Cultivate Flexibility

Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

Emotional flexibility is the ultimate tool you want to make sure you have in your “Best Life Skills” toolkit. It is an incredible adaptive skill essential to your well-being because it gives you the ability to adapt to any situation or circumstances. It helps you regulate your emotions, be comfortable with discomfort, and navigate uncomfortable situations without being overwhelmed. Charles Darwin said, “It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”

Emotional flexibility leads to resilience and resilience is a crucial skill that allows you to adapt to your circumstances and overcome hardships that may show up in your life. Emotional flexibility and resilience strengthen you and help you experience adversity without letting it define you. It’s essential to your capacity to adapt to the world around you. There are valuable ways for you to cultivate your emotional flexibility.

Simple ways to cultivate it!
Find Mindfulness.

Discover the power of meditation and mindfulness. Emotional flexibility is about regulating our emotions. There is no better way for you to learn about emotional regulation than through the practice of mindfulness and meditation. Just 15 minutes of meditation per day have the potential to change your life and the way you relate to yourself and to your emotions. It will quiet your mind, make you feel more peaceful and relaxed and more resilient in the face of challenges. Mindfulness activities will develop your capacity to gain control over your emotions, which is priceless because it’s the first step toward gaining control over your life.

Stay social.

Make plenty of friends and stay engaged socially. Avoid isolating yourself. Expand your horizons by meeting all kind of people from different cultures who have different traditions, opinions and beliefs. This will help you become open-minded, tolerant and flexible in your ways of thinking and interacting with the world and the people around you.


Engage in a physical activity that you truly enjoy and see if you can practice it daily, or at least as often as possible. Exercising is a powerful stress reducer that will help you let go of repressed feelings and emotions. It will clear your mind, calm you down help you regulate your emotions, think more clearly and make decisions from a place of full awareness.