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3 Ways Being Flexible Can Help You Find Calm Right Now

Letting the wind blow in unexpected directions isn’t always easy, but it’s part of living with authentic positivity in uncertain times.

A flexible attitude

When I’m not writing here at Guideposts.org, I write about yoga, specifically how scientific research supports yoga practice as a helpful practice for managing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

One reason many people start practicing yoga is that they want to be more flexible in their joints. But flexibility isn’t an important life skill only in the physical sense. Being flexible with your routines, your expectations of others, and your definition of success can help you center your emotions in uncertain times

Here are three reasons flexibility can help you feel calm and more grounded in unsettled moments.

1) Being Flexible Also Means Being Strong
Flexibility and strength are two sides of the same coin, both in fitness pursuits and in emotional wellness. Without the strength to hold your body in a new way, your joints cannot become more flexible. Similarly, without the strength to approach a problem or an unsettling situation with a new outlook, your outlook cannot be anchored in authentic positivity.

2) Flexibility Helps You More Easily Regulate
When the world around you changes rapidly, your ability to shift from problem-solving to rest to creative thinking requires emotional agility. The more accustomed you are to shifting mindsets to meet unexpected new normals, the faster you will be able to feel calm and confident in facing whatever your day brings you next.

3) Flexibility Makes Room for All Feelings
Acknowledging and embracing the full range of your emotional life is a linchpin of authentic positivity. When you are skilled at being flexible, you are less likely to get stuck in a rigid or narrow definition of a moment in time.

This could mean recognizing, for example, that in addition to putting stress on your family, the process of physically distancing from others during the coronavirus crisis is enabling you to connect with your loved ones in new ways.

When flexibility is your watchword, you are released from being trapped either in “toxic positivity” or in exhausting cycles of negativity.

What are you being flexible about during the coronavirus outbreak? What is helping you—and what is challenging you?

Holly Lebowitz Rossi is the author of The Yoga Effect.

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