Psychology and Psychiatry

Emotional flexibility

Emotional flexibility is mobility, flexibility, variability and adaptability of the mental and sensory sphere, allowing you to choose the most optimal and adaptive response options. The problem of lack of flexibility in emotional response emerged from the predominance of a certain obsession with behavior (when actions occur as if on a script, without remarks of various shades), in thoughts (winding themselves up, the usual search for a negative), and also in the sensual sphere (the inability to influence mood). Such an ossified structure does not allow to form successful actions, it depletes the spiritual sphere, which contributes to the development of affective experience disorders.

The development of emotional flexibility does not imply a rigid reorientation of emotions and attitudes, since it considers that a violent (volitional, forced) change in a person's long-standing attitudes, on the contrary, binds the variability of reactions, increases the level of tension and control, and cements established patterns. All mechanisms are built on relieving tension, bringing lightness to what is happening, this is a kind of game for accepting current events, without their strict control and putting them in the chosen frames.

What is emotional flexibility

The problem of emotional flexibility is becoming increasingly important, since in the world, striving to achieve and control, there is no room for spontaneous manifestation, the variability of one's own manifestation and simple relaxation. Thus, the development of emotional flexibility is closely connected with the ability to relax, and therefore stop worrying about every moment that happens and does not happen and begin to perceive life through the prism of awareness. Awareness in this context implies a conscious choice by a person of his emotional reactions, which is easier to accomplish by moving his perception of reality from the future or the past to the present moment. By including their responsibility and realizing the possibility of choosing their own response to the stimuli received by the nervous system, each one acquires response options, where one can choose destructive and overwhelming. And you can be light and relaxed.

Such a choice of reaction is available to every person, because it is the underlying mechanism of the brain structure, where there is a certain period of silence between the incoming stimulus and the response produced, when nothing happens and the choice is made how best to respond. We automate many actions, and also give out many of our reactions solely out of habit, but the interval necessary for making a decision remains to skip it, react in the usual way, or use it to see other ways of change. The use of the gap between stimulus and reaction, increased awareness - this is what reflects emotional flexibility, and accordingly allows you to realize all your talents and develop, transforming and expanding your own freedom.

Good emotional flexibility helps to cope with many internal difficulties, such as low self-esteem, personal development complexes, is an excellent regulator of depressive and anxious states, and in the end can lead to significant life changes. Remember the experiences of a possible failure at an interview that could bring many to a hypertensive crisis, while the significance of what is happening is overestimated and is in the distant future, and experiences, and quite negative ones occur now, if you realize in time the senselessness of your mental torments, then the exorbitant increase in anxiety begins to decline, giving way to more productive behaviors to find solutions to possible difficulties.

Considering emotional flexibility to be synonymous with positivity or the desire to experience only positive emotions is not worth it, because even the most emotionally flexible person experiences negative emotions, becomes frustrated, sad, it becomes painful, but he is able to consider these emotional periods from different sides, give them a place, accept, work and let go. This is perhaps the biggest difference - to accept, realize and release, instead of keeping them inside, accumulating and letting them live, disrupting the functioning of the nervous system and destabilizing all life processes.

This quality adds to the dynamics of life and allows you to overcome significant levels of stress experienced, and not by increasing the shell of insensitivity and immobility, but by showing all the same characteristics of a living psyche as before (interest, enthusiasm, openness). This does not mean that a person with emotional flexibility adapts to changing situations - he chooses to leave his reactions and behavior as usual or change each time, while focusing on his inner values ​​and goals, relating them to changes in the surrounding space. Difficult experiences and difficult thoughts are not ignored, but simply excluded from their perception, are used as beacons and markers of what is happening, allowing you to better assess the situation, help to notice how something is going wrong, and find ways to correct the movement.

Emotional flexibility - how to learn to enjoy change

When trying to enter into a familiar life something new or leave the old, freeing up space for another, most people apply enormous amounts of energy to keeping everything in its past state. Such a desire to maintain stability is dictated by evolution, since everything new was unexplored, possibly dangerous, and perhaps joyful, but definitely consuming a lot of resources for research, and in some cases also specific victims. However, it is precisely the various changes that are the engine of development of each being. The question remains how to make the most of the changing conditions, and not to fall into a stupor from their occurrence, because the forces that we usually spend to force the situation to remain within the previous framework can be spent on extracting benefits. To do this, it is necessary to loosen control, trust the situation, relax your own will, and look with interest at the uncertainty that is still approaching. Rejoicing at changes, we program the course of events for a positive one; we stop resisting; we begin to notice the situation more widely. When change brings only disappointment, then the range of actions and feelings is limited - the situation needs to be brought back to normal, and you need to feel discontent and frustration.

The most difficult thing is to catch the moment of formation of your reaction and choose not a disorder, but joy. At the very beginning, you will have to purposefully analyze your thoughts and beliefs, which of them are yours, and which of you are carried by the public opinion virus and it is time to throw them out. Leaving only your own, no matter how familiar they are, even with your own pain, you can work more productively than with someone else's joy. The next stage after the selection of their own reactions is the distancing from them. Those. they exist and are happening, but in the new emotional-mental response, distance yourself from the outside. Do not avoid them, but watch where they come from, what caused them, how quickly they gain strength, thus you create for yourself the gap between the stimulus and the reaction, and then you have the freedom to choose how you react - according to where you are automatic response or in accordance with the quiet, almost invisible voice of another scenario. The further you can move away from the direct influence of emotions on decision-making, the wider the picture in front of you will open, and the perception of what is happening on the whole scale usually provides additional response options. So it turns out that the more awareness at the moment you can provide for yourself, the more freedom and power you get in your own life.

In choosing your reactions, it is worth starting from the monumental goals and core values ​​of your personality; therefore, it is worthwhile to carry out research works on studying yourself, so that with each seeming choice, it will be carried out in the direction of approximation and conformity to what was intended. Life consists of every minute elections (metro or taxi, sausage or porridge, call a friend or miss a message) and these little details add up to our lives. By adding a conscious perception, you will receive an even greater number of choices, and if some of them clearly signal global changes, some may not seem important. First, train yourself to choose your path and conformity to your personal convictions in big and iconic moments, and over time you will begin to notice how even the smallest changes and their correction bring you closer or further away from the chosen and desired.

Changing your attitude and reactions in something big and noticeable is easy; you can tell about it as an achievement later to your acquaintances, but the true achievement is the adjustment of all sorts of trifles that add to everyday life. This is how to install a new cabinet more significant, more noticeable and easier than to wipe dust off it every day and not to leave stains from coffee. To achieve this, you need to properly distribute the load and relaxation, the moments of analyzing the situation and simply enjoying being, since constant tension can drive you crazy, and you can put pressure on the choices made by the burden of responsibility. Sometimes you can choose not to choose.

Emotional flexibility in professional activities

In the work activity, the most valuable qualities now are stamina and positive, the ability to not lose heart and encourage others, but the work environment orients a person to a constant search for problems, emotional closeness and an unreal level of pent up tension, which then results in breakdowns. Moreover, such reactions are absolutely natural, and their artificial replacement by workaholism and ostentatious optimism can be fraught with health problems. Professional activity is inseparable from our personality and the moments that take place there can so strongly influence the development of a person that even personal relationships will exceed.

Many depressions and complexes, psychological traumas and inadequate self-assessments are born in the workplace and are caused by the acceleration of life, the increase in tasks and personal responsibility. Now, in addition to their job description, everyone needs to solve a lot of personal problems in order to be liked by superiors and colleagues. In addition, the work itself is becoming more and more unpredictable, the distribution of duties is increasingly erased and as a result, everyone does all the work, regardless of the job title, while experiencing various overloads, since the rules are not defined.

We are confronted with the same problem of reacting to changes, anxieties in the future, and the ability to adapt to critically changing conditions or at least the ability to respond adequately.

Emotional flexibility in professional activity becomes an invaluable quality, although it would seem more important when building relationships, but in the emerging conditions of constant uncertainty it becomes urgent to cope with the growing nervous tension. In order to successfully cope with these tasks, the development of one’s own emotional flexibility in the working aspect will be directed at the same study of key points that are important to you as a professional. This is similar to the definition of important goals and principles of life, but in a narrower sense. From planning, it remains only to anticipate future possible difficulties and, accordingly, to make choices that prevent them, but otherwise it is worthwhile to abandon unnecessary expectations and plans, while remaining open every minute, correlated with changes in the situation and your ultimate goals. You can work on something in advance (if you know that a personal relationship has a strong influence on the assessment of a personal relationship, then it is wiser to choose to drink coffee with him than to run away for lunch with a girlfriend), but you cannot influence some moments in advance, and it should be let go.

To distance yourself from overwhelming emotions becomes one of the most useful skills of emotional flexibility, since only some people work objectively with terrible and threatening events (rescuers, military, captains), then everyone else exaggerates the significance of what is happening and fall into the addictive abyss of worries. Breaking the stimulus with the usual reaction, you help yourself to become more successful when instead of experiencing you look at the situation objectively and choose a new way of solving, focusing on your needs in the profession, but without pursuing your goal to calm your contrived fear.