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  • Writer's pictureAustin Aloysius Tay

Strengthened Your Psychological Muscle

Updated: Oct 20, 2023


3 As of Psychological Flexibility

It is very human of us to feel worried and fearful because often, we are caught up in ruminating about the past and catastrophizing the future. We tend to lose ourselves in the present when in such a state. Being caught up with our thoughts and emotions can result in us losing all sense of self-awareness.

Creating Awareness


When we do not recognise how our behaviours impact us, we will be stuck in a rut, mulling over things repeatedly. Such an impact can result in us becoming depressed and frustrated. What should we do then? Take a step back, breathe and create a psychological distance from the thoughts or emotions, that is, perspective-taking. Doing so allows us to see why we think and feel a certain way, thus providing CLARITY. Next, we must notice how these thoughts or emotions can affect us. In doing so, we can decide whether to carry on, allowing these thoughts and feelings to control our behaviour.


Learning To Accept


It is awful to feel defeated or unable to take control of our lives. The society imposes a standard, and we adhere religiously to it, believing that FAILURE is not an option. So, we will create automatic defence mechanisms such as being positive, trying hard to find out what went wrong or simply not facing failure. These defence mechanisms have their shortcomings. For example, when we are always positive when dealing with failures, we can become too cavalier and ignore the real causes of our failures. On the other hand, when we spend too much time fretting over details about how and why we fail, we only stop ourselves from moving forward. Similarly, it will catch up when we run away and do not face what is before us. What can we do then? Accept that failure is normal; we all fail at one point. What matters is how we move forward from our failures.


Action


Now that we know how our thoughts and emotions can get in the way we function and accept that sometimes we do not have any control over the situation we are in, we need to put into action what to do next. We need to think about what are the important things in our lives. We need an action plan to help us move towards those important things and be mindful of potential hurdles that can waylay the plan. Remember, this is a process, not a straight point A to point B journey. We must be agile and adaptable should changes to the action plan be required.

Practice


Just as it takes determination and tenacity to keep ourselves physically fit, it is not that dissimilar when it comes to our psychological health. The more we practice, the better we will become; similarly, when we become lax, we become unfit psychologically.

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