Meditation For Bipolar Disorder Backed By Science [TUTORIAL]

meditation for bipolar disorder

One of the most recent breakthroughs in medical science has been the use of meditation for bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is an incredibly painful illness both for the individual with the condition and for their friends and family.

I’ve written a guide to helping people with depression that can help friends and family.

And today I’d like to share some tips on meditating when you are bipolar.

What is bipolar disorder

Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive) is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. [1]

Statistics show that 2.6% of the population as bipolar disorder. WebMD notes that it is a much more common problem than most people realise. [2]

  • The symptoms of bipolar disorder include:
  • Feeling high and full of energy sometimes, then low and exhausted other times
  • Having increased activity levels sometimes, then decreased activity levels other times
  • Being easily agitated / irritable
  • Feeling worried or empty
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping

Science has proven that meditation can help with bipolar disorder.

And according to the research, meditation just may be the best long-term solution if you’re bipolar. [3]

 

 How Meditation for Bipolar Disorder Works

Meditation can help to eliminate the symptoms of bipolar disorder. in these ways:

1: It helps to regulate moods.

We can use meditation to regulate emotions and moods.

In The Tao Of Bipolar [AMAZON], C. Alexander Simpkins PhD says :

The mental training that comes from praccticing meditation increases activation in the parts of the brain that manage emotions and moods.

Bipolar patients who use mindfulness as a part of their daily practice show increased levels of peace and less mood swings for many hours after the practice session. [4]

By meditating regularly, manic depressives can greatly decrease their mood swings and find more stability to their emotions.

Meditation also leads to more awareness, which can help manic depressives to avoid the highs and lows while maintaining a healthy, balanced mental state.

 

2: Meditation boosts neurotransmitters

Bipolar medications work by boosting certain neurotransmitters. [5]

Mood is significantly affected by lacks of dopamine, GABA, serotonin and other brain chemicals. Medication boosts those chemicals, but so too does meditation, and it does so without any side effects.

 

You can also boost neurotransmitters by practicing yoga.

 

3: It makes you aware of your own thoughts.

When a person meditates, they learn to calmly observes their thoughts and moods. And they are able to detach from those moods.

Therefore, meditation reduces our reactivity to emotional states.  By practicing meditation, you become aware of your moods, detach from them, and take control of them.

 

4: It helps the prefrontal cortex:

The prefrontal cortex is essentially the control terminal of your brain.

Its functions include knowing good from bad, right from wrong, and understanding the consequences of actions. It also organises the structure of thoughts

. The prefrontal cortex has a very significant impact on people suffering from various personality disorders like depression. Meditation helps to boost the prefrontal cortex, helping to lower the manias and control the depression.

 

5: Meditation helps manic depressives live normal lives:

Meditation has been proven to be of great value to people suffering from bipolar disorder.

Manic depressives who practice meditation are shown to take control of their mind, to suffer less severe highs and lows, and to find regularity to their moods. This empowers them to live healthy, normal lives.

 

 

The best meditations for bipolar disorder

My guide to 31 meditation techniques (free) teaches you everything you need to know about meditation.

 Always consult your doctor before beginning. This information is for educational purposes only. 

Make sure you read my guide to the basics of meditation before you start.

 

Sitting Breathing:

 Seated breathing techniques are usually the best place for beginners to start.

This is the easiest meditation technique to learn.

Essentially you sit and focus your mind on your breathing.

This slows your mind down and helps to create internal balance and harmony (thereby helping to regulate the lows and highs of bipolar disorder)

One of the common symptoms of bipolar disorder is that it makes it hard to control your breathing.  [6] By using breathing meditations you can take control of your breathing. This will help you to relax when you have a mania.

 

 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is one of the most important of all meditation techniques. And one of the easiest.

In mindfulness meditation you focus the mind on the present moment in a non-judgemental fashion. This helps your mind to relax and helps you to control your mood, which is very beneficial for bipolar disorder.

 

Zen Meditation

Zen meditation is very similar to breathing meditation. What makes Zen meditation different is that it uses specific body postures that are said to make you relax more easily. Zen is also one of the most famous of all meditation techniques, which is why it’s often the first one people try.

Zen meditation will help with bipolar disorder because it helps you to focus and to create inner balance.

Zen meditation completely closes you off to external stimuli. This is very helpful because bipolar events are often triggered by external stimuli like noise [8].

  • I’ve created a beginners guide to Zen meditation to get you started.


Walking meditation: 

The most basic type of movement meditation is a walking meditation, which is used a lot in Zen practices.

This is a gentle and slow paced technique which is excellent for general relaxation.

Think about the last time you went for a long walk and how relaxing that felt. Now times that by ten and you’ll be somewhere near how relaxing twenty minutes of zen walking is.

Walking meditation is a fantastic way to silence your thoughts. And that’s very helpful for people with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder can be triggered by racing thoughts [9] so by slowing your thoughts down you can begin to take control of bipolar disoder.

You can read my guide to Walking Meditation here.

 

Meditation can help bipolar disorder. But always make sure that you are comfortable and that it is safe to practice meditation. I urge you to speak to a doctor before trying these meditations.

My Ultimate Guide To Using Meditation For Depression has extra info that will help.

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