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Mindfulness tips for bipolar

Thanks very much to everyone who joined us at the September meeting and a warm welcome to the newcomers!

We began the meeting with a presentation on mindfulness and you can read a summary of the information below.

We wrapped up the session sharing experiences of mindful practices and their impact. Feedback was positive in the main but we acknowledged that mindfulness may not be suitable for everyone.


Mindfulness Tips for Bipolar Presentation September 2023

What is mindfulness?

  • Paying attention to what is going on in the present, rather than thinking about the past or future.

  • Paying attention to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment.

  • Awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen.

How might you be more mindful?

  • Notice everyday things

  • Try something new

  • Name thoughts and feelings

  • Meditation

  • Pick a regular time

How mindfulness can help mental wellbeing:

  • Experience afresh things taking for granted

  • A new perspective on thoughts and feelings

  • Can help to deal with stress and anxiety

  • Allows time to take a break

  • Increased concentration

  • More feelings of social connection

What is mindfulness meditation?

  • Techniques can vary but in general it involves deep breathing and awareness of body and mind

  • Usually involves sitting silently paying attention to thoughts, sounds, sensations of breathing or parts of the body

  • Whenever the mind starts to wander, you bring your attention back to the original focus

Changes in the minds of expert meditators

  • Our minds wander 47% of the time (Killingsworth and Gilbert 2010 study)

  • When the mind wanders it uses the ‘default network’ (parts of the brain activated ‘by default’ when not focused on a task).

  • People tend to say they’re less happy when their mind wanders.

  • The default network uses similar parts of the brain as those for thinking about the past, the future, and other people.

  • Expert meditators use the default network less when meditating (and even after meditating) (Brewer et al. 2011 study).



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