What Are the Benefits of Having A Flexible Mentality?

Having a flexible mentality can be a great help when dealing with new situations and adapting to change. It's also closely linked to creativity and coping skills.
What Are the Benefits of Having A Flexible Mentality?

Last update: 09 October, 2020

Having a flexible mentality is one of the best qualities a person can have. Most problems don’t have a single one-size-fits-all solution and can be addressed in a number of different ways.

Businesses, sports teams, and educational establishments all look for people with flexible mentalities. Such people are able to think outside the box and look for inventive ways to solve new problems. Furthermore, having a flexible mentality is very closely linked to creativity.

People with a flexible mentality aren’t just creative but they also adapt better to change. When something unexpected happens, they’re less likely to panic and more likely to examine their options and find new ways of dealing with the situation. As you can see, there are many benefits to having a flexible mentality, and today, we’ll look at some of the most important ones.

The learning process is more efficient: what is a flexible mentality?

People differ in how well and how fast they can learn new things. We all have the same capacity for learning, but the route that we take and the pace we learn at is what distinguishes us from one another.

When it comes to learning new skills, having a flexible mentality is a significant advantage for two reasons: the learning process is faster and it’s easier to learn a wider range of skills in different contexts.

Anyone can learn through trial and error or observing how other people deal with problems. But only those people with a flexible mentality will be able to go further and devise new solutions.

A sportsman dealing with a mental challenge

More empathy and stronger social relationships

Having a flexible mentality is a fundamental quality for forging stronger social relationships. This is because this flexibility helps us to better understand others and put ourselves in their shoes.

People who don’t have a flexible mentality, on the other hand, tend to find it difficult to empathize with others. In other words, it’s hard for them to understand that people have different thoughts and emotions. Empathy is about thinking about more than just yourself and imagining how other people experience different situations.

Therefore, a flexible mentality is a beneficial trait for more than just reasoning ability. It’s also important for our social lives.

Better adjusted to new situations

Life is full of unexpected events and situations that we can’t control, and being able to deal with them successfully and quickly is a very positive trait to have.

One of the benefits is the ability to think about the bigger picture, avoiding old habits and customs. This can be really useful in unknown situations where simply doing what you’ve always done isn’t going to help.

To deal with these situations successfully, we need to explore new options and use our creativity to think up something original.

It’s true that experience can help us deal with new experiences, and our intuition can also be really useful, but having a flexible mentality can make the key difference for keeping our cool when faced with uncertainty or difficulty.

It increases our ability to learn multiple things at once

People often say that they can only learn one thing at a time, and they’re not completely wrong; our cognitive abilities and attention span are limited. However, with a flexible mentality, it’s possible to minimize these limitations.

A flexible mind increases our ability to multitask, deal with various types of information at a time, and switch between tasks more easily.

An athlete trying to use his flexible mentality to solve a problem.

This multitasking becomes particularly obvious when working under pressure. People who have a flexible mentality tend not to get overwhelmed in adverse circumstances and are more able of thinking clearly and performing complex mental tasks.

A flexible mentality isn’t innate, it’s something you can develop

Having a flexible mentality is a psychological habit just like any other. This means that it’s possible to develop and enhance this mentality with the right techniques. It’s not something you’re born with. We’re all capable of developing our flexibility and creativity.

According to research from the National University of Mar del Plata in Argentina, this characteristic is really easy to develop in children and teenagers, when habits are less ingrained. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still become more flexible as an adult.

The great thing about being human is that we learn things throughout our lives, not just during childhood. This means that it’s never too later to work on developing a more flexible mentality.

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  • Álvarez, E. (2010). Creatividad y pensamiento divergente. Desafío de la mente o desafío del ambiente. Recuperado de: http://www. interac. es/adjuntos/crea_pensa_diver. pdf.
  • Domingo, L., y Galli, J. I. (2015). Desarrollo de la flexibilidad cognitiva en adolescentes (Doctoral dissertation).