Bipolar Disorder

New Years Resolution: Positivity

new-year-chapter-oneBefore the year ends, there is a buzz about the new year resolutions that we are planning to make for the coming year.  A resolution is a noun that can be defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something or the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.

I have never been the biggest fan of making resolutions.  How many people resolve to lose weight and a mere 2-4 weeks later they are back to the same behavior of not exercising and not being mindful of what they are eating.  Seeing so many people fail at keeping their resolutions, I have come to not make them, for fear that if I do make them, I will be like everyone else and I will not achieve my goals.

There was a shared theme in our house of wanting to be more positive and optimistic.  Very achievable goals, and what an impact it should make if all members of our family focus on the same resolution.  We don’t have a home where there is much fighting, but at times, we deal with some grumpiness and those that are a little short tempered (both of those are usually me, but I am working on improving).  It blows my mind to think about how much more harmonious my home will be if everyone is making changes to be happier, through being more positive and optimistic.

In previous months, I introduced sharing positive things that happened during our day with my family, usually at dinner.  Although I was asked by my therapist to provide three positive things, I only asked my family to come up with one.  And in most cases, this was a challenge.  We would have to pull teeth, and hair and cat tails to get each member of the family to share.  Much to my surprise, at the start of this year both kids started journals where the sole purpose of the journal was to record their positives.  Every day we share, whether it is in person, or through text when they are not with us, we talk about what they chose as their positives for that given day.  It is a wonderful experience.

I personally am working on exercising more.  Yes, partially because I would like to lose more weight but mainly to help with my mental health.  I have hit a brick wall with my anxiety and I am unable to further increase my medication due to it’s proclivity to cause me to glide up into the level of mania.  Therefore, I need to use other techniques to combat the anxiety and OCD triggered intrusive thoughts.  Using CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) techniques, meditation, mindfulness and exercise, I hope to combat the lingering illness that is currently plaguing my mind and holding it hostage.

Focusing on the positives in each day is part of my process.  If I can keep my mind in a place where I am mentally swimming in sunshine, I should be better able to play the game of “whack a mole” in my head with the negative, intrusive and immobilizing thoughts that are partying like it’s 1999.  To know that my family is working on shared goals, I have support in a way that I have never had before.

What do you plan to institute into your life? What goals do you wish to achieve?  How can you be successful?  What is holding you back?  Would spending a few moments each day identifying the positives in your day help you to achieve your resolutions?

I wish you perseverance, tenacity and drive in accomplishing all that you wish to pursue in this new year.


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