Life is unpredictable. We often can’t change our situations, but we can ALWAYS change our reactions. Do you want to tap into your inner resilience? When you practice the art of psychological flexibility — pivoting and adjusting to changing realities — you can overcome any challenge and experience more success, happiness and contentment today!
Resilience 101: Stretching Your Mental Flexibility
Do you view the world with a rigid perspective and hard-wired expectations? While it’s always helpful to have goals, holding on too rigidly to how you expect life — or even a specific situation — to unfold only leads to disappointment, stress and anxiety, and frustration.
After all, our life journeys never proceed the way we planned. Unexpected circumstances pop up. Things outside of our control emerge. Outcomes surprise us, despite our best-laid plans and most well-researched decisions.
A better approach is mental or psychological flexibility. This refers to the human mind’s ability to recognize how a situation is changing, and adapt in order to meet the demands of your new reality.
It’s a more dynamic approach to a world that’s always in fluid motion. And it carries concrete benefits. For instance, people who are more flexible in their careers are more productive, get sick less (perhaps because being positive may help boost your immune system), achieve more of their goals and feel happier with less burnout and less psychological stress, according to a study conducted by the American Sociological Association.
Today, more than ever, we need resilience as many of us face social changes, community lockdowns, and uncertainty in an age of global pandemics, tense politics, and shifts in how the world conducts its business. Psychologists report that when we’re able to stay flexible and recognize and adjust our thinking, our approach, and our expectations, we’re more empowered to overcome difficulties, challenges and even trauma.
How to Stay Flexible and Embody Resilience
1. Be open
Life surprises us, and those surprises often feel “negative” or “bad” because they don’t match whatever preconceived notions or expectations we might have had. But remember, life is never black or white. Our life journey is a beautiful tapestry of textures and colors woven together over the years. If you stay open to what could be, the surprises we experience can often be viewed as positive and purposeful.
2. Release expectations
If you hold on to a very specific expectation, you’ll experience self-doubt and disappointment sooner than later. Instead of creating a very concrete, detailed expectation, consider trying to aim for a specific feeling or experience.
For instance, an expectation like, “I will be in X role in my career in 12 months,” can create stress, anxiety and anger if the business changes, you get laid off, or your boss doesn’t agree.
But if you instead aimed for a more holistic goal, like “I want to feel fulfilled in my job and be a leader,” you are able to aim for your happiness and success, versus a very specific outcome.
Similarly, “I’ll never get sick” is a specific outcome. But, “I’ll do what I can to build immunity and feel full of vitality and health” is more open and holistic.
This leaves you open to the possibility that there is more than one way to achieve the goal you want, thus letting you experience the fullness of life without resentment.
3. Stay in the present
It’s easy to catastrophize our thinking (i.e. project your mind into the future and foresee the worst possible outcome of whatever happened today) or glamorize the past (i.e. think of your past experiences in a romantic, rose-tinted way as if it was some past paradise).
Neither extreme serves you.
If you want to be flexible and resilient to life’s uncertainties, stay grounded in the present. What spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle calls “the Now” is all that matters, and in this present moment, the past and present don’t matter. In fact, the past and present simply live in your mind.
“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one,” he says. “But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.”
Stay present using mindfulness tools such as:
- Gratitude journals
- Contemplative silence
- Bringing your awareness to your physical body and what it’s feeling now
There is some evidence that positive mindset and resilience can boost your immune system or it could simply be the contrast, that a negative mindset and catastrophizing lead to poor health and lowered immune system function. Either way, you’re always better served by seeing life as a gift and remaining open and flexible in order to enjoy all that there is on offer.
Perhaps you’ve been working on improving your mindset for some time and have implemented many lifestyle changes to improve your immune health but still struggle to fight sickness… You may need a natural supplement which replaces the vital proteins your thymic gland once produced, but ceases to after the age of about 40. Many people find that their health wanes after this age and this lack of proteins which help to “train t-cells to better seek infected cells” could be the issue. Learn more about BioPro-Plus which replaces these proteins with a bio-identical version to help restore immune function. Read more about BioPro-Plus.
Interested in More News to Support and Uplift Your Life? Keep Reading: