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Laura Yeager: Activities for Reducing the Stress of Bipolar Illness: Part II

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Continuing my topic this week – activities other than ingesting meds that can help you deal with your bipolar illness – I’m now going to discuss journalizing and praying.

I found journalizing to be invaluable when I was first diagnosed. There were so many things in an average day that bothered me that I found that if I wrote them all down, I felt better.

So I wrote down everything that bothered me.

This is one way to use a journal, but there are other ways as well.

One might record the mini-successes one experiences in the day. Or one could have several categories in their journal – the nuisances of the day, the successes of the day, fears of the day, things to do today...

I know bipolar people who do at least two hours of journalizing a day. The activity really helps them cope. Especially with mania, your thoughts can race. Writing them down in a journal helps to organize one’s mind.

And now, I turn to the helpful activity of praying.

What can I say about prayer that hasn’t already been said? It’s life-saving. I have a friend who calls those urgent, immediate prayers one throws up to heaven “flare prayers.” “Dear God, please get me through the next five minutes.”

Whether one is manic or depressed, a higher power can intervene and help you cope.

What if you don’t have faith? Pray for faith...God will give it to you.

In conclusion, this week we’ve looked at several coping mechanisms that are useful if one has bipolar illness, and if one does not as well. Everyone can benefit from the coping activities I discussed this week.

I wish you peace this week. Relaxation can be just a moment away...

Add a Comment1 Comments

I have survived 26 years with manic depression as an atheist. Using a journal is helpful, but I have found that for me staying firmly in contact with reality is the only way I can function.

June 14, 2009 - 11:52am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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