Why Mindfulness is the Missing Piece in the Bipolar Puzzle
I know I say this time and time again. Mindfulness is the missing piece in the bipolar puzzle. It’s the key to managing bipolar disorder. But the question is: why is this true?
The mindful approach to bipolar symptoms is radically different from traditional treatments. By practicing mindfulness, we learn to just be present with bipolar symptoms rather than trying to make them go away. This helps us to manage bipolar disorder.
This may seem like it doesn’t make sense, but it works.
You see, our minds normally respond to symptoms by using automatic thinking patterns. These patterns actually make symptoms worse. However, if we simply let unpleasant emotional states be, they tend to become less intense and fade away.
That’s the mindful approach. It’s how you learn to live with and manage bipolar disorder.
In truth, it’s a beautiful thing. Learning to do this can totally change your relationship with your illness. That’s because once we see and experience reality as it is through mindful awareness, we have the freedom to act.
In other words, mindfulness is the path to freedom. That’s because mindfulness is about liberating us from our habitual thinking patterns and behaviors that keep us stuck.
And there’s something else. Something that you need to know.
Scientific research has shown that mindfulness is helpful for people with bipolar disorder
and that meditation practice can actually rewire the bipolar brain.
Bipolar symptoms are simply the result of faulty wiring in your brain. Symptoms automatically occur when neurons misfire.
Scientists once thought that this “misfiring” was permanent. It was assumed that the adult human brain was unchangeable. That is… until the game changing concept of neuroplasticity was discovered.
Bear with me. I’m going to get scientific for a minute.
Neuroplasticity is the medical term for your brain’s ability to reprogram itself in response to experience. It means that your brain can adjust course. It can literally change the way it fires.
That’s where the power of mindfulness comes in.
Before mindfulness meditation, the brain’s natural tendency is to take a path of mind wandering chaos. HOWEVER, as we develop mindfulness skills, it becomes easier and simpler to experience the present moment by way of focus on the breath and other bodily sensations.
The result is life changing. Through regular meditation, we have the ability to change habitual thinking patterns and emotional responses. Much like a computer update, the brain’s software adapts and changes.
This is why mindfulness just may be the missing piece in your recovery puzzle. By practicing mindfulness, you can change (and learn to live with) your thoughts. And changing (and learning to live with) your thoughts will most certainly change your life.
Now you see why I constantly stress mindfulness as an essential part of health and happiness. Sometimes learning the answer to “why” can be the driving force in taking up something new.