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How to Create Mental Flexibility

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



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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.


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.

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