Having the ability to “go with the flow” and be flexible in your thinking is a needed skill for dealing with life’s inevitable changes. This is a trait which assist us to adjust more easily to new circumstances, challenges as well as situations as they arise. Whether it’s beginning a new job, taking a new class or getting married, being mentally flexible helps us to grow and also get along better with others.
What Is Mental Flexibility?
Mental flexibility – which is the mind’s ability to adapt – is a particularly sought-after skill among people given the ever-evolving challenges which are faced in the real world. Mental flexibility is related to resilience. Both of these traits are extremely important in terms of maintaining highly functional mental health in addition to developing pro-social behaviour. These two traits can be practised with continuous exposure to new situations, where the brain is challenged to the point right before the stress threshold is attained and then performance is compromised.
The world of mental flexibility and fitness may be broken down into the same three categories as applies to physical fitness:
- Endurance, as well as
As with our bodies, many people develop intelligence and willpower – strength – together with the ability to work incredibly long hours – endurance – but neglect to develop flexibility with our minds. And lacking mental flexibility will just as surely lead to injury as lacking physical flexibility – it’s just that the injuries here are psychological: anger problems, depression, anxiety, meltdowns, emotional crises.
How To Develop Mental Flexibility
An essential part of increasing control over your repetitive thoughts and developing mental flexibility is to become mindful of them when they happen. Then practise the simple technique of thought- stopping. Here’s how to do this:
- Try to envision a red stop sign and saying to yourself: STOP! The more that you practise this, the more you may feel to have control over their thoughts.
- You could also make use a rubber band on your wrist and then snap it when you see yourself in a vortex of negative thinking.
Noting down your thoughts assists you with “get them out of your head” and allowing you to view them in a more rational manner.
Try writing down:
- The thought which is stuck in your head
- What you can do in order to help offset the thought
- Things which you have no control over with respect to the thought
Making use of these techniques could help you improve your mental flexibility which, in turn, may help you to reduce your worries, improve your relationships in addition to reducing the distress that you encounter when you get stuck on unhealthy or negative thoughts and behaviours.
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