when we’re willful, we really want what we’re working toward—but we’re totally inflexible. We’re stubborn. But we can stretch our minds to become flexible the same way we strengthen our muscles to become strong. (Or whatever it is people do when they flip giant tires over in parking lots. That looks fun.)
Stretching your mind sounds pretty intimidating, but as always, we have a handful of Psych Tricks up our sleeves. So put on your favorite unitard, and let’s get flexible. (No unitard? Your tracksuit will do in a pinch.)
Psych Trick #1: Promote your plasticity Neuroplasticity, as you know, is your brain’s ability to make new connections and pave new pathways—to grow. And you’ve learned the best way to encourage that growth is to eat well, stress less, sleep more, and move your body. (Will we ever stop talking about neuroplasticity? You’ll have to stick around until the very end of this course to find out.)
Psych Trick #2: Remodel your routine Having a routine is great for developing habits, but intentionally shaking it up can help you become even more willing and flexible. So do something different, like spontaneously dining out, giving your partner an unexpected hug, or yodeling in the middle of the street.
Psych Trick #3: Tone up your toughness Every once in a while, take the path of greatest resistance. In other words, do something really hard. Use a paper map to navigate a new city instead of using your phone or GPS. Solve a math problem in your head or on paper instead of reaching for a calculator. Try cooking something from scratch that you usually buy pre-made. (You know, like pizza or summer rolls.) As you practice this, your brain may even begin to enjoy the challenges.
Yodelee, yodeloo! (What? We’re spontaneously yodeling!)
So, what’ll it be? Will you… Promote your plasticity?Remodel your routine?Tone up your toughness? Tell your group about how you'll stretch your mental muscles now.