What is flexibility, why is it so important, and how do you know if you are flexible enough?
Flexibility is commonly defined as the ability to recover from difficult life events.
Mayo Clinic Resilient Brain Creator and Post Clinic Reslant Brain Creator, MD, MD, KMD, MD in Rochester, Minnesota, says, It has the ability to move backwards and forwards. ”
Flexibility is not a trampoline, where you live one moment down and the next. It’s like climbing a mountain without a trail map. It takes time, energy and support from the people around you, and you will likely face setbacks along the way. But eventually you get to the top and want to look back at where you came from.
What Is Resilience Theory?
People face all kinds of troubles in life. There are personal experiences, such as illness, the loss of a loved one, abuse, bullying, job loss and financial instability. Tragic events such as terrorism, mass shootings, and natural disasters are commonplace. People have to learn to deal with very difficult life experiences and work.
Flexibility theory refers to how people are influenced by people and adapt to things like trouble, change, loss and risk.
Being flexible does not mean that people do not experience stress, emotional turmoil and distress. Some people equate resilience to mental stiffness, but demonstrating resilience also involves working through emotional pain and suffering.
Flexibility is not a fixed quality. Flexibility, adaptability, and perseverance can help people improve their resilience by changing certain thoughts and behaviors. Research shows that students who believe that both intellectual ability and social qualities can be developed are less likely to respond to difficulties and stress about better performance. (1)
Dr. Sood, who is a member of the Erie Health Wellness Advisory Board, believes that flexibility can be defined under five principles.
Top Factors of Resilience
Creating flexibility is also complex and personal. It involves a combination of internal forces and external resources, and there is no universal formula for becoming more flexible. Everyone is different: While one person may develop symptoms of depression or anxiety after a traumatic event, the other person may not report any symptoms.
A set of factors contributes to building flexibility, and there is no list of easy-to-work tasks to deal with. In a longitudinal study, adolescent risk factors for stress, such as family harmony, positive self-assessment, and good relationships, were associated with flexible outcomes in adolescence. (2)
Although individuals process trauma and anxiety in different ways, there are some safety factors that help improve flexibility and cope with coping skills. These factors include:
In 2015, the social support research was published in the journal Ecology and Society, which showed that social systems help to create resilience in times of crisis or trauma. ()) Social support can include immediate or extended family, community, friends and organizations.
Realistic planning The ability to create and execute realistic plans helps individuals to play with their strengths and focus on achievable goals.
Self-confidence When faced with a problem, a positive sense of confidence and trust in one’s strength can stifle feelings of helplessness.
Coping skills and problem solving skills help to empower a person who has to go through difficulties and overcome difficulties.
Communication skills Being able to communicate clearly and effectively helps people mobilize resources and take action.
Emotional regulation The ability to handle excessive emotions (or get help to work through them) helps people to stay focused in overcoming a challenge.
Research on the Flexibility Theory shows that it is important to manage the immediate environment and promote safety factors while addressing the demands and stresses of the individual. ()) In other words, flexibility is not something that people spend in reliable moments of adversity. It develops when people face all kinds of stress on a daily basis, and safety factors can be nurtured.
Why Is Resilience Important?
Flexibility is what gives people the emotional strength to deal with trauma, anxiety and difficulties. Flexible people use their own resources, strengths and skills to overcome challenges and work through failures.
People who do not feel resilient feel overwhelmed and helpless and rely on unhealthy coping strategies (such as avoidance, loneliness and self-medication). One study found that patients who attempted suicide had significantly higher resilience scores than those who had never attempted suicide. (5)
Flexible people experience stress, anxiety and difficult emotions, but they strengthen their strength and seek help from the support system to overcome challenges and work through problems. Flexibility gives them the option to accept a situation and adapt to it and move on.
Flexibility “is your primary strength for carrying the load of life.”
What Are the 7 Cs of Resilience?
Pediatrician Ken Ginsberg, who specializes in adolescent medicine at Children’s Hospital Philadelphia, developed the 7CS model of flexibility to help children and adolescents develop the skills to be happier and more flexible.
The 7 CS model focuses around two key points:
Young people live up to the expectations that are set for them and they need adults who love them unconditionally and set them high expectations.
More important than what we model for young people’s resilience is what we say about it.
The American Academy of Pediatrics summarizes 7CS as follows:
Ability is the ability to know how to handle situations effectively. To build competence, individuals develop a set of skills to help them trust their decisions and make responsible choices.
Confidence Dr. Jensberg says that true self-confidence is based on merit. Individuals gain confidence by demonstrating competence in real life situations.
Close relationships with family, friends and community provide a sense of security and connection.
In order to make responsible choices, to participate in society, and to experience their own good, character people need a basic sense of right and wrong.
Contribution Ginsberg says achieving a sense of purpose is a powerful motivator. Participating in one’s community strengthens positive relationships.
Competition When people learn to deal effectively with stress, they are better prepared to deal with difficulties and failures.
Control Promoting an understanding of internal control helps people act as problem solvers rather than victims of the situation. When people know that they can control the consequences of their decisions, they are more likely to feel capable and confident. (6)
The 7 Cs of flexibility clarify the interrelationships between personal forces and external resources, regardless of age.
The good news is that flexibility can be learned. For example, people can build social support networks or learn to correct negative thoughts.
Learning to be flexible does not mean “getting up and enduring it” or simply “overcoming it.” It’s not about learning to avoid obstacles or resisting change.
Building flexibility is a process by which people use flexibility to optimize thought patterns and learn to use strengths and power approaches to deal with obstacles.
How to Build and Cultivate Resilience
It is helpful to think of flexibility as a process. Below are steps that can help build resilience over time.
Develop self-awareness. Understanding how you usually respond to stress and adversity is the first step to learning more adaptation strategies. Self-awareness also includes understanding your strengths and your weaknesses.
Develop self-discipline. It is important to stay in the world of stress and anxiety, but it is not easy. Stress reduction techniques, such as guided drawing, breathing exercises and mindfulness training, can help individuals manage their emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
Learn to compete skills. There are many coping skills that can help you deal with stressful and challenging situations. These include journaling, brainstorming, exercising, spending time outdoors, socializing, improving sleep hygiene, and tapping into creative stores.
Increased hope People who are more optimistic are more likely to control their results. To build hope, focus on what you can do when faced with a challenge, and identify positive, problem-solving steps you can take.
Strengthen connections. Support systems can play an important role in resilience. Strengthen your existing social connections and look for opportunities to create new ones.
Know your strength. People feel more capable and confident when they can identify their abilities and strengths.
Resilience and Health Conditions
Studies show that resilience characteristics, especially social relationships and a strong sense of self-worth, help people cope with chronic illness. (11)
Research on resilience and chronic disease, published in the journal Cognitive Psychology in April 2015, looked at how patient resilience can affect both disease development and outcomes. (12)