Mental agility means being willing to learn and able find new connections between things. It helps us become comfortable with uncertainty and teaches us to analyse situations carefully instead of simply reacting.
Sounds useful, right?
The rub is that our goal-oriented lives can reduce mental agility. When we focus on achieving a task we can get into the habit of doing what we know works, instead of taking the time to consider alternatives or try something new.
These five tips for mental agility can help you break out of your rut.
Adults love to joke, or complain, about how kids are always asking why? It drives parents and teachers nuts sometimes but it helps children learn fast.
To cultivate mental agility, get back into the habit of asking “why?” You can start by asking yourself — why do I always do this this way? Why do I feel like this? Why am I happy/frustrated/disappointed/jealous?
This is a way of practicing active mindfulness which can change our lives and world.
Trying to avoid mistakes or failure keeps us locked in routine. To stay safe, we stop doing things that are difficult or unfamiliar, and retreat into what we know we’re good at.
This can be comfortable, but it does not do much for our long-term mental or emotional growth. When we embrace imperfection — ours and that of others — we open up to new possibilities and learning experiences.
Grow your community
Our minds are shaped by relationships. From infancy, we discover the world through interactions. Every stage of our life is marked by new social bonds.
As adults, the rate of new relationships slows as we establish partnerships and friend groups. Meeting new people is a way to continue learning from others. Volunteering, travel, and hobbies are all great ways to expand community.
Sometimes, we resist new experiences, or trying new things, because we’re loathe to have another commitment in our busy lives. To prevent this from becoming a barrier, give yourself permission to try something and move on. Took a fitness class but didn’t enjoy it? Fine, you don’t have to go back. Went to a gallery and were bored stiff? Okay, maybe it’s not for you. Don’t judge yourself, just be happy you tried it.
You knew I was going to say this, right? Yoga is the ultimate tool for increasing our physical and mental agility. Not only that, it is a great chance to make new friends and embrace imperfection.
For a chance to practice all five of these tips, join Yoga Holiday With Paul in Cyprus from 13-19 September. We’ll be practicing yoga, making friends, dancing, meditating, laughing, hitting the beach and much more!