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Aura Moon Star
August 8th, 2008, 07:09 PM
Greetings. I'm bi-polar and have a hard time focusing my brain for any length of time because of the constant stream of thoughts flittering about my noggin. Does anyone have any ideas for things I could do to remedy the problem?

TIA

Astara Seague
August 8th, 2008, 07:13 PM
I know your new but our meditation forum has alot of ideas and helpful hints.. also easier meditations that may work well for you ...so take a look ...there is quite a few good suggestions :hugz:

Aura Moon Star
August 8th, 2008, 07:24 PM
Thanks, Astara!

Aura

~Belladonna~
September 2nd, 2008, 02:00 PM
You could try certain oils and incense to burn to help you relax and quiet the mind while meditating, and also look into the use of crystals as these can be great for relaxation and general mind chill lol (just make sure you research the different crystals first as some can be quite lively and they will do the opposite of what you want them to do) ;)

tellmethetruth
September 2nd, 2008, 02:22 PM
Greetings. I'm bi-polar and have a hard time focusing my brain for any length of time because of the constant stream of thoughts flittering about my noggin. Does anyone have any ideas for things I could do to remedy the problem?

TIA

Your problem isn't unique to people with bipolar - it's part of being human. The buddhists call it "monkey brain," because you're just swinging from one thought to another, to another in rapid succession. Meditation is one of the best things you can do for yourself and is actually very good therapy for people with bipolar.

You just have to keep bringing yourself back to the object of meditation, gently and persistently and patiently, and with great compassion toward yourself. Try setting your timer for only 5 minutes and meditating on the breath and counting your breath as you meditate. Each time you catch yourself following a thought, just bring yourself back to the breath and start counting again. You may only get 1-2 breaths in and then have to start over - again and again and again. When your time is up, congratulate yourself for being persistent. Don't grade yourself on how long you were able to maintain attention.

Don't beat yourself up. It could take months before you feel ready to meditate for more than 5 minutes at a time. It's great training for the brain and, if you stick with it, it will pay off big time in the long run.

Am3thyst3R4yn3
September 2nd, 2008, 02:51 PM
Your problem isn't unique to people with bipolar - it's part of being human. The buddhists call it "monkey brain," because you're just swinging from one thought to another, to another in rapid succession. Meditation is one of the best things you can do for yourself and is actually very good therapy for people with bipolar.

You just have to keep bringing yourself back to the object of meditation, gently and persistently and patiently, and with great compassion toward yourself. Try setting your timer for only 5 minutes and meditating on the breath and counting your breath as you meditate. Each time you catch yourself following a thought, just bring yourself back to the breath and start counting again. You may only get 1-2 breaths in and then have to start over - again and again and again. When your time is up, congratulate yourself for being persistent. Don't grade yourself on how long you were able to maintain attention.

Don't beat yourself up. It could take months before you feel ready to meditate for more than 5 minutes at a time. It's great training for the brain and, if you stick with it, it will pay off big time in the long run.

my mother suffers from the same issue alongside PTSD and borderline personality disorder, when her doctors reccomended meditation for her they say pretty much the same thing so i think this is a good course of action. also try to use something else in conjunction with the meditation like sounds ( nature-y sounds are my best recomendation. for me and my mom we have CD's of nothing but the sound of thunder and rain storms.) or aroma therapy. sometimes when the mind has more to process it is easier to follow the suggezstions being fed into it and relax, according to my mother's doctor anyway.

CzechWoods
September 2nd, 2008, 03:15 PM
instead of fighting it, go along with it

in ancient times, bi-polar people would have been rather seen as gifted, than sick. theyr incoming messages would be looked after not treated.

listen, watch, witness

brymble
September 21st, 2008, 07:30 PM
Have you tried meditating ON the constant stream of thoughts? I know it sounds crazy, but try it. Instead of fighting the thoughts and blocking them or making them go away, greet each one. Say, "Hello, you're a thought! Welcome to my head. Please go enjoy yourself over by the pool, I'm expecting more guests." Then let that thought go its merry way, and get ready to greet the next one.

scorpio7
August 18th, 2009, 05:18 AM
I also have bipolar disorder and am prone to racing thoughts, which can make meditation difficult. Two bits of advice...

1) It does take practice. Try meditating for short lengths of time (even set an alarm for 10 minutes or however long if you feel the need) to start and gradually increase them. I found that the more I meditate, the easier it becomes to slow my mind. Sometimes it still takes me 10+ minutes to get into "meditation mode" but eventually my thoughts do slow down.

2) I agree with those who have said "just go with the thoughts." Sometimes I find this is a form of meditation in itself.

Another thing I've been trying that kind of goes hand-in-hand with #2 is firstly, saying a prayer to whatever god(s)/goddess(es) you pray to. I haven't actually discovered mine yet (hence the meditation!) so I say something like, "Lord and Lady, please reveal your messages to me..." Then I try to focus on meditating on something specific. For me, this has been figuring out which deities are calling to me and which path is right for me at this point in my life. So I'll start by thinking about different paths that interest me and I just let the thoughts go...What emotions does each make me feel when I think about it? What colors, images, words, etc. come to mind? I think this method could be used for just about anything though; adapt it to your needs! I hope that made sense...it's 5 in the morning here and I'm a little groggy, lol.

Hope this helps!

Katheryne
November 30th, 2009, 03:16 AM
I have found guided meditations help me out a lot. If you cant find one on CD/MP3 you like, make one yourself. Write the meditation down and read it into a recording device or even your computer. Then you can play it back for yourself. Or have a friend read it for you.

This would be just to get you started, then eventually after "getting the hang of it" move on to unguided.

Also the thing to remember with focusing on your breath is not to belittle yourself or feel bad at all for not being able to maintain the focus. You are not the only one who can only count 2 breaths before having to refocus your mind. I have to constantly remind myself not to feel bad about it. If your mind wanders, acknowledge it and bring yourself back to your breath. Its ok it does get easier with LOTS of pratice. But then major legue baseball players started somewhere too. But with years of practice became all stars. :D They grew slowly over time, just as you will with patients and practice.

I have also found the random images and thoughts to be fun to work with instead of against sometimes as well. Some of my best visions have come from the randomness of my mind. Remember to keep a journal by you and when you are done write down all you saw in every detail you can, even if it means nothing to you now. Then you can go back after a while and see what things your inner mind was telling you and how to better listen to it for better results later. Learning what signs mean to you from your own mind can go a long way to "reading" them. The God and Goddess talk to us through our meditations. Learn their language and you can go a long way to understanding what they have to tell you.

I didnt mean to write a book... really I didnt. :hahugh:

Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.

BeautyQueen
March 1st, 2010, 02:35 PM
Have you tried meditating ON the constant stream of thoughts? I know it sounds crazy, but try it. Instead of fighting the thoughts and blocking them or making them go away, greet each one. Say, "Hello, you're a thought! Welcome to my head. Please go enjoy yourself over by the pool, I'm expecting more guests." Then let that thought go its merry way, and get ready to greet the next one.

That's an interesting idea. I'm also having the same problems.. chains of thought come into my mind in a moment... hmm... I think I'm gonna try this one..

Polypseudonymous Rex
March 3rd, 2010, 10:43 PM
I've worked with some bi-polar meditators. My doctor used to think I was bi-polar, but we now realize that I actually experience a combination of clinical depression, PTSD and mild OCD. My symptoms, when taken together, can mimic bi-polar "disorder," but that's not really my diagnosis. I appreciate the advice I'm seeing here, and I have a couple of pieces of advice to offer.

Yes, there are times to just go with the thoughts. Explore them. Journal them - this often dispels them because it reassures you that you haven't lost any information. However, there will also be times when you want to turn the racing thoughts off.

Our thoughts tend to race when we're in waking, especially agitated, states of consciousness (what's sometimes called Beta state). You may wish to ask for help from a guide, god, or goddess who particularly works with altered states of consciousness or shamanistic practices. For instance, I find that either Cernunnos or Odin is a great help to me when my thoughts are racing and I don't want them to.

I also believe that, because there is a neuro-chemical reason for the racing thoughts, you can find neuro-chemical solutions through bio-feedback. Many bi-polar people have to start with slowing breathing, adjusting heart rate, and other techniques related to controlling systems that are usually autonomic. In fact, you may want to do some research on bio-feedback to start the process.

No matter what you do, don't get mad at yourself or your racing thoughts. There is a reason you have these thoughts (and, no, it's not that you're crazy). Learn to accept them and then, if you need to, move on. Sometimes I make several false starts when thoughts lead me away from a meditative state. I acknowledge that I'm having the thoughts, then gently move myself back to the task at hand. I never get upset with myself for thinking, though - that's for other people to do. :)

Dragonfly Spirit
October 12th, 2010, 06:47 PM
Thanks OP for posting this thread and everyone else for the helpful replies. It's helped me as I'm having similar problems at the moment. I have not been dignosed with bi-polar but I'm under the local mental health team for other reasons. A month ago I started going to a pain clinic for another problem at a different hospital and at the end of each session they do a 5 min relaxtion period, where they turn down the lights and so on for everyone to concentrate on their breathing and etc. I have not been able to do it. While it might be relaxing to everyone else it seems to have the oposite affect on me, when the lights go down and everyone goes quite I feel like I've been pluged into the mains, I can hear everyone elses breathing, the slightest sounds outside, conversations from people in the corridors and my mind is going like a pin ball machine with thoughs coming from all directions, 2 weeks ago I had a panic attack, it was like my brain just couldn't cope with anything else. So last week they said I didn't have to take part, so I didn't shut my eyes or follow the relaxation talk and while it helped and I didn't get panicky I still felt like my brain was wired into the mains. I had not connected that it could be linked to my mental health problems, to be honest I just felt so daft that something everyone else in the room seem to find easy and relaxing I couldn't do. Now I wll try some of the suggestion listed here and also talk to my psychotherapiest next week to see if she thinks there is a connection.