and happier you. This is a short blog post that I hope will interest you in embarking on your own journey of learning to connect your three brains, mind, heart, and gut and listening to your body.

There are many great teachers on how to listen to your body and in the last few years, many therapists are learning and passing on this skill. As a starting point, I have put a post in the Blog of the Week section below.

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 extremely 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 Amy Kurtz

https://wanderlust.com/journal/actually-means-listen-body

WHEN THINGS ARE NOT WORKING OUT, SOMETIMES WE NEED A NEW STARTING POINT.

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 a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

WHEN THINGS ARE NOT WORKING OUT, SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO FIND A NEW STARTING POINT.

I believe that bipolar disorder is as individual as the people who suffer from it. This means that this illness affects all us of differently and we not only have to find what works. But what works for each of us as individuals.

This is my story and I hope that some of the things I learned may help you.

The first step to finding that new starting point is to make sure you are using the right words to define it.

As a bipolar sufferer, I spent a long time in a life that was not worth living. Nothing was working out in my life in any area. To find the life I wanted I have had to find a different starting point for many areas of my life. To find that new starting point I first had to redefine many words. Keeping the definitions that my bipolar mind told me was correct kept me in the same mindset and unable to find that new starting point.

If you redefine the things that drive, you.

For most of us when we think of what drives us two words that come quickly to mind, ambition, and success. In redefining one of those words I found a new starting point that has completely changed my life.

Like most people, I have always been ambitious and wanted to succeed. Unfortunately, I failed miserably at everything I tried. Why? The short answer is I had the wrong definition for the word ambition and therefore the wrong thoughts and feelings driving my ambition and thwarting success. 

That was my first lesson: the thoughts and feelings a word in your mind generates have an incredible effect on the result.

My idea of ambition had me believing that I would get something material out of it. The truth for me turned out to be that if I made my ambition to be useful to others, I always got a good feeling and not necessarily a material gain.

Over the past decade, since I made being useful my goal, I have found many ways to put that into practice.

Ambition has nothing to do with success.

Success for me was learning to manage my bipolar disorder. I have been fairly successful at that. My life is no longer ruled 24/7 by my bipolar mood swings and my bipolar mind. That does not mean that I no longer have bipolar symptoms, they show up and often at the most inopportune times.

I have made managing my bipolar disorder job one each and every day. Learning to recognize the subtle signs and triggers that bring on my bipolar disorder.

The byproduct of making managing my bipolar disorder job one is I have held a job for a decade with minimal sick time, consistently written this blog for five years, and written two children’s books. If I had not made bipolar management job one, I would be able to point to any of those accomplishments as a gauge to mental wellness.

I encourage you to find that new starting point that will lead to a life worth living.

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 extremely 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 Hilary Jacobs Hendal

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

IS MENTAL WELLNESS A WORTHY IDEAL

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 a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:

Is Mental Wellness A Worthy Ideal?

I came across this quote shortly after my diagnosis in April of 2009.

“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” Earl Nightingale.

This was the question I asked myself. Is mental wellness a worthy ideal? My answer was a resounding, “Yes, for me it is.”

Success Does Not Mean Perfection:

The lie my bipolar brain had convinced me of was, “If it was not perfect, I was not doing it right and therefore I should not do anything.”

It took a year and a really good therapist to convince me otherwise. In talking to many other bipolar sufferers, I learned that I was not alone in this way of thinking.

As a visual person this image did more for me to understand what success really looks like. Success has nothing to do with doing things perfectly. Success is about keeping your goal, mental wellness, firmly in your sights. The goal of mental wellness may seem a long way off and may even be unreachable, but I learned THE GREATEST JOY is really found in the Progressive Realization Of The Worthy Ideal.

There is a second part to the Earl Nightingale quote.

“Any person with a goal towards which they are working is a successful person.” Earl Nightingale.

There is an important word in the second part of this quote and that word is “WORK.”

Jim Rohn supplied the quote that told me what I needed to work on.” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

Defining The Goal And The Work.

Bipolar disorder does not go away, ever. Bipolar disorder is now defined as a chronic condition which simply means that the knowledgeable people in society recognize that you will never get over bipolar disorder as well.

Having a goal of mental wellness does not mean getting over bipolar disorder. The goal of mental wellness means managing bipolar disorder to the best of your ability.

In last week’s post I pointed out the more of bipolar management was learning. That is the work.

It is by progressing along the learning curve of bipolar management that the realization of mental wellness happens. That is where joy is found, in the progress of learning to manage your bipolar disorder not in reaching the goal of mental wellness.

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 extremely 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 John Poehler

THE MORE OF BIPOLAR MANAGEMENT

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 a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:

There Is More To Bipolar Management.

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip Toe if you must, but take a step.” – Naeem Callaway

Bipolar disorder is as individual as the people that suffer from it. That individuality is the reason that bipolar disorder management must be tailored to the individual. There are generalities that apply to most of us, but there are cases where none of the generalities apply.

I end every post with the same statements because they are true. The ones that apply to this post are,

“Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations, or other external things.”

“Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

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

Standard Bipolar Management Strategies.

When you check out the standard bipolar management strategies, they usually say:

  1. eat healthy,
  2. sleep properly
  3.  exercise.

Everyone is supposed to do that! That advice is not specific to bipolar management. Not only that, but you can eat as healthy as you can, sleep eight or nine hours a night, and exercise like a fiend, but none of those actions will fix your mental state.

Manage Bipolar Disorder With Medication.

There are now 50 or more medications recommended for the treatment of the bipolar disorder. Research is proving that there are many nutraceuticals (supplements) that are also beneficial in bipolar management.

Bipolar disorder is as individual as the people that suffer from it. This means it takes a commitment from both the bipolar sufferer and the medical professional to find the pharmaceutical or the combination of pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, that actually work for the individual.

Medications, be it pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals, do not fix your mental state. Medications stabilize your mind giving you a stable platform with which to work on the real problem.

Manage Bipolar Disorder With Therapy.

There is a misconception when it comes to therapy and that is that the therapist is going to fix you. Nothing could be further from the truth. A good therapist is nothing more that a guide and sounding board. The therapist’s job is to challenge our thinking and help us confront our false beliefs.

Bipolar disorder fills our minds with misconceptions and false beliefs that are firmly embedded and only with help can we overcome these. These misconceptions and false beliefs act like walls that stop us from connecting with our authentic selves.

Managing Bipolar Disorder With Mood Tracking.

“There is an app for that.” There is no truer statement for the area of mood tracking. At my last count there are some 30 apps solely devoted to mood tracking and many more that combine mood tracking with journaling.

Mood tracking is more than just noting your highs and lows. Mood tracking allows you to see how outside influences affect your mood. Diligent mood tracking will quickly highlight the things that trigger your emotions.

The More Of Bipolar Management.

By incorporating all of the above, taking your medication, eating well, exercising, practicing good sleep hygiene, tracking your moods, and working with your therapist, you have a decent bipolar management strategy. This strategy may even give you a decent life. But if you want that “Ducky” life there is more and that more is learning.

Learning how bipolar disorder affects you as an individual.

Learning what works for you to manage your bipolar symptoms.

Learning who the person is that bipolar disorder hid away.

Learning skills like proper boundaries.

Learning to improve both your mental and emotional resilience.

The path to mental wellness is hard, it involves a good basic routine and lots of learning. It involves consistency and looking solely at yourself. Remember, “Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations, or other external things.”

Adding learning to your bipolar management is worth it, because if you do those things your life will change like magic.

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 extremely 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 Dana Arcuri

http://www.danaarcuri.com/blog/what-is-stealing-your-peace-of-mind

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the posts 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 a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

A Bit Of History.

May was established as Mental Health Awareness Month in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization. Mental Health Awareness month reaches millions of people through the media, local events, and other promotions.

Mental Health Awareness Has A Purpose.

The purpose is to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illness.

To draw attention to what its like to live with depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

To help provide strategies for mental health and wellness.

To draw attention to the potential for suicide that prevalent with these mental illnesses.

To help reduce the stigma given to those that suffer from mental illness.

Every year Mental Health Awareness Month has a theme and since 2018 the theme has been #4mind4Body.

Each there is a tool kit.

https://www.mhanational.org/2020toolkit

Mental Health Awareness Month 2020

The four months leading up to May 2020 have shed a light on the fragility of the world’s mental health when everyone’s world turned upside down. From the fear of Covid -19 infection to forced isolation, to unprecedented business closures and layoffs. If you are working unless you are a front line worker or an essential service, you are likely working from home. Our world seems out of control or at least out of our personal control.

This is unheard of in anyone’s lifetime and it is taking a toll on everyone’s mental health.

Finding Positivity in the Crisis.

One of the most positive things that I have seen is the outreach on social media and the prevalence of zoom and other connection apps. This has brought about a new way to connect with our support, be it professional and non-professional.

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.

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 John Poehler

VITAMIN C MORE THAN AN IMMUNE BOOSTER FOR THOSE WITH BIPOLAR

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 a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:

Vitamin C is more than an immune booster.

To avoid Covid – 19 we are encouraged to boost our immune systems. The simplest immune booster is vitamin C. For those of us with bipolar Vitamin C has other surprising benefits. Studies are showing that Vitamin C has many benefits in brain function and in mood stabilization.

Studies indicate that Vitamin C does the following:

  1. Improves cognitive function.
  2. Reduces anxiety
  3. Reduces Mania
  4. Strengthens Neurons and Neuron connectors
  5. Reduces depression
  6. It helps protect against toxins.
  7. It helps the body reduce its load of vanadium, a mineral that adversely influences bipolar disorder. 

Other information studies have indicated.

In a Brazilian study, it was found that Vitamin C may be as effective as Fluoxetine (Prozac) in combating depression.

In New Zealand studies it was proven that most people in the western world are Vitamin C deficient (North Americans especially so).

Sources of Vitamin C:

  • Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwis
  • Papayas
  • Guavas
  • Strawberries
  • Dark leafy greens (kale, mustard greens, spinach, beet greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard, rainbow chard, collard greens, watercress, dandelion greens, purslane)
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts
  • Red cabbage

With the new information on the link between inflammation and bipolar disorder these foods of the nightshade family are proven to be inflammatory but are good sources of Vitamin C for people who are not concerned with inflammation.

  • Bell peppers (yellow bell peppers provide the most vitamin C and green bell peppers provide the least)
  • Tomatoes and tomato juice
  • Red and green hot chili pepper

Vitamin C is destroyed by heat and air. Food should be eaten raw or cooked lightly and consumed quickly after cutting or juicing.

Recommended Dosages of Vitamin C.

Humans cannot make Vitamin C; we need to get these dosages from our diet. Smokers need higher dosages of Vitamin C.

Males & Females: 1-3 years 15 mg

Males & Females: 4-8 years 25 mg

Males & Females: 9-13 years 45 mg

Males: 14-18 years 75 mg

Females: 14-18 years 65 mg

Males:19+ years 90 mg

Females: 19+ years 75 mg

For bipolar disorder sufferers, a minimum dosage of 1000 mg daily is recommended and should not exceed 2,000 mg daily. Studies have shown that taking over 2,000 mg daily can cause nausea and diarrhea. These high dosages are unlikely to be obtained through food alone and Vitamin C supplements may be required.

As with any change to your bipolar management strategy you should discuss adding vitamin C in consultation with your professional support team.

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:

Naka Platinum PRO Pure Vitamin C 1000 mg Delayed Release 100% Vegetarian – BONUS Size 180 Veggie Capsules (150+30)

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/search/ref=as_li_qf_sp_sr_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=365daysofbipo-20&keywords=Naka Platinum PRO Pure Vitamin C 1000 mg Delayed Release 100% Vegetarian – BONUS Size 180 Veggie Capsules (150+30)&index=aps&camp=15121&creative=330641&linkCode=ur2&linkId=366f0a806d80c93c69ab2b727924524f

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 extremely 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 Single Mom Chapters

LET US TALK – SELF-CARE

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 a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:

During this time of uncertainty, we have a great opportunity. An opportunity to work on ourselves. To learn good stewardship of our minds, bodies, and spirits.

My basic premise, that bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it, is also true of Self-Care. The first thing I have to admit is I changed the word self-care to stewardship for my life. I am the steward of my life. My life’s one and only caretaker.
Why did I change the word I use to define caring for myself? A mentor made the greatest observation when discussing the topic of self-care. “Pretend you are a beautiful flower, say an orchid. Do you know how to take care of a beautiful flower, like an orchid?”

Of course, I had no idea how to take care of a flower or any other plant at that time. That was his point. Self-care is not something we inherently know how to do. We have to learn what works for us.

For me, taking the approach that I was outside myself and tending to me like I was a plant I knew nothing about really helped me in the beginning.

To be a good steward of the orchid I want my life to become I needed to develop some skills and knowledge.

  1. To learn what the orchid likes, wants and needs.
  2. To know what can attack the orchid or reduce its life.
  3. To not only love the plant but love caring for the plant.

This interprets into knowing, protecting and loving ourselves and loving the act of caring for ourselves when we apply this to our persons. The thing is we have no idea about these things, and we have to learn them.

One other issue that caused me to change my terminology from self-care to stewardship is that this has allowed me to shut out all the noise that has become the self-care industry. Don’t get me wrong there is fantastic information out there under this topic but lighting candles and taking bubble baths did nothing for me. A lot of what is sold as self-care is just being momentarily good to ourselves and has no long-term effect on us. Self-care is a topic is sliding towards instant gratification rather than long term results. If you are the steward of something it instantly connotates you are in this for the long haul.

This is a difficult time for all of us. To help us get through this we need to be good to ourselves and love each other. If this post and this blog can help you learn to be good stewards of your mind, body, and spirit I am overjoyed.

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-Care for the Real World: Practical self-care advice for everyday life.

https://amzn.to/2xzvGqG

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 Lachlan Brown.

https://hackspirit.com/self-love

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

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