Sometimes, the best way to overcome any obstacle is to meet it calmly, confidently, and head on. That means being aware of the situation and working every day to combat what ails you. For decades, doctors have attempted to cure mood disorders, like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and more, with drugs and diets, but emerging research suggests that what patients really need most is mindfulness.
Habitual contemplation stimulates the same neurotransmitters as medications, and it works to engage your prefrontal cortex, which is believed to house your true personality. If you suffer from a mood disorder and are currently undergoing additional treatment, try practicing these daily meditations to help center your body and mind and regain control of your life.
1. The Value of Feeling Emotion
Helen Keller said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
Remember that your emotions are valid — in fact, they are crucial to what makes you human. While your emotions may require more concerted effort to understand and control than others’, you should still revel in your ability to feel emotion.
2. The Control Over Life’s Path
American writer Richard Bach believed, “Within each of us lies the power of our consent to health and to sickness, to riches and to poverty, to freedom and to slavery. It is we who control these, and not another.”
While your disease might make you feel helpless at times, think about how you still have power over the direction of your life. With the proper treatment for mood disorders, you should regain control of your mental and physical health, which will provide the ability to guide your life as you see fit.
3. The Significance of Companions
Anais Nin wrote, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Relying on others for aid is not weakness, but strength. Adding new people into one’s life only works to provide deeper insight into what it is to be human, and reflecting on the benefits of one’s friends and family — new and old — will allow you to approach your illness from different directions.
4. The Sadness of Change
Anatole France, a prolific writer and philosopher, said, “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
Many people suffering from mood disorders fear entering treatment because they don’t want to lose what they see as a crucial part of themselves. The truth is that you will change as your learn to live with your disease, but that change will ultimately be for the better. Reflect daily on what positive changes you’ve noticed due to your treatment.
5. The Meaning of Mindfulness
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “We become what we think about all day long.”
Many sufferers of mood disorders benefit greatly at the beginning of treatment by imagining a specific life they would like to lead. Then, through concerted effort, these sufferers can take steps to achieve that goal. Throughout the day, you should ask yourself if what you’re doing will contribute to your picture of your future “normal” life.
6. The Power of Kindness
Buddha preached, “Kindness is the natural way of life, not the exception.”
Living with a mood disorder is far from easy, and there will be days that are especially difficult. However, if you strive to be kind no matter your attitude or the atmosphere around you, you will find that maintaining a positive, healthful outlook becomes easier.
7. The Gratitude for Aid
Renaissance man Albert Schweitzer said, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
No one can succeed in anything without outside aid, and this is especially true among sufferers of mood disorders. Even on your darkest days, you must reach out to those around you. More importantly, you must be thankful to those people who reach back with help.
8. The Importance of Effort
Carol Burnett famously stated, “Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.”
Your mood disorder is your own and no one else’s. Though you have doctors and therapists to guide you as well as friends and family to aid you, ultimately you are in charge of your well-being.