1. Walk for Exercise and as a Healthy Lifestyle

Walking can be one of the best natural remedies for depression and bipolar disorder. It helps to naturally adjust the brain's chemistry. Walking has proven to be better than medicine (says Duke University) for mild to moderate depression, and helps for major depression and bipolar disorder as well.

2. Attention to Diet and Nutrition

Attention to diet can be of value in overcoming symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. One well-read doctor and authority on bipolar disorder estimates that up to 30% of symptoms associated with bipolar disorder can be remedied through attention to exercise, diet, nutrition, as well as by giving up smoking and any use of alcohol.

Anyone with symptoms of bipolar disorder should consider doing without alcohol completely. Eating whole grain foods such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole grain cereals or oatmeal for breakfast, as well as eating breakfast daily, not skipping meals, cutting back on unhealthy snacks and sugar, cutting out coffee of the diet, both caffeinated and decaffeinated, are all of value in regulating mood swings associated with bipolar disorder.

3. Creating Works of Art can be a Natural Mood Stabilizer

Highs and lows associated with bipolar disorder can be evened out through engaging in painting and drawing. Art can be soothing to the senses and has helped some to level off their mood swings. One to three hours that one might spend “lost” in art, quiets the mind, the soul and takes one away from the bombardment of stimulation that we often become used to through the media.

Create your artwork without music or television, silently, quietly. Turn off the music and TV, and enjoy the peace of art. Art can also help one break away from pornography addiction, it can be helpful in restoring broken self-esteem, and it can be a part of healthy lifestyle changes that lead to recovery from bipolar disorder. Art can be a natural mood stabilizer, and it is free of side-effects.

The mind and mood needs to stabilize, calm and quiet down. The constant stimulation that we often get from the media needs to be turned off. What can you do get some serious quiet and to rest your mind so that it can repair or heal itself? Professional art therapy with a licensed art therapist is also a viable option.

3. Unplug-Movies, Video Games, T.V.

Along with developing interest in art is the idea of unplugging the TV, as well as cutting back on watching movies (or doing without) as well as with video games, especially action or violent movies and video games.

The news can contribute to depression for some, and television commercials with the “sound byte” time-frame of ever-changing visual stimulation, can affect the mind and mood. Those with symptoms of bipolar disorder can recover much faster and without medication, by unplugging all of the above. It will make a difference. Keeping time on the computer balanced also helps one to avoid social isolation.

4. Read - It is Strengthening to the Mind

Reading slows down the mind, strengthens the mind, in a way that TV cannot, and stimulates the imagination. Reading can be, if one reads silently, a quieting experience, quieting on the mind. By reading positive material, reading magazines of interest, nature, for adults or children, positive spiritual literature, Bible reading, this can contribute to a stronger mind, stronger spirituality and more insight into current events, than does watching the news nightly.

Reading opens the imagination, and by reading newspapers and news magazines, one can get a broader and more in depth view of the world’s news, and can more easily get less sensationalized reports. Reading bridges the gap between passive viewing and participating in what one is reading about. Reading takes more mental effort that watching TV or a movie, without overwhelming the mind. Therefore, it is the mode of choice for persons suffering with bipolar disorder for both news and as a form of recreation. Children should learn to be readers, what is more, “a reader is a leader,” and this saying often proves to be true.

5. Build Hope and be Patient with Yourself.

Don’t give up. Things do get better in time. Progress might be slow, but it doesn’t have to be "like this" forever. Associate with positive, supportive people. Learn to be patient and measure success in small increments rather than in total recovery.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and bipolar disorder won't be conquered in a day. By searching for that desperate "quick fix," or throwing oneself into a stringent medical regimen, only to stop 3 months later, is self-defeating. There is no miracle cure, but some have found success through lifestyle changes, and though it wasn’t an overnight miracle, the small positive steps led to larger steps and recovery.

So be balanced, patient and know that you can overcome mental health disorders like bipolar disorder, with effort, patience, practical lifestyle changes, yes, getting tough with yourself, prayer, and the support of friends, family, and sometimes professionals as well. Think of recovery as a long-term goal and you won’t get frustrated or disappointed. Please see our website for the article, 50 Ways to Overcome Bipolar Disorder without a Perscription. http://www.winmentalhealth.com/bipolar50ways.php

Author's Bio: 

The AYCNP is a not-for-profit corporation in Newark, NJ which offers educational resources on non-pharmaceutical solutions in mental health.

More ideas in mental health can be found in the ADHD book: Overcoming ADHD Without Medication: A Parent and Educator's Guidebook.