This is the fifth post in a series. If you have not read the previous posts on meditation and bipolar disorder, please go to 365daysofbipolar.com/blog to read the previous posts.
Some teachings point out that “not everyone can meditate.” I have found that it is always teachers of calming/tranquil types of meditation that make this statement.
I’m afraid I have to disagree with this statement. I feel everyone already meditates; I believe if you think you meditate. Themed Meditations and Affirmations proved this in my life and the lives of many others. As sufferers of bipolar disorder, myself included, we ruminate on thoughts all the time. Most people do not see this as meditation. Since everyone meditates, all that is required is to open our eyes and minds to the fact that we are already meditating. It would be best if you defined what you are meditating on.
James Allen wrote the definition that I use over 100 years ago, “Mediation is the intense dwelling, in thought, on an idea or theme, with the object of thoroughly comprehending it, and whatsoever you constantly meditate upon not only will you come to understand, but you will grow more and more into its likeness, for it will become incorporated into your very being, it will become your very self.”
Thoughts And Bipolar Thinking.
This definition states that “meditation is the intense dwelling in thought.” As a bipolar sufferer, this definition fit right into what I was already doing, dwelling intensely in thought. I admit those thoughts were entirely negative and destructive, but I did not have to change anything; I just had to redirect those thoughts.
Recent studies indicate that most people have 60,000 thoughts a day, and most of them are negative. No one has studied bipolar sufferers exclusively that I can find, but I would hazard a guess that bipolar thinking causes way more thoughts than 60,000 just based on the fact that one of the symptoms of mania is racing thoughts. For thoughts to be racing, you have to be generating more than the average of 60,000 thoughts.
The Object Of Meditation.
The definition offered by James Allen says the object of meditation is “to thoroughly comprehend an object or theme.”. That is part of the problem, study after study has proven that bipolar sufferers have comprehension issues. But that is comprehension at a specific place and time. Themed meditations and affirmations, by this definition, offer us time to comprehend something. We are allowed to think about something until we understand it. That is why themed meditations and affirmations work when other forms of meditation do not.
How To Use Themed Meditations And Affirmations.
Themed meditations and affirmations are best practiced when active, When you are gardening or out for a walk, running on the treadmill. Activity and these types of meditations are linked because it is easier for the theme or affirmation to take hold when our bodies are also active.
Themed meditations are when you meditate on a quote or on a passage in a book to understand it and incorporate this idea into your life. Some people have offered that quotes can be taken out of context and can reaffirm false beliefs. My experience is that this is unlikely if you use quotes from reliable sources such as Good Reads and Brainy Quote.
In the beginning, I used the quotes of Victor Frankle, the author of “Mans Search For Meaning,” as these quotes directed me towards what I wanted to become.
Mohamed Ali gave the best description of how to use affirmations and how they work. “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction that things begin to happen.”
By this definition of affirmations, you start by affirming something that you do not believe, like “I love myself.” You repeat this affirmation until you not only believe it, but you become so convinced that this is a fact that you begin to reap the benefits of loving yourself.
Many people say that affirmations do not work or as in the case of Tony Robbins and others, they have changed the word affirmations to something else. Tony uses “Incantations.” People say affirmations do not work because they never used them properly or stuck with them long enough for what they are affirming to become that deep conviction when things begin to happen.
How to Use Affirmations.
To use affirmations properly and have them work requires repetition. More than repletion, they need to be said with force and positive emotion, even if you are saying them in your head. That is how affirmations become beliefs and then deep convictions.
The Benefits of Themed Meditations and Affirmations.
It is through themed meditations and affirmations that we begin to change. To lift ourselves towards the better life we always wanted but did not know how to get there. Themed meditations and affirmations slow down and change our thinking over time. They direct our thoughts in more positive directions. They are a gateway to living in the present moment.
Join me next week when I share some of the themes and affirmations that I used to change my life.
Please let me know in the comments about your experience with meditation or bipolar disorder and if you found this information helpful to you. Please like and share this post.
As we conclude this week’s blog post, always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our struggle 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.
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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 that I found interesting that may inform you. The following blog is another author’s work. I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Molly, the creator of Transatlantic Notes.