Flexibility: the mental kind.

“I can be flexible,” … “I can. As long as everything is exactly the way I want it I’m totally flexible”  –  Lorelai Gilmore; Gilmore Girls

This quote sums up me. Type-A and perfectionistic me. Control-freak and obsessive me. Often joked about but rarely thought of as true issues… and let me tell you, they can be!

I’ve had a very long road towards mental health, mental wellness, and happiness. Until pretty recently my mind was a scary and dark place to be. Worst-case-scenarios were the only possibilities in my head. And when things didn’t go as I had anticipated/planned/wanted, I would implode and go into a full-blown panic. Fun, huh?

But I’ve learned… and worked… and learned… and worked. Long and meandering, but a totally worthwile journey. One of the biggest things I have worked on, and continue to work on, is mental flexibility.

To me, mental flexibility is: the process of adapting and coping to changing or unexpected situations. This means thinking about things in new ways or on focusing on what I can control and do to embrace the situation. Easier said than done!

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” – Gretchen Rubin

Mental flexibility and my tendency to perfectionism went go hand-in-hand for me. I love the quote by Gretchen Rubin because of how it resonates a simple truth: perfect isn’t always the perfect way!

Not to say we just let all things slide, but learning to embrace the quirks and unexpected can be a freeing experience (after the freakout phase, at least). I constantly remind myself to re-frame the situation at hand… focus on how spontaneity has lead to some of the biggest and best things in my life. Or, I focus on how it’s true how we can always laugh (or even learn from) failures on all scales.

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it is not yet the end.” – Sonny; Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

That quote sums up another thing I think about. Everything works out. Sometimes things even work out better than you expected. You just have to trust that everything in life will resolve, and that you can control the fact that you will live it out.

The longest minute of your life still only had 60 seconds.

The last thing that I remind myself is that every minute has 60 seconds. And anyone can get through 60 seconds at a time. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat. That’s all you can or need to do sometimes!

Do you have any tricks for mental flexibility? Or do you have any sticking points that are hard to get your brain around? Share them!

Love, Jenn

 

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