How many times have you felt trapped in your own emotions, thoughts, behaviors, or memories?
While we may not realize it, we are often stuck in our heads without being able to see beyond how we are really feeling. Fortunately, practicing Psychological Flexibility offers a way out.
Psychological flexibility refers to our abilities to experience and process our emotions. It’s also part of how we adapt to the environment around us, as it constantly changes. The ability to manage and regulate our emotions in response to an unpredictable world entails being flexible. It also means living our lives in line with our core values. This might help us more frequently experience joy and meaning in life. By practicing psychological flexibility, we end up with greater vitality while keeping in mind various important aspects of our identity.
The interest and literature around the importance of psychological flexibility continues to grow rapidly. One of the key factors that can help us develop psychological flexibility is mindfulness: the ability to remain present in the moment, be open to our thoughts, and act according to that. Mindfulness allows us to pay attention to the physical external world around us, or the internal psychological world within us in a connected and engaging way. It also helps us tolerate stress and develop an open attitude towards our emotions, thoughts, and sensations – no matter how challenging they may be. Practicing mindfulness techniques can help us anchor our awareness to the present without being judgmental toward ourselves.
Being mindful also requires that we give ourselves permission to feel and think about unwanted experiences from the past and those that could happen in the future, rather than trying to escape them. This practice can help us resiliently cope with the challenges of life. Being open and tolerant of our thoughts and emotions requires us to step back and watch our thinking instead of getting tangled up in it.
Another important aspect of psychological flexibility is being aware of what matters most to us. Getting to know our values guides our behavior and we become more committed to living according to them. This is a powerful way to learn how to respond more effectively to the challenging situations we encounter in life.
The absence of psychological flexibility can often be a sign of psychopathology. Lack of flexibility might lead to rigidity and low contextual sensitivity. The inability to flexibly respond to changes in the environment is one of the warning signs for many disorders, including mood and anxiety disorders. Being able to maintain a rich and flexible outlook on life, increases our ability to effectively deal with our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in any circumstance.
Psychological flexibility seems to be one of the key points of maintaining a healthy well-being. This concept embodies emotional regulation, mindfulness, as well as acceptance and commitment. This wide range of dynamic abilities forms the essence of health.
Kai.ai is built upon the foundations of psychological flexibility. Engaging with Kai consistently helps individuals strengthen and grow their flexible ability, open up to the present moment, discover their core values, build their resilience, and improve their lifestyle based on their growing potential.
Hayes, S., Follette, V., & Linehan, M. (2004). Mindfulness and acceptance: Expanding the cognitive behavioral tradition. New York: Guilford Press.
Hayes, S. C., Wilson, K. G., Gifford, E. V., Follette, V. M., & Strosahl, K. (1996). Experiential avoidance and behavioral disorders: A functional dimensional approach to diagnosis and treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 1152−1168
Harris, Russ. ACT Made Simple (The New Harbinger Made Simple Series) (p. 9). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.
Kashdan, T. B., & Rottenberg, J. (2010). Psychological flexibility as a fundamental aspect of health. Clinical psychology review, 30(7), 865-878.