Using Psychological Flexibility to Enhance your Capacity to Manage Stress
Psychological flexibility is the capability to move in the direction of what really matters to you even when you are experiencing tough emotions. You can think of it as mindfulness in action. Developing psychological flexibility will enhance your wellbeing and relationships.
This series is called “Using psychological flexibility to enhance your capacity to manage stress and respond effectively in the time of COVID-19”. I created the script for this series about one week into the COVID pandemic in Australia at the beginning of 2020. It was designed for a particular firm that was interested in supporting their customer service representatives who they could see were going to struggle with an increase in calls.
At the time, I was trying to make sense of how I wanted to respond in terms of my community. It is fascinating to think how much has changed, and how being in a pandemic now seems a normal part of life.
If you have any questions at all about psychological flexibility, please consider joining one of our regular introductory webinars or Prosocial Learning Journeys. These are subtle and powerful ideas and many people in our community would love to help you better understand them.
Paul Atkins is a facilitator, author and researcher. He is co-founder and Vice President of Prosocial World, a not-for-profit focused on conscious evolution to enhance cooperation and trust in mission-driven groups globally. Paul is a Visiting Associate Professor with the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University as well as a board member of the World Happiness Foundation. His research has focused on interventions to reduce stress while enhancing relationships, wellbeing, perspective taking and cooperation in groups and organizations. He is the lead author of “Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science to Build Productive, Equitable, and Collaborative Groups” as well as the developer of the Prosocial suite of training offerings. Paul’s passion in life is creating more harmonious, cooperative, meaningful relationships.
Psych Flex Part 1 - Getting Clear on What Matters Most
This video introduces a tool called the Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) Matrix. The particular question I used then was “What is important to me about how I respond to the coronavirus situation?” But you can apply the ACT Matrix to any question or situation in your life. You might want ...
Psych Flex Part 2 - The Skills of Psychological Flexibility
In this video, we describe how psychological flexibility is actually made up of 6 skills. We explore the nature of each of the skills, and then investigate how psychological flexibility can be useful:
1. Clarifying values
2. Present moment awareness
3. Unhooking from thoughts
4. An observing self...
Psych Flex Part 3 - Practising Psychological Flexibility
This video includes an exercise that allows you to practice each of the skills 2 - 5. This is a helpful way to get a real sense of how you might introduce these skills to groups beyond just doing the matrix.
”. In this video, we go back to using the personal ACT matrix to take a deeper dive into the final psychological flexibility skill of committing to action. You will learn about some aspects of setting goals and forming habits. Psychological flexibility is all about behaving in the direction of wh...