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  • reidwalton

Psychological Flexibility

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

I've been reading through this book A Liberated Mind by Steven C. Hayes Ph.D where he talks about this idea of psychological flexibility. According to the way he views it, psychological flexibility "is the ability to feel and think with openness, to attend voluntarily to your experience of the present moment, and to move your life in a direction that is important to you, building habits that are important to you, building habits that allow you to live life in accordance with your values and aspirations. It's about learning not to turn away from what is painful, instead turning toward your suffering in order to live a life full of meaning and purpose....

It allows us to turn toward our discomfort and disquiet in a way that is open, curious and kind. It's about looking in a nonjudgemental and compassionate way at the places in ourselves and in our lives where we hurt, because the things that have the power to cause us the most pain are often the things we care about most deeply. Our deepest yearnings and most powerful motivations lie hidden inside our most unhealthy defense systems. Our impulse is usually either to try and deny our pain, by suppression or self-medication, or to get get caught up dwelling on it through rumination and worry, allowing it to take charge of our lives. Psychological flexibility empowers us to to accept our pain and live life as we desire, with our pain when there is pain."

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