Category : Changing Habits

Changing Habits General

Exercise The Silent Treatment for Bipolar – What You Don’t Know…

Many of you will find the title confusing, and are probably asking: How can exercise be silent? Let me first start by saying with confidence that “exercise” has been a huge factor in helping me control my mood swings. For years I didn’t understand the benefits of a daily exercise routine, but I know it’s responsible for triggering a chain of effects that transformed my life. I guess this can all go back to the concept of a “keystone habit” where one change will trigger others. With that said,

Let’s get back to the title,

I say exercise is silent because it’s a decision that “YOU” make, and no one else. It’s an internal decision when you’ve had enough, and want to take positive steps to transform your life. I remember for year’s people would try to force me to start exercising, however I didn’t want to listen to anyone except my inner self. It was when I finally had enough, and wanted to transform my life by doing things differently that I incorporated exercise into my daily life style. I’m going to re-iterate my point once more: EXERCISE CHANGED MY LIFE!

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Changing Habits General

Divide Your Emotions to Help Cope with Bipolar – Defining Expectations

If you haven’t read the overview, then please read it before continuing. You’ll have a better understanding of this method. Today, I’ll be exploring one of the MOST important steps of this approach – Defining Expectations.

For the last 4 years, I have been self-coaching myself, trying to find ways to improve my mood swings. I’ll admit, much of the support does come from motivational books, leadership courses, and understanding Bipolar Disorder. Here’s what NO one will tell you: much of how we control our mood swings or even stop an episode from occurring is based on understanding our emotions. For example, think about what we learn from the various support groups. A majority are based on communication to lighten the emotional pain, understanding trigger points, redefining situations, etc.…right?

Have you noticed all of these have to do with emotional control, and it’s because your emotions control your mind and vice versa.

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Changing Habits General Just My Thoughts

How I Knew Something Was Wrong – My Symptoms

I try to think back to when I first knew something was wrong, and I needed help. The problem with bipolar is many of the symptoms can be similar to other characteristics. For example, you might start to wonder if the symptoms are related to smoking pot, lack of sleep, a bad day or week, or something else. Before I went and talked to my doctor about my symptoms, I must have been feeling them for 2-3 years prior.

Here are some common symptoms of bipolar:

  • Sleep changes
  • Mood changes
  • Social anxiety
  • Feeling sad
  • Talking fast
  • Concentration problems
  • Hopelessness
  • Poor focus
  • And many others

To the naked eye, or to someone who knows nothing about bipolar, these symptoms can translate to almost anything…right? I know friends who have trouble sleeping, or are upset some days. I have a sister who talks way too fast, and others who are shy within a social gathering. Is it safe to say they are all living with bipolar?

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Changing Habits General Growth

My Experience with Psychosocial Therapy as a Treatment for Bipolar

Since I was first diagnosed with Bipolar in 2000, I have been on a mix of different medications. Some have been more valuable than others, helping me stabilize my mood swings, however, I would NOT give them so much credit as to changing my life. Many people believe finding a good mix in medication with very little side-effects will help you live happy day-to-day. I’m living proof that it’s much more complicated than that because medication doesn’t help you deal with the daily stresses of life. For example, ask yourself these questions…Will medication

  1. help you deal with stress?
  2. make you happy?
  3. perfect your relationships?
  4. help you lose weight?

I still have to give enormous credit to medication, and the role it played within my life. It helped me deal with my mood swings so I can live a balanced life, however, many of the changes I made have to do with something called “Psychosocial Therapy”. Here’s a quick definition:

 “Psychosocial therapy helps people learn about their moods, thoughts, behaviors and how they influence their lives. They also provide ways to help restructure thinking and respond to stress and other conditions.”

I’ve always believed medication lays the foundation because it helps stabilize your mood swings, but it’s how you handle situations that really help you excel in life. If you can determine what triggers your mood swings or depressive state, then you can find constructive ways to handle those situations reducing the actual “trigger” …right?

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Changing Habits General

Divide Your Emotions to Help Cope with Bipolar – Overview

One of the biggest things I’ve had to deal with while living with Bipolar is my ability to control the various emotions I go through. Some trigger episodes, whereas others put me into another state of mind. However, one thing’s for sure, it’s been hard trying to find a middle ground for my emotions. Over the years, I’ve tried hard to find ways to manage my emotions, and the link between them and my trigger points. I’ll admit it’s tough because for years, I’ve had a certain mind-frame and this forced me to approach situations in a certain way.

I started to take this stuff seriously about 6 years ago, which is pretty bad because I was diagnosed with Bipolar in early 2000. I must admit, since then, I have been able to make a leap forward because I got better at understanding my emotions and how to divide them into the right category. Before I continue, much of this does stem from psychosocial therapy, which studies emotions and understanding triggers before they happen. I am in NO way endorsing this theory because that’s NOT what I do, however, if I’m being completely transparent, then it’s important I give credit where deserved…right?

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Changing Habits Communication

All It Takes Is “1” Change (Power of Habit)

Recently, I’ve been trying to find out how powerful habits are in transforming your life. This all started when I picked up the book by Charles Duhigg called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. I found out about this book from my sister, who had seen it at a book store in London, England. Just like many of us, she skimmed through it, and the points illustrated resonated with her. One day, on a call with her, she described the book, which I found very interesting.

I had just joined up with Audible, and had bonus credits available, one of which I used to purchase the audio version of this book. In all honestly, if you haven’t read this book, I encourage all of you to read it because it will change your view on habits, and why we do what we do. If I was going to go through the entire book, and what I learned, it would take me several months to write out, however, I want to talk about something known as a Keystone Habit.

If you have read my other content, I’ve mentioned its importance before, however, I want to connect how a single keystone habit can be used to help us (those living with bipolar).

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Changing Habits Growth Success

How Planning My Day Gives Me A Mental High

I believe you are in control of your ultimate destiny, even though, at times, it may seem harder than before. However, just the fact that you are in control means you have the ability to manage, and create, situations that give you a mental high.

Suffering from bipolar has allowed me to really understand my train of thoughts, and I’m able to categorize them as either positive or negative. Today, I want to talk about something special that I suffered with for many years. We all have certain aspects of our lives that play a crucial role every day like relationships, work, health, self-fulfillment, etc., and it’s how we feel about them mentally that makes them either good or bad. For example, if I create a mind-frame that my relationship with my girlfriend is horrible, then that negative thought will haunt me until I can flip it upside down. I’ll admit that many times, it’s horrible and I have to work at it to make things right, but suffering from “bipolar” has caused me to view things negativity even when they are going well.

It’s this part that has caused me the MOST suffering from 1998 onwards. I was officially diagnosed with bipolar in 2000, however, way before that, I had to deal with conflicting thoughts, which affected several parts of my life.

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