I learned about Baseline Moods during my stay in the hospital. It was part of learning to track my moods in order to manage my bipolar episodes. One of the things that I took away from that class was that we all have a unique rhythm that dictates our personal normal mood base. Mine runs on the higher spectrum and my sister’s runs on the lower which makes sense if you think about it. My episodes are manic and hers are depressed.
I failed to recognize that when you have an elevated mood baseline you are also physically elevated and therefore more active. This caused an issue when I went searching for a bit of mindfulness in the form of yoga. I thought yoga would calm me and instead I was just physically revved up. Big backfire and a bit of a let down. I had really wanted to do yoga but I did the only thing I could do. I accepted the fact that it wasn’t for me and I moved on.
I needed a mindfulness activity that induced calm but didn’t bore me to tears and was in my price range. I kind of hit a brick wall, I knew about yoga and I understood that I could sit still in a contorted position and try to clear my mind by trying to ignore the little hamster on it’s wheel spinning endlessly (and noisily) in my head, which sounded impossible (at that time). I felt defeated. So, I did what any word nerd would do, I grabbed my dictionary and looked up “Mindfulness.”
If you look mindfulness up in the dictionary, there are two hits; both about awareness but it is the second that hits the mark that I was after.
2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
I had a bit of a panic, I didn’t do feelings very well, and bodily sensations might as well be holding hands with feelings. Thoughts! Thoughts are my preferred realm, I can deal with thoughts, my mind never stops. Now obviously this is something I should be working on. It is fine that I think…a lot. It is not okay that my thinking has a tendency to become obsessive, slip into hyper drive and cause me to be a raging insomniac; hence the need for mindfulness. It was a point that wasn’t lost on me but my questions was how do I find the right mode of mindfulness to practice?
For my readers dealing with Depression, Bipolar or Anxiety, if you would like to track your moods (if you don’t already) there is a great site called MoodTracker.com (its free and they have a demo if you want to try it before signing up).
Photo: busy as a bee, the beauty in small things # 5, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A. Nikon DSLR 5300, macro lens by Pamela