Lack Of Mental Flexibility And Guilt

Lack of mental flexibility and guilt

If we retrace the negative emotional states, we will find that lack of mental flexibility and guilt are a recurring feature in many cases. We could say that, in addition to manifesting their presence, they are also the reason why these negative states persist over time.

Lack of mental flexibility refers to the inability to change one’s mind when there is every reason to do so. It also alludes to the inability to contemplate a situation from different points of view. Inflexible people live reality based on very rigid premises with few nuances.

The origin of guilt has been extensively studied. It could be said that in certain Jewish-Christian societies the sense of guilt reflects the way in which painful episodes are processed. In fact, if we consult Genesis, we will find an Eve guilty of having eaten the snake’s apple.

Guilt has a positive side because it pushes us to reflect and repair the damage committed. On the other hand, it shows its negative face when it hangs like a dead weight on the neck, preventing us from moving forward. Furthermore, when it occurs in a generalized form, guilt is a totally destructive feeling: it is not useful, it does not heal and it has nothing creative to draw inspiration from.

Guilt and inflexibility take us away from mental comfort

These two factors cause “rumination” or “brooding,” a concept developed in psychology that refers to the inability to stop thinking about something. Excessive rumination is associated with psychotic disorders, nervousness, eating disorders and many other problems.

This relationship is logical: if we are unable to see the facts from different points of view, if all our preconceptions do not match what we are experiencing, then it is normal to think that something is wrong with us. And we think about it a lot, without finding a solution. It is simply a self-inflicting mental punishment.

If, in addition to this and inflexibility, the environment makes demands on us and we believe we are constantly making mistakes because these demands do not satisfy the ideas we have in mind, then we feel guilty. With these two aspects, our mind will have a “hectic, anxious and useless” activity.

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How do I know if inflexibility and guilt are ruining my life?

To understand how these two sharp knives affect our mental health, it is worthwhile to give an example.

Imagine a woman who has had enough information for a prophecy: if she becomes a mother, she would be generously rewarded by her social circle. Furthermore, his brain must constantly process information: the birth of his child will be a happy and irreplaceable event, free of contradictions and moments of doubt.

Her mindset about motherhood will be rigid, inflexible and utopian: motherhood is beautiful because it is instinctive and she will know how to be a mother because it is beautiful, instinctive and will simply make her happy at any moment. In his mindset, doubts are not allowed, indeed they are dangerous for his well-being.

This woman, in experiencing the great change that a pregnancy implies, therefore also childbirth and post-partum, can feel upset. The pregnancy was full of physical problems, it was not as happy as she expected, childbirth and postpartum were not rewarding experiences. Then a very deep feeling of existential emptiness appears that clashes with the woman’s expectations and her mental scheme.

If her pattern leaves no room for ideas that can alleviate her mood, for example that hormonal changes are normal, that fatigue is exhausting and that it is normal to feel “weird”, the woman will evaluate all of this in a single way: I am a bad mother because I am not cheerful and for this I feel guilty.

This person can only act in two ways: they can continue to self-punish themselves for not feeling the emotions they should be feeling or, conversely, they can rethink their value system to understand that motherhood is a complex experience, but it does not stop being wonderful for this. He must make room for all these feelings of pain and manage them because they are part of the moment he is experiencing, as well as the joy.

To do this, she will have to fight not only the feelings that she believes shouldn’t be in her head, but the whole system of values ​​and the sense of guilt that prevent her from living the moment of motherhood in a healthy way.

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How to fight mental inflexibility and guilt?

There are various ways of fighting these two great enemies of well-being, various techniques, from the most theoretical to the most practical. Let’s see some of them:

  • It is time to relax

    . This doesn’t mean lying on your bed and doing nothing for hours. Keeping the mind quiet means gaining awareness, discovering mindfulness and some reading, such as those by author Eckhar Tolle.

  • Put into practice what you have learned

    . It is not easy to practice this form of relaxation. Look for simple and pleasant situations, such as taking a walk, painting or reading. If you start doing it in such contexts, you will gradually be able to apply it to other areas, such as in the office or in the classroom while teaching 20 children.

  • Seek professional help

    . It is important to work on the rigid and wrong schemes. A cognitive behavioral psychologist is a specialized professional who can help you dismantle everything that is making you suffer unnecessarily, as well as structure and exploit the ideas you have that will do you good. It is not a “brainwashing”, it is a help from which you can get what you need.

  • Review your principles

    . You cannot review your values ​​without first relaxing a little. If you are already calmer, then you can rethink your values, namely: understanding what pre-established ways of thinking and acting prevent you from living in harmony.

  • Make progressive changes

    . Deciding not to be “framed” anymore, to be more fluid and to open up to new perspectives on life is an attitude that takes time. However, the best is to stick to hard facts.

  • The results of your interactions will always be better than the ghosts in your mind

    . If you are wrong, you feel anxious or confused, do not be afraid. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and working mentally, quite the opposite. The solid foundation will last over time, the rest will collapse and you will have the opportunity to build more flexible and durable walls.

So, take the risk and challenge these two knives that undermine your mental health because you will be grateful. If you do, you will be able to observe its reflection in the way you relate to others. Isn’t that good news?

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