In Part 1 of this blog series, I discussed using exercise and conversation with others as a natural means of dealing with my mental illness, bipolar disorder. I continue below with three additional natural strategies that I find particularly effective.
Natural Strategies I Use to Deal With My Mental Illness
3. Writing Helps Me Manage Bipolar Episodes
I write poems, stories, and sometimes I write in a journal. Spilling my thoughts onto a page is natural, and it helps me cope with my mental illness. It’s the next best thing if I don’t have someone to speak with in person about my bipolar thoughts. Writing is one of my go-to strategies and it’s helped me relax since I was eight-years-old.
Writing allows me to look at my problems differently. It helps me get the frustration out and allows me to clear my mind in a healthy, natural way. This is important because when my bipolar flares in either direction—high or low—I sometimes fly by the seat of my pants and later regret it.
4. Mindset Matters With Mental Illness
The mind is a powerful force. If you allow it to run freely, it will choose to focus on the negative, especially among those with mental illness. That’s why I take the time to corral it into positive thinking by focusing on what is going right for me at the moment. The more you get your mind to see the good, the more likely it will choose that over the negative. That’s what I do to manage my bipolar in a natural way.
5. Laughter Helps Me Cope With Mental Illness
Laughing is a natural way to lift one’s mood. It’s a quick way to shift my mental state. I watch something that’ll make me laugh and forget about the bipolar. There’s so much in this world that can bring us down. It’s our choice whether or not to fall. I choose to laugh.
I enjoy looking at memes and saving them to share with people. This gives me something to look forward to. I also watch videos on YouTube and sitcoms on Netflix or Hulu.
I laugh often and easily, and this helps balance out the darkness that clouds my mind and triggers my mental illness. It helps me see the lighter, easier side of life. I laugh so much that people notice and sometimes stare, but I would rather laugh than cry or be mad, which are two emotions my bipolar goes to far faster than I ever want.
Natural Strategies for Bipolar and Other Mental Illness
These strategies help me to deal with my mental illness in a natural way by providing balance. None of this is difficult to do. These strategies give me a chance to feel and think positive and they offer sweet relief from the constant stress. Because of that, they’re worth my time.
There are many things we cannot change, but we have complete control over how we react to what comes our way. Our perception of what is happening can shape our moods. That’s why I make a concerted effort to maintain a healthy mental state while living with bipolar. Hopefully, these strategies help others with bipolar or other mental illness, as they continue to help me.