Over time, it stabilizes mood, increases the size of the hippocampus, and promotes neurogenesis. Just remember that the more you go out of your way do things differently, engage in new experiences, and interact with different people, the more flexible your thinking will become. One study study by psychologist Dr Robert Steinberg showed that when students were taught to think in both creative and practical ways, not only did their grades improve, but they were also able to transfer the knowledge they gained to entirely different areas of learning. Go to work via a different route. Without the ability to transfer skills and knowledge to new contexts, your learning won’t have as great an impact. What this and other studies do is clue us in to some key ideas for how to improve cognitive flexibility, ultimately making us more resilient, creative, and confident. The unique anatomy and chemistry of this transitional state comprises increased dopamine receptors and accelerated neuroplasticity. Transferring knowledge is an excellent way to develop cognitive flexibility. CT draws from the cognitive model, which stresses the link between thoughts, feelings, and behavior. thank so much, very helpful 10 Signs of a Spoiled Child: Are You Overindulging Your Kid? What’s exciting about it is that we can develop it at any age, and we suggest how. Divergent thinking usually occurs in a spontaneous and free-flowing manner and involves thinking in terms of unlimited possibilities rather than a limited set of choices. Although I like diversity, I was unable to find any appropriate SlideShare presentations … For example, your task is to organize the clothes in your wardrobe. First of all, it’s important to be aware that rigid behaviors are often a result of your child not understanding the world around them – especially social norms, and other peoples’ intentions and perspectives. © Open Colleges 2020-2026. The gene, KCND2, codes for a protein that regulates potassium channels, which control electrical signals that travel along neurons. Thanks. 1. @IngeniousChi Thank you for the correction! https://t.co/HKAKLdIfHz https://t.co/mu3D57f1qg, Women In Leadership: What's the Status? Neuroplasticity: Exercises to Improve Cognitive Flexibility, Conquer Trauma and PTSD, Change Bad Habits, Eliminate Depression and So Much More! You can develop your ability to transfer knowledge by explaining concepts in your own words. Great article! For instance, one study found that although street children were able to perform complex mathematical calculations when selling their wares, they weren’t able to answer equivalent problems that were presented to them in a school context. They customize treatment roadmaps and appropriate interventions for their clients. A simple way to develop flexible thinking is to do ordinary, routine things in new ways. I am going to follow at least one suggestion every day. Cognitive flexibility has associations with cognitive therapy (CT), developed by renowned psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. When working on group projects, it’s likely you will need to manage multiple clients, as well as your colleagues’ diverse ideas and ways of working. A simple way to develop flexible thinking is to do ordinary, routine things in new ways. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder back in 1973 and have not had any issues since Jan. 2009. 8. Protein-rich diet helps the brain to stay healthy. If you usually get your exercise at the gym, change things up by running in the park or going for a bike ride. 36 Shares LinkedIn Facebook Pinterest Twitter Email Buffer Flipboard More Initial Thoughts on Bite-Sized Guide to Cognitive Flexibility Skills Cognitive flexibility is among the 10 key skills needed for future jobs. Quick wit is a sign of flexible cognition. People envy us if we have cognitive flexibility. Cognitive flexibility is essential for many reasons, especially as we get on in years. These days we have technology and apps that make our lives easier in countless ways, from spell check and autocorrect to GPS. Besides maintaining a good mental health through the correct diet and exercise, you can increase your Cognitive Flexibility by: 1. Using positive surprises in the classroom can support and encourage cognitive flexibility too, writes Meghan Fitzgerald at early childhood education platform, Tinkergarten. You’ll be able to step back and assess situations without being caught up in them. An unexpected afternoon of playing learning games or outdoor period for students can teach them that changes and surprises can be … For instance, if you’re driving to an area you’re not familiar with, try to navigate your way using a map and asking for directions rather than using your GPS, or instead of reaching for your phone the minute you need to make a calculation, grab a pen and paper, and do it the old-fashioned way. 1. You may travel to new places or volunteer in a new industry. Came across your article while looking for the the different ways people think. One study in particular found that college students who had been exposed to diversity and cultural differences were more likely to have reached an advanced stage of moral reasoning. 2003). Another way to build cognitive flexibility is to make an effort to think in unconventional and creative ways or practice divergent thinking. A study found that college students who accepted new ideas had better moral reasoning abilities than their peers. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Exercising also improves cognition. Do things the old-fashioned way. So going out of your way to experience new things or engage in novel activities can go a long way towards helping you develop cognitive flexibility. The result? Meeting people from different cultures and walks of life whose perspectives and viewpoints are likely to differ from your own can help you to be less rigid in your way of thinking and accept that there may be more than one “right” way of looking at things. Learn how to improve this critical skill. Their grades improved tremendously, and they applied what they learned in other areas of their lives. R ules, regulations, expectations, and plans are expected to … First of all, the basics. As you become cognitively flexible, you will switch your perspectives with speed. Building the Skillsets for Cognitive Flexibility Students need explicit instruction and opportunities to practice the flexible thinking that will make the most of their brains' fertile adolescent development stage. Practice divergent thinking. Cognitive flexibility is the human ability to adapt the cognitive processing strategies to face new and unex-pected conditions in the environment (Cañas et al. This was really helpful…highly informative, Fantastic ideas. Try navigating your way around a new town by using a map. Michelle's vast experience of working with children allows her to share valuable advice on parenting, child psychology, and education with her readers. Except as permitted by the applicable copyright law, you may not reproduce or communicate any content from this website, including any files downloadable from this website, without the permission of Open Colleges. Of course, travel is one way to challenge your way of thinking, but even just reading about moral dilemmas and thinking about them critically can help you develop in this area. Cognitive Flexibility and Mindful Movement Patterns. Try working in a new place (e.g., the library, quad, or a coffee shop) or ride your bike instead of driving. Her articles have been featured by the likes of ABC Education, The Huffington Post, Lifehacker, and Psych Central. She earned a Bachelor of Arts (English and Literature) from the National Institute of Education/Nanyang Technological University of Singapore and has taught English language, literature, and music in Singapore schools for over 12 years. It also allows you to learn through experience. Omega-3, Fatty Acids builds and repair brain cells. It has been difficult for me to find the right books that will teach you this skill. For the study, researchers recruited 91 adults and assigned them different levels of aerobic exercise at a wellness center. Even small changes like using a different shampoo instead of the brand you usually use will strengthen your neural pathways. Make sure that you have understood everything that you have learned. Training was sufficient to increase aerobic power and also elicited an improvement in running performance. Develop awareness for commonly held biases and thinking styles that promote stereotypes and unhealthy generalizations. Various therapeutic approaches have a record for bringing about flexible cognition, with CT being among them. © Learning Mind 2012-2021 | All Rights Reserved |, How to Improve Your Cognitive Flexibility with 10 Science-Backed Tips, Why Are We as Lonely and Depressed as Never Before? If you’re looking for a simple way to start building your cognitive flexibility, you can start by changing up your routine and doing everyday things differently. Another way to build cognitive flexibility is to make an effort to think in unconventional and creative ways or practice divergent thinking. You’ll learn that there’s more than one way to do things. Marianne Stenger is a London-based freelance writer and journalist with extensive experience covering all things learning and development. What I mean is if you want to be better at socializing you have to go out meet different people. In contrast, people who are “ rigid ” see things as absolute. 1. Results from a study published in 2009 suggest that aerobic exercise is an effective way to increase cognitive flexibility. You can do so either by color, type, or size. You can develop your cognitive flexibility depending on the situation for what you want it. Improve Cognitive Flexibility. Quality sleep helps regulate your emotions so … 6 Science-Backed Reasons, 7 Captivating Fantasy Novels That Also Teach Profound Life Lessons, What Causes Social Anxiety in Children and How to Help Them. Dr. Michael Merzenich is the chief scientific officer at Posit Science and is featured in the New York Times Best Seller “The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge. Research shows that introducing so-called “desirable difficulties” can lead to deeper learning, so by making a point of not always choosing the easiest way of doing things, you can keep your mind sharp and even learn through your everyday experiences. Methods of measuring cognitive flexibility include the A-not-B task, the Dimensional Change Card Sorting Task, the Multiple Classification Card Sorting Task, the … All content published on this website is intended for informational purposes only. I have many posts about stuff that’s bad for you: stress , high fructose corn syrup, snow, playing soccer , cats , pesticides , religion , climate change , even licorice . 2. Want to know more? Technology has brought us much relief. I think this applies to life, and to people of all ages. A study by Dr. Robert Steinberg revealed that students benefit from being taught creatively. Research shows that people who are exposed to situations that challenge their ideas about what’s right and wrong tend to have greater cognitive flexibility. So make an effort to meet people outside of your normal social circles, whether that means travelling abroad, volunteering, teaching, or connecting with people through social media. Cognitive flexibility refers to our ability to disengage from one task and respond to another or think about multiple concepts at the same time. Proponents of this school of thought believe that people can achieve their goals if they change their ways of thinking. Learning a new language or playing a new instrument helps as well. The strategy I chose to use to improve my cognitive flexibility was practicing using metacognition. One study study by psychologist Dr Robert Steinberg showed that when students were taught to think in both creative and practical ways, not only did their grades improve , but they were also able to transfer the knowledge they gained to entirely different areas of learning. Highly informative. Even if you don’t necessarily agree with someone’s point of view or belief system, being cognitively flexible means you’ll be able to think about why they might see things that way and understand their point of view. Mobile phones allow us to get in touch with loved ones at the touch of a button. It also improves memory and learning. 1. Follow her on Twitter @MarianneStenger. When you experience anything out of the ordinary, the synapses in your brain make new connections. I am sure, in 2-3 months I’ll be a different person. Start. Check out this article for tips on how to inspire divergent thinking. Don’t you wish that your brain could toggle two ideas at once? Improving nutrition, exercise and working on thought stopping/reframing can help improve cognitive flexibility. Instead of going to the gym, run in the park. Flexible cognition allows you to view a task from different perspectives, and understand that there’s more than one way to complete it. Introduction: Impulse Interrupted: Four Simple Steps to Improve Cognitive Flexibility. In all, you can achieve cognitive flexibility and divergent thinking if you practice the things described above on a regular basis. However, making a simple change to your routine will actually build and strengthen neural pathways in your brain, which in turn improves your cognitive flexibility. Therapists help their patients to alter behaviors. [Winship, Adrian] on Amazon.com. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have discovered in mice what they believe is the first known genetic mutation to improve cognitive flexibility–the ability to adapt to changing situations. Meeting new people allows you to embrace new perspectives and become flexible in your thinking. But the truth is that making things easier for ourselves isn’t always the best thing for our cognitive flexibility. An appropriate level of difficulty can lead to improved learning and keeps the mind sharp. Making life easier for ourselves, however, isn’t always the best way to build cognitive flexibility. can you link the study that states”Research shows that introducing so-called “desirable difficulties”. Actively challenge these distorted thought patterns. Instead of … People who are “flexible” are able to: see different perspectives. Change your routine. easily adjust their plans when things don’t go as expected. Experts say that relieving your brain of your worries frees up space in it to consider the solutions to problems. I found more articles on cognitive flexibility skills than I expected. The information is similar to the metacognitive thinking skills I teach my students. Flexible thinking is spontaneous and flows freely. Thank you. The children who participated in one study showed that flexible thinking enabled them to develop to their full potential. Learning Mind has over 50,000 email subscribers and more than 1,5 million followers on social media. It requires letting go of limiting beliefs and embracing possibilities. Doing this will also help you to identify false assumptions. defined as the ability to switch one’s thinking (cognition) (or train of thought) as an adaptation to the demands of stimuli First of all, the basics. What this and other studies do is clue us in to some key ideas for how to improve cognitive flexibility, ultimately making us more resilient, creative, and confident. Flanker tests and word-color tests useful tools to test and possibly train cognitive flexibility. Here are a few science-backed ways to show how it is possible. If you are a human, do not fill in this field. How to Raise an Introverted Teenager: 10 Tips for Parents. Learning Mind is a blog created by Anna LeMind, B.A., with the purpose to give you food for thought and solutions for understanding yourself and living a more meaningful life. We help educators stay up to date with the latest in EdTech and beyond with thought leadership in online vocational education. For instance, if you’re accustomed to taking the same route to work each day, look for a different route or consider taking the bus instead of driving yourself. Your experience will not have much impact if you do not apply it. Learning new skills promotes mental flexibility. I chose to practice metacognition because cognitive flexibility is the ability to switch between tasks efficiently, and I thought that if I paid attention to what I was thinking, then I would be able to switch between tasks while having less distractions cluttering my brain. I do take medication and learned a lot from my experience. Cognitive flexibility is crucial when it comes to creating a successful collaborative environment. Make a target of talking to at least 5 random people a week. Go to work via a different route. https://t.co/5Stl4ZwNxd https://t.co/GligOG0G1a, Goal Setting: How to Set Yourself Up For Success: https://t.co/aJitaLNYpm https://t.co/K5WFrlA74W. Go to a yoga class or take a hike instead of hitting the gym. Michelle Liew is a professional writer and teacher with over 20 years of experience. You’ll form the links between knowledge networks and think creatively. Learn new skills. The main finding of the current study is that cognitive flexibility, but neither working nor short-term memory domains of cognitive function, improved after interval training program of 7 weeks. Found more articles on cognitive flexibility a hike instead of the ordinary or learn something new different... Limiting thoughts worries frees up space in it to consider the solutions to problems Liew a... Think of other things throughout the day, which gives it more flexibility than before that blog... Improving nutrition, exercise and working on thought stopping/reframing can help improve cognitive flexibility too, writes Meghan Fitzgerald early. Success: https: //t.co/aJitaLNYpm https: //t.co/HKAKLdIfHz https: //t.co/K5WFrlA74W brand you usually get your exercise at the,... Human, do not apply it been featured by the likes of ABC education, the body is to... Age, and we suggest how have much impact if you usually get your exercise at wellness. Flexibility has associations with cognitive therapy ( CT ), developed by renowned psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck thinking tend challenge! Excellent way to do ordinary, the Huffington Post, Lifehacker, and Psych Central Habits Eliminate. How technology is changing the way we learn of learning and development a study Dr.... To show how it is that making things easier for ourselves isn ’ have. 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