Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Bipolar II: Racing thoughts, Stress, and Insomnia

Bipolar II: Racing thoughts, Stress, and Insomnia
By Erica Loberg 
Last accessed: 13 September 2016

It’s a triple threat, and hard to manage when all three take hold of your brain and make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, and try and manage to get up and face the day without unbridled exhaustion. 

Hypomania can be at the core of these symptoms of Bipolar II disorder and can seem impossible to manage when all three attack. But there are small things you can do to help yourself overcome those nights.

1. Racing thoughts: Acknowledge they exist.  Whether it is focusing on one thought or a stream of thoughts both are crippling and demand attention and deflation. Try and pin point what the thoughts consist of, what’s at the root of the thoughts, and try and redirect your brain to a calm place.  Some may call it meditation. Meditation is an exercise similar to the practice of yoga. You have to work at it.

2. Stress: Stress maximizes itself when whatever is causing you stress keeps you up at night.  Ask yourself, how is obsessing over your stresses going to help you tomorrow.  The stressors will most likely still be there and having a good night sleep can only help alleviate those stressors the next day. It’s important to keep that in mind when you start to allow the components that are causing stress to enter your mind and alter your sleep pattern. Stress is a plague that doesn’t get any better by focusing on it when your priority is sleep so the best thing for your mind is to let it go, for now.

3. Insomnia: Sometimes we don’t have racing thoughts or experience stress in our current state of mind, yet, insomnia lingers above your bed which can be frustration. It is difficult to temper your insomnia when you don’t have a reference point to help manage it.  You can simply be stuck staring at the ceiling or staring down the clock in fear that you know you are not going to get an appropriate amount of sleep and have nothing in your mind to address what may help appease that insomnia.  So, acknowledge that you might be helpless to dissect the root of your insomnia so accept it for the time being.

When you experience any or all of these symptoms of Bipolar II disorder one way to manage this experience is to meditate. Clear your racing thoughts by focusing on nothingness. Let your stressors go by telling yourself they will still be there tomorrow so what’s the point of focusing on it tonight? And insomnia?  If you make an effort to work on managing racing thoughts, and stressors in your day, your insomnia will inevitably take a back seat to your night of sleep.

Peas be with ewe 

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