I enjoy getting out of my house, whether it’s to go shopping, pay bills, go to the bank, whatever. My problem is, once I get out and have been out for even just a bit, I start to get extremely irritable, and sometimes, really angry. “Stupid” drivers, too many people in the grocery store, things that might seem like minor annoyances to some people are a great stress to me, and I know that it is one of my major triggers. I can’t, however, stay in my house 24/7. And the other half of the problem is that, I KNOW when my mood is changing, but I am powerless to stop it once it goes, and it continues to get worse thru-out the rest of the day, not better. After that, even the most minor things make me really angry or irritate me beyond any normalcy. What are some ways I can keep from going into a down-ward spiral when I go out, and how can I get out of the bad, bad mood if I happen to get there despite all my efforts?
Not all people with bipolar but many of us get stressed out by the prospect of “going out”, especially to social events. Anything that brings us stress can trigger the bipolar disorder. Just being aware of the thing which stresses you out, such as going to social events, means that you have more control over the situation.
I know it may seem tough at times or even near impossible but you can go out with little to no stress. It’s difficult sometimes because automatically we think, “What if I make a fool of myself?”, “What if I’m not dressed appropriately?”, or “What if I’m late and everyone stares?” The list can go on and on. What we never think about are all the positives that could come from going out such as, “What if I have a good time?”, “What if I enjoy myself?” or “What if I’m given compliments on how I look?”
There are many things you can do in order to help with the stress you may feel when thinking of going out. Try to maintain a positive attitude. Psych yourself out by thinking positive thoughts such as “My friends would love to see me at this party.” or “I would enjoy the company of others tonight.” At first it may be difficult to believe these positive statements as they’re not natural to anyone who has bipolar but with practice they become more natural.
Practice meditation, yoga or deep breathing. These exercises will help you keep your anxiety at bay. You’ll feel more relaxed. Deep breathing was sometimes difficult for me to remember but yoga really helped. I find when I make time for my yoga the day becomes less stressful overall and I’m more at peace. I’ve heard the similar things about meditation from friends.
Just relax and think positively and you’re sure to have a great time with family and friends!