Being psychologically flexible allows you to stay rooted in the present moment when difficult thoughts, feelings, and sensations arise and enables you to take a broader, more holistic view of the situation. Developing a more flexible mindset allows us to evaluate and adjust to the different tasks, roles, and responsibilities we are presented with each day with less stress. Cognitive flexibility is related to our perceptions, emotions, actions, and even our deep motivations. A change in environment, attitude, or behavior will also influence the way we think. Feeling optimistic or happy creates more inclusive thinking. On the contrary, fear narrows our focus. When we can make a mental shift without remaining stuck in a particular mindset, we’re practicing mental flexibility.
The basis of psychological flexibility is openness to experiences; There is development-oriented progress by putting aside fixed-mindedness and stereotypes. The individual who leads a life by this; Reacts to the “present tense”, has self-awareness, and can cope with stress and conflict more easily. Individuals who cannot lead their lives in this direction, on the other hand, develop their judgments and encounter various problems that cause stress and anxiety.
Individuals with a high level of psychological flexibility; By using healthy and adaptive “mature defense mechanisms” such as humor, sublimation, conscious suppression, and foresight, can cope with internal events more easily. Since they are aware of their emotions, they can bring permanent solutions to problems by taking conscious actions.
🌱 Try to keep your mind alive by learning something new every day
It needn’t be anything complicated or long. Simply trying to commit a new word, historical date, artist’s name, or a bit of trivia to memory is a great mental exercise that activates parts of the brain’s essential structures.
🛰️ Do something differently often
That is, introduce some change in familiar routines. For example, if you’re in the habit of sitting in the same place while watching TV, sit in a different place once in a while. If you always hold your coffee cup with your dominant hand, have a cup while using your other hand. By mixing it up like this you again recruit pathways in the brain that are not as active as the ones used by the default behavior thus providing another flexible stimulus for your mind.
🙃 Do different things. Instead of doing the “same old, same old” do something different for a change
For instance, have some tea instead of coffee; wear different clothes than usual; hit the stationary bike instead of the elliptical at the gym. This, too, activates and stimulates the brain in novel ways which help keep the mind and psyche balanced and nimble.
🛏️ Get out of your comfort zone
In general, people have a natural tendency to maintain familiar behavioral patterns and habits. Indeed, this is often the path of least resistance because these well-worn routines are as easy as they are comfortable. But just as skeletal muscles have to push or pull against resistance to get stronger, the brain’s “muscles” (i.e., certain structures and neural pathways) must encounter resistance to benefit, too. Keep in mind it is often said that the path of least resistance usually goes someplace you don’t want to be. Therefore, try to challenge yourself with mildly stressful activities on a regular basis. So, drive in the left lane instead of keeping to the right; do a harder crossword puzzle than usual; start a conversation instead of keeping to yourself.