LIFTING MY MOOD IS A DAILY EXERCISE. Living with Bipolar 2 is about managing moods, especially depression. If I feel my mood dropping, I know some action needs to be taken. Instead of isolating, I try to make contact with other people (Even though it’s incredibly difficult to be around people when I’m depressed). I’m learning to identify the signs that my mood is lowering, for example, insomnia, irritability, weight loss/gain, ruminating on the negative, isolating, etc. Since I often don’t have control over many life situations and the emotions they illicit, I try to focus on changing my automatic thoughts and behaviors (See the blog page for information on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Cognitive Model of Depression). The research is beginning to show that changing behaviors and thoughts, which are activities of “mind,” allow the possibility of creating new neurological pathways in our brains and improved mental health. By practicing mindful awareness of thoughts and repeatedly replacing negative thoughts and behaviors with positive ones, we can ease our depressive symptoms, strengthen neural pathways that lead to mental health, and gain some control over our mood states. It’s not easy, but absolutely possible. Just remember that you’re not alone in the struggle. You have many fellow travelers on this amazing hero’s journey.