5 Ways to Increase Your Emotional Flexibility - Deepstash
5 Ways to Increase Your Emotional Flexibility

5 Ways to Increase Your Emotional Flexibility

Curated from: verywellmind.com

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Emotional flexibility

Emotional flexibility

This is a trait that helps us adjust more easily to new circumstances, challenges and situations as they arise.

  • Whether it’s starting a new job, taking a new class or getting married, being cognitively flexible helps us to grow and get along better with others.
  • However, for many people, this is much easier said than done—especially for those who tend to “get stuck” on certain thoughts and behaviours patterns.

The good news is that there are some simple strategies you can incorporate into your life to help you become more flexible and adjust more easily to change.


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1. Change your diet

1. Change your diet

For many, a diet with a higher ratio of complex carbohydrates to protein can be helpful.

  • In particular, you might try adding chickpeas and sweet potatoes to your diet because these foods help boost serotonin, are high in fibre, and are lower on the glycemic index.
  • Serotonin levels can also be raised by eating foods rich in L-tryptophan which is a building block of serotonin. Such foods include chicken, turkey, salmon, beef, nut butter, eggs, and green peas.


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2. Exercise

Another way to increase L-tryptophan is by exercising.

  • Exercise also increases your energy levels, reduces your worries, and can distract you from the repetitive thinking patterns that get stuck in your head.


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3. Practice thought-stopping

3. Practice thought-stopping

An important part of gaining control over your repetitive thoughts is to become mindful of them when they occur—and then practice the simple technique of thought stopping.

  • Try envisioning a red stop sign, and saying to yourself: STOP! The more you practice this, the more you may feel control over your thoughts.

You can also use a rubber band on your wrist and snap it when you catch yourself in a loop of negative thinking.


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4. Document options and solutions

4. Document options and solutions

Writing down your thoughts helps to “get them out of your head” and allows you to view them more rationally.

Try writing down:

  1. The thought that is stuck in your head
  2. What you can do to help offset the thought
  3. Things you have no control over with regard to the thought


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5. Think before automatically saying "no"

5. Think before automatically saying "no"

Some people have the tendency to say "no" automatically even before thinking about what was asked of them.

  • This can be especially problematic in relationships.
  • It is limiting and unnecessary to always dismiss ideas or deny your partner his or her requests.

To help with this, before responding, take a deep breath, hold it for three seconds, and then take five seconds to exhale, while actually considering what the best way to respond would be.


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I'm passionate about helping people live their best lives. I'm a lifestyle coach & burnout coach.

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