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How to Create Mental Flexibility

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about how to create more psychological flexibility. So as we go about daily life, being able to be a little bit flexible in our way of thinking is a necessary skill for navigating life's inevitable changes and challenges. By being flexible, we can adapt to new circumstances and events as they arrive, whether it's starting a new relationship, dealing with health challenges or trying to make big decisions or working through conflict. Being mentally flexible helps us to handle it all more effectively.

It also aids our personal growth and our ability to thrive in the world. However, sometimes we just tend to get kind of stuck in certain thoughts and behavior patterns. We get stuck in our ways, as they say, fixed in our views, rigid in our thinking. Now, when these happens, it's not because there's anything wrong with you. Your mind is operating as it evolved to operate.

Our minds like certainty. And so they lock into certain fixed patterns because really, there's a huge number of things to think about every day. And if we reconsidered everything every time we needed to make a decision, we'd never get anywhere. But just because this tendency is helpful in that it really helps us not become overwhelmed by information, it doesn't mean that we should just let this tendency run wild without supervision. Why? Because, well, if you have a fixed belief, like I'm not smart enough to run a business or I can't trust people, or I'm hopeless with money, I'll always be broke or relationships never work out for me, or I can't do this.

If you have thoughts like that and you stay fixed in those beliefs, you're likely to stay stuck in unhelpful ways of relating to yourself and the world around you. But mental flexibility, the skill of training your mind to be open to new, more helpful thoughts and perspectives, gradually releases us from the grip of those fixed unhelpful beliefs. So how do we develop more psychological flexibility? Well, mindfulness practice is really a fundamental skill here because mindfulness opens up a space in our mind in which we can step back from thoughts so we're no longer so identified with them, we're no longer having to buy into them so we're not caught in their grip. The other thing you can do, besides mindfulness, is deliberately question unhelpful thoughts when they arise. So you can ask yourself, is this thought or belief useful or helpful? If it's not, you can just let it go or you could choose to try on a more empowering thought.

So for instance, your mind says, I'm not smart enough. You might choose to think, well, Hey, I won't know if I'm smart enough until I try. So let's give it a try. Anything's possible with enough determination and patience. So by practicing mindfulness and questioning thoughts, you can shift from being stuck in rigidity to developing mental flexibility and you'll become gradually less reactive and stressed, and more resilient, positive, and empowered.

As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

How to Create Mental Flexibility

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about how to create more psychological flexibility. So as we go about daily life, being able to be a little bit flexible in our way of thinking is a necessary skill for navigating life's inevitable changes and challenges. By being flexible, we can adapt to new circumstances and events as they arrive, whether it's starting a new relationship, dealing with health challenges or trying to make big decisions or working through conflict. Being mentally flexible helps us to handle it all more effectively.

It also aids our personal growth and our ability to thrive in the world. However, sometimes we just tend to get kind of stuck in certain thoughts and behavior patterns. We get stuck in our ways, as they say, fixed in our views, rigid in our thinking. Now, when these happens, it's not because there's anything wrong with you. Your mind is operating as it evolved to operate.

Our minds like certainty. And so they lock into certain fixed patterns because really, there's a huge number of things to think about every day. And if we reconsidered everything every time we needed to make a decision, we'd never get anywhere. But just because this tendency is helpful in that it really helps us not become overwhelmed by information, it doesn't mean that we should just let this tendency run wild without supervision. Why? Because, well, if you have a fixed belief, like I'm not smart enough to run a business or I can't trust people, or I'm hopeless with money, I'll always be broke or relationships never work out for me, or I can't do this.

If you have thoughts like that and you stay fixed in those beliefs, you're likely to stay stuck in unhelpful ways of relating to yourself and the world around you. But mental flexibility, the skill of training your mind to be open to new, more helpful thoughts and perspectives, gradually releases us from the grip of those fixed unhelpful beliefs. So how do we develop more psychological flexibility? Well, mindfulness practice is really a fundamental skill here because mindfulness opens up a space in our mind in which we can step back from thoughts so we're no longer so identified with them, we're no longer having to buy into them so we're not caught in their grip. The other thing you can do, besides mindfulness, is deliberately question unhelpful thoughts when they arise. So you can ask yourself, is this thought or belief useful or helpful? If it's not, you can just let it go or you could choose to try on a more empowering thought.

So for instance, your mind says, I'm not smart enough. You might choose to think, well, Hey, I won't know if I'm smart enough until I try. So let's give it a try. Anything's possible with enough determination and patience. So by practicing mindfulness and questioning thoughts, you can shift from being stuck in rigidity to developing mental flexibility and you'll become gradually less reactive and stressed, and more resilient, positive, and empowered.

As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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