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  • Writer's pictureHelen McGillivray

Psychological flexibility - what is it and why is it important?

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

In today’s busy and ever-changing world, it’s easy to spend most of our time in auto-pilot mode, just getting on with life without thinking.

Now more than ever, it pays to be aware of our thoughts, feelings, urges and reactions — and how they affect how we behave in the world.

When we feel uncomfortable emotions, our automatic reaction is to try and avoid or get rid of them. Perhaps we do things like drink too much alcohol or eat junk food in an attempt to control how we are feeling. If this goes unnoticed for a period of time, it can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and depression. Trying to control our emotions (being inflexible) can become the problem rather than the solution.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT - is a psychological approach with strong scientific backing. It has proven to be effective for both individuals and organisations. ACT techniques can help us become more psychologically flexible, which means we are more likely to experience a wider range of emotions. ACT teaches us to focus on being present ‘in the moment’ and live the life that matters most to us, guided by our deepest values.

In this and the next few learning journeys, you'll learn how to use ACT principles in your own life. You'll learn more flexible thinking, self awareness and how to live a fulfilling life according to your own personal values.

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