How to manage your thoughts and feelings before they become overwhelming.
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Mindfulness and Managing Stress When You Have Bipolar Disorder Hi! I'm John Macmanamy and I live with bipolar disorder. I am both an author and an advocate. I'm here today to share with you what I have learned about mindfulness and managing stress. Let's get started. Think of mindfulness as the mind watching the mind. There are many aspects to mindfulness but what I what to focus on is this. Our keen awareness allows to literally see it coming. We can spot dangerous thoughts and feelings before they take over our brains, before it’s too late. Then, by taking corrective action, we can literally nip a mod episode in the butt. Hold that thought for a second while I talk about stress. Our illness predisposes us to being overwhelmed of this. Our brains can't cope. Instead, we often respond to a bad situation by flipping out or shutting down where there is a mood episode in and of the way, you will find a stressful event that triggers it. Obviously, if we can spot stress coming, we have a decent chance of avoiding a mood episode. Well, how do we do that? You guessed it, mindfulness. Let me give you an example. This happened to me a few days ago. I was giving a talk to a local mental health group. Not too far into my talk, I noticed someone get up on of his chair and approached the organizer of the event. “Oh, dear,” I thought. He’s complaining to the organizer about my talk. I found myself tensing up then I caught myself. “This is interesting,” I said to myself. Instantly, I became a neutral observer of my own thinking. I was able to dismiss my erroneous thought. Instead of working myself into a panic, I was able to relax. And because I was able to relax, I delivered a very successful talk. And how did it feel delivering a successful talk? Very good! Thank you very much. Mindfulness is my real mood stabilizer. It is how I best manage my stress. But, like any skill, you don’t master it overnight. I recommend you do your own research. Establish a good working relationship with your doctor and therapist. Reach out to the people around you. Find support and become your own expert patient and advocate. This is John Macmanamy. For more information, also visit Google and type in Bipolar Managing stress. Thank you for watching and live well.