People always talk about how important it is to be physically fit and flexible; and while it is vital, psychological flexibility is just as necessary to live a completely healthy lifestyle.
It’s easy to overlook psychological flexibility, because it requires rewiring your brain to be more mindful of your repetitive thoughts and actions. And yes, it may be as hard as it sounds, but achieving this trait can result in living a life with balance and control.
What Is Psychological Flexibility?
Having psychological flexibility is best described as being able to “go with the flow” and handle life’s many changes without becoming too overwhelmed. This trait helps us adjust to challenges or new situations and is vital to being mentally & emotionally fit.
A part of the brain called anterior cingulate gyrus, otherwise known as the ACG, is responsible for developing psychological flexibility. The ACG, when working properly, helps us focus on one thing, let it go, and focus on something else. This can be difficult for many people; and when they aren’t able to let go of one thought, they may feel stuck.
Combatting Inflexible Thoughts & Feelings
When people can’t let go of thoughts or behaviors, they may begin to feel like there’s nowhere else to go. They may then become argumentative, stubborn, worrisome, and uncooperative when things don’t go how they planned.
Getting stuck in these patterns and displaying these tendencies may be partly due to:
- An overactive ACG
- Obsessive compulsive tendencies
- Eating disorders
- And more
It can be hard to break free from these thoughts, but it is possible. It’s all up to you.
Becoming More Psychologically Flexible
We could all afford to be a little more psychologically flexible, especially during the year of 2020 when everything is unpredictable. It can help us live an overall healthier life, both mentally and emotionally. Here are some helpful tools to try:
Learn something small every day.
Example: memorize a new word in another language
Switch up your routine in tiny ways.
Example: don’t sit in your “regular” chair at the table
Do something different to keep the psyche balanced.
Example: drink coffee instead of tea
Leave your comfort zone.
Example: take a new class or complete a hard puzzle
Change your diet & exercise routine.
Example: Eating protein will increase serotonin, while having a high-protein diet improves energy
- Practice stopping your thoughts to become mindful & gain control
- Write down thoughts to clear your head
This is all easier said than done, but just one small action can help inspire you to push yourself further and adopt full psychological flexibility.
Achieving psychological flexibility means that you will no longer be saddled down with worries and spiraling thoughts. By achieving this trait, you will be more in control of your own thoughts and emotions to attain a happier lifestyle.
If you’d like to achieve more psychological flexibility but aren’t sure where to start, our team of professionals can help you adopt habits to help you get closer to your goals. Contact us by giving us a call at 267.719.8528.