Zen For The Manic Depressive

4 12 2010

One thing that anyone with manic depression or bipolar affective disorder will know ever so well are the joys of racing thoughts and thoughts that just won’t go away. It’s one of those things where it’s hard to stop thinking about things, mainly because it’s not easy to find things which will divert your attention for any appreciable time away from the things which it has, of its own volition, locked onto like a heat seeking missile.

There are many methods of relaxation etc that can be used for calming the thoughts and making life a little more bearable. Those who know about such things will teach you but the thing is that everyone is different and having tried a couple of techniques myself, I find that life gets in the way of it so you kinda have to reach your own calming place.

Now, Zen is a much touted yet rarely explained thing. Let me make it as easy as I can. Zen is a state where you don’t think, you just do. As said above, acheiving Zen is usually advocated by doing relaxation things such as meditation, but everyone is different so there are ways which work for one person that won’t work for another. For example, for me, going snowboarding for me is a way because just going down the slope, gently carving along means I don’t think, I just do it.

It’s very much worthwhile looking at your life and seeing what you do that produces zen-like effects, it’s rarely a complex task, it’s just something you do without thinking. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to do this within your life then you can use it whenever stressed in order to relax by just taking a break. Don’t worry if people think you’re strange, you are strange… but then so are they. To provide an example to justify this, I’ve just cooked up a batch of prawn crackers, not exciting, definately not normal (unless you happen to work in the local chinese), but certainly did the job for me (plus the bonus of snaffling a few… just to sample to make sure they’re done right of course).

Aaaaannnnnnnnnnd…… relax.

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