4 Meditations For Bipolar Disorder That Help Give You Control
4 Meditations For Bipolar Disorder That Help Give You Control

Good news: There are some excellent bipolar meditation techniques that science suggests could cure bipolar disorder.

As a meditation teacher, several people have asked me: can meditation cure bipolar disorder?

So I researched the science.

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

This condition is an incredibly painful illness both for the individual suffering from it and for their friends and family.

The good news is that meditation can help with bipolar disorder. It can help to increase the stability of your mood and to reduce the extremities of mania and depression.

Meditative exercises are a natural way to help with the symptoms of the disorder. There are massive benefits of mindfulness that help with bipolar disorder, not lest the fact that it helps us control emotions.

What Are Bipolar Disorder And Meditation?

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] People with the condition often fluctuate between mania and depression [READ: Meditation For Depression].

Meditation is a health practice that involves focusing the mind on specific things. This includes breathing techniques, physical exercises, and ways of thinking.

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 or irritable
  • Feeling worried or empty
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping

Can meditation help bipolar disorder?

Many people ask me: Can meditation help bipolar disorder? I am not a medical healthcare professional, rather a meditation teacher, so it is not my place to answer this question directly. However, there is significant scientific evidence showing that meditation can help with bipolar disorder. And for the majority of people there are certainly plenty of reasons to try some meditative exercises. However, it is also worth bearing in mind that there are some health risks of meditation.

Now for the good news:

Science has proven that we can use meditation for bipolar disorder.

There are specific bipolar meditation techniques that can help to alleviate the symptoms of the problem, such as by increasing mood stability and reducing the levels of mania and depression. 

Studies show that one particularly good exercise for manic depression is to use mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy.

Studies show that practicing mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy can lead to an increase in self control and executive functioning, and reduce the behavioral symptoms of bispolar disorder. [3

The study showed that an increased awareness of thoughts, feelings and sensations helped to decrease depression and increase cognitive functioning.

 Benefits of Meditation for Bipolar Disorder

There are specific ways meditation cures bipolar disorder:

1: Regulate moods.

We can use meditation to regulate emotions and moods.

In The Tao Of Bipolar ,  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 inner-peace and less mood swings for many hours after the practice session. [4]

Some of the best meditations for bipolar disorder include calming exercises like mindfuln breathing, which can help to decrease mood swings and improve emotional control.

These exercises also increase awareness, which can help manic depressives to avoid the highs and lows while maintaining a healthy, balanced mental state.

2: Improving 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 significantly less observed side effects than medication.

3: Awareness of the mind

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

Essentially, when we meditate we increase awareness of the various processes of the mind, such as thoughts and emotions. We come to understand that it is normal for our emotions to fluctuate to some degree. Once we understand these mental processes we become less reactive to them. We no longer get caught in our own emotional cycle. We are able to take a step back from the emotional rollercoaster, which can help give people with bipolar disorder more control.

4: Bipolar meditation techniques help with 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.

NewScientist says” Mindfulness meditation increased thickness in the prefrontal cortex and parietal lobes, both linked to attention control, while compassion-based meditation showed increases in the limbic system, which processes emotions, and the anterior insula, which helps bring emotions into conscious awareness.”

5: Helps manic depressives live normal lives:

Manic depressives who practice meditation have been scientifically observed to have more control of their mind compared to those with the condition who do not meditate.

4 Best Meditations For Bipolar Disorder

 Always consult a healthcare professional doctor before beginning. This information is for educational purposes only. 

1.Mindful Breathing 

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

This is one of the easiest methods to 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 manic depression).

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

2. CBT and Mindfulness for Bipolar Disorder

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

In mindfulness 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.

Scientific research shows that Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy is particularly helpful.

3. Zen

One of the best meditations for bipolar disorder is Zen.

Zen methods is very similar to breathing techniques . What makes Zen 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 techniques, which is why it’s often the first one people try.

Zen meditation helps with bipolar disorder because it helps you to focus and to create inner balance. It completely closes you off to external stimuli. This is very helpful because people with the condition are often triggered by external stimuli like noise [8].


4. Walking  

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.

Mindful walking is a fantastic way to silence your thoughts. And that’s very helpful for people with bipolar disorder. The condition can be triggered by racing thoughts [9] so by slowing your thoughts down you can begin to take control.

Meditation can cure bipolar disorder, science suggests.

Can meditation cure bipolar disorder? Science suggest it might be able to.

But always make sure that you are comfortable and that it is safe to practice meditative exercises. I urge you to speak to a doctor before trying these techniques.

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SOURCES:  

2: https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-disorder-myths-facts
3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3277324/
4: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3277324/
5: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4769029/
6: https://www.everydayhealth.com/anxiety-disorder/bipolar-disorder-and-anxiety.aspx
7: https://bipolarcaregivers.org/treatment-and-management/common-bipolar-triggers
9: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-racing-thoughts-378823

Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher and writer. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Meditation can’t cure bipolar. It can’t replace traditional therapy, like medications, for bipolar. Please don’t spread false notions.

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